30 March 2008

Melty Sunday

It's sunny and melty outside, which makes me happy. Is it possible that Spring has actually arrived??

(Clickie to embiggerenie)

1,000 Miles North

The Hamster Blankie took my knitting mojo for a while-- it was so insanely perfect I had a hard time beginning anything else, even socks, which is sad. Thus, I decided to play around and invent something. The Interlacements red that Mum got me for Christmas was perfect to experiment making convertible mittens. I have tiny hands with short stubby fingers, so even if I found a good pattern I'd still have to make major adjustments to it.

Aren't they fun? :)

These were quick and easy-- just enough to get me back on the knitting wagon.

29 March 2008

The Hamster has Hatched!

I just got a phone call from a very groggy Bri telling me that the Hamster has hatched! He's a little early, and came by c-section, but he is healthy and strong and weighs 5 pounds and is 20 inches long. Bri says that he has red hair and looks just like her brother did when he was born. In her grogginess she just kept repeating, "I had a baby! I had a baby!" I told her to call me back sometime when she was a little less medicated. :)

More updates to come!


Maple Open House

There's been a lot of hubbub recently around here-- dead-looking trees with IV-like tubes sticking out of them, and lots of Grange-hall breakfasts being advertised, things like that. Today as I was out doing some errands I spotted a building that looked very much like it was on fire-- smoke was billowing from the roof, and there were lots of cars parked on the side of the road. It didn't seem like an emergency, but rather like a happy little party. I knew I had to join the fun when I saw this little sign:

It was the local sugarhouse, gorifying the mapley goodness that means Spring around here.

There's a little room in the back of the store where they have the boilers, and that would explain the steam (not smoke, I'm such a ninny) that I had seen billowing from the roof. The smell was heavenly, and you could see the frothy bubblyness that would soon be syrup.

Here's the steam escaping from the opening in the roof:

...And a little mini-museum they had in one corner:

And back in the main room they had bottle after bottle of syrup:

The only bad thing is that I don't particularly care for maple syrup. I like it as a discreet ingredient, a flavoring in cookies and candies and maybe on ice cream, but not as a big runny puddle on my pancakes. I have this weird reaction where if I eat it I smell like it for days-- it's really bizarre. However, I couldn't leave without buying something that was mapley, so I got some maple butter and some maple-flavored pancake mix. If I don't like them I know of a couple of parents and maybe even a sister who would like them instead.

23 March 2008

Happy Easter!

Here is a slightly disturbing video just for you. At first I was like, ummm, is this how mutant cyborg bunnies are created? And then, about twenty seconds into it, the real reason emerges-- Prepare for takeoff at Bunway Airlines! Engage manual earflaps!

My own bunnies have their own opinion, of course. Tao, with the hairdo of disapproval, disapproves.

Zen approves so much she wants to have her own video taken of her and put on YouTube. Here she is being beautiful for the camera...

...and an up-close-and-personal shot of her curious little schnozzle.

Hamster Blankie is done!

So this weekend I was determined to finish the Hamster Blankie, even though I really didn't want to end it. It has been my favorite project in a while, and it is so soft and cuddly and perfect. I had blocked it last weekend and I had been experimenting with what kind of yarn I wanted for the seam and edging. I finally decided on using a little of the Great Adirondack Yarn Company's Serengeti II, which I can't find a great picture of, but this one's close enough. It's very rainbowy and the yellows and greens and purples take the edge off all that blue and red. I just want to find a random little baby boy and wrap him up in this blanket!

Of course I don't have a place big enough in my house to model this properly, but I think you get the idea.

The final measurements of this blankie ended up being 28" X 32"-- not too big, not too small. It's a good thickness too-- sturdy enough to be drooled on and tugged on by little fingers, but not too heavy to be for winter use only.

Now all I have to do is wait for the little sprout to be born!

22 March 2008

My Weekend Part III: Bon Voyage Jess

Yeah, I've been busy, and I know it was two weeks ago, but I still have to put up Part III of my weekend. My friend Jess was moving her little family to Las Vegas, so we all got together to give her a send-off. These are all old friends from high school that I lost touch with, but thanks to MySpace we found each other again.

We pretty much spent the evening eating and drinking and playing "pass the baby." This is Jess and her beautiful baby boy F, who is a sweetheart.

Watching a dozen grown adults entertain this little munchkin was the highlight of the evening. Especially Jennie, who makes the best faces.

I had forgotten how weird we all could be. I haven't laughed that hard in a long, long time. Jennie has three kids and she was telling us all about some of the crazy things they do-- they all seem to be just like her. :)

Bye-Bye Jess! We will all miss you! Take care of that baby and have fun in Vegas!

