Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hello, my name is Earl...

As I had previously mentioned, during our move, one of the cats (Amos to be precise) escaped.  The thought of changing the name of this blog crossed my mind, but in all reality, it was highly unlikely that another little kitty would not come into my life.

My father-in-law has some rental properties and the tenants were leaving one of them.  There was a kitten that was supposedly theirs but their intention was to abandon it.  FIL has a super soft heart and couldn't stand that thought so he brought it home with him.  It is believed that he had an ulterior motive/plan to gift me with the little darling.

He walked into the office a week or so ago and said "I have a kitty for you." He proceeded to detail all the ways in which this little furball was worthy of my love...combined with a whispered "if you take him, I will pay to have him fixed".  Wes was skeptical.  We were adapting to only having four cats.  The cats were adapting and enjoying not having to deal with the stress of Amos' idiosyncrasies. In fact, Ashley was becoming more social and Sophie was becoming less of a Miss Grumpy Butt.  The pecking order and hierarchy had been re-aligned.

And then, in walks Earl.

If looks could speak, then Sophie was screaming, "what fresh hell is this that you have unleashed upon us?!?!?!'

In his defense, Earl is just a kitten and is not really trying to attack.  He thinks all these other creatures are toys that WANT to play non-stop.  

It has been a week and things are settling down.  Earl is sort of fitting in.  The others are beginning to tolerate him and he finally has overcome his fear of Jack.  Oddly enough, Jack outside in the yard with him scares him silly, but going nose to nose with a pony and a cow doesn't seem to phase him.  

The plan is to train him to be an indoor/outdoor cat.  The barn and a couple of the outbuildings could benefit from a good mouser.  In his short life, it is clear that he had not been regularly fed and was a scrounger/trash cat.  (including an I don't know how long it had been there dead mouse he found in the yard by the pasture fence).

What is remarkable about the sweet boy?  He is extremely docile with humans to the point of going limp in your arms and allowing you to pet and cuddle him.  He purrs up a storm and gives loads of kitty kisses.  He most definitely is a keeper.

Sophie is simply going to have to deal with it.

Welcome to your new home full of adventures Earl!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

WIPS and the dangers of bookstores...

Normally the Wednesday plan would be to post about what projects I'm currently working on and yammer about them for a bit.  That's going to happen, but on a different level/variety. 

In anticipation of moving, I packed up all my yarny/fibery/crafty stuff but kept out a stash of things I might want to play with. 

These are the aforementioned potential WIPS (works in progress in case you wondered):

Of course, I am still working, nay trudging along, on the sweet little baby cardigan and lacy shawl:

They are pretty mundane pieces that keep my fingers in the groove, but don't offer any real challenge...which may be why they simply travel everywhere with me...tucked neatly into a project bag carried in my purse (in reality they are stuffed in the bag and by all appearances when pulled out are having some sort of wild party in there complete with stripping off their needles and getting all tangled up) and don't get a lot of knit action.  

Popped into Half Price Books this afternoon and was coerced into buying a couple of knitting books. They made me do it I swear!  Fortunately, the projects in said books are pretty darn cool, so any trickery and tomfoolery used by way of super cheap prices is easily forgiven. 

The first one is "Color Style" by Pam Allen and Ann Budd. I mean really, can you have too many colorwork sweaters or socks. Must.cast.on.soon.  Lookie lookie...totes adorbs (which I've been told by my offspring that I'm not allowed to say, but they get their lack of following directions ability from me)...

The other book is "Vintage Knit Knacks" by Sue Culligan. I wasn't really that keen on getting it, as I have done several similar projects until I saw the pattern for this:

Shut the front door, get outta here, OMG, or whatever you wish to exclaim. Are you kidding me??? A knit clock made using a frisbee. SOLD!!

Stay tuned for more WIPS. 

Who knows what will be on my needles next!

Monday, October 6, 2014

I'm a little bit crunchy...

Don't lie.  If you are of the same age demographic as me, you may have read that and your mind flipped it and heard/sang it as Donny and Marie's:  "I'm a little bit country, and I'm a little bit rock and roll."  It's okay, embrace it.  And, you are welcome for the earworm.  

The past several years I have been on a personal quest to live more simply and more intentionally.  There is so much TOOOOOO MUCH of everything in the world it seems.  Too much focus on McMansions, too much perfect extravagant vacations, too much "need" for mega closets stuffed to the max, too much poor food choices both from eating out excessively to over-reliance on convenience "foods" from the supermarket, too much drugs for this, that, and the other and then drugs to treat the symptoms from the original drug treatment.  Too much, too much, too much.  There is no way everything purchased can be used and enjoyed to its fullest potential.  When you put it in perspective, ask yourself how many hours you or your spouse together or separately have to work to earn the money to purchase something.  It has turned into a society that lives only to work to pay for stuff and "vacations", instead of working to live.  By working to live, I mean learning how to truly care for yourself and family, and focus on life itself rather than trappings of a world that mean nothing in the big picture.

