The Weaving Inn

Home to the knitting world's anti-Finisher. Kind of like the anti-Christ, but with a smaller following.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Scarf, A Shrub, A Chicken

Hooray ... it's done. Finally, after I don't even want to think about how many months, the Irish Hiking Scarf is complete. Doesn't Mr. Lampshade make a lovely model? This is a shorter version than the original pattern. It's more of a "cross in the front, tuck in your cashmere coat" type scarf. The color and the yarn seemed to lend itself to something more elegant, as opposed to a sporty, wrap around your neck version. To recap, this was done in Louisa Harding's "Kashmir Aran" on US 8's. I *think* I used five balls and the finished scarf is 44".

Pre- Goat

Isn't this a lovely shrub? Look at the shiny green leaves. The abundance of those same leaves. Look at the price tag. Oops, can't see it? $29.99.


Look at the decimated shrub. Look at the spindly branches. Poor plant, little did it know it was to become a goat buffet. Elapsed time from pre to post goat - 45 minutes. Why don't I simply set my money on fire? Anybody have any brush they need cleared?

Today was cleaning day in the pen. Here are Stanton and Leland helping me clean their dog house. I had always thought that cats were the most curious animals on the planet. Let me assure you, they've got nothing on goats. EVERYTHING must be sniffed and inspected. Oh look, a leaf just blew in the pen - WHAT IS IT WHAT IS IT? CAN I EAT IT?

Speaking of which, I'd like to address a common myth surrounding goats. Contrary to popular belief, they will not eat EVERYTHING. Trust me. For example, they will not eat Triscuit crackers, Corn Nuts, apple fritters, dry roasted peanuts, pumpkins, raisins, apples, carrots, three different varieties of horse cookies, or parsley. However, they will eat the driest, deadest leaf they can possibly find. And my jeans. I wear tasty jeans.

And just because, here is Mr. Fuzzyfeet.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Animals And Bathroom Behavior

The Face Of Stupidity

Friday night I got home about 8:30. Generally all three of my furry co-inhabitants are there to greet me at the door. This is not out of love, it's due to the fact that the first thing I always do when I get home is feed them. Last night though, I was only greeted by Wilma and DeeDee.

The first thing I did was check the walkway. Andy can be very quick when he has to and sometimes he'll sneak right by when I open the door. Nope, no cat out there. Kitchen? No cat. Fridge? No cat. Let me mention here that if my apartment is 500 square feet I'd be surprised. There aren't a lot of places to hide.

Bedroom? No cat. I then noticed that the bathroom door was closed. I tapped on the door.

Me: Andy?

Andy: Meow.

Me: What are you doing in there?

Andy: Meow.

Me: Do you want out?

Andy: Meow.

Yes indeed. Somehow my highly intelligent cat had locked himself in the bathroom. I have no idea how long he'd been in there but I'd been gone for at least 12 hours. However there were no messes to clean up, thankfully, so perhaps he'd only been in there oh .... four or five hours.

Today I went to visit the goats. As I mentioned earlier in the week, Stanton took the first brave step and sat in my lap. It was Leland's turn today. And oh goodness, wasn't he thrilled!

"Whoa, I can almost see into the chicken coop!" "Hey look, there's the creek!" "I can see the other goats now!" "I'm taller than Stanton!" "Wow, I'm so happy I could shit!" "Wait, that's a GREAT idea!"

Plop, plop, plop.

My goat shit on me.

Right in my lap. Twenty or so little goat pellets. A gift for Mom.

This would not be so bad, I mean they're pretty solid and all, but this was my last pair of clean jeans. So on the way home I decided, heck, I'll just pop into Macy's, snag a pair of jeans and be in and out in 10 minutes. Things rarely happen like one plans, do they?

I had not even set foot over the threshold of Macy's when I heard, "Hey April, whatcha doing at the mall?"

