Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Puppy update

We sent a deposit to Boldheart Miniature Aussies for a pup from the Rose and Shiloh litter due February 7. DH fell in love with the pictures of Rose; he says she looks like the old Flintridge dogs that went in the the Australian Shepherd. I think he's right; those dogs were small too, and the AKC Aussies being bred today are huge and don't look too much like even the dogs we had in the 1980's. Rose is a small mini, and so is Shiloh, and Shiloh throws toys. Mine will be a toy per DH, and he is getting the pup for me, so a toy she will be.
We didn't get Mia, cute as she is, for the very reason I was afraid of. She was just too spooky and we also thought she was mainly socialized to the pack and would never bond as well to us as a pup that was removed from the pack at the proper time. TinyTrax pups were very nice, and I think the breeder does a good job with the little ones' critical periods and all, but she doesn't seem to do any training at all after that. SHe even had to lure the pack outside with treats rather than just telling them to go out. IMO, her dogs have potential that will never be realized. ANd there was no way to tell whether herding instinct was still present in her dogs since they have never been taught to do anything.
Boldheart Aussies are working herding dogs. You can train a herding dog to do anything you want to do with him, because he wants a job and wants to take direction from you. I can't wait.
I wish it wasn't so far away. The date I mean; I chose the breeder partially on the fact that she is in AZ and her dogs are raised in more or less the same climate I live in. I will go visit once before the pups come. DH says he doesn't want to go with; I just don't understand that.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My history with Aussies

--- In TASCA@yahoogroups.com, RuffHouseAussies@... wrote:

> I would like to learn more about your experience with the size
change in the standard Aussie after AKC got involved. Many, many years
ago my first Aussie was about the size of a large mini. Patches was a
great girl and I too later fell in love with the Toy Aussies.

We bought a retired ASCA Ch. bitch (Sassy) with the intent of putting
working titles on her, as her full brother was really sweeping all the
herding trials around, even beating some Border Collies. She was 17 "
but was 3 years old. We did well with her; the first litter was to
our herding titled male and the puppies had beautiful movement and did
very well in puppy classes. There were 2 eventual conformation
champions from the litter, both bitches and both larger than Sassy.
One was sold as a pet (bite was a little off) and we kept a small male
for working stock. Even though he continued to have great
conformation and movement, he was only 17" at 2 years old and we gave
up showing him in conformation after leaving the puppy classes. He
had never even placed again, but he was a fantastic working dog. We
sold him after getting his started titles.
The second litter for Sassy was to a larger Nat Ch. male, and the pups
were correspondingly larger. THere were 3 eventual ch.s, I think, 2
males (very large) and 1 large bitch. THe heads were beginning to
resemble the Bernese Mtn Dog a friend owned. The only reason we bred
Sassy to this male was that DH took him in for herding training and
titling, and the price was the stud fee.
Third litter was accidental. My large male pup from the previous
litter and stepson's jr handling bitch. SHe was a litter sister to
Sassy but much bigger. SInce Cosby was only a year old, we did not
register the litter and sold as pets to be neutered. We have always
felt that only OFA and CERF animals shall be bred, and we had to walk
the walk as well as talk the talk.
Overall, we much preferred the smaller dogs, but as time went on, the
judges that ASCAZ hired for the shows were Working Group AKC judges,
and they almost invariably went for the bigger, blocky head dogs, so
that is what people bred for. THe smaller ones still did much better
as working trial dogs, and the breed began to split. Understand, I'm
talking about here in AZ, and within our direct knowledge while being
active in the state club. And it was even before AKC recognition.
Eventually we decided there was no point in sticking with a breed that
was going to be split, like so many of the Sporting Group, between
conformation dogs and working dogs. So we sold Sassy back to her
first owner, and sold the others as working stockdogs since all our
dogs received herding training. And that was that until now.

AJ in AZ


Friday, December 08, 2006

Another photo

Isn't she beautiful? Posted by Picasa

16 mos old Toy Aussie

This is Mia. We are going to see her too when we go to see TinyTrax' new litter. The owner says she hangs back and is on the bottom of the pecking order, so I don't know if she will be coming home with us or not. For obedience and herding you need a more assertive dog, and if she isn't that, I depend on DH to prevent me from saying YES to her. I have already fallen in love, but I only get ONE dog, so it has to be the right one. This picture is of her at 5 mos, and she is 16 mos now. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Toy Australian Shepherds

Wow, DH is finally going to let me have a dog!!!!  I was making serious Mastiff noises and was going to research the breed and get one whether he liked it or not.  There was an AKC show just  5 miles away (as the crow flies) and I talked him into going with me.  He wanted to see the herding trials; I wanted to see the Mastiffs. We went, I saw the Mastiffs, he saw a TOY AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD being led around by a barrel racer who was attending an event on the same property.  He was absolutely beautiful, and has traditional Aussie temperament (standoffish but not frightened with strangers) and old style conformation and head in a toy sized body.  A red merle male, 7 mos old.  And his owner owns both parents and is going to breed them again next spring. 
DH said, if you want a dog, get one like that and I can teach it to put the chickens away.  He didn't have to say it twice.
So I have been researching since then, and we are going to go see a litter and a grown bitch that needs to be spayed next SUnday.  I will try to update
AJ in AZ

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Swift and Ball WInder

THe antique wooden swift I bought off eBay came yesterday and I have just taken a few minutes away from cooking Thanksgiving dinner to try it out with the alpaca I bought for CIC sweaters.  With a few fits and starts (learning curve), I mastered both it and the ball winder and have wound 3 skeins into balls in the last few minutes  Woo-hoo!  I love it.  I wish I could have paid cash, but I'm glad I bought them.  More time for knitting, and the swift is very decorative too.  Maybe someday a wooden ball winder too.  I dislike plastic of all kinds more and more, and think the world would be a whole lot better off if most of it, especially packaging was simply eliminated.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Open wireless

ANd I can plug in my computer in the Vibe, too! Maybe sometimes these modern conveniences are a good thing.

Gentle Giants Rescue

I have been trying to look at this website, to see many different giant breeds and just SEE them, but the site is so huge, even the home page, that I can't even download the whole first page with my dial-up. It even kicks me off the web and I have to start all over again. So I guess I'm never going to be able to look at this site unless I take my laptop to Barnes & Noble or the Millstone Cafe and plan to stay there a while. Or heaven forbid, wait until next summer at Quilt Camp. Wait, if NAU has wireless all over the campus, I wonder if the MCCCD does. I will take my laptop to the CSA pickup tomorrow and see if it can pick up an open wireless system.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Mid-term elections

It was really great working the elections this time, even though as always, it was totally exhausting. THings really went very smoothly, and the turnout was wonderful. And the results were mostly very good too, even here in AZ. I CANNOT understand why Jon Kyl was re-elected, but most of the other people and propositions I voted for passed or failed or whatever. ANd countrywide too, Maybe, hopefully, finally, people have woken up about this gang in the administration and will start trying to undo some of the damage inflicted over the last 6 years. If its not too late for the earth and for our standing in the world.

Visiting friends

My friend TK and her daughter came to visit for a few hours last week, in the area from New Jersey. It was great to see her; wish I could see her more. Her daughter is a very nice little girl. Of course, she would be. Both Fred and TK are nice and intelligent, and they were mature enough to know what they were doing when they decided to have a child. It was funny, though. The little girl wouldn't look DH in the eye. I introduced them when TK was out of the room, and she immediately started fading away. SHe averted her eyes and backed away, and disappeared. We didn't see her again until we went outside to show them around.
I guess he's still got it. Or something. He always used to make women of all ages nervous for some reason, but he is 61 now. Oh well.

