Monday, December 21, 2009

Never a dull moment

Snow Day!!
I didn't really think we'd get one. Surely not - we had all day on Sunday to dig ourselves out of the drifts. But this morning, I received a text from Watsuki - "you got your wish!" (I'd been wishing all of last week for a snow day - just one). I couldn't believe it. We consulted KYW - our 24hr "news" station, and sure enough - right on the top of their website, Philadelphia schools are closed. Hallelujah!
I decided to be very productive today. I ran errands this morning, and then spent most of the afternoon putting plastic up on the windows on the first floor: It is amazing the difference. No more drafts when you walk past a window, and when you leave for a bit, and come back the room actually retains its heat. Will wonders never cease.
Now, despite having a snow day, the email went out that we would still have our holiday party. Sounded like a lot of fun, dim sum, making our own, at a local Chinese restaurant. At 3:45, I was done with the windows and I went down to the basement to plug a few holes I knew of down there. Sure enough there was cold air blasting through cracks. the main one I stuffed with left over fiberglass insulation bags, and the other culprit will have to wait until next year for some serious work. I decided to use the spray insulation foam stuff to really plug things up. After working for a while, I realize it's a quarter after and I need to be at this party at 5. I put the empty spray foam bottle down and call Jacques to go upstairs.
As he passes me out the door of the basement, I see that he has brushed against some of the spray foam. While I'm getting tissues to get that sticky stuff off of him, I see him shoot past me down the hall. When I finally catch up with him, he is "aacking" and is foaming seriously at the mouth. He has tried to lick the expanding, sticky foam off of himself.
Time to panic.
Call my vet - tell them they are too far away and what is the number for the UPenn vet emergency.
Call UPenn emergency, and this ding dong who has to over-explain everything, tells me I have to call the Animal Poison control hot line and get a case number before he can help me.
Call the hot line, and the most calm, nerve wracking voice starts giving you options for whom you might want to speak with!!!
Meanwhile Jacques is still foaming, we are upstairs, and he is running around the place - I'm not sure what his goal was.
Finally I get the correct option: (press one to speak with a veterinary specialist), only to get another message in the calm, not-a-care-in-the-world voice: "Because we are a non-profit organization there is a $60 consultation fee payable by any major credit card. Please have your credit card ready." Unreal. But who cares. What I don't want is for the foam to expand on Jacques teeth, jaws, whatever and have his mouth weld shut.
Finally a very nice person came on the line and started taking info. When we figured out what it was that Jacques tried to lick off of himself, she informed me that Dow Chemical (the manufacturer) would be covering the consultation fee! (Thank you Dow Chemical!)
The bottom line is, the stuff is not poisonous. Thank goodness - BUT - he still needs to be watched because the concern is that perhaps he swallowed some and if it lodges itself in his intestinal track and expands it could cause serious trouble. The vet recommended that I give him wet food with Metamucil in it (to help him with his movements). That didn't go over too well. Six hours later he seams fine, but we won't be completely out of the woods until Wednesday.
After the initial panic had subsided, he sat on my lap, let me wipe some of the left over foam off of his mouth and started to purr. And later when I started going to the drug store for the Metamucil, I noticed him trying to like the matted residue off of his fur. His tongue promptly got stuck in it and as he tried to pull it out, it would take a hunk of fur along with it and he'd give a little yelp of pain. So I got the scissors and the electric razor and went to town, butchering all of the offensive stuff out of his fur.
Of course he loved the attention, purred the whole time. But now he looks like a five-year-old whose been given a haircut by a three-year-old.
And I didn't make it to the Christmas Party. Oh well...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Not for the faint of heart