I look up and there is my co-worker Abed. Not Achair, ATable or ACouch but Abed. I really like Abed which is saying a lot. I generally hate my co-workers. There he stands, looking all suave in a brown leather jacket, with matching dress pants and a shirt. I am standing in a goat shit encrusted pair of jeans, a Yankees shirt with a big hole in it from where a horse bit me, with hay in my hair.

This. Is. Just. Great.

It turns out that Abed is a "spritzer." You know, those charming individuals who stand in the cosmetics department imploring you to let them bathe you in the latest perfume. This is Abed's weekend job. And forget college, be a spritzer. He makes $20.00 an hour.

Abed is a very friendly, warm person and he goes, "Hey there!" and gives me a big hug. A BIG hug. And then he backs up very slowly. Sorta sniffs the air. Looks me up and down and says, "Errr, lemme get you some SAMPLES!"

I guess I smelled even worse than I thought.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Frosty Feline

I just don't understand. Why does Andy have such a fascination with sitting in the fridge? It hasn't even been hot here lately. Yet every time I open the fridge door he comes flying out of nowhere and jumps on the bottom shelf. And then it's nearly impossible to get him out. I have to grab all four legs and pull him out. Sometimes a paw will get stuck on the vegetable crisper and he winds up in there. I've tried shutting the door for 15 minutes to scare him but no, I open it back up and he's sitting there, all bright eyed and cheerful.

Not only that but three weeks ago he began "storing" his toys in the bathtub. This morning I drowned a catnip mouse. There's at least three toys in there every day. I'm sure my neighbors downstairs are particularly thrilled when he starts batting his rawhide bone around in the tub. That makes a really great noise. It must be because he's a boy cat, no self respecting girl cat would ever engage in such undignified behavior.

Leland has made a full recovery from whatever was ailing him. I haven't heard him cough all week and he seems to have put on a pound or two. Stanton has decided that maybe I'm not so bad after all. Last night as I was sitting in my chair he jumped into my lap and lay down. He stayed there for about 10 minutes while I scratched his neck. Lordy, he gives off a lot of heat. Everyone should own a goat. Or two.

Thank you for all the nice compliments regarding the Irish Hiking Scarf. It took me a while to decide which yarn to use for it and I'm quite pleased with the Louisa Harding. I'd highly recommend it for anything where you want the stitches to pop. It's also extremely easy to untangle if a cat gets hold of it. Like say, one of those cats that likes to hang out in the fridge.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

This Week's Goal

This week's goal is to finally finish this ...

An Irish Hiking Scarf. It's been on the needles since the Spring. I'm not quite sure why it's lingering in my knitting bag. The yarn is delightful (Louisa Harding's Kashmir Aran), the pattern is very simple and I'm extremely fond of the person I'm knitting it for. I have one ball and a bit left to knit and then it will be finished. No fringe. I'm of the mind that men's scarves shouldn't be fringed.

Proving that there's a publishing market for just about any subject, we have my current reading material. A book on the recommended diet for male goats who no longer have their little dingleballs. That's it. That's the entire book. I am now an expert on the calcium - phosphorus ratio of a multitude of types of hay. I am familiar with symptoms of mineral definciences in young goats. Are your hooves deformed? Well you need more Zinc. And don't forget that wheat germ oil is a good Spring tonic! All this and more for only $16.95.

Finally, if anyone could explain to me why NBC is airing repeats of LAST SEASON'S Law & Order CI and SVU when we're not even a month into the new season, I'd really appreciate it.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Two Ugly Socks, Two Cute Goats

One can get a lot of knitting done when one has a bashed ankle. The somewhat unattractive Zig Zag socks are finished. And you know what? They're even umm ... less attractive in person. I ran out of yarn at the start of the toe decrease on the second sock. Most knitters would simply frog the toe on the first sock and knit the two toes in the same yarn. BUT NOT ME! No, my motto is onwards, always onwards.

So I pulled out two skeins of yarn that I *thought* would closely resemble the original yarn, combined them, and knitted the toe. Oddly enough, as I was knitting I thought to myself, "Hey this IS remarkably close." HA. Wrong. These socks will never be worn with open toed shoes.