A dog to love me

I want a dog so bad, and I think I want a Mastiff. I haven't really known any personally, but I am going to try and rectify that this next weekend. THe Mastiff judging on Saturday is at 8:30, so I can go and watch for a little bit before I have to go to work. And I have joined 2 Mastiff email lists to try and learn more about them.
DH doesn't want me to have a dog. Its not that he doesn't want me to be happy; its that he is afraid his precious foxes won't come around the house anymore if there is a dog living here. I don't think that would happen unless I got some foolish dog that went flying out to chase everything in sight every time the door opened. A Mastiff wouldn't do that, I'm sure.
I guess they do snore though. This process of getting him used to the idea and then actually bringing a dog here to live may take a while. I wish Pat would hurry up and get a dog. He has a harder time refusing me a dog if she has one.

Baby chickens

My little brown hen has hatched 5 of the 6 eggs she was setting. That is so weird; that a white egg hen who is supposed to be a Fayoumi but isn't, would be the one hen in the flock that was firm about wanting to raise a family this year. I bet there isn't another white egg breed except Fayoumis that will set, and she is at best half. Anyway, 2 of the babies are half Ameraucana and half Fayoumi, 2 are half Barred Rock and half Fayoumi, and one is a purebred Fayoumi. THe other Fayoumi egg didn't hatch. So far I'm not sure which are the Amer/Fay and which is the Fayoumi, but the BR/Fay are black. That's easy.
DH thinks I'm really strange because I am more interested in cross breeding and seeing how my crosses turn out than I am in purebreds. He loves his purebred Cornish, (although he does have 3 different colors of the breed) and will fool around with them for hours. Good, that is supposed to keep him from pushing me to do this and that with MY chickens that HE thinks I ought to do. It doesn't really, but at least he isn't quite so insistent.
ANyway, Brownie is being a great mother. Its neat how she shows them what they should eat, and takes them around to explore, etc. I guess I could spend hours watching them too, if I had the time.


I have been so tired lately. I hope it is just because I am trying to do too much, and not a sign that illness is creeping up on me again. I am going to the doctor (the MD) next week and will have blood work, so will find out something I'm sure. I am also trying to ease my way off the SSRI I take. I have been taking it too long, and I do think its interfering with my adrenal output. And that of course would contribute to my tiredness. THe chiropractor gave me an adrenal support supplement, and I am taking it, but it doesn't make sense to me to take something else to counteract a side effect of another something. We'll see; I could just be having trouble adjusting to working 2 or 3 days a week at the Museum as well as trying to do everything else I normally do.

Warm Hearts, Warm Babies

I sent off a box of 34 handknit baby sweaters to them late last week. I took photos in groups of 3 as I packed them up, so I can copy the photos to my postcards and put them in Christmas cards to show people what I have donated in their names. I really love taking care of Christmas that way; everybody has too much stuff already, and if they want something, they buy it. So giving gifts is just a way of adding clutter to everybody's overfull life already. ANyway, that's the way it is in the world I know. I'm sure there are families that wait all year to get something they really NEED for a gift, but we're not in that world. Bill does try to give Pat something she really needs for Christmas, but a better quality something that will last her for a while. And that's OK.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

More rattlesnakes and Earthlink DSL

Since I wrote last, we have killed 2 more rattlesnakes, both when DH was here. THe first was just inside the front gate at dusk, and was quite large. DH shot him with the .410 gauge. The other one was just the other night, when we were making our trek out the driveway and up to the BLM road, again just as dusk. This one was smaller, but was headed for the chicken yard. He had his head removed with a shovel. THey shouldn't be out this late in the year, but the weather has been too hot and neither the snakes nor the ground squirrels have gone to hibernate yet.
I found a special deal to get Earthlink DSL for $12.95 a month for the first 6 months. ANd yes, it was too good to be true. They sent me the modem, and Qwest activated the DSL on the line, but I was never able to get on the internet using it. I spent over 5 hours on the telephone with Indian Earthlink reps, 2 different ones, on Friday. Both had me do all kinds of stuff to make it work, and ended by referring me to senior techs. THe senior techs never answered, not even after an hour.
The second rep had me remove all traces of my dial-up connections, so I even had to re-install the Total Access software and start over. I lost all my archived email, again. I need to figure out some way to have email automatically backed up on the external hard drive so I'll quit losing all these things that I thought needed saving.
So anyway, this AM I couldn't even get the DSL light to come on the modem, so I phoned Earthlink and cancelled the whole thing. If the DSL can't even stay connected, there's no reason to wast my time trying to log on to my Earthlink. Grrrrrrr! I guess I'll have to wait until Wireless gets affordable enough for me.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Yet another rattler

This morning about 6:45 I was sleepily filling the bird feeders, until WHOA! A rattlesnake under the north one, and he was BIG and he was RATTLING! ANd he didn't seem to be planning on leaving anytime soon, so I went and got the .410 and shot him from the safety of distance. But it shook me, as well it should. That is the 4th one I personally have killed in the last 11 days.
I hope this doesn't go on much longer. I should always be cautious, but lately I should be hyper-alert, and that is NO way to live my life. I need to be calm and relaxed most of the time to ward off fibromyalgia pain and Crohn's Disease exacerbations.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Picture of original chicken compound

  Posted by Picasa

Another snake, and CSA update

Yesterday morning I was in the Cornish coop feeding the chickens when I realized there was a rattler curled up in the dog crate we have there for shelter. He wasn't moving; it was still cool. So I quickly upended the crate, throwing him to the bottom, and went out the door, across the yard, and out through the gate, holding the crate up with one hand. There I set it down, went and got my trusty shovel, then dumped him out on the driveway and cut off his head. Yechhhh! THen I stopped to think about it.
DH was perturbed because I didn't come and get him to kill it. Duhhh! He spends most of his leisure time with his community service project and then wonders why I don't even think of being helpless and needing him to do things for me when he's here. Anyway, later I realized that I probably pulled a muscle in my back carrying that crate awkwardly out of the chicken environs. Adrenalin was in charge when I was doing it.

Also, people at the CSA want to buy eggs, and they want to know something about the chickens that lay them. So I sent this Word file to the coordinator to see what she thinks. I have orders for 3 dozen tomorrow, and nobody has even seen them.

Desert Haven
AJ Wischmeyer
22900 West Eagle Mountain Road
Buckeye, AZ 85326
623 386 3295

So you want to know about the chickens that are producing these great eggs. I tend to run on too long, so feel free to stop reading when you get bored.

Desert Haven consists of 20 acres of desert hillsides and a major wash that acts as a wildlife corridor between the BLM lands to the south of us and the Gila River bottom to the north of us. We border both, and our neighbors on both sides have at least 10 acres each, so its really nice out here. However, that also means that we are in the middle of the hunting range for bobcats, foxes, coyotes, skunks, owls, several different varieties of hawk, and a pair of golden eagles. Also rattlesnakes and dogs running loose. Dogs are the absolute worst chicken predator, as they kill for fun.

So, when we decided to obtain some chickens so we could have natural meat and eggs, our first step was to remodel a couple of existing chicken coops to make them as predator-proof as possible. Then we built another one to raise chicks in, and connected all three with a communal yard. The yard we even covered with orchard netting to keep out wild birds and especially predator birds.

The eggs can’t really be called “free range”, because the only time the chckens get to really free range is when I can be right out there in the midst of them. That doesn't happen near as often as they would like. But they get to be out in the yard in the daytime and secure in their coops at night.

