Friday, October 31, 2008

Be safe

I hope everyone, especially the children, have a safe and happy Samhain tonight!!

-Remember to wear something bright and/or reflective and carry flashlights so the cars can see you. (This applies tot he parents as well, since you are old enough to know better but tend to forget that.)

-Remember that is not required that every household should participate in this holiday. If the lights are off or there is a "No Candy Here" sign on the door, leave them alone.

-Remember to tell your offspring to say "thank you," since the people who do hand out candy spent their hard earned cash on sweets for your crotch-fruit instead of getting the new shoes or glasses they need for work. Or worse, put it on their credit cards just so they could have the illusion that nothing is that bad yet in this economic downturn. Besides, saying "thank you" is polite and should be a requirement to get anything from anybody that is handing out free stuff.

-Remember that some folks in this country consider this night a special night. An actual holiday and not some excuse to get free candy. Be respectful.

-Try not to let your kids knock on doors after 9pm. People are tired and wanting to go to bed by then. In fact some folks have to work the next day.

-Keep your teenagers engaged with a night of horror movies, pizza, soda, and candy. I don't care if they trick-or-treat earlier in the night with younger sibs or even in small groups. But it's safer for them if they don't end up implicated in criminal mischief, vandalism, or worse. Even if you know they wouldn't do something like that the hassle of proving they didn't could be costly and annoying. Face it. Adults don't care for teenagers. You might as well lure them into staying in and having a movie night with friends. It certainly kept my friends and I out of trouble all those years ago.

-For the love of all that is holy, check the candy before the kids start chowing down. Urban legends aside, my older sister did check our candy one Halloween and tossed some out before my nephew and I could eat it. The objects in question were apples with small pinpricks. I'm just saying use the thing in between your ears tonight...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Finished Cross Stitch

I *just* finished a wedding themed cross stitch that is a gift to friends who were happily wed last Saturday. I will get it blocked hopefully before the weekend and then I will get a nicer picture posted. Until then, here's one that still clearly shows the ring left by the hoop.

While I'm on the subject of finished stitching that are given as gifts, here is one I did for my friend, Holly, for her birthday last week. Her hubby got it framed and I think it turned out really well. She loves it. ;-) It should be noted that Holly received hers on the 23rd of this month, afterwards I started the wedding piece.

Next is a baby gift for friends who are expecting their second tax deduction. Somewhere in all this I need to block and frame one finished piece and finish, block, and frame another for the FH.* Both of his pieces are bear-themed, but not teddy bears. The finished piece is a grizzly bear. The current work in progress is a black bear.

I will have a bit of knitting and some spinning to show off sometime near Thanksgiving. My best girl-friend who is recently back from the "land down under" is coming for a week long visit/fiber binge. She's going to be shipping roving, dye, and other bits up here so she can carry clothes and her spinning wheel on the train. Her knitting is some of the absolute best I've ever seen. I'm lucky enough to own two things she has cast on for me. One is a treasured shawl that she made for me to wear at my wedding; the other is a beanie that arrived at the same time as a water buffalo hat with croc skin/tooth band for the FH.

The next finished project will either be miniature in nature or Christmas ornaments, depending on what gets the most attention.

*FH= Fuzzy Husband

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Amusing Quote

I know I have stated my take on the current political situation in my first post. The following is a quote from an actor with regards to what he thinks of the situation at hand and it made me chuckle lots.

While on the David Letterman show on October29, 2008 Alec Baldwin said, "If John McBush and Bible Spice win, we have to find a way to find a way to come together as a country..."

He said some more after the ... but I was laughing to hard to actually remember what else there was in the quote. The man makes an interesting and funny point. The wedding sampler I was working on at the time is happy that I was not in the middle of sipping some Darjeeling with dark brown sugar.

Stalking the postperson

The new belt for my spinning wheel shipped today from Solvang, CA. For the new few days I will be stalking the mail deliveries. I know our carrier will get a kick out of me acting like a five year old when it arrives.

