Archive for April, 2009

home, luscious lotions, and a coupla souvenirs

April 28th, 2009 by knitnzu

So what did I bring back from Florida? Some funny memories, a bunch of pictures, and these,
shellstails
A few shells and bits of coral, and two ermine tails! My aunt found them in my grandmother’s sewing stuff… I’m thinking they have to be earrings. And worn with the green felt boots and some other odd attire…

Check out those two shells in the front, one is upside down and the other has stripes. These are Slipper Shells, aka Crepidula fornicata. What’s cool about them is that they stack up, one atop the other, and that they CHANGE SEX. The one on top is male, those on the bottom are female, and the ones in the middle are indeterminate! This is one of the first marine scientific names I learned. Yup, all about the F*cking! (and yes, wordpress will NOT let me spell that word out!).

lotion lessons

In October last year, I saw on the craftzine blog how to make lotion with three ingredients! Here’s the original blog post that inspired me. We had a big lotion making extravaganza in November for xmas gfts, and I’ve made two smaller batches for myself since.

The set up,
lotion3

Process and results,
lotion2 lotion1 lotion4

What I did differently than Wasi Baby
more oil (1/2 cup)
less water (1 cup)
a bit of beeswax (about a tablespoon or so)
teaspoon or so of lavendar oil
half as much vitamin E

The finished lotion hardened up a bit after the photo… it’s whitish now not liquidy.

I got ingredients from Organic Creations for the big to-do before xmas, and had the emulsfier and beeswax leftover. I used some olive oil that I’m not thrilled to eat for the most recent batch.

Lessons learned (from the batch before this one):

  • Oatmeal is NOT a good addition! Nor is powdered milk. It is food. Food goes bad. After a few weeks this batch smelled like fish. Ewww!
  • I do NOT like the smell of tea tree oil. I added a bunch of cinnamon leaf and orange oils to cover it and it didn’t… but then there was the oatmeal and milk in this batch.
  • Zinc Oxide (for the diaper rash cream at Wasi Baby) really repels water. Makes cleaning up a real chore!

At the Portland Flower Show I bought some Lavender Sea Spa. It was wonderful, it smelled great, it felt great, and it was very expensive. So I made some of my own… about a cup of sea salt, some dried lavender flowers, and a tablespoon or so of oil (I think I used vegetable), a few drops of essential oil, and a few drops of vitamin E oil.

Yowza! It turned out great! And a batch the size of the one that cost $15+ cost me about a dollar.

home

Or perhaps it should be

what the heck else can happen to my car?

This morning the car died as I was parking it. I backed it up to go into a parking spot, and it stalled. And would not start again. So…
deadcar

I got to drive it up on the truck! In the end it was just the battery. I figured since the radio and windows worked it was the starter. I’m glad it was just the battery though. It’ll go into the other shop soon to have the last stuff from the big to do with the ice taken care of.

saturday sky

April 24th, 2009 by knitnzu

or maybe it was sunday? It’s friday, so who really cares, eh?
fla (44)

Looking west on the Gulf of Mexico, I think this was Saturday. We were on a boat… I don’t think I got one photo where the horizon was horizontal… something to do with bouncing around on the waves I imagine…

We’ve been out three times, and every time we see these,
fla (94)
fla (96) fla (107)
Before we leave, I want to rent kayaks and paddle out to where the dolphins hang out. This spot was in a canal behind the marina, where there are mangrove islands, and if you go a little further, there’s a beach. I am thinking at a casual speed it’d take under an hour to paddle out there, and wouldn’t it be cool if a dolphin swam next to the kayak?? The kiddo is resistant, but I think we’ll go anyhow.

I did drag him off to Corkscrew Swamp, and though he wasn’t thrilled, he didn’t complain too much. Look what we saw…
corkscrew (54) corkscrew (69)
There were also loads of birds, including some nesting red hawks and wood storks, and buzzards, egrets, and storks hanging out with the alligators.

We road up to Sannibel, where I thought there was little but a nature sanctuary, but no… We had lunch at a place where we docked the boat, and on the way out saw this,
sanibel (13)
You can tell it’s the law because of all the big motors. I don’t know if it’s because we were looking at them, or if was because I was trying to point out some marker on the water, but they gave us a solid look.