Poor little Leland. Despite an original diagnosis of lungworm and a good dose of wormer, he's still been coughing. I may not be neurotic about my socks, but I am about my pets. Yesterday they had a vet clinic at the barn so I coaxed the vet to come and take a look at him. This was a different vet and he made it somewhat obvious that a goat examination was a bit like slumming for a highly qualified horse doctor. Whatever. He listened to Leland's lungs, pronounced them clear and then took his temperature. Leland was a trooper and stood quietly the entire time.

But my buddy has a temperature so now he's on antibiotics. Melissa, if you're reading this it's "Oxytet." Anyway, they have to be administered by injection. The vet asked if I was OK giving Leland a shot every day for seven days and I was all cavalier and waved my hands in the air and said, "Oh no problem!"

"Inject this directly into his hamstring muscle," said the vet. "You can start today."

Hamstring? Do I know where a hamstring is on a goat? I sort of felt around on my leg to remind myself where a hamstring is on a human and decided to umm ... go for it. Managing to distract Leland with a small bowl of grain, I went around to his back end and grabbed a leg. There wasn't much medicine in the syringe so it only took a moment to give him the shot.

And then Leland screamed.

And then he collapsed to the ground.


I flop on the ground beside him and start feeling for a pulse. I've got his little hoof in my hand and I'm running my finger up and down his leg. No pulse! Then I put my hand on his tummy to see if he's breathing. Christ, I don't know where a goat's lungs are! They could be ANYWHERE! Finally he looks up at me with the saddest expression you could possibly imagine and gives a plaintive little "baaaaa."

Wasn't it nice of the vet to forewarn me that these antibiotics HURT when they're adminstered? Stupid jerk. And wasn't it nice of him to forget to tell me they need to be refrigerated? So we'll be throwing out the rest of the medicine because it was Africa hot here today and they'll be ruined now. My poor little monkey.

In an attempt to get Leland to forgive me, I might have given him a bit of extra hay last night.

And I just *know* you want a bumper sticker like this ...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Nursing Staff

Is that gross or what? Thursday afternoon I went to the doctor and her diagnosis was "chipped bone, ugly ankle, elevate for 48 hours." So yesterday I was off work AGAIN. I'm getting a lot of knitting done but I'm also starting to talk back to the T.V.. "Yeah Spencer, you're gonna DIE." Everyone is pregnant on "One Life To Live", Martha Stewart showed me how to make fairy wings from used pantyhose and wire coat hangers, and if I order now, I can get two Speedy Swifter brooms for only $19.95.

Fortunately, I have a cracker jack team of nurses standing by to make sure my ankle heals quickly so that I can get back to work.

Here we have Nurse Wilma inspecting the pillow that my foot is supposed to be resting on. It's a good thing I don't have a really fat foot (well except for the swollen part). Nurse Wilma doesn't like to be disturbed.

Nurse DeeDee awaiting instruction by the medicine cabinet. Observe her alert expression! The look of pure concentration! Focus, DeeDee, focus! Who knows when that wall may go into cardiac arrest!

Yes, I don't know what I'd do without my nursing staff to closely monitor my condition and bring me cold drinks and magazines. But as we've all seen on "ER" the medical profession can be exhausting. The long hours, the stress, the relentless pace, it's overwhelming at times.

Friday, 11am

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Little Boys And Goats

Kids these days seem to be a whole lot smarter than when I was growing up. They're on the computer almost before they can walk, they're solving the mysteries of life in second grade and by high school, well of course they know everything. However, if you pit the intelligence of an 8 year old boy against 2 goats, well ...

Enter Austen, one of the many fans of the goats. Austen likes to take pictures of the goats with his dad's digital camera and generally hang out in the pen with me. Last night was no different. But this time he showed up right at feeding time. I was on my way to clean the goats trough and fill it with fresh hay and Austen wanted to stay in the pen with the goats.

Me: You can stay here but you have to stay IN the pen. You can't get out until I come back or the goats will try and escape. Are you OK with that?

Austen: Yeah, I just wanna pet the goats.