What kind of chickens are they? I’m glad you asked. There are 7 Egyptian Fayoumis, 6 hens and a rooster called Walii, 3 Barred Rock hens, and an Ameraucana hen. There were a few more Barred Rocks and Ameraucanas, but I lost some to heat stroke when we first started having days and days of record-breaking heat. Now I keep deep tubs for wading in the yard at all times, and when its really hot, I have a misting attachment on the water hose to turn on. They love the mister, and stand around under it like kids under the shower. The ones who didn’t love the mister have passed on.

Coming up I have 4 Speckled Sussex pullets (hens too young to lay), 2 Light Brahmas, a Black Minorca, another Barred Rock, and 2 White Leghorns. This variety is because I ordered a hatchery-choice bargain assortment last spring. They should start laying in another month or so.

I brought up the older hens on Purina SunFresh certified Natural chick starter and grower until they started to lay, and have gradually switched them over the last six months from Purina Layena to a mixture of whole grains that I balance and augment with kitchen scraps, oyster shell, and dry cat food(salmon-based, natural formula) (when they are molting). The cat food is animal protein, 31 %, that helps them to grow new feathers and prevents them from picking feathers off each other to eat. All of the chickens also supplement their own diet with all the bugs they can catch. I abet this by moving the feed and water dishes to let them get the bugs there, and often put a shovelful of compost, just filled with bugs, in the yard. You should see them chasing those bugs around!They don’t get any soy, they don't get antibiotics, and they don’t get any arsenic unless its in our well water.

I'll try to post the picture I sent when this connection calms down.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Never become complacent and stop paying attention! After not seeing a rattlesnake since June, I have had to shoot one under the north bird feeder last week, and last night I killed one IN the chicken yard. And the worst part is that I didn't even see him until I turned around from shutting the chickens in for the night. Which means I walked right over or past him on my way to the door, than turned around and he started rattling right there in front of me!
I ran and got a shovel and chopped his head off. It was getting darker by the minute, so I left the body until DH got home and we removed it to the wash. It was gone this morning. The other critters do appreciate a free meal, and anything left near the chicken houses disappears right away. So they must come by to check every night.
I don't kill any snakes BUT rattlesnakes, and I wouldn't kill them if they would stay away from the house and yards. I know they come around to catch rodents, but I encourage OTHER snakes to make their homes close for that purpose, and would just as soon never see a rattler. I know the bite wouldn't kill me, as I have had both a foal and a puppy bitten on the face and survived, but there was a lot of pain and swelling and I don't want to go thru that. So there.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I went to EMCC and picked up my bag of produce this morning, after yoga. I got to meet Kolleen that I have been corresponding with for months, and also Rachel, the coordinator with Crooked Sky. Rachel says she has already had people asking about getting eggs thru the CSA and we all three discussed it for awhile, finally deciding that, for now, Rachel will give my card to those who want eggs and they can call or email me to bring eggs on CSA pickup day. This looks like it could really take off, and now here I am behind the 8-ball when some of the hens have decided its too much work to lay an egg every day and have cut back to every other or every third day. I wish the pullets would hurry up and start laying, as it looks like I will be able to sell all they can produce, whether to my quilting customers or the other CSA members.
I'm glad to be getting in on this right at the beginning. The produce I got is very nice and I know it is healthy and organic. I have visited the farmer, seen the fields, and gotten good answers to my every question. Its not only organic, but also LOCAL. Local is even better than organic. I just can't say enough good things about this.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Call Wave

Well, I gave up and downloaded the Call Wave software and signed up for the service again this morning, this time thru Earthlink. I thought we were doing fine without it, but my DH kept having awful fits about my being on the computer when he wants to talk to me. Shoot, it was for that reason that we got the voicemail in the first place, and the CallWave the first time. HE doesn't WANT to leave a message; he wants to talk to me RIGHT NOW. However, he does not want to pay for the service. In order to keep the peace, I have to pay for the extra plan myself, just in case he wants to call me once every couple of months or so. Bitch, bitch, bitch. But I don't understand why these tantrums. I do practically everything he wants already. The concept of compromise, to him, is that I will do whatever he wants. To be fair, its not just me. I think he is the same with everybody, and with Pat too. He always knows best, no matter what. But I get bloody tired of it.

So proud of my niece

Address by Ava Jensen

Good evening. I’m currently majoring in Philosophy with a strong interest in Ethics, and I graduated from the AIMS Diploma Program at the age of 16. I was given a district-paid slot in this program because I had little choice but to drop out even though I had an IEP. I was entitled to one as a twice-exceptional student, being both profoundly gifted and afflicted with major depression. It is due to that crippling condition that I began to fail school, but as a result of my status, I was placed on an IEP which bound my school and teachers by law to help me by making adjustments to my workload.

I should mention that even while I was too apathetic to get out of bed even to shower, I still tended to score A's and the occasional B on exams. It was the excessive amounts of repetitive homework which I had trouble turning in regularly. Yet despite the federal mandate that my teachers make accommodations for me as a disabled student, they steadfastly refused and so even with high test scores, I failed out of tenth grade. If not for the school district’s policy and responsibility to make amends for having failed to deliver to me a decent education, I would not have had the second chance afforded me by the AIMS Diploma Program.

Upon my successful exit from the program, my high school was eager to claim me as one of its graduates despite my decision to be awarded a Weld County High School Diploma instead. So now I have two high school diplomas, which brings me to my first question: With graduates no longer being allowed to have a diploma awarded by their former high schools, then surely they will no longer be unjustly counted as graduates of those high schools, correct?

The more compelling question here, however, is “What would have happened to me if I hadn’t been guaranteed a district-paid slot in the AIMS Diploma Program?” Most importantly, what will happen to the 120 more human beings who are now to be denied this much-needed second chance? How is reducing the available slots to be considered “moving the program forward”? What happens to the non-prioritized individuals who will remain on the waiting list year after year and never be deemed worthy of a second chance of their own?

The superintendent put forth the idea that reducing the number of district-paid slots from 200 to 80 will somehow serve kids better, since the other 120 were supposedly prone to “lying on the sofa” all day, using the AIMS Diploma Program as an easy and wholly unnecessary way out. With all due respect, that idea has little basis and fails to show that 120 students should be denied slots based on the alleged behavior of a few.

For one thing, those students who are not given a slot by the district must not only pay $1,000 out of their own pockets but must also wait until they are 21 years of age before they can apply to the program. Incidentally, I did spend a lot of time sleeping instead of actively working due to my medical condition, but I have gone on to cultivate a 4.0 and receive two awards of distinguished scholarship, one at AIMS and the other at UNC. That would not have been possible if not for the AIMS Diploma Program. Should I have been denied my second chance and condemned to a life of inescapable poverty? More pertinently, should others be?

Unfortunately, there are socioeconomic and racial factors at play here, and simply ignoring the cycle of poverty will not make it go away, at least not for those trapped within it. Many students drop out as soon as they are able in order to work to support their families, but without a high school diploma, they will find themselves unable to advance beyond a certain level of pay without resorting to professions beyond lawful society. No one ever really wants to become a high school dropout. At the very least, no one wants to be unable to succeed in life, and that is exactly what reducing the slots in the AIMS Diploma Program will cause.

The G.E.D. has been mentioned as an alternative, but it carries with it a heavy stigma, and I have personally seen great numbers of job listings which state that only those with actual high school diplomas will be considered for the position. There is much, much more which could be said, but for now I can only strongly urge you to alter your attitudes and actions regarding the AIMS Diploma Program. Thank you.