I have never owned a wheel before, so you can imagine I'm more than hot to try it out. Don't get me wrong, I adore my drop spindle. I learned how to spin on it from a friend who probably doesn't know how dear she is to me. The memories in that spindle will carry me through a lifetime. But I really wanna play with my new toy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I have been informed by a friend that I neglected to mention Terry Pratchett's Discworld series in my list of favorite books. Didn't I mention that trying to narrow one's favorite books to fit on a list is a bit of buggery? Well it is indeed. Oversight has been fixed. Now to my friend with nothing else to do but actually read my profile and nitpick, go find something else to read. Like the dictionary or the phonebook.

Bunny musings

I must either be extremely bored or enjoying the shininess of this new blog because I feel compelled to introduce the little white ball o' fluff that acts as my profile photo.

Tempie is a dwarf hotot rabbit who is approximately three years old. She loves to beat up on the three cats and one other rabbit who share her house. Tempie also has an obsession with human toes. Given her penchant for chicken, this gives us humans some cause for concern.

Now before anyone panics about what we feed our little "Beast of Antioch," let me assure you that she and her lapin punching-bag are given fresh greens, unlimited timothy hay, pellets, and treats in the form of fresh fruit and rolled oats. Tempie has acquired a taste for the cats' food which is made from pure chicken and rice. Why she likes it so much we do not know. The vet was confused when we asked if it was horribly bad for her.

That being said whenever she is out and about she will forcibly remove whichever cat is occupying their dish and proceed to chow down. We have seen the after effects of a full bunny mouth dripping with cat hair on several occasions. The cats have begun to fear her presence near their food and will quickly flee to higher ground.

Higher ground has also changed definitions since this rabbit has figured out that she can climb furniture and does on a regular basis. We call these instances cases of, "All Terrain Bunny," or, "ATB situations." The cats do have an escape route if they chose to either fly over the baby gate that sits in the bedroom door or cross the dreaded tile floor into the office.

We keep an empty mini bottle of Chambord on top of her cage because it resembles the Holy Hand Grenade. And Tempie does in fact have, "sharp, pointy teeth."

Eventually I will sit down and write about the circumstances which brought her into my life. It is important to note that her name was derived from the word: temporary. Obviously she had other plans.

A final note: Chambord brownies rock much. I really think I should make some soon.

Remembering Aunt Emily, Mr. Hillerman

The world just lost one of the greatest writers and champions of Navajo culture, Mr. Tony Hillerman. I grew up reading his books, enjoying every chapter. His works, coupled with a family rooted in southern New Mexico, are why I know more about the different tribal cultures of the Southwest than I do about my family's own mysterious Native American roots from the Great Lakes region. He will be missed as both an author and a humanitarian.

His passing has forced me to take time and reflect on the life and death of the woman I grew up calling "Aunt Emily." She and her husband, Robert Lovell("Uncle Bob"), were wonderful and patient people. Their life together could serve as a simple lesson if anyone bothered to think. They met on their way to Arizona from Michigan. Their mutual ride was a random person's backseat; they had not met prior to the trip. "The rest," as my mother has said, "was history." What should be noted is that Aunt Emily was a Muslim whose family was from Lebanon and Uncle Bob was a white, American, Christian. I do not remember the year in which they met and fell in love, but I do know that it was prior to World War II.

They never had children but they happened to meet a couple who were also from Michigan and had two small girls. Whenever Emily and Bob went to the movies they packed the car with snacks and those two girls. Little presents and treats were given often. My mother still has the electric razor that Aunt Emily gave her as a teenager. It is shaped almost like a shell and is of similar color to the inside of a conch shell. It stopped working years ago.

They were both intellectuals and both respected in their fields. Uncle Bob was there when the first atomic bombs were tested in the desert. He wrote a book on computers back when computers filled large rooms and were programmed with punch cards. Aunt Emily was a writer and teacher. Her books include an awesome cookbook called Lebanese Cooking, Streamlined, of which I am blessed to have a copy. She also wrote several books about her beloved New Mexico. In the course of her writing endeavors she became friends with a certain Mr. Tony Hillerman.

I cried the day cancer took Uncle Bob from us. When I was little he had taken my mother and I up into the mountains around Alamogordo to the different observatories there. I will always remember the smile on his face and his unabated joy of Science.

