or it’s a damned good thing they’re so cute

Yesterday was brought home again the problem with empty belly syndrome. Zuzu around 10 pm, and Gracie a little after midnight. When it dawned on me that maybe they didn’t get their din dins.

Not that they’re underweight. Zuzu La Gorda weighs in at maybe 6 pounds over last year and Gracie Ms Skinny Mynx at maybe 3 more. Which in a dog about 40 pounds is not chicken feed. But then DH (who took them this year) says Zuzu was a wiggle meister on the scale and her numbers might be off.

Gracie got a serious trimming (with scissors, she won’t put up with the clippers) over the weekend. I even had to get all the long fur off her ears. It was a little scary, but needed as there was a fist sized mat in there.
And you can’t even see it here. Her little ears are so cute…

We’re also anticipating mud season. These two bring in more dirt dust than any dog I’ve ever known.


Yes. I ordered blocking wires! I think I might be ready to block that maple wing shawl this weekend. Or the one after.

making do

Saw this at the Chinese restaurant in Hallowell last week…
Window screening, folded into a square, screwed into an old light fixture… With a flourescent bulb!

i can finally say something

Maine’s natural community classification has been published!

3000 copies arrived two weeks ago, but we’ve been figuring out distribution, etc.
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97 boxes went from the delivery truck, one hand truck load at a time by our staff, to sit on our second floor hall. They are flying out of the office, and they haven’t even hit bookstores or libraries yet (but they will).

I was totally like a kid at Christmas the day they were delivered, and it’s been hard to stay quiet!

Though I’m not an author, I worked to get a super techie draft document into an attractive and approachable book that a lay person with some interest in natural communities (i.e., the different types of forests, wetlands, open areas) might like to have. We hired a layout guy who did an absolutely fabulous job. It’s printed on triple-certified recycled paper. It has a ton of great photos. I have to re-do some things on the website, but you can see samples of the community descriptions from this page, but be sure to click on the downloadable pdf once you go to a description… that’s where you’ll see a bit of what the book is like.

And now, for some totally dorky botanical nonsense,

spring fling

O-M-G! It was cold. It was numbing. It was tingling. It was Burning Cold.
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And it was Absolutely Fabulous!

Popham Beach!

(For you Mainers… the word is that the Morse River has cut a new channel more or less straight out to the ocean – instead of along the beach – and that sand deposition should begin to restore the beach… it was cut back about 150 feet since November last year)

There were lots and lots of people and dogs on the beach today, a freakishly warm day for March. Who would let an opportunity like this go by? Not many, and the beach seemed crowded, especially for this time of year. We saw kids playing in the surf, and some who got their feet wet and came right back out. I’m guessing the water was about 48 degrees F. This page tells us the average March sea surface temperature in Maine is about 5 degrees Celsius, which is 41 F…

We saw some of Molly Bee’s dogs, including some odd ones, like this pair,
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Her “keeper” didn’t know what they are… The boy sure stood like a boxer, but one about 8 inches tall…. and long…. dachsund boxer whoknowswhat… And there were puppies, yellow lab and newfie most notably.

Here’s Mollly’s beast we went with,
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A crazy shepherd girl…

And look what was up in my yard this first day of spring,
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Usually there is snow here now. Snow to shovel. Or at least large piles everywhere and lots of frozen ground. This is a very bizarre year…

contest winner! spring is springing! boots! birthday!

contest winner!

It’s Molly Bee! She sure seems to be on a good luck run lately, new implants, hanging out with baby lambs, a door prize… and she deserves all of it! Molly Bee is deciding which needle case she wants. She’ll let you know… (Oh No! She asked me to surprise her!)

Now we wait to see who wins the actual melt date part of the contest.


It’s been weirdly warm in these parts for this time of year. Last year? Snow and lots of it. This year? Things are growing. It might not seem that exciting to some of you, but, hey, this is Maine. And even though that knitting veterinarian has iris blooming at a preturnaturally (I hate that word) early time, most of us don’t get so much so early…

And so, what is up in my yard this evening… (and how exciting is it that at 6:15 pm it is light enough to take photos???? Very!)
scilla rhubarb crocus daylilies
scilla, rhubarb, crocus, and daylilies (the ordinary kind)

I think this was the first thing up in the yard,
goutweed, a nasty thing. But… somebody recently sent me the recipe for goutweed soup! Maybe I’ll feed it the office this summer.

I planted dye plants and sweet annie last week, and look, sweet annie is up!
The weld is up too, but not the indigo or madder yet. We’re a little short on sunny window space, and any horizontal space in a warm room, so they sit on the dryer. We learned that the washer is a bad place to leave a seed flat.

Eggplant, victim of the spin cycle.


Well, I’ve ordered boots online, at least twice, but returned them all… for various reasons. On Friday, although I was earning zero dollars (state shut down day), I contributed to the economy. I intended to by flip-flops, but came home with these,
Shearling lined, like slippers, and the price of slippers (way way less than boots)! They’re men’s and a little loose, especially in the heel, but they’re like slippers! That I wear outside! And to work! And they’re comfy in bare feet too…

birthday week

Mine is later this week, and we’re having a celebration at work that day for everybody’s birthdays this spring and for something that I can’t talk about yet (but soon! soon!!!!), and one of our interns is on a cake baking frenzy, so she decided that today would start my birthday week.

Good things come in odd packages,

and she was a little embarrassed about the appearance, but O-M-G, it was INCREDIBLE, FABULOUS, AMAZING!!!!!
bdcake (1)

Chocolatey, moist, rich, nom nom!!!!
bdcake (2)

and all gone!


First of four repeats of section C is done! Cutting up the pattern so a single line of instruction is in one place and putting in stitch markers all over the place really helped.

snow melt contest!

Third year, can you believe it?

Here’s the bottom line. Guess when this giant pile of snow at work will be all gone and I’ll send you something. Two winners, one random and one who guesses most closely when it’ll be gone.

The pile this year:
snowpile2010march02 snowpile2010march02 (2) snowpile2010march02 (3)

Here’s the details.

Comment in this post by Monday, March 15, 5 pm eastern time (we switch to daylight savings time the day before) when you think this pile of snow will be totally gone, so that there’s not even a patch of ice left on the ground. This post. Leave a date.

I will draw a random winner that evening.

And then we wait and wait and wait until the pile is gone.


Here was the pile in December.

Here is the post about last year’s winner.

Here is last year’s pile.

And here is the post about the winner the year prior (a different pile).

We didn’t get as much snow this year as last, and it seems to be warmer earlier… but one never knows around here!

The prizes:
needle cases 071
For the random drawing, the winner can choose one of these needle cases. Here’s some inside looks at a few of them,
needle cases 009 needle cases 016 needle cases 028
And here are some that have stuff in them.

For the winner of the melt date, maybe one of these, maybe something fibery. The Fiber Frolic usually happens between the contest announcement and the melt date, so you never know…

If a non fiber person wins, well, we can talk! Maybe some good coffee from my favorite roaster.