a birthday and a bug and pots and a vest and rocks and dogs with new haircuts


Boyo turned 17 recently. He wanted a batman cake, and this was what happened. I figured it was a success when his friend took a photo, and then he did too. And it was gone by morning (two boys stayed over).
bd cake (2) bd cake (1)


Look what DH found in the garden digging up potatoes…
tomato hornworm
I thought maybe it was a giant beetle grub, but our entomologist friend said it was a lepidopteran, and we quickly figured out it is a tomato hornworm (which we call tomacco hornworms), late stage pupa. The totally disgusting part is that this thing is alive. It moves. And that loopy handly thing is its mouthparts.


And totally fascinating.


Dad and Linda gave us a fabulous humongous frying pan. We have been at a loss as to where to put it. The oven already holds the two 13″ and the single 8″ cast iron pans. I thought I’d get a pot rack, but the one I wanted (a simple steel bar) is actually relatively hard to find. I did finally find it, for only $16, but then there was the $12 to ship and the extra $10 because I didn’t spend enough.

And so, I bought 4 locally made wrought iron hooks (from Scottish Lion in Round Pond), only $24, and a board from Lowe’s (I got to use the jigsaw and I learned to use the router).

And so this corner,
vest 038 pot rack project (6)
was changed.

The board got up (after a miscalculation on where the stud was… but the initial series of holes in the board got plugged, shhhhhh), and even though I had an idea where the pans should go, I hadn’t marked where the hooks should be… and so…

pot rack project (7) pot rack project (10)

While I was about it all, I extended the knife slit a bit, and really sanded down that piece to the left of the stove. It gets gummy. And re-oiled the rest of the counters…
pot rack project (4) pot rack project (2) pot rack project (1)


I’ve been wanting a vest… this is made with the handspun I made when I was learning to spin. I thought I might have enough yarn for a vest. Turns out, I probably have enough for three vests… I wasn’t sure at first how to close it up, but after wearing it for a day with just a pin, I realized it really needs closure and put in hooks and eyes. There’s waist shaping and short rows for the bust. I’m reasonably pleased with it, but think I might need to add pockets, because my hands keep looking for them (I have a fleece vest that fits something like this one, and it must feel familiar to my body).

vest 076 vest 104

vest 115

vest 116 vest 118


We took a quick walk at lunch today over to the arboretum, where they have some new sculpture on display.

arboretum sculpture (2) arboretum sculpture (4)

arboretum sculpture (8) arboretum sculpture (6)
From one side it looks like a hug, from the other, a face, or a really pointy bum!

arboretum sculpture (12) arboretum sculpture (13)
Susie noted that this black spot is called an enclave. She’d seen some of this sculpture a couple days ago, with some other geologists.
arboretum sculpture (16)

Needless to say, she heard very different things from us than she did from the geologists. WHAT is that? Giant bull testicles! That’s a sexy piece. Cylons! A face! A bum! (these were not things the geologists were saying…)

This piece was made from a single piece of stone… we were strong doubters, but then we were convinced…
arboretum sculpture (18)

arboretum sculpture (20) arboretum sculpture (25)
And Sue was with us, in her hunter orange… we stuck close to her, and nobody was shot.

Pinkish beige on the outside, and black and shiny inside… remind you of anybody?
arboretum sculpture (31)

The bum (face on the other side)…
arboretum sculpture (32) arboretum sculpture (34)
Do you see those mosses growing on the granite? My guess is Andrea rupestris, but I didn’t look closely.

Oh look, they’re trucking in another piece… wonder what it is…
arboretum sculpture (39)

dogs with new haircuts

These are really lousy pictures, sorry!

clipped dogs (2) clipped dogs (3)
Zuzu begging for a toy, and Gravy coming to get one.


Getting ready for Thanksgiving… friends from far are coming, and friends from near will be here too.

We are blessed.

wee bit of knitting, pen1s shaped mushrooms, calendars are out!,

Aka stinkhorn,
Phallus ravenelii, looking rather disgusting after getting rained on.

These red mitts are for Mom. She says they make her arthritic hands feel better. I had wanted to finish them a month or so ago, but at least they’re done. Made of cotton with elastic in it (Fixation). The gray wool ones are for a friend’s mom in VT. I forget what kind of wool they’re made of, something I had lying around.
mitts 029 mitts 027

Remember the Calendar Girls post? Well, the calendars are out! I’m April…

bc calendar (1) bc calendar (2)

Get yours at Rocky Knoll Photography.

Election night… the dogs I was visiting were not especially interested in the results. Sid (the girls’ bro) and another friend’s pal Chester.

sid election night 2 chester election night

In other dog news… the girls got pruned today. Pics soon.

And in other family news, this boy turns 17 tomorrow.
nick nov 2012

Cripes, my photos are all a bit blurry. I think my lens needs cleaning. It’s a tiny point and shoot, Sony T77… do they have a lifespan? Or am I just getting old and shaky?

Temperaments and Telephones

Taken out of chronological order, but presented in order of smoochyloviness…


I helped a friend temperament test a litter of puppies this morning!

These are cousins to my girls, as the puppies’ mom, Bear, is my girls’ auntie. This was a mixed litter. Three boys have a German shepherd dog father, two boys and two girls have a border collie father (Bear is half border collie and half yellow lab). It was a pretty even litter, temperament-wise, though there was some variation, and definite differences between the pups with the different fathers (the border collie pups were more interested in fetch and overall more mature).

It was a great puppy fix!

bear puppies 4 nov 2012 (1)

bear puppies 4 nov 2012 (12) bear puppies 4 nov 2012 (14)

bear puppies 4 nov 2012 (16) bear puppies 4 nov 2012 (19)

The two girls went home with their new owners today.


We were without internet for two weeks and a day. Felt like an eternity. Felt like living in the dark ages.

All because Fairpoint isn’t good at maintaining their equipment, and we had an old circuit out in the Network Interface Device (NID).

And because it took four days for GWI to let me know that testing the modem at the NID indicates the problem is outside the house. GWI is our phone and internet provider, but Fairpoint maintains the lines, or they supposedly do.

During those four days, however, I totally re-wired all the phone lines, from the NID to all the jacks.

phone wiring (6) phone wiring (2)

I don’t have any in process pics in the cellar, but here’s my brother’s favorite part of my cellar…
phone wiring (3)

The phone lines are all behind that “blow out” in the wall. This wall is between the main part of the house (with its dirt floor cellar) and the ell (concrete floor, as is below the barn and old carport).

Anyhow, it was an extremely frustrating process trying to get the tech support to believe that there was a problem outside the house, and to get one of their techs out here to confirm that. And that yes, I do have great sounding phone lines when there is no modem plugged in (Fairpoint tested this at some point).

And I had a colonoscopy about a week after it all went down, which meant no internet (Netflix) during the prep! As we also have no cable tv service (our only means of any tv reception), there was also no tv.

Thankfully I have friends who lent me dvds to watch. Firefly was the series of choice during the whole colon cleansing episode. If you haven’t seen it, it’s great fun… think space western, ala Whedon.

Who cracks me up.

Remember to vote on Tuesday!

(and all good news on the colon front… except for that nasty bruise where the needle went in my arm, and then I found another nasty bruise elsewhere during a fool body tick check. I figured if a clean needle stick made lovely colors, then, well, um… but it was all good).