So I get this e-mail from my sister today wherein she proves once more that she beats her elder sister hands down in the realm of cookie decorating. And painting, too, but that’s not the discussion here. She’s an awesome cookie decorator, and today took time out to get these guys ready for the big Hobbit opening night.
And guess what? She didn’t get this idea from a decorating site! Like…I…would…have… 😉
In which, I get very, very random…..consider yourselves warned.
I’m afraid my progress was next to nil on the Gandalf gloves this week. I did get within three rows of the increase, but when I had a large amount of knitting time on my hands out of the home the other day, I realized to my chagrin that I had accidentally left home without my fourth needle. I was rather afraid to attempt without it, so I didn’t. However, I did catch a picture of the wrist so far….
Don’t the needles add a great effect to the wrist? And the little bauble? Okay, ignore the bauble. I happen to like fancy stitch markers, especially when working with a dark color (Cobblestone Heather from KnitPicks Wool of the Andes collection). But I must say the needles encircling the wrist had a rather fearsome effect that is wholly alien to my personality.
Probably not to his personality, though. This Dwalin fellow here…what can I say? Except that I totally agree with the person who suggested that this particular Dwarf could easily ride a Harley to the Lonely Mountain. I can see that. I can also see him taking the place of the Boromir spoof: “One does not simply ROCK into Mordor.” Or maybe really mix my sci-fi fantasy here and suggest that “Revenge is a dish best served cold” wouldn’t be a problem with this guy, either.
So, why am I working on a pair of men’s fingerless mitts anyway? The Hobbit had a lot to do with it. I was browsing picture galleries of the trailers to see the details in the scenery (I told you, I covet half of Bilbo’s furniture), and I noticed a lot of knitting had been going on in the costume department. Even Gandalf is sporting fingerless mitts this winter.
And I thought to myself…hmm, why not? I’ve always wanted to try to make some, and I bet there’s a Tolkien buff out there who wouldn’t mind a pair…. So we’ll see. I think I’ll have my husband model the next picture, so long as I don’t include the needles and the bauble. After all, I’m not a man, and would feel silly modeling the finished gloves. 😉
As for reading this week, I finally finished my Wodehouse shelf rampage. I read two books cover to cover that I hadn’t touched before, or read all the way: Psmith, Journalist and A Prefect’s Uncle. I love The Indiscretions of Archie, a title that sounds more than it is. Finally Psmith in the City rounded it out, mainly because just as I thought I had read the last tome, I saw it sitting there. Now I confess after that was done, I put novels aside because my Nov./Dec. edition of The English Homearrived, complete with Christmas supplement. It is indeed too early to be reading such things, but I couldn’t help myself. After all, it’s only a month and a day until “Stir-Up Sunday” and my annual baking of our Christmas pud! Huzzah!
Whew…Yarn, Tolkien, obscure Klingon reference, odd Rock reference, Gloves, Wodehouse, Britain, Christmas, Advent, and figgy pudding. All in one post!
Recently Haus Meister and I have been revisiting our old plans to buy a half-share of beef from our favorite local USDA approved grass-fed beef farmer. We’ve been regular customers from him for a good two years now, if not more, and we could probably be on first name basis if I could recall whether I had actually ever introduced ourselves. His dad sells his own garden produce at their spot in our farmer’s market, so this summer when we didn’t need meat we’d still go over and get some green goodness. The two of them were highly amused by Dino and his John Deere hat, as well as Dino’s constant request for sausage whenever we visited their area. This guy also sells the BEST sausage, but not in bulk so we’d still be able to go visit them a couple times a month.
Anyway, when we moved here we fully planned to get a large chest freezer and begin bulk-buying our meat, as it does turn out to be cheaper in the long run although you do lay out a chunk of change at the outset. However, as 2011 rolled on and our old house didn’t sell like we were told it would (still renting), and we had that toilet pipe fiasco that led to a basement overhaul (paid for by insurance, fortunately–but we added a woodstove since we were already remodeling anyway), the chest freezer idea was abandoned until later. Now it looks like it might just be “later.”
In the interest of saving a buck I decided to take a gander on Craigslist to see what’s out there. The first listing promised the best freezer ever, but neglected the important aspect: dimensions. The second listing looked better. An older freezer, pretty dinged up on the lid but seriously capable of storing probably a whole cow and not just half. Not sure about the energy ratings, however, and it did remind me of a comic I cut out of the paper umpteen years ago when the Papa Grizzly is bending into his freezer and the thought balloon above his head reads: “Sigh. That’s the last of the Mohicans.” I still snicker about that one.
So I moved down the list of possibilities until I came to this one.
Whirlpool 18ft freezer. Good shape. Will trade for hand held things that go bang.
At this point I called off the search. A trip to Lowes sounds better all the time.
Because I don’t think the kiddos are quite ready for The Lord of the Rings, I’ve kept their LEGO browsing to the CITY and Kingdoms realms*. So tonight as I prepared to do some birthday shopping for the Rascal, I decided to take a look at the LEGO LOTR area myself. Oh my, this had me laughing so…
This evening Dinosaur and I were getting the recycling ready to take to the overstuffed bins in the garage. I handed him a cardboard box full of the shredded paper and some newspaper that had helped pad this year’s curriculum that we received today. Dino happened to look at an ad on the paper.
