snowmelt contest winner! and lots of miscellaneous blathering

snowmelt contest winner!

It’s Kat! She’s on vacation now, but hopefully she’ll find an internets connection out in the wilderness to get the good news.

The snowpile disappeared totally sometime between June 22 and 24, and Kat’s was the closest guess at June 24. We must’ve had more snow last year, because the smaller pile melted away July 9 or so.

snail antennae
I’m still curious about the snails. I’ll send the picture to Phillip, and if he has anything interesting to say about them, I’ll let you know.

There were a lot of slugs and snails intermingling. Very weird. They’re cute over at Mochi Mochi though.

Hey, look, on last year’s contest winner post there was a creature feature too!

Maplewing progress

I’m on section B, having decreased some 100 or so stitches. It should go more quickly, but I haven’t been working on it much.

I’m about 20 stitches into the third row of the section (some 43 rows altogether?), which action was much interrupted at knit night last week by this,
Fifteen year old Brazilian rum. Yowza! Smooth, and lively. We ended up hooting at old Vogue Knitting magazines more than knitting.

other obsessions

I am not the only one in the household with an obsession. You’ve seen hints of this before, but it’s the reishi season.
reishi fresh

This is only a small portion of what has come home lately. It gets sliced and dried and then stored in glass jars. Eventually it gets made into tea.
reishi ovendrying

It smells horrible while it’s drying, and it doesn’t taste a whole lot better. I don’t drink it.

The chaga is way better, but there isn’t so much of it around. If we ever get a lot like we have of the reishi, I’ll use it as a base for lotion. I saw cream made with this for sale for over $40 for a 2 ounce jar! Will let you know how that works out.


I’ve been cleaning and organizing. One of the girls left very stinky and very wet presents on the rug, so that got cleaned and pulled (and needs to be professionally cleaned). Last week one of their “houses” (which live in our bedroom) really STUNK, so the whole bedroom got scrubbed. Yesterday I got the guest bedroom cleaned out and ready for company.

Hoping today to attend to this,
cords 002

But I might knit instead. Anybody have any ideas about coping with all the cords that need to be near the computer but not always attached to it?

The computer sits in the kitchen/dining area, and it is a clutter magnet.

dreary days

It has been very wet and dreary here. I think the sun shone for maybe 5 days in June, maybe less. Got out with the stinky girls early this morning before it started raining.

Subtle, but I think beautiful. These are the anthers on a grass, I think it’s Bromus inermis.
grass flowers

snow melt contest #2 update

Well, one would think that after the monsoon of rain we had today that the snow pile would be gone gone gone.

But no,
snowpile 033 snowpile 019

I know it doesn’t look like much, but there really is still a fair amount of ice under that sand.
snowpileice2 snowpileice

What was that crunchy sound coming from on the downslope side of the ice?
snowpilesnails snowpilesnail1
Hundreds of snails, maybe thousands. It’s not as though it is dry everywhere else. It has been rather wet here in general and wickedly so today.

I wondered what kind of trash was left… it was pretty much what one would expect,

snowpile 020 snowpile 026 snowpile 024 snowpile 022
snowpile 021 snowpile 025 snowpile 029 snowpile 028
snowpile 030 snowpile 031 snowpile 032

So while I was standing there wondering if the crayon box was related to the photo of the boy, and eww, the diaper, I heard (over the din of the rain) a new sound. The low deep sound of a heavy motor running and I thought crap. Especially when I looked up the hill and saw the blue lights, but thankfully they weren’t flashing. I boogied my butt up there, all soaking wet through the thigh high wet grass and puddles, and yes indeed, it was johnny law. You see, I wasn’t parked in the parking lot, I’d pulled over on the wrong side of the lane. I was gone all of 8 minutes or so. But this wasn’t just any ordinary law, it was capitol security. Who knew they had nothing better to do at 5:30 on a Friday than bother me? Maybe it was because he’d already been to the donut shop. Because clearly he had. More than a few extra pounds, missing a few teeth from all that sugar… On another day I might’ve thought him reasonable when he asked “couldn’t you park in the parking lot, I mean it’s right here“…. but today I was peevish. I told him the grass was shorter where I was parked and it was wet. He didn’t ticket me (and I know they are quick to do so having received one for parking a foot over the line, but do they take responsibility for ice crushing my car? of course not). He did follow me off the property. Pisser.