While I was still in college my mother and aunt moved Aunt Emily to New Orleans from California so that she would be closer to someone who cared for her. I remember coming home from campus and there was a vacuum cleaner box on my front porch. Low and behold there was actually a vacuum inside, the one featured on the box even. My mother had cleaned Aunt Emily's little apartment with it, stuck it in a box, and shipped it to me... with the full bag inside. I still harass her for shipping me Aunt Emily's dust.

So then our gifts of licorice were mailed to Louisiana instead of California. And we still got a fruitcake from Figi's at Christmas. [My mother loves are was you eat I guess. ;-)] When Katrina hit Aunt Emily was evacuated out by my aunt and uncle. They sent her to an extended care facility in Alamogordo until her place was reopened. She didn't like it there much, since all of her friends were not there but the people were very nice to her. One resident even let her have a spare television for her room.

My aunt was with Aunt Emily when she passed. Her last words were, "so tired."

Something to Believe In

It occurs to me that when I start posting information and thoughts of a paleontological nature that some folks in cyberspace might very well take exception to said thoughts. I thought it prudent to take the time here to state everybody needs something to believe in. I don't care if a person's whole life revolves around String Theory, Jesus of Nazareth, Buddha, the Maiden/Mother/Crone, the Ultimate Argument of Logic, or what have you. As long as people are content and at peace with what they believe in then I will never step on any persons' toes regarding their beliefs. It is simply none of my business and I refuse to put my nose into someone else's religion.

So before anyone decides to inform me that I'm going to Hades for believing in the Geological Time Scale or anything else, please stop and remind yourself that I would never treat you like less of a human being for what you believe. So please give me the same courtesy.

In harm none, do what you will.

Thoughts on exploited children

According to a recent article on the FBI has freed 576 children from forced child prostitution. This makes me wonder how those children are going to be helped in the long run. Will they be reunited with their families? Will they be given the counseling they need to heal the damage to their spirits? How does that work? Are they just given back to their families or sent to foster care and left to fend for themselves? Can anyone shed some hopeful light on these questions for me?

Then my thoughts turn to the people who put the children in the hellish position that the Bureau rescued them from. Horse whipping is too good for them. Bullets are reloadable. An angry mob with torches and pitchforks might be fun. I suppose what I am getting at is that prison is too good for them. I would prefer that my tax dollars not feed and clothe those particular monsters for any length of time.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fiber: A necessary part of a daily diet.

For any other fiber folks out there, I thought you might be interested in the goodies I picked up at the Bishop Hill Fiber Guild's Spin In about a week ago.

Here is a 4 oz. braid of Merino that I purchased from Snokist Farm.

This is a 2 oz bag of blended Corriedale, Dorset, and firestar dyed by the same person. She calls the colorway "Picaroon." Kathy has an etsy store called "snokistfarmgirl."

I ended up purchasing a Louet S15 from a friend and decided I absolutely needed this threader, made by Dave "DK" Kolars.
When I saw it I fell in lust with it.
He has a shop in Dekalb, IL if folks are interested.

DK also makes drop spindles that are gorgeous!

The spin in was a great time. This was the first fiber event I had been to since I left the Missouri Ozarks.

The same friend who sold me the wheel took two ribbons in the Viewer's Choice awards. One for her spinning and one for her silk knitting.

Maybe next year I will remember to stop gabbing long enough to attend some of the demonstrations and classes.


This is my first public blog post that does not relate to my on-line business. Sadly all of my cleverness seems to have bled out while I tried to decide which books out of the thousands I've digested are my "favorite." Similarly what types of music of all the genres that have a good beat are "favorites."

I suppose I could state some things that are obvious for the sake of creating a decent post. So here goes:

- it is cold here in the upper mid-west
- there is a nosy calico perched above my right shoulder
- I wish I was back home in the desert
- I hope the nibble about paleo-related work that I heard about comes through
- my favorite color is purple

Also unless something really irks me, beyond the current level of irritation, about the current Presidential-election madness do not except me to write about it beyond the following statement: I grow weary of the headaches, the slop-slinging, the bravado, the blatant stupidity, and the complete disregard for this country's history, Constitution, and the dream of the founding fathers.