Sunday, July 22, 2007

The weekend book 7 came out

I picked up my book yesterday at 10:30. I had to finish up a load of laundry, so that ate into my reading time. Why yesterday and not my usual laundry day(Tuesday)? Because Raffles has not been doing good. He had gotten so weak that he couldn't make it out of the bedding without help, then it got so bad we just changed the bedding instead of stressing him. At this point he hadn't eaten in 4 or 5 days either and wasn't drinking much. So we were running out of bedding.

I held him most of the day while Techpriest was at work. For the 12th day in a row by the way. I knew from Tika's passing that Techpriest would have to realize that it was time to put him to sleep. As a former CNA(nurse aide) at a nursing home, I have seen death a lot more than he has. Makes it easier to realize when the time has come. By the time Techpriest came home Raffles was twitching, shuddering, when ever he breathed. He knew it was time to say goodbye then. I did fairly well, Techpriest was a mess.

We will bury him beside Tika. Just like what happens to many married couples, these two life long companions passed away very close together. Of the two, Raffles was always the more sedate one, relatively speaking of course. He was more likely to stop to sniff something or let you hold him while he napped. For more pictures and stories about Raffles visit ourlair.

I was hoping for more time to get used to the idea of not having any pets. We are thinking about finding a new place and that is so much easier without pets, but we have both had pets for most of our lives. The last time I did not have a pet was about 8 years ago for 2-3 months between moving out of chelle and Dan's place and moving in with Techpriest. That is also the only time I've lived alone in all my life. Boy was I lonely.

Anyway, last night about 11 I decided to not stay up all night reading, so I did get a good nights sleep, but got up today and stayed in my jammies until I finished reading Deathly Hallows. Didn't even brush my teeth or shower till then. I do have my priorities straight, don't I? Called chelle, she was done too, so we dissected the book for awhile. Called Karla, she wasn't done, so I got off the phone before I let something slip. I doubt Miranda is done so I'll leave her alone for now. And all I'm saying here is that I enjoyed the book.

Since I had been ignoring the dishes for almost 2 straight days I thought maybe I should tackle them before they got to out of hand. Then I started picking up ferret stuff. It was hard to look at, but even harder to deal with. I kept coming across something else. They had several different boxes to hide stuff in, a couple of napping spots plus the cage and accessories, supplements and health stuff. Plus, lots and lots of bedding(we had started adding old tshirts).Oh, and the clear dryer hose. Techpriest was out auto cross racing, so I spent all day alone with no weasels to keep me company, the first of many.

I am doing ok, just a little sad.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

All about Harry

I managed to finish (re)reading the 5th book in time to see the movie on Thursday and finished the 6th book Monday I think. No one who knows me doubted I could get these reread in time, reading books is just a talent of mine. The first time I read OtP(5) I didn't like it at all. Harry was too whiny and taking everything out on Ron and Hermione. This time around I did like it better, but it was still my least favorite book. I liked the movie, it was pretty good, they left out all the teen angst! It seemed a little chopped up,(who can really blame them trying to cram that huge book into movie length?) but Techpriest didn't mention it, so maybe it just seemed that way since I knew what was in the book. I was continually surprised, it seemed that though they got to the same place as the book, they took an entirely different path to get there. Once again, from cramming the book into movie length. Go see it!

Yarn-A-Go-Go mentioned her sister(I think) plays in a band called Knockturn Alley that has original Harry Potter songs. Intriguing, yes? Good songs, specially Slytherin and Hey, Hufflepuff.

From there I checked The Parselmouths out, quite good, my favorites are Love Song for Professor, and What kind of name is Hermione?

I think I need help, I'm gonna be surfing and listening to Harry Potter fanmusic for a while....
I need money too, so I can buy some stuff, fun stuff

Edit: Look at this list of Wizard Rock Groups! (yes, that is what they call themselves)
Looks like I'll be busy!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Things to Squee about

There seem to be a lot of things percolating in my brain that I'm quite excited about, I hope I remember them all!

Tomorrow I'm going to the chiropractor and renting an alpha-stim machine. It uses electrotherapy for pain management. We've been using it in the office and I have had some good results. I'm hoping by using it daily I get some great results! As a side note, my chiropractors (one while I lived in Hutch, and this one in Mac) are really the only ones that have helped me, all the regular doctors ran all sorts of tests, gave me all sorts of pills, that really never did much.