Bear Cabin Inn

Last weekend I went to a knitting retreat at the Bear Cabin Inn outside Show Low, and had a wonderful time. The first evening I did wonder why I wanted to go in the first place, since we had silly hats, birthday cake, flower leis (for me), and singing for MY birthday. Yechhhh! I have managed to avoid that sort of thing for many years and don't like it any more now than I ever did. But I do love my friends and I know they meant well.
As for immersing myself in knitting from Friday-Sunday, that was just fine. However, some knitters in the know (having been there before) brought sewing machines and worked part of the time on quilts. I WISH I would have done that, and definitely will next time. We arranged to have another in September 2007, since we couldn't get a date any sooner. There are also quilting retreats at Bear Cabin on a regular basis, but I have never attended because I save up to go to Quilt Camp in the Pines in Flagstaff every July.
Being used to spending a large portion of my time along, I got a little harried and sneaked out for a long walk by myself Saturday afternoon, and subsequently was able to maintain a little objectivity. I guess I just didn't realize how necessary the solitude still is to me. I have known it in the past, just forgot.
I took 3 dozen eggs from my precious chickens along to give the hostess, Carol, and we ate them for breakfast on Saturday morning. HaHa, there IS a method to my madness. A couple of the knitters have requested eggs to purchase on Fridays at Knit Studio. And Carol gave ME a box of Kenyan loose black tea in a wooden box after I admired it. Evidently her daughter still lives in Kenya and sends it to her on a regular basis. Its great stuff, although I can't take it strong and have to keep diluting it. Make it in the coffeemaker, and one little (measuring) teaspoon is enough tea for the whole pot. A cup of that will get rid of a caffeine headache in minutes.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A swarm of bees

Yesterday a swarm of bees landed in the palo verde tree right outside the chicken yard. They buzzed away but just hung there, hopefully just to rest before continuing the search for a new home. This morning they had moved to a place under the overhang on the Cornish coop. No good! If they decided to stay it would be hard to remove them, and there is entirely too much activity by the chickens and us there to make them feel safe. I got on the net and researched and found that they would probably move on within a few days.
And lo and behold, I was just up there a bit ago and they HAVE moved on. Thank goodness, I was not looking forward to trying to remove them to a hive even though we have a smoker and bee veils. A reprieve, now we can be better prepared to capture and hive the NEXT swarm we see. I really would like it if DH would take up beekeeping. After all, he did work with bees some as a teenager, and we have some of the equipment, and we have the room, and there are surely enough bees coming to water here and visit the flowers. I would LOVE to have honey from our own bees.
But alas, he only wants to do what he wants to do, and so far, being a beekeeper is not what he wants to do. I understand, even though I don't want to. After all, I only want to do what I want to do, too.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Educating the Gifted and Talented

Educating the Gifted and Talented

My SIL Conny's blog. She is very smart and a talented writer. Back when we were kids, I guess they weren't classifying kids as gifted, normal, sub-normal. All I remember is normal and sub-normal in my school, But everybody knew who the gifted ones were; they just called us smart.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Hemp, again

I think this photo must be before washing and the previous one after washing. It didn't shrink at all, but did relax. That evened out the stitches some and made it much nicer to feel. Posted by Picasa

Hemp for shawl

Well, here is a photo of my swatch, either before or after washing. I can't tell which from the photos. However, I can really tell from the swatch in my hands. After washing, the yarn is much more flexible and the stitches even out some. It will never be called "soft", but is really very nice to feel. Its like linen, but the price was much more affordable. I have been knitting on it some the last couple of days and it is quite enjoyable to knit with, after you get used to it and solve whatever crops up. I don't have a bamboo circular the correct size (8US) so used a Bryspun (soft plastic) to start with. It clings just enough to help keep the stitches on the needle while you get used to working with the yarn. Now I have done about 6 inches of the pattern and have switched to Addis. I'll let you know how that works. I may need to switch back to something with more pointed needles to help pick up the stitches on M1. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Panic! No internet!

Yesterday when I got home from town, the phone was dead. I didn't think too much about it; I had read all my email in the AM, and I knew where my DH was. But it stayed dead all evening, and it was still dead this morning. I had asked DH to call it in from his work, so at least I knew it was reported, just in case the outage was ONLY ours. It finally came back on about an hour ago.
I have been online ever since. Its amazing how many things you think you need to know RIGHT NOW when you can't find them out right now.
I'm actually kind of ashamed of myself for becoming dependent on the computer. I think I'm so smart because I don't watch TV and I hate the telephone, but now look at how I acted when I didn't have internet for 24 hours. Bad.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

High cholesterol

I went to Dr. Kapur yesterday to discuss the results of my lab work. My total cholesterol is 213, or 231, I can't remember which, so I am going to say 213. He said the bad kind was over 100 anyway. I need to lose weight, as my BMI is 27, and that should help my cholesterol. Just from reading a few emails from RealAge, I find that garlic is supposed to help lower it, so I will get some when I go to GNC on Wednesday. He also gave me a script for Folic Acid, as it helps my B-12 work better, which I will fill then too.
This training class on Wednesday for the primary election is just for judges. First time I'll be going to one for a particular position. Dare I think that my feedback after every election has something to do with it? Lacking evidence to the contrary, I believe it has. But it won't affect Doris or people like her. They will still do everything the way they have always done it, and don't care to update their methods to allow the TEAM to take care of things. However, if the classes are any good, I will probably consent to be an inspector again in November.

New yarn

I've gone a little bit crazy lately, and bought several kinds of new yarn that I really love but didn't need. I bought 100% hemp lace weight for a shawl that I haven't had time to start yet, and I bought Butterfly Super 10 for a Peace Jacket that is lovely but I haven't started it yet either. That one I will definitely take to the knitting retreat to work on even if I don't start it beforehand. What happened to all my good intentions to finish UFOs at the retreat? I have at least 8 of those packed up in knitting bags to take along and finish and its only a weekend! Self-control is not my strongest suit.

Republican chickens

They are intolerant, small-minded, mean-spirited, and cruel to anyone weaker than they are.
I guess all chickens must be Republicans
DH has such a hard time with the way stronger and older chickens chase and peck the younger ones. I've tried explaining that chickens are like that, but he thinks there ought to be some way to prevent it from happening. Well, sure there is. You need separate pens for each chicken. Duh. That wouldn't be much fun for anybody. All you can do is eat or isolate the worst offenders and give everybody plenty of room to get away. Actually, I don't think we really have a problem that way. And both chasers and chasees get plenty of healthful exercise. Grin.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Monday, July 24, 2006

High Country News -- Printable -- July 24, 2006: Taking Liberties

"The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way."

Home from Quilt Camp

And that was last Thursday. Many things to do, but I wanted to share how good my Wednesday classes were.
Paper Piecing in EQ5 in the AM, was great. Everyone in the class had at least a nodding acquaintance with the program, even if it was from Monday, so we were able to keep up much better and didn't spend so much time in frustration because of getting behind and being unable to go where the rest of the class was. Ask me how I know how that feels.
I liked it, and almost wish I had taken the 2 EQ5 classes on Tuesday too. But no, I wouldn't have liked to miss the one day of sewing with John Flynn.
PM was EQ5 Medalling Quilts, and we designed a quilt with 15 borders. And I might actually make the quilt I designed too. I would replace making the Braid blocks in Easy Draw with the Triangles on a Roll Braid that I already have for starters, and I would use the New York Beauty paper piecing blocks I already have as a UFO for the 14th border instead of re-inventing the wheel in Easy Draw, but other than that, I would follow my design. I love the way you can change sizes of blocks or borders with just a few strokes and then preview how everything is going to look, over and over, before committing to anything.
For instance, when I got home, I discovered that, if I make Marlon's Log Cabin quilt the way I designed it in class, it will be much too small, and if I just make the blocks larger, the program wants me to cut the logs larger than I want to. After all, I have many many 1 1/2" strips already cut for making log cabins. So that was not an option. I had to go into the worktable, add more blocks until I liked the size, then color (easily) and rotate blocks until I reached the neat way I had arranged the blocks in the first place, only now there are more of them. Cool.
So then I previewed and printed with fabrics, to help with log placement and started cutting and sewing. I love it.
Actually, I like all the quilts I designed in the various classes and will probably eventually make them all. I also have a few I designed in the Judy Martine Stars and Sets before I bought EQ5, too. Maybe I should work up one of those as a mystery quilt. I have never showed them to anyone, so that could work.
Back to the sewing machine!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Second Day