Our parents and grandparents, probably more so our great-grandparents (I know mine did), had it right.  Work hard, but live simply.  There is nothing wrong with having nice things.  The problem, in my humble opinion, is when the entitlement demon rears its head.  Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents and great-grands...what a blessing that was!  It was by their sides, and my parents' who learned the lessons of their parents well, that I was taught the basic skills for survival.  Oftentimes, people like to quote Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and try to point out that they are achieving self-actualization.  I would challenge that.  It is easy to see from a glance around that there is a chasm between those of a generation that were humble and the generation that demands instant everything.  It is frightening to observe the numbers of individuals that lack the basic skills to provide for the basest of needs, yet claim to be "self-actualized" with a great deal of morality, creativity, spontaneity, lack of prejudice and so on.

But, I digress.  These ideas swirl through my head on a daily basis.  I hear comments made by others and think, "wow, you would never survive if you lived in another time."  A magazine that I subscribe to, and mostly enjoy but secretly sort of think it is a different version of a "Martha Stewart" lifestyle, is Mary Janes Farm.  There is always something I take away from reading an issue, but a lot of it seems too perfect.  The current issue's Editor's Note struck a chord with me.   It was a discussion of what was referred to as "farm aerobics" and the idea of how ridiculous it would seem to our ancestors to find the need to go somewhere to get exercise.  A lot of the activity you need to be healthy can be found in your own home.  The catch is you have to intentionally seek it out.  Turn off the phone, turn off the TV, turn off the computer, turn off the x,y,z gadget and basically get up off your butt and actually live and do things for a better life.  Our grandparents cooked their own foods from scratch, which involved relatively few (if any) electronic devices to prepare the foods.  Bread was kneaded by hand, potatoes were mashed with a masher, butter was churned by hand.  Of late, we have been looking for "old fashioned" kitchen gadgets...they are tried and true and don't break like today's goods.  Go outside, pull weeds and plant a garden...instead of hiring someone to do it and having only a yard that provides aesthetic rather than healthy beauty...bend down/stretch/move and clean your own house.   In simplest form, the suggestion is MOVE.

I fully realize that this approach is not for everyone.  And yes, I am different.  But different can be very good.

My wish for the world in general...a lofty for more self-reliance, more acceptance, more accountability and more tolerance.  Not to get on an even bigger soapbox, but in my view:  we ALL came from the same source and ALL deserve love.

Hugs to Amos, wherever you are.  Meowmy misses you!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Funday

This is normally one of our favorite October weekends. Metamora Canal Days to search for treasures amongst the vendors and stock up on corn meal from the Mill on one day and a trek to Louisville's St. James Court Art Show to indulge in some shopping (and purchasing) from my favorite silversmith on the other day. 

Neither happened this year. But, to be fair, the art show trip didn't happen last year either due to a freaky rain storm the day we planned to go. We had already decided to skip Louisville again this year, but were going to do the Metamora thing on Saturday until we woke up to chilly weather combined with brutal winds. Ummm, no thank you.  Besides, I still have 3 bags of corn meal tucked away in the freezer for safekeeping. 

No worries, regroup and move on.  The revised plan involved getting up early Sunday morning and going out for a yummy breakfast followed by a visit to what will likely be the last Bargersville Flea Market trip of the year. 

Great plans are a good thing to have. 

And then you sleep in until 9:30 because the window is slightly cracked open and there is an ever so slight chill to the air in the bedroom and you are sooooo snuggly snoozy sleepy that the fact that you finally had a night with no miserable menopausal hot flashes causing you to wake up in a full on dripping sweat at least 37 times during the night which results in you choosing not to get up and ultimately finds you writing a ridiculously long run on sentence...likely also a menopausal mistake!  Say what?  Normal version:  We overslept then went to a late breakfast before the flea market. However, note that the first portion is more descriptive of my mind of late in its previously sleep deprived state. 

The fun thing about flea markets is that you never know what you're going to find. Today was no exception. Wes found the most adorable vintage ladies coat for me that had been custom made/labelled for LS Ayres.  Anyone with any ties to Indianapolis and this department store will understand this great find. What else was so special about it?? It was leopard print with furry collar (fake fur on both sections but super nice). The price? $15. WHAT??? I tried it on and felt a little bit like the stepsisters in Cinderella trying to stuff their feet into a too small shoe. Just a bit too snug in the shoulders. Bummer! 

The same vendor had another item for which I have developed a collecting passion for...a nearly perfect picnic basket. A few weeks ago I found another one by the same maker. Now, I don't plan on going on a bunch of picnics.  So what good are these baskets?  Four words:  cat proof yarn storage (that is also cute to boot!)