17 March 2008

My Weekend Part II: Fun With Ellen and Kate

Since somebody's getting a little demanding, I suppose it is time to post Part II.

(I guess that boring pictures of a crummy old lighthouse, a dozen pictures of moldy rocks and a stupid tanker does not suit everyone!)

So anyways, here is Part II: Fun with Ellen and Kate.

It started out with my mother, who was making the food for this little shindig. She, of course, had to amuse herself by saying, "what you mean you don't eat no meat? That's okay, I make lamb."

Ellen likes lamb. However, lamb and all of its other varieties (mutton, haggis, entrails) is just about the #1 most disgusting thing on earth. It just smells revolting and the idea of eating something that is 90% babyfat just makes me want to hurk. I found a kindred soul in Kate who thinks that spreading mint jelly on it just raises it to a level of foulness that is beyond humane. Thus, the three carnivores in my family ate the roasted ick while Kate noshed on a sandwich and I had a bagel. Mum didn't butcher the asparagus too badly so we all had vegetables, at least.

Then we had cake. Mmmmmmmmmm cake.

Ellen had wanted a "white cake with real frosting" (not that pseudo-whipped cream crap) and so this is what Mum got. It was (I swear to God) a foot across and nine inches tall.

Cutting a slice from it was like battling the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man with a rapier. We each got a slice the size of Wyoming and then Dad piled six tons of ice cream on top.

After we ate, and after Mum and Dad had drifted into the living room, we proceeded to set our leftovers on fire.

There is something very Neanderthalish about the glassy-eyed expressions people get when they play with matches.

Kate's cake was like a little bonfire, Ellen's was rather classy with the three-tiered effect going on, and mine was pathetic.

My favorite comment was when I said, "This is how--" and I was going to finish with "--you'll always remember your 25th birthday," but Kate interrupted, "--house fires start?"

This shot of Kate adding a sprinkle of freshly-ground black pepper to hers is quite charming.

And, for our grand finale, I present to you, Popcorn Avec Frosting Brûlé en Flambé*.

*Whatever that means.

10 March 2008

My Weekend Part I: How I Entertained Myself Saturday Morning

So this weekend I went home for a little family and fun. It was Ellen's birthday and Jess's going-away party, so I knew I was in for quite a few days. Thus, I present you with the first of three posts. This first one is How I Entertained Myself Saturday Morning, the next one will be Fun With Ellen and Kate, and the last will be Bon Voyage Jess.

Part I

Saturday morning, while waiting for Ellen to arrive, I went out to Fort Williams. I know my first attempt at shooting the lighthouse sucked, so I decided to try again. Thus, for about twenty minutes, I played tourist.

When I was little (even up through middle school) I Didn't Get It-- what was the big deal about this lighthouse? The rest of Fort Williams was so much cooler-- it was like that nearly infinite expanse that is Calvin and Hobbes' backyard. There are forts and hiding places and kite-flying fields and paths and old trees everywhere, and yet everybody came for the Lighthouse.

I understand it now today, but really, there is more to see than the old blinky-blinky. This narrow gorge and the rocks, for instance, where the Annie C. McGuire fetched up.

Afterwards I walked up the hill to the big stone mansion.

Ever since I was little I have called the "Caterpillar House" because to me it looked like a big caterpillar, some big woolly bear, lying at the top of the hill, just watching people.

The skeletal remains of this place have now been deemed "unsafe," although I remember it always being unsafe. Even though there was always the danger of being beaned in the head with a falling brick, you could still wander about inside the place. Now there are stupid chain link fences everywhere, keeping people out.

It's still eerily beautiful, though. These slabs of stone probably were the beginnings of my deep fascination with The Abandoned.

I love all the angles. There is so much to see once you look.

This is my favorite picture that I took this entire weekend, just because it all came together so perfectly:

And of course, being the nearsighted kind of person I am, here are some close ups:

When I was little I always thought it was big deal for a tanker to go by. The utterly huge behemoths with their barely-audible low bass thrums always made me happy. I loved watching them start out so small, just a little speck, and then grow bigger and bigger until they were the only thing in the whole ocean. Dad would tell me they were ugly smelly things (often filled with disgusting things like tapioca roots) but I still loved them. So when I walked out to the end of the road and past the fort, I saw a tanker starting to make its move into the bay.

After about ten minutes of being entirely engrossed in the progression of this monstrosity, I finally turned around and started back to the car. When I gave one last look back, I saw this little boy, still enraptured by the sight of this beast:

It's good to know I'm not the only one who gets lost while watching these things.