Today I had an all-day class with John Flynn, Wheel of FOrtune. It includes curved piecing and tiny little templates but he is a low-key, relaxed teacher, and it went very well. I only finished one blockin the whole day, but I learned a lot and without stress and strain. The class was small, too, which always helps.
Then I visited Odegaard's and added some blues and golds to my set of fabrics to make Marlon's graduation quilt. I designed it on Monday, in EQ5, and its a Log Cabin variation. I also added a couple of oranges from the Bernina COnnection, as my Wheel of Fortune is in light blue, dark blue, and different shades of orange. Never can have too much fabric.
Tomorrow its back to the computer, for paper piecing in EQ5 in the morning and medallion quilts in EQ5 in the afternoon.
Thursday I have to pick up Kathleen and go home. Boo.

Monday, July 17, 2006

First Day of School

I am just wrung-out and wasted tonight. I spent all day in a class learning to use Electric Quilt 5. Major mental work all day, and I will still need to practice every day so I can learn to use it automatically like I do WOrd and Excel. Mary sat with me and also struggled. I guess the whole class did. But if I CAN get comfortable with it, the whole quilt designing process, and especially for quilts to teach, will become much quicker and easier.
I went to Los ALtenos to eat after, with Mary and Andy and Kathleen.
Then I found myself at Jo-ANn buying more baby yarn for charity sweaters. I still plan to visit Unravel, the Flagstaff LYN, but not until tomorrow.
Gotta go veg out.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Quilt Camp

Well, here I am, all checked in to my motel and waiting for the Meet the Teachers meeting tonight at Old Main. This motel, the Highland Country Inn, is twice as nice as the Parkside (50 yards away) where I stayed last year, and it cost less too. The room is much bigger, even with a bigger bed in it, the refrigerator is bigger, the bathroom is bigger, there is a table and 2 chairs, and the air conditioner works. I came up smelling like a rose. ANd this is good, because I had to pay waaaaay in advance to get this room rate and was afraid that I made a mistake. I didn't.
The wireless internet access didn't work at first either, no signal, but is fine now. SO I hope to be reporting regularly for the next 3 days anyway. Off to get ready for tonight.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Try again.

I don't know why this picture didn't upload with the last entry, but here it goes again. Posted by Picasa

First Jiffy Baby Sweater

Finished, AND sewed together AND the ends
put away AND the cord tie crocheted and
threaded thru. And I'm SO proud of myself.
I believe I will have to do a few more of these
before I go back to CIC socks. It was fun,
and its so cute.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Yarn for Jiffy Baby KAL

I have been so successful at giving away my
acrylic yarns over the past few years that I
had a heck of a time finding any for this
KAL. But here it is. I will run 2 strands, one
of sportweight Red Heart Soft Baby and one
of a sportweight mauve anonymous fluffy
from my stash.
If that doesn't look good once I get started,
I will frog and use both ends of the Soft Baby. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


DH decided we need a juicer after reading a book called Power Aging, by Gary Null, so we researched them on the Internet and decided on an Omega 02. I got it for $100 on ebay and it came a few days ago. Yum, just about anything is good juiced. Even celery juice is kind of good, but the best of all is 2 apples and half a little lime. I haven't ever really liked apple juice, but this is a whole new taste of apple juice.
THe juicer is a pain to clean of course, but I can feed the pulp to the chickens so there isn't any waste. And fresh vegetables are less expensive that bottled or frozen juices.
I saw somewhere a paragraph or two about drinking cabbage juice for IBD, but I can't think where. Oh well, I'll probably come across it.

Another Rock died

Yesterday when I went up the hill to feed the chickens, I found a dead Rock in the coop by herself. Everybody else was out in the yard. It had been an extremely hot night and I guess she just couldn't take it. We also can't leave them out at night because of all the predators. The yard isn't as fortified as the coops, and really can't be, or it would cease to be a yard.
We did remove part of the wall between the coop and the yard, leaving just the layer of hardware cloth on the inside and chicken wire on the outside. So there should be better air movement, although it really should have been OK already.
I really hate losing a chicken. It makes me feel so guilty.
So now I am down to 3 barred rocks, 6 Fayoumis and 2 Ameraucanas for hens and the Wallee the Fayoumi rooster. I plan on keeping the 4 Speckled Sussex pullets to go into the laying flock and Bill wants to keep the 2 Dark Cornish pullets and Edgar the Dark Cornish cockerel and raise some more purebreds of them. That's OK with me, because it will galvanize him into building another chicken house. Can't have too many chicken houses, you know.
And I need another house for broody hens to set and to raise their chicks. ANd maybe soon. I was pecked several times by the little brown hen when I tried to reach under her for eggs, a couple of times by one of the silver Fayoumis, and again several times a couple of hours later by a Rock. All of these incidents were when I was trying to gather eggs. They are not broody yet, but I'd be willing to bet that at least one of them will be completely broody in a week. Naturally, right when I'm getting ready for Quilt Camp. Bill probably won't even notice. Oh well, if they are going to be broody, they will still be that way when I get home and can make some adjustments to the living arrangements.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Migraine season

A migraine woke me up before 5 this morning. I took a Maxalt and tried to go back to sleep. No luck, it just kept getting worse. A washcloth wrapped around some ice cubes felt good on my head but it did nothing for the pain. So I got up at 6:30 and started my tea (which often helps with migraines). I drank a cup and took another Maxalt before heading up the hill to feed the chickens. The pain was still so bad that I vomitted twice in the chicken yard. Boy was I glad to have drunk the tea or I'm sure I would have had dry heaves. Those can be so painful. Anyway, I felt some better after that. Now I have had a stuffed-full headachy feeling the rest of the day, but it is so minor compared to the migraine that I have hardly noticed it.
The weather is doing weird things; that's probably the reason the the migraine. I guess I'm lucky to live here. If it really is the weather I'd be in a world of hurt more often if I was living practically anywhere else. Easy to say now, but in the midst of a headache I'd be willing to commit to doing anything to prevent them. Speaking of which, I'd better ask the doc about prevention medicine when I see him in a few weeks. Maybe I could just take it this time of year since this is when I have the most headaches.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Second pair toeup

This is my 2nd pair, made with 3 different
scrap yarns leftover from my DH' s socks. My
normal style is for more exuberant colors, but
I think these turned out nicer than my first
pair. I like them anyway. I did manage to
do the spiral stitch pattern on the leg this time,
which I completely missed on the first pair.
These are habit forming, and I will try and
work on the next pair's leg fitting more snugly,
not so slouchy. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Up to date with chickens