Ah, yes, we had the big snow yesterday. And for all of the talk about a "storm", it was the most tranquil storm I've ever been in. The snow just drifted down, dense and thick mind you, but it just drifted gently all day. Everything was quiet and so beautiful. A soft white blanket covered everything.
This morning... well, let's just say I finally found one disadvantage to having a property with a double lot - double the amount of sidewalk to shovel. But it wasn't really that bad. The snow was still very powdery so it was easy to shovel. I still got quite an abdominal work out. My car is buried under piles of snow made worse by the snow plows. For those of you not living in a snowy climate - the snow plows are the garbage trucks with an attachment. They didn't bother to plow my street until early this morning. I decided to brush all the snow off my car before it has a chance to melt and freeze and melt and freeze. That's when it's a real pain in the patuchus to clean.
But what I really wanted to blog about was a cat's amazing capacity to find the warmest spot in the house. Jacques is like a divining rod in that respect. Usually it's my lap, unless I'm busy, in which case it is the new bathroom floor (if I'm on the second floor), or right next to the space heater on the first floor. And I mean, right next to the heater - as close as he can get.
And since he is the divining rod for warmth - he was not interested in braving the snow. Oh sure he went with me to peek out of the 3rd floor windows:

The snow drifts have covered the bottom quarter of the window.
But when I went downstairs and he thought he might be interested in going outside, he was thwarted by a bank of snow at the back door. I think he was quite astounded. He actually just sat down and stared at it. Then he looked up at me as if to ask - what is all this? Since I was not going to stand there all morning with the door ajar while he figured it out, I grabbed him, closed the back door and tried the front door. We didn't get much further.
Yes, he braved the edge of the porch, (see first image) and then went around to the side of the porch, shaking snow off his feet as he stalked along.
He came back around fairly quickly, this really was not his cup of tea and for the first time since he's been able to go outside, he decided he was better off inside. Later when I went out to shovel snow, I gave him the option to go out again. He just crouched in the doorway and looked at me as if to say, "You have got to be kidding!"
Right here is where he'd prefer to be, of course:

Good Night

It snowed all day. there are now huge drifts in my yard, the juniper is heavy with snow, and the table I forgot to put away has a measurable foot sitting on it, and the snow is heaped up against the windows.
I went to UArts around three to print some things. I was printing on the 6th floor and had a beautiful view of the city. I printed until about 10:30 and then headed home. I was going to - should have- taken the subway, but the snow was so pretty and things didn't seem to be so bad, so I thought I'd walk home, 26 blocks. Around block 18 I started having second thoughts about this. At block 19 a bus passed me as I was walking in the middle of Walnut St (because the sidewalk haven't been plowed yet) when bus passed me. I thought briefly that I should try to flag the next bus down and see if the driver would take pity on me. I dismissed the idea as ludicrous, we're talkin' Philadelphia people here. And as I thought that thought, another bus came up behind me, slowed, doors open and the driver shouted "Where you headed?"
"40th" I shouted back.
"Get in here" he yelled, and without a second thought - I hopped in.
There was another poor soul in red Reebok's, he's also taken pity on. She got out at 38th. I was very glad I didn't have to walk the last 7 blocks, that was the uphill bit. I still had to trudge a few blocks up 40th to get home. Passed another bus that was stuck in the snow. He was only a little bit from my house, so I grabbed some of my rock salt and took it back to the driver. He didn't want the stuff at first - but then accepted it.
I unwound with a kitty on my lap.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Good Morning

Good Morning to us!Apparently we will be getting two feet of snow in this storm. So far it's quite beautiful - but I haven't been out yet to shovel the sidewalks. This also means our farm share probably won't be coming in, and I need to trudge to UArts to do some things. But at least it's through absolute beauty. Yippee!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December, Snow, Holidays...and door moldings