Things of note around here… You repeat what you say a lot. Even when people are wearing their hearing aids. Everything looks the same. The shopping places look like residential places look like funeral homes look like cemetary entrances. It’s quite dark here in the morning, at a time when it’s bright at home. All the stars are still out at 6:15! The Everglades are burning and the smell woke me up this morning. Sometimes you can be in a store here and the store workers don’t understand you, but I managed to get my point across about looking for Clearasil. Algo para las caras de los ninos con los (and here I had to do little hand motions all over my face indicating acne).

We went to the beach for a drink and light supper the other night (at the Ritz!). But, you know, old folks and all, we didn’t stay until the sun actually went down…
ritz_vbbch (33)

I’ve been knitting, but not much. I thought I would work on that shawl, but haven’t even cast on.
fla 313
Ripple Weave Socks from an old Vogue, in Shi Bui that I got at Ellen’s a while back.

This computer is pretty glacially slow, so I’ll post again when I get home.

Oh! My! It’s 4:30, more than two hours past time for floating in the pool with my new favorite rum drink!

bad guy and easter chick

April 12th, 2009 by knitnzu

guychick
Aren’t they fabulous?

badguyeasterchick
A gift from my friend G, the bad guy for kiddo.

Who was suspended from school yet again. Again for 10 days. Again with the suspension on either side of a school vacation.

This time for a smart-ass comment, intended much as a joke, and much as a smart-ass comment, to the teacher, which, if he’d used just about any other word, would’ve resulted in perhaps a detention.

You cannot say the B word at school.

And now he’s in a federal database of disruptive students. I can’t find any information about this thing, and only know that it’s a federal mandate that the states tell their school districts that they must comply or lose federal funding.

I have a query out to the state’s Dept of Education, and plan to follow up with our two senators.

Clearly the kid did a stupid thing, especially for such a bright boy, but also the teachers and administration know that he was looking for a reaction and had no intention of doing anything about a bomb.

What frustrates me is that I am just now hearing about how much trouble this teacher has managing this class, which I imagine can be challenging, and that there are two girls in particular that cause classroom disruptions. There’s a long story here, but these girls are verbally aggressive and know how to work the system. It was a day with these disruptions that kiddo made the stupid comment to his teacher. The teacher he thinks hates him.

This group of kids moves between two teachers. I’ve met with the other teacher, at the recent parent conference, thinking I would meet with them both because that’s what happened the first time, but no, just the one. Apparently I was to make an appointment with the other, who was gone by the time I finished with the first. But how was I supposed to know that? I told her at last week’s emergency meeting that kiddo’s grades in her class reflect in part how he thinks she feels about him. He is a very bright boy who is performing far below what he should in her classes. I know part of that is just his being a boy, and his not wanting to put out the effor, but I also know that he does much better in the other teacher’s classes. The teacher who does not have the classroom management problems. With the same group of kids. So what is different between the two?

Sorry, Venting…

So what would you do if it was Friday and you’d been at work too long, and your coworker figured out how to get the first of four EPA grants into the online submission site?

joyces1
Go out for a drink! At Joyce’s, the bathroom and kitchen of which used to be the yarn shop. It was warm enough (for Maine, I think it was maybe 48 or so by then) that we could sit on the deck.

Here’s the old yarn shop porch,
joycesyarnporch

And here are pics of the shop from when we packed it all up for a forcasted flood one April a few years back.

And when I went into work on Saturday morning to get grant #2 submitted, what did I see?

burntcoffee

Which I only noticed because there was a tag stuck on it, from “night eyes”. Apparently capitol security goes around on the off hours. And they found our coffee pot still on.

OOPS!!!

We hardly ever use it. It was either me or S who left it on, we were the only two who had coffee… I wonder how they knew. I only know that we’re lucky it was only burnt coffee and not a burnt building.

So…

Decided a change of scenery would be a good thing. Kiddo and I are going to visit my mom, over the April vacation, in Florida.

For 10 days (not the 10 suspension days!).

I’m bringing the maplewing shawl (not the shawl, but the yarn and pattern) with me. Since I’m nervous about getting the needles (which I haven’t yet bought) taken, I’ll pack this away and bring a sock on the plane.