Very first egg from my 19 week old Fayoumis today. Its so teeny and its is a tinted white. Since the Rocks have been laying, their eggs have been getting bigger and bigger and are now bigger than the Ameraucana eggs. I'm down to 2 Ameraucanas after losing another one last week. DH thinks she was stung by a bee, but I think she might have eaten a piece of string or something that got stuck. ANyway, she died. I feel so guilty when that happens.
SInce we put the 3 young Fayoumi roos in the freezer, I have started separating out the young roosters in the chickie coop and putting them where the Fayoumis were. There are 3 Black Langshans that will be butchered first, whether they are roos or not, since they are the absolute worst feather pickers ever. I will never get any more of them, cute as they are with their feathered feet. There are 3 white roos, of which one is obviously not the same breed. THe other 2 are large and handsome. I have put the 2 Speckled Sussex males in there, and there might be another one with the hens. Can't tell yet. And then there are the 2 Buffs, which are more than likely Orpingtons, since they are large but very slow to feather, and very non-aggressive. In fact, one has named himself Crybaby, as he runs in circles and cheeps for a Loooong time every night before joining everybody else on the perch. Who knows why?
In the hen chick coop, there are 3 Dark Cornish, of which one I think is a cockerel. There are 3 tall and slender blacks which I think might be Minorcas, and 2 are probably males. There are 4 Speckled Sussex and 3 Light Brahmas and 2 handsome whites, breed yet to be IDed. I think that's it. Ideal Hatchery sent a very nice assortment.
Oh, and I forgot that there are 2 either Rocks or Dominiques, one in the the roos and one with the pullets. The roo is large and handsome; the pullet is dark and quiet.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Here's the set of Twin Ribs I just finished for my DH. He only wants dull dull colors. The yarn is Plymouth Sockotta, and I ribbed the instep because he likes them snug there.
 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 08, 2006

buying/not buying Baby Lock for sale

I've done a bad thing. I got an email message (sent out to many) that someone has a used BabyLock Professional Quilter for sale, just like my Brother QC1300. THe price is good; I told her I want it. Of course I want it, but I can't afford it now and can't buy it unless I use credit. I don't want to use credit, and put myself in that cycle again. You know, the one about buying what I want with credit, thinking I'll pay it off the next month, or within 3 months, or ???? whenever, and then you end up running it up and up until you really can't even afford the minimum payment. NOT!!!! I will just have to bite the bullet and tell her I can't get it. After all, I never did say I would buy it, just that I wanted it, but I sure did give the impression I was buying it. I bet if anybody else called about it, she told them it was sold.
Stop kicking myself and just go email her. I am not buying it. I am not buying it. I don't even need it; I just want it. I am not buying it.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Bless Her Cotton Socks Exchange

Is this a good idea? Yes

Can I accomplish it? Sure, if I try.

Do I want to? I THINK so.

I better think about it for a day or so.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald
Just discovered this blog this morning. Even though he is thought to be a conservative, and I am thought to be a liberal, I haven't read anything yet I disagree with. I plan to read this on a regular basis.

Ideal day old chicks

Actually they were 48 hours old in the photo. They were hatched at 8 AM Monday and shipped to me. The PO called me at 7 AM Wed and I had them home and in the brooder box by 8 AM. Aren't they just the cutest things? And they are stronger and more active than the ones I get from the feed store. THey come from Texas, and the feed store ones are from New Mexico, but these were shipped by air, AND I picked them up shortly after arrival rather than waiting for them to be delivered. That would be at least another 6-7 hours delay. And it is my understanding that the NM chicks are 3 days in transit rather than 2. So I guess its no wonder that these chicks recovered from it faster.
Oh, when I got home from work, there were 2!!
small perfect green eggs in the nest box. Yay!
However, I soon noticed that one of the pullets,
Sisty Ugler was straining, and that she has a
prolapsed cloaca. I put her in a sink of warm
water until I was able to massage the impacted egg out, but I wasn't able to make the prolapsed tissue. She continued to strain off and on, and that pushed it out again. I knew the other chickens would peck it, the evil little buggers, so I put her in the small crate overnight.
I haven't decided yet whether to kill her this morning by myself or confine her all day and let DH do it tonight. We were going to eat a Barred Rock this weekend, but we will eat her instead. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ideal Hatchery

I just got back from picking my my new chicks from the Buckeye Post Office. They are assorted straight run chicks from Ideal Hatchery in Texas and are all happy and healthy. Ideal threw in 3 extras, so I have 28, and it is going to be so much fun figuring out what breeds the chicks are. There seem to be at least 3 of each kind, and are at least 6 different kinds. So cute. They are all eating and drinking and cheeping and hopping and running, etc, etc.
I was going to put them out in the large airy chicken house right away, but after reading on chicken lists about people losing baby chicks to rats, and then this morning, to snakes, I changed my mind and put them in the brooder box on the front porch. It won't take them long to outgrow it, but at least they will be bigger and more able to run from danger when I move them. Perching would be a plus. I'll put in the practice perch tomorrow.
See my previous post about Privett. Ideal is proving to be the exact opposite. Every communication I have had with them has been prompt and informative, and I received one phone call from Ideal as to when the chicks would be shipped, along with emails from 2 different CSRs. Ideal also attached a note to the box for the post office to call me right away. So they have made a customer. Even with the small order charge and the postage, the chicks work out to be $1.16 apiece. Can't beat that. Granted, I will pay more when I pick the breed, but the service can't be beat.

Privett Hatchery

Here is a copy of what I emailed to Privett.
"You have lost me as a customer. I have gotten chicks from you twice through my local feed store and thought it was great to have you just in the next state. However, I have emailed you twice asking why 2 of my 10 Fayoumis are brown and gold, and you have not bothered to even acknowledge the question.
I have come to believe that you sent Golden Campines in with the Fayoumis, since I have no other information to go on. So it was either a careless mistake or a deliberate one, and neither is acceptable.
If anyone had bothered to answer and tell me that the brown do occur in Fayoumis things would be different, but that didn't happen."

Thursday, May 04, 2006

My front yard

Just as an aside, the round garden contained strawberries, and no, the pie tins did NOT protect them from the birds. I had to buy bird netting like people use on their fruit trees and weight it
do all around, then peel it back to look for strawberries. Boy, they were sure good.
Since then I have used the bird netting to cover the chicken yard and protect from hawks and owls.
Since I can only handle a few obsessions at a time, the gardening is definitely suffering now. But with putting in the fish pond, and cleaning the chicken coops, I am going to have so much organic fertilizer it would be a crime NOT to have an organic vegetable patch. Next, next. Just let us get the fish pond set up and going first. Posted by Picasa

Cool cool Kuku Kitty

This must be the coolest place in the house. Kuku sure seems to think so. Posted by Picasa

Whose blog is this, anyway?

One of my knitting group says she came across my blog and really liked the Avian Influenza rant, but she chided me for not writing in it more often. Well, I chide myself often enough for that already, thanks. If I ever get something better than this dial-up connection, I can sit down and write whenever I feel like it, instead of having to turn it off when I am not actively using it to avoid tying up the phone.
However, if I get a hi-speed connection, it is almost surely going to cost a whole lot more than the $9.95 per month I pay now. And I'm cheap. After all, it is our refusal to acquire and pay for all the extras in this modern society that enables us both to work part-time instead of spending all waking hours commuting and at work like most people our age. So, 6 of one.
I AM applying again, for an online customer service position, with the promise to buy hi-speed if they hire me. That would be 15 hours a week, and I would be able to quit the museum and discontinue driving into Buckeye 2-3 days a week. That would save 48-72 miles a week on the Liberty and 3-4 gallons of gas. Doesn't seem like much, but it all adds up.
I'm not worried about becoming a hermit and not knowing what goes on in the world. After all, I will still be knitting and teaching quilt classes at Cotton Fields. Hmmm, better get started filling out the form for the CSR job.