DINOSAUR: Hey–hey, that’s a tractor!
I looked. Sure enough, it was. Next to it was a livestock health ad.
ME: Do you know, I think this is a farm newspaper.
DINOSAUR: (flustered) Well, well then, you can’t RETRASH this!!
So it had been two weeks since we visited the recycling center. Picture to yourself what that means to a family of eight in the realm of milk cartons, “mixed paper,” and cardboard from bulk drygoods purchases from the almighty Amazon corp. This massive amount of recycling I manage to shove into the van without inconveniencing the children. The only other thing was a cooler that I put on the seat next to Sunshine, as we were stopping off to pick up some milk on our route. Blithely on this fine sunny afternoon, the day of this story, do I back the van out of the driveway and proceed onto the road. We are but one houselength from the drive when Rascal shouts:
“Mom! There’s a grasshopper in the car!”
Thinking to myself, okay, grasshopper, maybe this isn’t so bad. Maybe he’ll stay put and not jump too much until we get to the center. Whereupon, of course, my brave sons can relieve the van of the bug while I tend to the cardboard. Sons are great for that, I’m finding. Then Rascal yelled again. We were by this time maybe four houses down the road.
“No, Mom! It’s not a grasshopper, it’s that bug. The one Grandpa hates!”
I felt the blood drain from my face. APrayingMantis. That’swhat’sinourvan?!?!?!?!!?! Those of you who have been reading this a while will remember that I am not a bug person. Praying mantii are fine in the garden, but please don’t let me have to see them. There’s something about them that make me want to run inside screaming. Maybe it’s those eyes. Maybe it’s because they look like they have arms and combined with those eyes give the impression that they are intelligent enough to take over the world if enough of them were to collectively go about the project. I’m sure there’s a great black & white Japanese video about that–something like Mothra. Anyway, back to the story, whereupon I’ve just heard that one of these guys is in my van.
In a high pitched small voice I call back to Rascal: “Where is the bug, son?”
Came the answer: “Right behind you!”
Fortunately there was no one on the road because I slowed the van down and swatted furiously at the back of my head, a knee-jerk reaction designed to keep anything remotely mantid from landing on my head or arm while driving. Rascal sounded exasperated as he said: “No, no, Mom. It’s on the seat behind you.”
Oh, great, so it’s staring down at my baby. Wonderful. I knew things couldn’t go on like this. I had a mental image of the thing landing on my arm while driving down the highway toward the recycling center, and of the thirty car pileup that would ensue. Or if it landed on one of the girls–if it landed on Princess, oh my-she’d pass out. She’d scream and cry and probably burst a vessel. A ladybug-sized beetle landed on Princess’ nose once and you’d have thought it was the end of the world. She comes by it honestly. So obviously there was only one thing to be done:
“Rascal, I’m going to pull the van over and we’re going to get this thing out. Can you get it out for me?” See, sons are good for that.
“You can’t pull over, Mom. Someone will wreck into us.”
“Rascal, we’re in our neighborhood. No one’s on the road. We’ll be fine, and I can pull over right…here.” I turned the van down the next street over and parked on the side, putting on my flashers. There wasn’t a soul in sight, and my main worry was that in our big gray van the neighbors would think we were some sort of shady cleaning service or something. So I went around to the passenger doors, open them up….
…to see a katydid on the cooler.
A juvenile katydid.
“There it is!” Rascal points.
I stand staring at the thing, blinking. Then I said with a note of annoyance: “Well, I can take care of this thing!”
So I humanely released the katydid into the neighbor’s yard, surveyed the van for other bugs (there was a beetlish critter that Rascal released at the recycling center) and then we were off again.
Friday night I drove up the ridge coming back from our grocery shopping expedition when at one of the intersections toward home I suddenly hit the brakes. Sauntering across the road, calm as can be, with nary a thought in her head about the Econoline E-350 van right in front of her was a large black hen.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. The random flock of wild turkeys are a commonplace sight up here, but this hen? I hadn’t seen a chicken anywhere near our subdivision! And all sorts of thoughts were going through my head as I waited for her to finish crossing the road.
It’s the chicken crossing the road joke!
I can’t move the van–she’s not stopping.
I don’t want to hit this thing–she’s someone’s pet!
**Visualize hitting Sunday dinner with a van** Unpleasant.
Please God don’t let some teenager come screaming up the hill and rear end us over a chicken.
HURRY UP you stupid hen.
If I honk will she move faster or will she go spastic and then…oh…no…
Coming out of the same woods, looking much more skittish and frightened was her rooster. He, however, was having none of the crossing the road business, to my relief. Turning my attention back to the hen, I saw she had safely passed my van and as the rooster was still pacing along the edge of the road, I went ahead and made my turn. Glancing at the hen as I did so, I noticed that once she reached the safety of the road embankment, she turned.
Yes, she turned, and looked back at the rooster, and for all practical purposes it looked as if she had settled down and was waiting for him to make up his mind and just cross the blasted road!
I did check for feathers on the roadside when I went out again on Saturday and fortunately did not see any. Hopefully those two returned safely to the coop from their adventures, because on that part of the road there are those who, well, probably wouldn’t have minded a free chicken dinner….