Saturday, September 29, 2007

Etsy shop!

I have been getting increasingly dissatisfied with ebay's charges and the fact that you have to pay them over again every week if the item doesn't sell right away. And they nickel-and-dime you to death with charges for this and that. So as things expire on ebay, I will be moving them over to my etsy shop, I am so excited; I just ordered a custom banner and avatar from a designer. I must say, this is the first time I have ever heard of an avatar. She will have to give me very good loading instructions; I can't wait.

From the Seventh Generation blog

In Vision

This interesting chart floated my way the other day from an equally intriguing website called Permatopia.

Here’s what its creators have to say about it:

Permatopia Patterns is a new way of thinking about permaculture. Historically, most permaculture guides and analyses have been focused on individual properties, often rural homesteads. Zones and sectors are key concepts in permaculture analysis, examining how to locate components of a permaculture system based on distance from the house and ecological factors. These are incredibly powerful tools for the personal level, but are far too limited in their scale for a society wide transformation to cope with Peak Oil and climate change.

This page shows how the concept of zones can be extended to the goal of "permaculture for nine billion people." Learning skills at the more local levels can help with efforts to extend to bigger levels, since effective solutions at the biggest levels depend on understanding how the solutions work at smaller levels.

The sectors concept reflects how there are many paths needed to move away from overshoot and collapse. Different people have different skills and interest, no individual or group could possibly address all of the various facets that are needed. The concept of interdependence between these issues (and levels) is one not normally promoted in our hyper-individualized society, but it is the type of path most likely to accomplish common goals.

Whether you are expanding a local community garden, installing utility scale wind power, teaching environmental education to second graders, starting up a community currency barter system, operating a bicycle shop, creating manufacturing cooperatives, campaigning for accountable elections, or any of thousands of other positive things is irrelevant - the key point is that you are doing something that is a piece of the puzzle.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bag Style book not here yet

I ordered my book thru Amazon, and it is supposed to ship on Oct 1. Saturday, sure it is. Anyway, I ordered it and Lace Style together to get free shipping and now my thrift means it will take even longer to get here. In the meantime I will just have to drool on the pix of everybody's projects.

AJ's September Socks

I started out with Deby Lake's Aran Twist pattern, but quickly changed the cables to more twists, since I was working on them in fits and starts while riding in a van at work. I couldn't be looking at the pattern for every row. I also didn't carry the twisting down onto the foot, just left the knits and purls since the tops of my feet are sensitive and I didn't want them rubbing in my shoes.
The yarn I used was a bamboo mix from Regia, and I am unable to find the label. Sorry. I used 60 sts and size 1 needles, 2 on 2 circs.

AJ in AZ

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Guarding the kitchen

Mr. Affable, aka Sammy is 5 months old now, and bigger than Robin, although that's not saying much. He was 14 pounds at his vet visit, for his last Parvo shot. I think Robin must be done growing, as she hasn't gained weight or height since before I took her to be spayed. She is definitely a TOY Aussie, but I am sure Sammy will be well within the Mini range.
Sammy just lives to love you, or me, or anybody around, and will attach himself to any visit as a fresh source of petting. He wants to be a lap dog, and is just incorrigible about pushing Robin out of the way. He acts like a typical adolescent, and is lazy about say, going up to the clothesline or the chicken house unless he thinks food or a walk will follow. He doesn't even want to go outside in the heat until he has to potty so bad that a delay could be disastrous. He loves the crate in the house, and will sleep in there voluntarily even when I'm home. He's a very silent dog. He never makes a sound except for a minute or so of howling when one of us takes him out to the ex-pen on the front porch at night and puts him to bed. Until he stops damaging stuff on the porch when he is left out there, he is definitely not going to sleep inside.
On the other hand, Robin takes her responsibilities as the senior dog and self-appointed guard dog very seriously. She will go up the hill with me even in the heat, just going from shade to shade, because after all, she might need to protect me. She's at my heels whenever I move. She barks more than I would strictly like, and I have yet to figure out how you stop it with a positive based training method. After all, if you are supposed to ignore behaviour you don't want, how do you ever get her to shut up? And when Sammy is really bugging her, barking and growling and attacking him is the only thing that works for her. But she is not a lover like Sammy. She does love us, but doesn't really like lap sitting except on rare occasions, and will stay just out of reach under stress. I have to make her stay and then go to her if I need to get my hands on her. Its probably from having to take meds and have her eyes washed so much in her life, as she was much more of a lap sitter as a baby.

I really love them both, even though sometimes I wonder what I did wrong, to have to wade through 2 dogs and a cat to get anywhere in the house.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

More snakes

I haven't written anything about killing snakes for a while because the last 3 were so small it hardly seemed worth the trouble.  Bill killed 2 of them and I one, all right around the chicken yards.  I wish I was brave enough to let them live, because maybe they could make a dent on the darn ground squirrels.  Every day we have to refill and tamp several places under the fence or wall to EACH chicken pen.  THe chickens won't run them off, and I think the ground squirrels actually eat more chicken feed than the chickens do.  ANd then at night, the mice come out and finish off what the ground squirrels and/or chickens have left.
Back to the snakes.  We just can't leave them alive around this populated area because they might bite us, or the dogs(more likely)  I did get Robin vaccinated against rattlesnake venom, but it only lasts 6 months, and she got huge knots on her side at the injection site.  So we didn't have it done to Sammy.  And I have not yet taken them to a place in Cave Creek that snake-proofs, as Sammy is too young, and besides, I spend all my extra money on Robin's allergies.
So the 3 little ones we killed were no big deal.  They were so little they didn't even know how to coil up and rattle. 
HOWEVER,  last night we were feeding and replenishing waterers, etc. and there was a BIG rattler curled around the wading waterer in the Cornish pen.  Bill was lucky to see it when he reached over to up-end it to clean it out.  Big fat thing.  He dispatched it with a shovel, and we put the head in the barrel but left the body there to see if the chickens would eat it.  I still don't know; it was gone this AM when I let them out.
We also had a dust storm, a power outage, and a brief heavy rain last night.  We managed to drop and break the chimneys from 2 different oil lamps and need to do some serious clean and repair to the burner on one of them.  We had enough chimneys though, as we have wall sconces we don't use in the summer (the candles melt) and the chimneys are all interchangeable.  I like oil lamp light for knitting, even if it does put out quite a bit of heat.  THe power came back on in a couple of hours for a change, and we finished out the evening without further excitement.