Sophie agrees...(even though she appears to be more interested in looking out the window and at the floor). Today's find was the red plaid version. 

Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Random Crap

...because I've been away too long, because it's Friday, and because this is MY blog and I can do/say whatever I please!

Yada yada yada...been gone too long.  Well, a whole lot has been going on.  Multiple trips to see and take care of two of my sons...both in different locations.  Moving to a small farm, but not actually living in it yet due to the MASSIVE amounts of remodeling and renovating required of the house, the land, the barn, the pond, the fence, all the outbuildings...the list is mind boggling, but you get the picture.  My darling hubster promised me it would only take about 7 weeks to get the house livable.  That was nearly 10 weeks ago, and for the sake of all that is good in this world about the fabulous opportunity this move has afforded us, we will leave it at that.  However, while Mama may not be happy about that particular point, everything else that is amazing about the property trumps my grumps.  It has been a real eye opener to have the bulk of my possessions packed away and realize that I haven't actually died because I did not have ready access to every single one of my lead crystal serving pieces or all the little knick knacks.  Less truly is more.  House wise, every major piece of the puzzle is either purchased or is on order.  A'int nothing I can do about someone else's production schedule.  It will all get here when it does.  Windows should be here any day.  The custom cut walnut wood floor is about 2 more weeks out.  And, the kitchen cabinetry, which wasn't supposed to be ready until after the floor was here, somehow managed to get done first...but there it sits, waiting, far more patiently than me.

Knitting and spinning?  A little, but not at the rate I previously was able to accomplish.  I used to have a 45 minute commute each way.  Now, 7 minutes unless traffic is bad, then 10 minutes.  Evening knitting?  That was funny.  Say something else funny, I could use the laugh.  But, where there is a will, there is a way...and a job where you can do pretty much what you want 'cuz you are the boss.

Last weekend was a welcome respite of 'pacas, production and plying.  Spent the weekend at my favorite alpaca farm with friends (fleecy and non-fleecy).  It was National Alpaca Farm Days and a great time was had by all that ventured out to Hoosier Heartland Alpacas.  I had the distinct pleasure of working with a little girl that had come with her father to an open house a few months ago and wanted to learn how to drop spindle.  She was a natural.  It was exciting to see her come back, spindle in hand, to get more fiber.  And then it happened.  I apologized profusely to her father.  She was sitting and spindling when I asked if she would like to try my wheel.  That was it.  Done deal.  Sweetie wants a wheel.  Sorry about that! (not really...she was interested, open to learning, and took to it immediately)  Hey, I am not ashamed to be a fiber arts fanatic.

On my wheel last week was some lovely Shetland wool, dyed in a gradient from black to dark grey,
One bobbin done and plied, with still a little over 4 oz of fiber yet to spin.  No idea what it wants to become once all is said and done, but it is some purty yarn!

A couple of other projects on needles:

Linnie: a sweet little baby cardigan being done up with some yarn I was gifted.

The Countess of Landsfeld shawl using Blue Heron Rayon Metallic in one of my all time favorite colorways.  Can you say squishy soft to the max, but also super slippery insanity if it slips off the needles suddenly?

It is Friday, which means Date Night normally, but frankly, I've got retail therapy on the brain.  I am doing my third style challenge with Get Your Pretty On in an attempt to get out of my "if it's a black top and blue jeans I'm wearing it" rut.  The shopping list came out last night, and while I have nearly everything on the list already living somewhere in my closet boxes (HA!!!) who doesn't love getting a few new things.  So, my local peeps, if you see me sporting something slightly out of fashion character for me, know that I have not completely lost my mind, just perhaps, my one track fashion mind!

In other random news, during the process of moving, one of the cats (Amos) escaped and never returned.  While this makes me beyond sad, I can only hope that he managed to find his way to a new home.  Believe me, I searched and searched and searched.  On the home front, the remaining kitties seem to actually be relieved that he is gone.  He had a freakishly tight attachment to me as a result of imprinting on me as a kitten since I bottle fed him and his litter-mates from just a few days old.  This attachment to me often resulted in him being mayyyybe a little psychotically territorial and a fight instigator with the others if he thought for one second that my attention was diverted from him.  I still miss the little bugger, though.  All of that has also prompted me to consider changing my blog name, but let's face it, where there is a Dina, there is bound to be at least several more kitties adopted which cements my fate as  Five (or more) Cats from Crazy.  

OHHHH, and in case you can't tell...I quit when it comes to styling (or attempting to) fabulous photos full of frous frous fiddliness.  Seriously, who has time for that?  You get what you get and you'll like it!

(don't say I didn't warn you about the randomness today)



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