I sauntered off, trough under my arm to the hay barn. I stopped to pat a few horse noses and talked to a feral cat or two. I was gone all of maybe 10 minutes. When I got back to the pen Austen was standing OUTSIDE the pen and the goats were standing in a pile of leaves, also OUTSIDE the pen.

Austen: They got out.

Fortunately, goats are very food motivated. Once Leland saw I was bringing dinner he followed me back into the pen. But Stanton? Oh no, he was FREE. Frolic! Dance! Run! Buck! There I was, in the dark, chasing a goat.

Do you think it's broken? Yep, that's my ankle. And as if a badly sprained ankle wasn't enough, when I finally did catch Stanton he managed to express his displeasure by peeing on me. All I can say is, IT'S A GOOD THING THEY'RE SO DAMN CUTE.

Now let's look at something a little prettier than my grossly swollen ankle.

Yes, it's more Cabin Cove Mercantile. But I have an excuse this time! Dave's putting away the dye pot for the remainder of the year because he deserves a rest. So what's for sale in the store is all there will be until next year. And what if I run out of sock yarn in the next two months? IT COULD HAPPEN. Like if my apartment burned down. So get you and your credit card over to Dave's store and get yourself something this beautiful before it's all gone.

Since me and my ankle are home today I managed to finish the first Rowan Tapestry sock. And I have to be totally unhumble here and say I love it. I really do. It fits perfectly and it's very warm and snuggly. And if you'd told me six months ago that one day I would knit a sock by simply making it up as I went along, I would have told you that you were one DPN short of a set.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tonka - Not Just Trucks

Traci, my co-worker and partner in crime, has purchased another horse. Let’s all say hello to Tonka. No, he’s not a baby. He’s actually six years old and that’s as big as he’s going to get. The top of his head reaches my waist. I refer to him as a “lawn ornament” but he’s actually a Shetland Pony/Miniature Horse cross.

Tonka weighs about 400 pounds and has a mind of his own. A very intelligent mind, which is something ponies are known for. This is why you can teach them all kinds of fun tricks. I once knew a pony that could bow, give kisses and shake a hoof. And there’s nothing quite as comical as watching a pony run, their little legs are like pistons. Tonka will be doing a lot of running as he’s a trifle overweight.

On the yarn front, I might be reevaluating my stance on “brown plus blue equals ewww.” This is Rowan’s Tapestry yarn on US 4’s in a very simple garter stitch rib. Kind of a narrow looking sock, eh? But worry not, I tried it on and it fits quite nicely.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Signs It's Payday

New magazines! The Interweave Knits has quite a few nice patterns in it, particularly if you like scarves. There are at least three or four scarf patterns but I guess they’re the universal gift when you’re a knitter. I happen to enjoy knitting scarves because there’s NO FINISHING. Unless of course they’re lace and then they’re destined to sit in a Ziploc baggie for all eternity since I can’t block to save my life. Haven’t looked at the Vogue Knitting yet because I’ve been busy … knitting.

Malabrigo for either “My So Called Scarf” or the reversible scarf pattern posted by the Yarn Harlot last week. This is going to be for a co-worker who keeps bugging me to teach her to knit but then never follows through. It’ll either inspire her or quench her desire for a knitted item and then I won’t need to teach her. I’m hoping for the latter.



From the Cavy Shop on Etsy we have two different color ways, both DK weight yarn. Yes, I am still making socks as thick as your wrist thank you very much. Sure they’re missing the finesse of fingering weight socks but my fingers don’t cramp and my shoulders don’t go into spasms so its lumberjack socks for me. And at only 48 stitches per round we’re goin’ zOOooOOoom. Well zoom as in turtle zoom. Not zoom as in Wendy Johnson zoom.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

One Ugly Sock, Two Cute Goats

Knitting in a goat pen. This is what my life has become. Thankfully neither of the goats shows an interest in yarn or bamboo DPNs, unlike some cats I know. They also don't ask a million and one questions such as, "Is that sock for the goat?" And so I present to you, Ugly Sock #1. Enhanced in it's ugliness by my lily white leg. However, it is quite comfy and it fits and my experiment worked. What we have is here is two strands of Vesper yarn knitted on US 3's using Cavyshops "Zig Zag Sock" pattern (link in sidebar). The pattern is originally written for DK weight yarn which more or less equals two strands of fingering. Now if it would tone itself down a bit, things would be grand.