Well, we had our big annual Book Paper Scissors event last Saturday. This is a big book arts fair, hosted by the Free Library, and in the past it was a big success. This year however, it was a toss-up... between the weather and the economy - I'm not sure who won. Suffice it to say, I didn't do as well as I have in the last two years. Now granted it was raining pretty steadily most of the morning - and then it turned into snow in the afternoon. It must have snowed for a good five hours. Big beautiful snow flakes, but sadly, none of it stuck. It sure was fun watching the big giant snow flakes falling outside the huge windows of the library. I love the snow.
It put me in the mood for the holidays and I have finally dragged out decorations and am slowly attempting to get them up. And The Inspector was in full swing, making sure I had not forgotten anything in the boxes, and making sure things got put up correctly:
I bought this beautiful little door decoration at Ten Thousand Villages:
It's one of my favorite shops - the best place to buy gifts for everyone/anyone. However - this beautiful door decoration looks terrible without the molding:
The molding has been missing since Jeff put the door in, back in January. I've just been stalling. I don't know why. But now that decorations need to go up - things need to LOOK better than this:
So I got one side finished. Started sawing for the other side and got distracted by wanting to finish putting up Christmas decorations.

Philadelphia has been hosting a Christmas Market a la Christkindle Markt which is basically the German equivalent. It's really sweet - hosted at City Hall with lots of cool stuff to buy. I really hope it picks up. It has a lot of great German cookies and stuff for the holidays along with lots of great crafts and some German Christmas Decoration Vendors, which is nice. So yesterday I splurged and bought a 30ft. pine garland, (it was cheap) and my house smells so good! I wanted to hang it under the arch and book shelves and hang a ton of little glass balls from it. I guess I'll have to finish the outside molding tomorrow night.
While I was waiting for the images for this blog post to load, I knitted a bit more on my newest hat:
I'm pretty excited about it. It's 50% Peruvian wool, and 50% plant fiber from the same region. It's really soft and shiny. I just also hope its warm.
And in other news:
James McBride, author of The Color of Water, came to HSP last week to do research for his newest book... and I got to meet him! He is so nice. What a great guy. I asked our President to bring him up to the conservation lab if he was interested and she did. We got to show off the work we are doing and go to talk with him. After he left I sat down at the computer and got to brag about meeting him to a bunch of people, including my cousin who introduced me to him! She wrote back and said her students were reading his book at that moment! How crazy is that.
WELL, to bring the story to full circle, not only did he take a membership for more research, he sent us two cheese cakes for all our help last week. We had cheesecake sent by James McBride! How cool is that!? I'm sitting here giggling about it. What a great guy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Entry with no pictures. sorry.

I've been really bad about blogging. Sorry. I've been swamped and I've actually been trying to figure out why I'm not blogging.
The truth is - my studio is now mostly functional! And all I want to do is work in there! I can sit at my desk and the book shelves are mostly stocked and working and I can get so much finished. It's just great. I wanted to blog over the holiday, but got carried away with editioning one of my books.
Suffice it to say, I've editioned one book. Worked on setting up the next adventure of the Australian Book Arts show. Cooked like crazy for Thanksgiving (I made Martha Washington's "Lettuce" Tart). And I am happy to report that after an hour and a half on the phone with Jeremy from Apple Support and the last ditch resort of checking to see if my wireless receiver was ON, I am now wireless in my little house. It's really great. First item on the agenda is to listen to This American Life Podcasts in my studio.
This week I am madly preparing all kinds of stuff for the annual Book Paper Scissors, book Arts craft show at the Free Library. So once again I am swamped. sigh. What else is new.
Hope all is well with all of you.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Long Time Comin'

I know I know, it's been an eternity since I've posted. There's been a ton of stuff.
Work, teaching, art, knitting, - work, teaching, art, sleep, garden, - work, teaching, art, cat - goofing off somewhere in there too - oh so much.
But I wanted to post a few things.
1). This is what I did this weekend:I knitted some shells. So for the knitters, those are (small) - sock yarn with gold ribbon, (medium) a regular acrylic yarn, and (large) a super heavy weight (size #13 needle) yarn.
My friend Irina and her husband gave me an amazon gift card. Yippee! Two seconds later - I bought that "Amigurumi Knits" book I've been wanting - Amazon won't let me steal their image - so you'll just have to look that title up on their website up.

Oh it's really really good and very very challenging. This is concentration knitting, no watching Netflix while you're at it. I don't know what I will do with the shells, but since I'm on this funny shell kick, I thought it was valid studio work. We shall see.