The LYS hooked me and Theresa up and we've been driving up to knit night together ever since. We, of course, have always talked about starting one up in Mac. A knit night, not a yarn store! She got in touch with the county extension office and they said they would sponsor us! Today I went over and finalized plans with them. It will actually be a fiber arts group, knitters, crocheters, cross stitchers, weavers, who ever. We start on Aug 7th, 7-9, every Tuesday!
They are going to put ads on the radio, newspaper, and some newsletters. We get to keep a key to the building(that's how small the town is), and have access to several different rooms. Hopefully we will grow out of the small one! I'm pretty sure there is a frig and coffee pot too.
Isn't that great?

Oh, and I'm planning on taking another class at Yarns. It is a Christmas stocking to learn color work. Same teacher I had for Nathan's baby sweater. I really enjoyed that class and learned a lot. I have been wanting to try colorwork for awhile now, it opens up so many new possibilities!

The best thing to squee about? Marianne thinks I'm a Rockin' Girl Blogger!

Since I think she's pretty darn cool it works out good! I'm supposed to pass this on to 5 other Rockin' Girl Bloggers, so let's see if I can narrow it down.

  • Miranda: SIL extrodinare, she fits in with my family wonderfully, actually her Mom and stepdad are invited to most of the family get togethers! I'm proud to call her a friend as well as my brother's wife and my nephew mom. She has just started her new blog so to get a sense of her humorous writing style also check out her pregnancy blog and the blog before that! Third time's the charm I guess? I'm so glad she started blogging again!
  • Karla: Yes, it is on myspace, and no you can't comment unless you have an account, I'm trying to con her into starting a normal blog. We have been friends for about 13 years now, met in the college jewerly class, boy did we have fun. She has a lot of the same interests I do, Harry Potter, any good fantasy book, 80's teen movies(anyone know who Ducky is?). She is a single Mom of a brand new teenager telling tales of her trials and triumphs.
  • Laura at Sugar Bunny Boulevard: I haven't met her yet, but I'm planning on it come Sept 15! She is the heart of the Squares for Greensburg project. I love hearing her enthusiasm for this project! She is a sweetheart and her girls are adorable!
  • Farm Mom at Children in the Corn: a great homesteading blog. I haven't commented to much, but I always look forward to her posts.
  • Prairie Gumbo: I'm fairly new to reading her blog, but she has been very entertaining so far!
People I would pick if they hadn't already been rocked! These are some wonderful ladies!
And the biggest thing to make me squee with delight?


Do you believe that? I'm not sure I do! See for yourselves, check on her sidebar click on Harlot on Tour. Sept. 16th the day after the seaming party! A whole weekend of being with fellow knitters! I don't think I can stand it! For those of you non-knitters that read my blog, the Yarn Harlot is kinda like the knitting comedian, that is the best way I have to describe her. Her books are very funny, and I hear her shows are amazingly funny.

I really can't wait!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Adventures in Honey

In the spring Techpriest was talking to one of the ladies in the courthouse about their spouses. Her husband is retired, getting a little forgetful and has some other health issues so that he needs to take it easy. He also has a huge yard with lots and lots of trees, bushes, etc. Techpriest has a wife that needs to get out of the house more often, could use a little spending money, but who you can't count on from day to day because of her headaches. Since then, the two seem to fit together fairly well. We are scheduled Mon, Wed, and Fri, but between me not feeling good, him not feeling good, and all the rain, we usually don't work all three days. We have weeded(lord have we weeded!), trimmed bushes and trees, put up the waterwheel, made some flower boxes, but the most interesting thing we have done is extract honey.

You see, he is the honey man around this parts. Most people in McPherson might not know who you are talking about if you say his name, but call him the honey man and they go "yeah, yeah, lives out on such-and-such street, right? Great honey." Yup, that's him. He has been raising bees for quite a long time.

Last year the bees didn't produce enough honey to last the whole year, HM(honey man) has been out for a couple of months now. Don't worry, I should have enough to last me! This year, he had several hives that died off. I guess he is having the same problem everyone else is having. He is not a big commercial producer though, his hives are about as natural as you can get without being hung up out in the woods.