Saturday is the designated major cleaning day in the goat pen. Each day the pen gets swept and the food trough emptied, washed and refilled. But come Saturday it's time to change the shavings in the dog house, empty and clean the water trough and do a SERIOUS sweep. Leland and Stanton's response to all this activity?

"Don't mind us, we'll just sit here and chew our cud."

That's the dog house they're sitting on top of. The boys are now 4 months old and entering puberty. This has resulted in a lot of head butting, prancing and the waving of hooves. Leland will also occasionally try and head butt my hand just to let me know he's boss.


I guess he figures if he can boss his brother around, he can tell me what to do as well. He's still the friendlier of the two and loves to give kisses. He'll also bite your nose if you get too close. Fortunately for me and my nose, his teeth are pretty small. Since he's the more laidback of the pair we're going to start leash training in two weeks in preparation for his debut in the show ring sometime next year (hopefully).


Mr. Cautious is ever so slowly coming around. He doesn't bolt any more if I put my hand on him and I managed to snag one kiss this week. Any sudden movements though and he's gone. But that's fine with me, he can be whatever kind of goat he wants to be. I have issues with people who own animals and then expect them to "behave" in a certain manner. As long as he's happy, safe and healthy it's all good.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

SMACK or CRASH. Hard To Say.

Is this year OVER yet?

You all know Iris, my lovely co-worker. Her car is in the shop this week having major surgery and I've been her chauffeur since she lives all of 10 minutes from me.

There we were this morning, happily driving down Montague Expressway, chatting away. I turned to say something to her and SMACK. Or was it CRASH. Might have been CRUNCH. Yeah, CRUNCH I think. I rear ended the guy in front of me.

As Iris tells it, since I'm not sure what happened because I wasn't WATCHING THE ROAD, someone cut the car in front of me off. The car in front of me stopped suddenly, me ... not so suddenly. Since we were only going about 20 miles an hour there was no damage to my bumper. Well none that was glaringly obvious. I regulary drive into stationary objects since I have zero depth perception. Which is why I usually keep a healthy distance between the car in front of me and myself. NOT TODAY THOUGH.

Emil, the nice man I hit, gave me his business card with his cell phone number. This thrilled Iris to no end because she was quite smitten with Emil. In fact, she was out of the car before I was. Flirting away on the side of the road while I tried to find my insurance card. Then as we were driving away, Iris looked at me and said, "Oh my heart, my heart." I of course immediately assumed she was having an accident related heart attack and started to panic. But as it turned out, it was simply Cupid's arrow piercing her heart. Iris can be quite poetic, she's Greek you know.

So. How's your morning been?

On a happier note, we have TWO winners in the "Spread The Gospel Of Cabin Cove Mercantile" contest. Congratulations to Abby and Libby. Libby, I already have your address, Abby I think I lost yours. If you could refresh my memory via it would be most appreciated.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Danger - Hay

Have you ever thought about how many times the letter "I" is used in the English language? A lot more than you'd think. Or at least, a lot more than I thought.

Last night as I was fixing Leland and Stanton's dinner I somehow managed to slice my finger open on a blade of HAY. This is about a million times worse than a paper cut. And the injured finger just happens to be the middle finger of my right hand. The one I use for typing the letter "I". Does anyone know of a language that I could quickly learn and that doesn't use the letter "I" quite so much as English?

What makes this whole situation even more ridiculous is that I bought a pair of gloves to wear while I'm doing goat chores. Because last week, as I was SWEEPING I got a blister. Am I truly hopeless or what? But last night I didn't bother to put on the stupid things because I was simply filling their trough with hay. And FYI, my head still hurts from when I ran into the hitching post.