Things are going to be a little hectic this week, but I’ll post from Florida.

And I’ll be sure to show you sunshine and water and who knows what all else.

ummm, where did that come from?

April 6th, 2009 by knitnzu

So the Sportsman’s Show yesterday was interesting. I saw and heard lots of things that made me scratch my head…

Babies in camo. Me? I’d want mine in bright orange or pink. But then I’m not out sneaking up on creatures.

Speaking of babies,
babymoose
So of course (after I was done with my shift) I had to go ask, how does one come by a baby moose? Road kill.

I suppose, and I suppose this could be used in some sort of educational or museum display.

But this is just wrong,
cubtable
I don’t care if the bear cub was road kill… Making a table out of it is not right. And did you notice the lamp? I wonder if this lives in a place that has an umbrella stand made of an elephant foot. Or a lampshade of human skin? Or a collection of tattoeed skins?

I mean, what’s next?

Let me say that I have nothing against hunting, or trapping, when done responsiby, though I do neither and have no desire to do so.

In my life before marriage I dated a trapper and ran his trap line with him one morning. A raccoon got caught in one of the traps intended for beaver (I think, maybe muskrat), and when we got there the trapper shot the raccoon. Which was the responsible thing to do. But it was hard for me.

One moment life, the next not life. Death.

Not long after (when we were no longer dating, for many reasons), I was doing some wetland survey work with my friend A and in the late afternoon we came upon a turkey in a leghold trap. I remember being very upset that the trapper (NOT the one I’d dated!) had not checked his lines by that time of day (though I have no idea why I knew that). The turkey had worked so hard to get out of the trap that it had totally dislocated its toe. So I cut it off (it was just skin by this point) and he ran away very quickly. I was really, really angry, and when we walked out of the woods, who did we bump into? Big, mean, and ugly trapper. You know how some people just radiate an aura that you want nothing to do with? He was one of those. I figured he’d be pissed that somebody messed with one of his traps, but I also figured it served him right. I hoped he’d wonder about finding one toe. And realize that we had cut it off. Coupla girls.

so what was good about the show?

Spending the morning with Scott, a Forest Ranger, hiding here,
docbooth
and meeting some other folks, but the best thing?

The dogs.

Here’s one, a walking announcement…
demoannounce
They were all so well behaved.

even the dreary foggy mornings are beautiful

April 5th, 2009 by knitnzu

Trek chose the pink bag! Congratulations to Trek!

in this morning’s news

Now that you’ve shot it, how do you cook it? The photos were not appealing. This is where I’m going today. Good thing I enjoy most people, even ones who I don’t share a lot with.

yesterday’s fog

Doesn’t it look like they are at the edge of the world?
fog 032

This is what is just over the edge of the world,
fog 034

I love this place. It’s just an old quarry pit (right at this photo above), but I still love it. It feels so northern to me. Not the northern forests, obviously, but still northern. Some days in some places I smell sweet fern, some days the pines, but it’s the days when I smell balsam poplar that I realize how much I like this place.

And then there’s the sound of 8 rampaging paws thundering into the water,
fog 037
(this goes away as the season gets hotter and drier).

Aren’t the colors subtle and beautiful?
fog 042 fog 038
I totally understand the mythology of people from misty cool places. Maybe at some level these stories are part of my bones.

Right now to get here, one has to walk all the way through the cemetery (after Memorial Day, the gates are open and one can drive to the back of the cemetery, which is also the local meet and great place, mostly for men).

On the left, all the “beds”, and on the right, you can almost see the tree I call The Sentinel,
fog 050 fog 062

Isn’t it lovely?
fog 058

And at home, little drops of water on the moss on our wall,
moss
If I was a really good bryologist, I’d know what this is… but I’m not and I don’t. I would guess that it’s a Bryum. If you have a vague interest in mosses, check out the International Association of Bryologists Blog, especially the topic links on the left. You’ll find some basic info (what is bryology), and course info… they have the Eagle Hill class announcements posted. I’ve always wanted to go there, but for one reason and another have not been able. Nancy Slack is teaching a class, and she’s a great teacher for beginners, as well as for more advanced students.