Well, these hives did make some honeycombs before they died, so I got the fun of helping extract the honey! I thought it was quite interesting, and well worth blogging about. Now, being a brand new blogger, the first day I forgot to bring the camera. So, bear with me.

This is...well, I don't what they call it, but it has a sort of screen on it(see it on the bottom left?) that the bees build the honey combs on. Now, the first day we took these screens full of honey combs and opened them up with a scratcher(looks kinda like a pet comb, but very sharp, we cut ourselves a few times). Quite often honey would just run down once you opened them up, sometimes even popping out like they were under pressure and hitting you. As you can guess this was a very messy process. I had drops of honey all over me, my hands were coated with it, it was hot enough that I was dripping sweat, pouring in my eyes, but couldn't do anything about it since my hands were all sticky! HM said it could be worse, in the fall(aug-oct) it is usually much hotter, and the bees are flying around all over the place, but because they still have flowers to munch on they left us alone.

So after we did that we placed them in the extractor, where they would drip out all the honey. At least, that was the plan. Normally, this takes place in Aug. Normally, July is much hotter than it has been this year. Between last Monday when we put them in the extractor and Friday when we got back to them it had cooled off, rained, gotten hot again and cooled off again. Not good for the honey. One, not much of the honey was in the bottom of the extractor like it was supposed to be. The picture up above was taken on Friday and you can see there is still a lot of honey left and it has crystallized. Second, it has started fermenting. So no good for honey, HM said it would make some good mead though! I didn't know mead was made from honey, did you?

This is the top of the extractor where you load the screens.

Full view of the extractor. Emptying it out into the bucket. We only filled one bucket, that tells ya how much was left in the honey combs. There is a motor on top used to spin all the honey out.

A glimpse in the bucket. If you embiggen you should be able to see all the bits of honeycomb and dead bees floating in there. And yes, we did scrape off all the dead bees we could, but there were some tucked up in the honeycomb too. Don't worry, the strainer comes next.

Look at all the stuff the strainer caught. It actually gets strained a couple more times, but we were done for the day.

See? Much better. HM says that all the foam is from the fermenting. He really doesn't know what he is going to do with it all.

Well, I think that is it for now, talk to you all later!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

More Greensburg stuff

It seems like I have so much to talk about, mainly because I have waited to long to post. I wait until I have enough material for a good long post, then I feel like I have to have a good chunk of time to be able to post it all! So I think from now on I will try to post more often.

Just to make sure I don't forget about it, I'll start with Rebuilding Greensburg. Laura only needs 193 more squares to meet her second goal! Isn't that fantastic? I think that a lot of people are waiting to send all their squares in at once (like me), so there will probably be a deluge of squares come Aug. 1st. That second goal is gonna fly right by. Remember you can crochet squares too, in fact she has a very pretty pattern up. And no, Miranda, don't feel guilty about being to busy to crochet one, I just wanted to post it so everyone knows about it.

Laura's post today was a very good read about the project and how she feels about it. It was reaffirming why this project is important. If nothing else, it will let the people of Greensburg know that people from all over the world feel their pain and sympathize with them and are thinking about them. Just that can help a lot. There are also two links in her post to stories from the Wichita Eagle about mental health issues that are cropping up, and how the rebuilding is going.

I also wanted to let you know that Prairie Gumbo is having a contest for the Greensburg project. You do have to post pictures of your squares to your blog before Aug 16th. She is giving away a random prize and two prizes for the top two people with the most squares. The yarn looks yummy!

Laura is also needing yarn and yarn needles for the seaming party. Check her blog for more details. The seaming party is Sept 15, mark your calendars! I'm hoping to get a group together from here in Mac to ride down together, Theresa said she would go, and hopefully some friends of hers. Laura is planning on feeding us too! Doesn't it sound like fun? If you can please come! We are going to have to seam together 2240 squares! We need all the help we can get!

I knit this square today, my 8th one. My goal is to knit 10, so I'm in good shape. You know blogging does help me finish things. I wanted a picture of this square, so I had to weave in the ends and block it real quick. I hope to post again tomorrow, so watch this space!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

New look

Hey, like the new look? Miranda made me a very sweet header, didn't she? I picked out the pictures, but everything else she choose for me. Does she know me or what? Someday I might search for a good Firefly quote. Specially as now that I think about it, I seem to recall seeing this quote on some other knitting blog. I'm not really going to worry about it though. I will feel like reading Firefly quotes sometime.