Yesterday I posted that I was knitting with what might be the quintessential (I love that word, can you tell?) sock yarn. I was wrong. Yes, that makes twice in 46 years I've been wrong. Anyway, I should have known better. Because I had yet to knit anything with my lovely stash of Cabin Cove Mercantile. All of the skeins I've bought from Dave have been so gorgeous I've been afraid to use them. Something about not doing justice to the beauty of the yarn.

But keeping it in a Rubbermaid container isn't doing it any justice either. So last night I cast on, despite the near fatal injury to my finger, with this work of art. And let me tell you, all two of my blog readers, THIS is the sock yarn of choice. Soft? Oh heck, yeah. Splitty? Hell no. Color? Phenomenal. It's dreamy.

Have you ever read "A Confederacy Of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole? After I read that book I immediately went out and bought about six copies for all my friends because it was such an incredible book. That's kinda how I feel about this yarn. So now I need to spread the gospel of Cabin Cove Mercantile and that means it's CONTEST TIME!!! WeeEEeeEEee! Simply leave a comment and I'll do that random number generator thinger and we'll have a lucky winner tomorrow. Maybe two winners.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hope Springs Eternal

I like to think that I have pretty decent taste in yarn. However, the picture above might indicate otherwise. Umm. Yeah. Well. I suppose I could blame it on my monitor. That the colors didn't REALLY look like this. Or I could lie and say someone gave it to me. Or that it was a real deal and I only paid a dollar for it. But no. I bought it and paid full price for it. Why? Well because I read on one of the eight bazillion sock boards I frequent that this yarn was the quintessential sock yarn. And you know what? They might be right.

This particular yarn is a JOY to knit with. Which may be why I'm already on the foot. That and I'm knitting it double stranded on US 3's. You see, my little fingers refuse to knit with anything smaller. This is an experiment to see if I can get a decent fabric using two strands of sock weight and larger DPN's. Yeah, they'll probably be too thick to wear in my sneakers but hey, I live in California, I can wear Birkenstocks all year long with socks and be a total geek. Now if only this yarn would magically transform itself into a color I actually LIKE.

I'm sure you've seen them while you've been standing in line at the grocery store. Those glossy booklets proclaiming, "500 Healthy Casserole Recipes From Cheez Whiz!", "Homemade Cakes From A Mix!", "Crock Pot Cuisine - A Photo Of Each Recipe!". Well now, they've added knitting to the mix (no pun intended). For the low, low price of $3.99 I snagged this little gem the other day at Safeway. The first half of the book is a very decent primer on knitting which is then followed by 17 baby patterns. And they're nice patterns to boot. Here's hoping the instructions don't read, "Cast on 68 stitches, add one 14 oz. can peeled and crushed tomatoes."

Monday, October 09, 2006


The mighty Socks Of Doom are done! And at nine days from start to finish we have a new record for knitting socks. I realize nine days is a lot to some people but for April, the World's Slowest Knitter, it's an accomplishment. Of course we must mention that these were done on US 5's with DK weight yarn but I'll pat myself on the back regardless. Knitty McKnitchicken, your days are numbered!

You never know what's going to turn up at the ranch. This is an American Kestrel by the name of "Axe." He's owned by a young girl named Anne. Anne and her father rescue birds of prey and rehab them. Axe was found with his wings covered in oil but he's definitely on the mend now. Did you know that kestrels do not build their own nests? Nope, the little monsters just find a nest built by another bird and move in. I guess when you're a hawk you can behave like that.

Yes, I know, we're all sick to death of goat pictures. But since I spent most of yesterday sitting in a goat pen knitting, what do you expect? I'm sure there are a number of you that may be wondering, "Why the hell would anyone want to sit in a pen all day with goats?" I think I might have it figured out. Well first of all, goats are the cutest animals in the world. But you also need to take into account that I am an apartment dweller. I don't have a backyard I can saunter out to anytime I feel the need to be outdoors. My apartment doesn't have a balcony either. So this little 12' X 24' pen is my piece of nature. I've got a comfy chair to sit in, a beautiful creek 30 feet away and two little guys who were engaged in rather hysterical head butting competition yesterday. And they have a new Tiny Tykes slide to play on!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Caution - Stationary Objects

Generally speaking, the only danger you'll find at a horse ranch are the actual horses themselves. You could get stepped on, kicked, bit, the list goes on. Unless of course, your name is April.