Monday, May 01, 2006

More Avian Influenza info

Thought you would be interested in this article from The Nation.
Avian Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest
by Nicholas von Hoffman
Is it Mother Nature or Father Human Greed whom we have to blame for
avian flu?
A few days ago the Union of Concerned Scientists sent out an e-mail saying, "A
study by the international non-governmental organization GRAIN suggests
that avian influenza is spread primarily by the global poultry trade,
not migratory birds or free-range poultry operations as has been
suggested, and that confined factory farm production contributed to its
mutation into its current deadly form. The organization tracked the
movements of the disease over time and found that they were correlated,
not with migratory bird routes or the locations of free-range farms,
but with integrated trade networks involving poultry, eggs, meat,
feathers, manure and animal feed. US Department of Agriculture
Secretary Mike Johanns warned that bird flu will almost certainly come
to the United States."
An article on the website of the biodiversity agency Grain titled "Fowl Play: The Poultry
Industry's Central Role in the Bird Flu Crisis" is yet one more
reminder that things are not always as they tell us they are. Maybe the
migrating swallows and arctic terns are not carrying the H5N1 flu virus
after all, and why do we have to wait for the Union of Concerned
Scientists to hip us to the knowledge that the disease rarely occurs in
small family flocks but rather mostly in farm factories where chickens
are raised by the tens of thousands inside, under unsanitary and
debilitating conditions that make them soft prey for the virus. Overly
large, unregulated agribusiness is at it again.
All of this is but a new version of an old truth: There is no money, or
not enough money, in health. From a business point of view prevention
of disease or disability is a chump's game, whether you are talking
about Canadian geese, a Rhode Island red hen or a person. The big bucks
are in sickness. You can make money getting people sick by selling them
bad food and make more money selling them remedies for what you did to
So the same Grain article also brings the startling news that
"one of the standard ingredients in industrial chicken feed, and most
industrial animal feed, is 'poultry litter.' This is a euphemism for
whatever is found on the floor of the factory farms: fecal matter,
feathers, bedding, etc. Chicken meat, under the label 'animal byproduct
meal,' also goes into industrial chicken feed. The WHO (World Health
Organization) says that bird flu can survive in bird feces for up to 35
days and, in a recent update to its bird flu fact sheet, it mentions
feed as a possible medium for the spread of bird flu between farms.
Russian authorities pointed to feed as one of the main suspected
sources of an H5N1 outbreak at a large-scale factory farm in Kurgan
province, where 460,000 birds were killed. Yet globally, nothing is
being done to tighten regulations or monitoring of the feed industry.
Instead it often seems that the industry, not governments, is calling
the shots."
Thus the don't-fence-me-in, don't-regulate-me cowboys of the food
business may kill us by breeding sick chickens and may kill the
chickens by feeding them contaminated food--which, of course, they sell.
Yippeee-ay-yea, bring on the pandemic! But there is yet another way of
wringing legitimate profits out of this disease, which, if the most
pessimistic predictions turn out to be true, may cause one out of five
of us to turn up our toes and head for the great chicken factory in the
That other way is selling us expensive medicine that does not work in
case we come down with avian flu. The medicine in question is Tamiflu, which may cure Tamiflu but doesn't cure avian flu. Nevertheless, they can't make the stuff fast
enough. They are back-ordered into the next century.
If that were not fun enough, Grain has also discovered that Donald Rumsfeld is a major stockholder in Gilead Sciences, which licenses Tamiflu.
Whether or not Tamiflu is of the slightest use to avian flu sufferers,
it is of great profitability to the secretary of defense, since Gilead
is expected to make $118 million from Tamiflu sales this year. Somebody
has laid a big, fat egg here.
This article can be found on the web at:
Visit The Nation
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Thursday, April 27, 2006

RoseByAny @-;----

RoseByAny @-;----
I found this through the Knitters Review and I'm so glad. I used to eagerly read posts by her in the Forums, but I really no longer have time for the Forums. I mean, that was before my chicken obsession, after all. So, adding this to my favorite blogs, and I'll check in with her regularly. Yay.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Highland Triangle in progress

I am still working on the edging, and probably will be for a while, but couldn't resist finally posting a photo. I know I have been promising one for weeks. This quilt is made from every color of red worsted wool from my stash, plus a couple of new ones as I say how much I was actually going to need. One is Araucana Nature Wool, a couple are Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, and the edging is Paton's Classic Merino. Oh, and the part with white flecks are my crockpot Kool-Aid dyed Fisherman's Wool in Tropical Punch.
Anyway, I was planning to start one in laceweight next, but last night at the Quilt-In, I discovered a wonderful hand-dyed New Zealand wool hand painted by Jan Gilray. I'm afraid I just have to start the next one with this Kaleidoscope color for spring, as it is yellow, purple, blue, pink and is so gorgeous I just want to lie down and roll on it. I haven't decided yet which shawl, maybe the Stora Dimun or Lacy Prairie SHawl. Any suggestions? I am partial to the triangles but open to persuasion. I think I am seriously hooked on this lace knitting. I have even started a couple of different lace patterned socks.
AJ Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Nerd in the Country

Nerd in the Country
I love this blog. A fellow on at least one of my chicken lists writes it, and I have always been interested in his posts. Other than the God stuff, I like his writing and plan to read it regularly. And he doesn't beat you over the head with his God, so that's OK. I think he must be a very nice person to know.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


I woke up at 3:30 this morning with the worst migraine I think I have ever been afflicted with. I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep, but Nooooooo! I finally got up and took a migraine pill, waking up DH(I thought) in the process. Back to bed; wasn't working; felt nauseous. Got up, and while waiting to hurl, I rested my temple on the cold tile counter in the bathroom. That actually felt good(relatively speaking), so I tried the other one. It made me forget all about hurling. I stayed in there, cooling alternate temples on the tile until the entire counter top was warmed up. Then I went back to bed and was able to go back to sleep. At 7:30 I woke again and still had the migraine but it wasn't near as bad. I took another pill and it finally receded enough to let me function.
I had really considered having DH drive me to the ER for an injection, for the very first time in my history of migraines. I think next time I will try a bag of frozen vegetables on my temples when I first get the headache and see what that does. I know that the cold shrinks the veins that are all swollen and the swollen veins are supposed to be what causes the pain. But the pain is always so bad that you swear you must have a brain tumor. I really can see why people kill themselves in the grip of an attack; you would do anything to stop the pain.
Enough of that. I just hope it is a long time until the next one. If I could figure out what causes them for me, I would change that whatever immediately. No lie!
And by the way, DH says he knew nothing of what was going on, even with the lights going off and on, etc.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Left-handed Leo

My coworker really drives me nuts with her constant complaints about everything under the sun, and especially her excessive dithering about initiating any action. It is really scary because she is a left-handed Leo just like me, only 20 years older. Am I going to be like that?
My relationship with her just might be very good for me, psychologically, because I can see the results of various ways to think and behave. Hopefully I can learn to avoid going the direction of the traits I dislike.
For instance, yesterday she started feeling sorry for herself because she never got to go anywhere as a child and teenager, and also because she had to get rid of all kinds of family possessions over the years because she can't afford the big house or big storage for them.
Give me a break! Wouldn't you think there would be a statute of limitations for blaming your parents for the way they brought you up! I mean, when you are in your 70's, you've had more than half a century to move past your upbringing. I don't think you can blame anybody but yourself for the way you turned out in the end.
I realize the way I feel about it is not a popular feeling. Even my own father, in his 70's also, has always gotten drunk and blamed absolutely everything on the fact that "my own mother couldn't remember my name" when she was yelling and upset about something. Well, get a clue Dad, NOBODY's mother can remember their name when she's upset, including mine. SHe used to go thru all her sister's names before she got to mine. Big deal.
I am unsure WHY I am more emotionally healthy than my father, except that I have always tried to reflect on my own motivations and be emotionally honest with myself and most every one else. Not that it always works, but at least I am trying.