So speaking of peevish. I let some guy totally get under my skin at the gym today. You ever encounter somebody who just irritates you for no good reason? He’s one of those. And then some months ago he irritated me for a reason. I was taking some basic martial arts class at the work gym. I figured it might be entertaining. And it was, reasonably so. One day the instructor had us doing something like side kicks. I did them in full proper old fashioned form versus the modified pseudo side kick we were presented with. This guy says to the instructor “she’s doing it wrong“. I turned to him, and trying to keep my voice from sounding too bitchy, but totally bristling with 25 years of experience and a third degree black belt instructor tone, and said “don’t worry about me, I well know how to do a side kick“.

I’ve been going to that full body workout on fridays, and I don’t have that trouble of nearly falling over when I take my underpants off anymore. Today I had all sorts of crazy energy. Squats? Oh yeah baby, give me more (not really), but I was dancing around between everything to that gawdawful music from the late 70′s and early 80′s (thinking, this is what we’ll be listening to at our HS reunion in the fall). We finish with ab work. We talk back a lot to the instructor, he likes it. So I’m telling him, 50 more! c’mon! And this asshole guy says she must not be doing it right she isn’t sore. Now the instructor is at least 20 years younger than me, and male, and stronger, and faster. But I know that I am more flexible (even in my relatively decrepit state), and I likely have as good or better balance, and it is well within the realm of possible that I can keep up with him in ab work. I just couldn’t figure out how to say so to this guy without sounding like a total bitch.

Snow melt? Oh yeah, it looks like it might just be kat that wins it, but I’ll keep you posted…

Still have some of that crazy energy… maybe another glass of wine will settle me for bed?

row 25, giant microbes, secrets of slithering, and more

Maplewing row 25

maplewing_row25 maplewing_row25out

Still enjoyable, still a little slow, still not something I can work on while gabbing too much or at meetings…

Plush giant microbes

OMG, these Plush giant microbes are hilarious. You can get ebola, HIV, giardia, fat cells, yeast, heartworm, mange, toxic mold… something for everyone! I can’t decide which are my favorites, and I’m trying to think of who I know that may have a new baby or is expecting one that would be amused by these. It’ll have to be a special person who wouldn’t be offended that I give their child some germ.

And check out the link at that site on the left to the Monty Python paraphrenalia, including several versions of that viscious rabbit, as slippers, a puppet, a stapler…

In case you’ve forgotten, here’s the rabbit,

Clearly Tim isn’t a biologist, as he names the rabbit a rodent. Oh well. “The most foul, cruel and bad tempered lagomorph you ever set your eyes on” just wouldn’t have been as funny. But you can get yourself a Tim hat where you get the rabbit slippers.

Secrets of slithering

You’ll have to go to the NPR Secrets of Slithering page, because I can’t figure out how to embed that video. They used a hand knit ‘sock’ or ‘sweater’ to help figure out some of the snake slithering secrets, oh, and jello too. Interesting, and amusing, to me anyhow.


Yet another pair of maine morning mitts using bargain bin remnants from Friends Folly Farm. And a tiny amount of my handspun leftover of the same fiber for one of the thumbs. Have I said how much I love these?

I love how the fiber shifts colors. This is the effect you’d get if you spun up some of the fiber, moreso than if you purchased the yarn. I think I make these a tad snugger than the pattern calls for, and I like the way the ribs feel on. Soft, soothing, and warm on my hands. If you like your colors more predictable, the dyed yarn would be good, and it’d feel the same. Pogo and Marcia use half mohair from their angora goats and half wool… makes a soft and luscious fiber!

I think I’m going to make a full mitten using this pattern as a jump off point. I figure my MIL might like them as mittens. She has noted in the past that it is very difficult to find mittens, and I’ve made some for her, but the last was 2 years ago, time for more!


This happens pretty early around here, and it isn’t even the longest day of the year yet!

Officially it is at 4:54. Here’s what 5:05 looked like two or three days ago, on a gray and rainy day,
Pretty freakin’ identical to what it looks like out there right now, another gray and rainy day, at 10:30 am.

We’re pretty far north and east, and there was talk a few years back about putting us in the Atlantic Time Zone, same as the Canadian Maritimes. Which, because it would make sense, didn’t happen.