The area that Leland and Stanton are in has no electricity. Since the ranch is basically out in the middle of nowhere it gets very dark at night. So yesterday on my way to see the goats I stopped at Ace Hardware and bought a battery operated lantern.

These three goats are also at the ranch. They belong to a lady who gives lessons to little kids and she owns four or five horses. Unfortunately the goats are somewhere near the bottom of the importance list. So I've taken over the care of them. Each day I make sure they've got water and I share my goats grain with them. They're in a pen with a lovely wooden roof. The roof is kind of low so when you're in the pen you have to walk bent over.

Last night I took my handy dandy new lantern and went into the pen to get their dish. I turned around to walk back out and BAM! Smacked my forehead right into the cross beam of the roof. Luckily it was only my head, otherwise I might have been in serious trouble. Savannah and Alexandra were watching me and there was a qreat hue and cry as I bounced off the cross beam.

It's always nice to have an audience when you do something really stupid.

After reassuring them that I was fine they ran off in search of other people doing stupid things. Five minutes later I tripped over a log and sprained my ankle.

As I was beginning to wonder if my new lantern was a jinx, Alexandra came running up asking to borrow it as the light in the bathroom was out. Savannah REALLY had to go. We hightailed it off in the direction of the bathroom.

Have you ever seen one of those cartoons where someone gets hit in the head with a frying pan and it makes that really cool WAH WAH WAH noise? That was the sound my forehead made as I ran into the hitching post. Traci, who was standing a good twenty feet away, actually heard the collision between my forehead and the metal post. Why we have a hitching post that high is beyond me.

No, I hadn't been drinking. Really. And other than seeing baby goats along the side of the road all the way home and a big bump on my head, I think I'm OK. Maybe.

OK, enough stupid April tricks. This is Suzie Q, a pure bred Halflinger mare. Isn't she gorgeous? Her owner has painted the entire inside of her stall. It's covered in rolling hills, with Halflingers scattered about and people reclining beneath trees.

And this little sweetie is Maggie May. She's three months old and is 3/4 Brussels Griffon and 1/4 chihuahua. They don't get much cuter or more precious than little Maggie. I wish she was mine but no, she belongs to Emily, a girl who rides at the ranch.

In Sock Wars news, I'm still alive and on the foot of Weapon #2. Since there's no mail delivery now until Tuesday because of the holiday it *might* be safe to say I'm set to kill my original target. Barring any more collisions with stationary objects.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Feedin' Time

After a bit of a scare, the goats are settling in nicely. Leland has been fighting a cough since the day I got him and it has been getting progressively worse over the last few days. Goats are somewhat susceptible to respiratory illnesses so I was quite concerned. The ultimate diagnosis? Lungworm. It's exactly what it sounds like it would be. However, after a dose of wormer followed by a shot of acidophilus, he's on the mend. Back to bossing his brother around and getting his fair share of hay.

There's definitely a goat hierarchy going on in my "herd." That's Leland err ... standing and Stanton nibbling away on the bottom. Stanton defers to Leland in just about every situation but especially when food is involved. And no, my goat's eyes are not generally so possessed looking. Although goats eyes are a bit strange.

To me all hay looks the same but Stanton was obviously looking for something special in this batch.

Here we have the Double Decker Goat Buffet. I have NO idea how Leland can be comfortable sitting in the manger like that. But that's generally where he is when it's dinner time. Occasionally Stanton will get up there but Leland soon comes along and shoves him out.