Neck Pain

I woke up yesterday with a sore neck and it got worse last night. I should have called for an appointment to see the chiropractor yesterday but convinced myself it would get better. Duh. It never gets better until I get an adjustment. Now the whole left side of my back hurts and my left arm and in general, I'm just a wreck. As soon as the office opens, I will call and see if they can work me in today. If not, I will be like this over the weekend. Grrr, and nobody to blame but myself.
I don't know what happened. I think I just did it turning over in bed, but how can that be? I just got 2 ribs put back last Tuesday and I usually stay fairly pain-free for a couple of weeks(which is why I make appointments 2 weeks apart.)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Publishing this blog

I have added the address of this blog to my email signature since I last posted. I will look at the comments later.
I have 2 minds about having done this. Bloggers have always seemed hopelessly self-indulgent and self-centered to me. That hasn't changed, but I have kept a diary off and on since I was a child and always puzzle things out better if I write them down.
Then too, there is the fact that nobody HAS to read your blog, whereas anybody that has to listen to a rant in person can only sit there with their eyes glazed over, or else interrupt to the point that you can't remember what you were going to say in the first place.
For instance, my knitting friends don't want to listen to me brag about my chickens; my family doesn't want to listen to my politics (except my SIL). Boy, DON'T they want to listen to my politics! I had a great friendship going with one of my nieces until discussions about Mr Bush and Company got acrimonious. I really tried to keep it low-key but it is so frustrating when a person you otherwise regard as intelligent can be so wrong-headed. AND they won't change their mind even after you explain it to them! See what I mean.
Ok, then there is always Crohn's Disease, and fibromyalgia. People with those diseases are completely uninterested in anything I have to say except health tips, disease history, good doctors, diet and lifestyle changes, etc.
Oh well, go now and return later, maybe. I don't want to neglect my life while I sit here and write about it.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Poor me

I have a cold. I HATE having a cold. But I really shouldn't complain too much. I don't want to be like my coworker, who can complain about absolutely ANYTHING.
Its not really that bad, not yet anyway, and I have Dayquil for days and EmerGen-C for night. We are having the Mystery Quilt meeting tonight though, rather than Friday. I am probably shedding virus, but I will just inform everyone not to kiss me and they should be fine.
It is cloudy today, and I would normally love that (It happens so seldom) But with a cold, the cloudiness only contributes to the stuffy head feeling. Bitch, bitch, bitch. I am going now; got to feed the chickens and see if I can work on the chicken yard without DH. It is both easier and harder to work on it without him. He has lots of knowledge and knows how to do everything. This means that the way I do IT is wrong and I must do IT his way, whatever IT is. So I do anything I can when he is gone. When he gets home, the task is already done and he can't tell me how to do it.
Since we are both strong-willed, compromise is often necessary (on my part, usually).
Why is it that faced with ANY decision, no matter how trivial, we automatically decide the opposite? Does this happen to everybody?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Too many topics

One thing about this blog: Everytime I start to obsess about something now, I just tell myself to keep that thought and blog it. Of course, by the time I get around to blogging, I have forgotten most of what I was going to say. That's good though; at least I didn't spend as much time uselessly obsessing as I used to. That alone is worth the cost of admission.
I have a sore throat and have to keep blowing my nose, so must have picked up a cold. I hope it doesn't get any worse. After DH left for the grocery store, I went out and spent some time doing finish work on the brooder house. Yesterday we worked all morning on the yard fencing but I will need to get some more chicken wire before I can completely enclose it. Once we build and hang the gate, DH considers that his part is done and the rest is up to me. I hope to finish within 2 weeks, but I have to work next Saturday. Darn, this working gets in the way of life!
We ate our first home-grown chicken last night. Very tasty. Chewy, not like store bought chicken at all, and a whole lot more taste. I wish we could switch to eating only our own, and not even buy chicken any more, but I doubt if I can raise that many and keep them coming along. Especially since DH wants to keep everybody that looks the least bit interesting and see how they turn out.
Well, got to hang out the clothes now and then get back to quilting. I am almost finished with the Gila Bend lady's quilt and hope to deliver it back to CF tomorrow. But if not, I will take it Friday when I go there to knit and then stay for the Mystery Quilt class. So busy, LOL.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Lazy Friday

But it shouldn't be lazy. I should be quilting madly on a quilt for a GIla Bend lady right now, so that I can deliver it to CF early next week for her. I believe she goes to a chiropractor in Avondale every week, just like I do.
I gave all the chickens a treat of alfalfa sprouts this morning and the Fayoumis REALLY went for them. It may just be my imaginations, but they seem to be smarter than the Ameraucanas, and especially smarter than the Barred Rocks. The Rocks are handsome and friendly but they really don't have much personality. I guess its because they all look alike. Its hard to have a personal relationshipwhen you can't tell who you are talking to.
Knitting group this afternoon so I'd better get to work now. I think I'll take the shawl I just started and save the sock for DVD knitting. I've made so many socks from that pattern I can knit them in the dark even with sock yarn. Can't say that about a lot of other things.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

CIC Knitting

I am sending 7 pairs of fingerless mitts to the drop site in MD today on my way to work. They have really been fun to knit and some are marvelously soft. I was tempted to keep a pair but it IS getting hot here already, and I can always make a pair for myself at some point in the future. I guess I should have taken a photo of them, but I already click-n-shipped the label and sealed the package.
I will try to knit furiously on UFOs for the next week until the next challenge is posted. Dumb me, I got all excited and joined several new KALs yesterday and can't wait to start every single one. So, when will I make a living? Better go do that now.

Avian Influenza

This chicken flu scare is getting more and more surreal. Why have all these governments suddenly decided that THIS is the year to make a very big deal out of birds dying from the avian flu? This happens every year and nobody seems to care. Its really hard to avoid jumping to conspiracy theory conclusions. Bush, at least, has a lot of very good reasons to want the public's attention diverted from the abject failure of all his war and economic policies.
Now, egged on by radio and internet news, the public is being whipped into an anti-chicken frenzy. The large producers, with their homozygous birds, small genepools, and extremely overcrowded conditions are understandably leery of the flu getting into THEIR operations. But they seem to be handling this by convincing the government and the public that small farm flocks will spread the flu and must be eliminated wholesale if the flu shows up here in the US.
BAHHHH! THis will probably happen, with big business owning this administration, but it will be such a crying shame. Wiping out small farm flocks, with their genetic diversity and natural living conditions are really our only chance to have avians that survive and resist the flu. If the flu could be allowed to run its course, the birds that would be left should be our breeding stock for the future. Alas, that is very unlikely to happen.
From what I've read, any bird found dead, whether from AI or not, will prompt the government to invade and destroy all fowl within 2 miles, period. All my chickens are under roof so they can not even come in contact with wild birds flying over, and the wire we used for the chicken houses blocks even sparrows and vireos from entering them. LOTS of people are taking these precautions, and LOTS more would be willing to do so if they could believe that it would save their fowl from the government killing team.
Rant, rant. I'd better go do something useful for a while.

Sensational Knitted Socks KAL

Sensational Knitted Socks KAL
I just discovered this today and am going to see if they will let me join. Uh oh, now I have a whole new resource for groups that I want to join but shouldn't because I am overstretched already. I periodically plumb yahoogroups.com and now this!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

To begin

Well, first post and I'm suddenly struck dumb. I don't really have time to do this right now, but I read my SIL's blog with her newspaper columns in it and was SO impressed I just decided I must have my own blog. As if I needed something else to do every day.
In future posts, I'll be talking about life, health, marriage, chickens, living as naturally as possible, and about families. Can you think of anything else I should keep in mind? Anyway, I am living now because I must get dressed and feed my chickens!