Speaking of Firefly quotes, has anyone noticed the quote widget at the bottom of the blog? It is only one a day though, I was looking for one that refreshed, oh well.

Techpriest doesn't seem to think that is a very good picture of Nathan, says he has weird shadows on him because of the angle, what do you guys think? Course, Techpriest also says Nathan looks like MiniMe from Austin Powers, so you have to take what he says with a grain of salt.

I've ripped back past the heel of Miranda's sock, but haven't started knitting the heel again. Haven't knitted at all, I'll get back to it soon. I decided to start reading Harry Potter OotP and HBP so I'm ready when the next book comes out. I'm wondering if I'll get them finished in time.

Well I think that is all I have for now. I'll leave you with this picture of Nathan that hubby really thinks looks like MiniME. It is kinda funny, he looks soo pissed!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007



Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

Had to take it, had to know my chances. But I'm really not worried, Techpriest will save me. I think he has watched every zombie movie out there, and he was a very good marksman in the army, so we should be good.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Stupid socks!

These darn socks of Miranda's are going to kill me, I swear! I found different short row heel instructions here worked pretty good, I'm happy enough with it. So I started cruisin up the cuff with my little cable pattern happy as a clam. One minor opps, 4 rows down I forgot to cross a cable, no big deal, dropped the four stitches down, crossed them, brought them back up, no problem. She only wants a 3 inch cuff so finished pretty quickly and bound off.

Now, the last time I knitted a sock toe up(magic 8 cast on with a reverse gusset/heel flap) I had a problem finding a bind off that was stretchy enough for me. I don't know how many I went through, but do you think I would be smart enough to print it off, bookmark it or something? Anything? Nope, not me, apparently I never thought I would want to knit a sock toe up again, or even more unlikely, that I would actually remember the silly thing. So I go a googling, find one that seemed familiar and started. wasn't EZ's sewn bind off, though I had tried it the last time around. How about the next one? Nope not that one either, though that one was a down right bugger to pick out. Finally I find the right one (4th post down by Spinnerella)I am postive that is the same one I used last time, but the stupid sock still won't go over my heel.

What in the world is wrong with the silly thing? Does the cable pattern make it too tight? Should I add more stitches after the heel? I put it down before I would have to hurt somebody. I tried to complain to Techpriest about it, but it just isn't the same when they have no idea what you are talking about. I put it out of my mind(as much as I could) until I was reading my bloglines and I came across Wendy's post today(July 3, 2007), where she answered a commenter's question that had the same problem I do. The heel isn't deep enough, the solution? Frog all the way back to the start of the heel and do one of three things. Knit a gusset heel, a short row gusset, or knit a short row heel over more the half the stitches. Did you catch the part about ripping all my hard work out? Including the heel I worked so hard on three different times?

I'll get over it, I try to remember that I like knitting, so this just gives me more to knit right? I try to forget that if I had done a traditional heel I most likely would have finished this sock already. If I don't try something new I'll never learn anything. You all should feel sorry for Miranda, who knows what these socks are going to look like by the time I'm done?

Friday was fairly bad for me, my headache reached a 8 on the Richter scale. It took till today to get almost back to normal levels. I still went to Hutch Saturday to see Angie and Pearl, two friends of mine that I don't see enough off. Wait, that is would be all of my friends, wouldn't it? I see these two even less. It probably has been years since we really have gotten together and talked. I enjoyed it, but with the headache I really couldn't relax and enjoy it like I wanted too. I had to leave early too, before I couldn't drive the 30 minutes back home. Been having problems going to sleep too. I really don't want to get back in the habit of staying up late and sleeping late, I never get anything done.

Enough with the bitching, yes? Tomorrow we plan on going to my mom and dads to bbq. Brian, Miranda and Nathan should be there too. Baby time! I plan on making deviled eggs, yummy.

Hope everyone has a good 4th of July!

Cute couple aren't they? That's Miranda by the way, the new mommy with the stupid socks! :P