They're slowly getting less timid. I can now sit within about a foot of them when they're eating. And if he's feeling particularly brave, Leland will come up and lick my arm. They also run to the gate and start bleating when they see me walking down the path. Which warms my frigid heart to no end. I'm sure they're just saying, "Here comes the food dispenser!" but I like to think they love me. Even though I've only had them a week I can't imagine life without them now. They have such distinct personalities; I'm starting to think that goats are a lot smarter than people give them credit for. Everyone should own a goat or four!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Knit, Knit, Knit

It may surprise some of you to hear that I have not been spending all my free time sitting in a goat pen. Oh no. Not even.

For at this very moment I am embroiled in the bitterest of conflicts, the height of subterfuge, the pinnacle of mortal combat. I am participating in ...


Behold, my first weapon! Knit secretly on Debbie Bliss Merino DK, using my arsenal of US 5 DPN's this is the SOCK OF DOOM. OK, so maybe pink isn't a very doom-like color but work with me here. This battle has been a struggle from the get go. First, well ... I forgot I signed up. Then my dossier with the pattern and my target was five days late getting to me. Something about a hurricane in the north of England? I don't know. But once I got my troops lined up we were off and running. As I finished the heel I realized I had taken a different route from the original plan of attack and had to call in my Five Star General, trek, for technical assistance.

I've now completed the ribbing on my second weapon and am desperately hoping to launch my offensive before my assassin tracks me down. Wish me luck, comrades, it's a messy business this war stuffs.

Awaiting my return from battle is this little bit of loveliness ...

"Duck Season" (will the killing never end?) from Fearless Fibers. In a light worsted weight, or alternatively, a heavy DK weight. I'm going to use it to make more Socks of Doom because frankly, this pattern kicks serious buttage. The more observant of you will notice that I have willingly purchased a yarn containing both blue AND brown. And we all know that brown plus blue equals ewwww. But not when it's a representation of nature, as in Mallard Ducks. That's April Logic for you.

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Mixed Bag

As promised ...

More works of art from the VERY talented Dave, over at Cabin Cove Mercantile. From left to right, Blue Sky in 100% merino, Bitchin' Barbie in 100% silk and last but not least, my personal favorite, a blend of 50% wool / 50% silk. No specific patterns in mind for any of them (suggestions welcome) but all extremely fondle-able. Is that a word? Oh and a very big THANK YOU to Dave because I did not order the Bitchin' Barbie, it was included as a giftie. Cuz he's just that nice, our Dave is.

You know how some *old* people get set in their ways? They refuse to embrace modern technology after having had to walk six miles uphill in the snow to get to school? Yeah, that's me. This is my new camera. The one I bought oh ... two weeks ago. I don't like it. Why? It's got one of those big honkin' viewfinders on the back. So that you don't need to hold it up to your face to see what you're taking a picture of. So that you can share pictures IMMEDIATELY with family and friends. I don't WANT a big viewfinder. I want a little viewfinder. Dagnabbit I've spent 30 odd years taking pictures with a small viewfinder, I can't change now.

Therefore, my purchasing error may be your gain. I'm sellin' this little beauty for the low, low price of $75.00. Regular price was $149.00. I'm also throwin' in a xD card so you can take OH MY GOD 150 pictures. And I'm also throwin' in one of the many card readers I bought for it. PRIORITY shipping included. Wow.

It's almost that time of year again. That magical time where I attempt to drive myself insane by writing a novel of 50,000 words in ONE MONTH. Oh yes, November 1st signals the return to late nights, lots of coffee and a steady intake of chocolate. For those of you who may be mathmatically challenged that means I'll be writing 1,667 words a day. EVERY DAY. Because if you miss more than a day, you're doomed. I managed to finish in 2004, got stuck at the starting gate in 2005 and am all fired up for this year. If only I had a plot.

What fabulous prize will I win if I finish my 50,000 words by November 30th? Umm ... a link to a site where I can download a suitable for framing certificate of accomplishment. Whoa.

Are you with me? Sure you are! More details on National Novel Writing Month may be found here. You may even want to purchase a digital camera to record this stupendous event. I'm just saying.