Here’s some other eastern places to compare sunrise times for June 14:

Presque Isle, ME 4:37
Lubec and Calais, ME 4:41
Augusta, ME 4:54
Montreal, Quebec 5:05
Montpelier, VT 5:06
Boston, MA 5:07
Syracuse, NY 5:25
Halifax, Nova Scotia (Atlantic Time Zone, one hour ahead of us) 5:28
Toronto, Ontario 5:35
Washington, DC 5:42
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 5:44
Columbus, OH 6:03
Atlanta, GA 6:27
Miami, FL 6:29
Naples, FL 6:35

We have a bedspread (one of those Indian ones from, oh, 1980?) on our bedroom window… I’m thinking of putting up a blanket for the next month or so. The window faces east… Maybe this is why I’m waking up around 4:30 lately?

well my wacko scheme didn’t quite work

This morning I was inspired to take quick snapshots of the stash… mostly it was the tops of the bins/drawers/bags/etc. To remind myself, really you don’t need any more yarn.
frolic 012

Because I went to fiber frolic today. With a local friend, and we met up with Lucia (who has not been blogging much lately… ahem). After what seemed like only a bit, another local friend (actually it was that Canadian) found us, but it was really nearly 3 hours later.

We were at Bill Huntington’s booth, where I made my first purchase… a single skein of windspun yarn. It’s darker and purpler than shown here,
frolic 017

This is to contrast (go with?) with some yarn I got from him last year,

Maybe I’ll make that Circus Tent Hat with the four colors… this pattern is probably the first thing I bought from a local fiber person, years ago.

Ran into Sara at Amy’s booth (no surprise there), and she said I need some sparkle. Eventually I made it to enchanted knoll, and I did succumb, to this,
frolic 015
Sparkly, but subtle… and the colors of mud, well within my color comfort zone!

We have a plan that on the first furlough day we’ll head out for a drink and sit by the river and drink and spin. Something sparkley and fun.

So up to this point my scheme was working…

But then… that wicked, wicked woman. Which wicked woman? A couple probably… but it’s Nanney Kennedy of whom I speak. Temptress. Seductress.

I mean, look at this, (and this)
frolic 005
There were more colors, and they were better in person…

And she had puppies… puppies!… come on, is that yarn not irresistable enough on its own?? It’s soft and sproingy, and it feels incredible next to your skin.

I moved out of my typical color scheme, into what Nanney termed “personal growth”. Hah! Actually, I do wear these colors, but not so much the pinky purple. Anyhow, this will be the PG sweater.
frolic 016
(this is a really crappy pic of the colors, they are richer)

Saw lots of people and got to gab with many of them. We met a young bunny, whose owner was looking for a name, and fell in love with G’s suggestion of Milkweed. So, meet Milkweed,
frolic 010
who was, as one might imagine, incredibly soft.

This is a picture for my SIL, who is a “dirty hooker” (she leaves her ends until the end, which makes sense to me!).
frolic 006
By Susie Stephenson. It’s an incredible vest, and may be in the Farnsworth this year. Can you see the embroidery inside? There’s a couple messages, and lots of clothing tags (think Pendleton and Harris Tweed) too.

Hope you’re having a good weekend. I better get knitting, eh?

flowers for auntie

Because they’re from her! Some years ago Auntie sent me iris rhizomes from her Long Island garden (she was moving to Florida). They looked good for a year or so, but then didn’t seem to be doing much. So last spring I moved them. And look,
flowers (1)
(embiggen to see all the buds… that’s bee balm in the back)

Auntie says she misses her northern flower gardens…

flowers (2) flowers (3)

I moved things around in the bed they were in, and look, more there too!
flowers (4) flowers (5)

That’s a weeping katsura tree, slightly out of its growing zone, but the front yard is protected and generally warm compared to the surrounding area. The rhododendron is looking good this year (it seems to look really good every other year), even though just about every year I hack off a third of it because it grows right next to the steps and can crowd out access to the door!


Here’s the other side of the front steps,
flowers (7)

The bird feeder hook got all bent out of shape over the winter when parts of the pine tree fell on it. But it still works… or would if I put seed in the feeders.

There’s some volunteer hosta and ferns in there, purple coneflower, horehound, some yellow thing in the back, tulips earlier in the year, and lots of these,
flowers (8)
(weeds too, but we’ll ignore those)

Hosta from my brother’s house in Massachusetts… I think these things are fertile. There are baby hosta around them, and I think that at least some of the volunteers in the other bed are from this,
flowers (6)

And lastly, out front, multiflora rose on the other bank (along with lots of other stuff, including lots of weeds). I figure it’s good protection for the woodpile, even though it’s invasive. Because we have unusual neighbors…
flowers (9)