2). This is my poor kitty, post cleaning all of the vet-smell off of himself this evening. Yes, my poor baby has a urinary tract infection (at least he's not blocked this time), needs his medication every morning for the next ten days, (that should be fun), and poor little guy he is exhausted from this ordeal. But at least he's okay. He is watching the giant fly that is buzzing around my living room at the moment. Doesn't appear to be much more interested than that.

3). Food.
a) For the past few weeks my farm share has been really good to me. Last week I got 4 pears, one squash, broccoli, four onions, cheese, sweet Italian sausage, granola and eggs. This week I got four apples, breakfast sausage, cheese, eggs, granola, squash, potatoes, and turnips. I haven't needed to got to Trader Joe's since the beginning of November. Now that's sayin' something!
It's really fun being creative. Yesterday I waged war on my yard once more. I took out the tomato plants, harvest the last of the green tomatoes, and generally wrecked havoc on the poor innocent bushes - which just don't belong there! Needless to say, I was hungry. So I made a saute of sausage, onions, garlic, green tomatoes and squash. It was really yummy... cumin - I think- does the trick every time.
The stand next to where I pick up my farm share has some interesting things. For example I started picking up raw milk from them. This is the real old-fashioned stuff, cream at the top and all, straight from the cow. It's pretty good with that granola, let me tell you.
That stand also had these:Want a hint? - that's a cauliflower. Now, I don't like cauliflower, so I'm not going to eat that - but I just think it's really pretty. Is this thing for real? Or is it genetically modified?
I also discovered a few months ago that my local International Food and Spices Store (Pakistani) store also carries Injera bread. That's the flat Ethiopian/Eritrean bread. Yum Yum. I bought a packet, and ate it with the Turnip/apple/onion and spices stew I had made the night before. Yum. Yum.
Then I got a closer look at the label. Hee hee! - spell check doesn't catch it when ya use the complete wrong word!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

In the mean time -

Well - it's been a while since I posted - and that's because I've been busy. You are surprised?
Halloween weekend, I went up to visit a friend for her 40th in Massachusetts - Western Mass - which is so beautiful this time of year. I took Amtrak, and after New York (to Albany) the tracks run along the eastern side of the Hudson River. What a view - it's absolutely beautiful. Melanie had a birthday party - which was fun and great- I got to meet her two new kitties, MJ and Oscar - who are soOo cute. They are the Mouse Patrol - and apparently doing a great job. It was great seeing Melanie and also great to see one of my favorite former interns, Amanda - got all caught up with her on her her life which seems to be just spiffy. :)
When I arrived back home - I discovered that I had an opossum in the trap. The opossum was fast asleep. Apparently one sleeps during daytime - no matter what situation one finds one self in. I let it out - because a) opossums don't live in peoples attics and b) they eat all the bugs and grubs in the garden... and then! the darn thing played dead. So I backed up and it revived and started munching on the paper mulberry berries lying all around the trap - not in the least disconcerted.
Now - the squirrel I caught the next day in the trap was a different matter. The poor thing would go crazy every time I came near it. I took it over to Kelly Dr. Opened the cage - the darn thing went shooting across the grass - not up the tree like I thought it would, but straight across four lanes of traffic and up the embankment to the other side of the street. I couldn't believe it! Well, now it's got Kelly drive, the Schuylkill River and at least several blocks between it and me. I can hope that it won't come back. I'll set the trap out again this weekend - we'll see what I catch this time around.
Speaking of this weekend, I curated a book arts show which opens this weekend. It is a show of Australian Book artists I met while in Australia this summer. The work is amazing and the gallery is really great!
As soon as I have a link I'll post it. In the meantime - here's a pic of me with Monica Oppen's book Dark Forrest, with Anne-Maree Hunter's book The Tower of Babel in the foreground. I'm really excited about the opening this weekend. Should be fantastic. I just have a three hour drive down to Washington DC. - that's all.
While I was away last weekend - look who discovered the radiant heat in the bathroom!:
yep - those tiles are about 86 degrees - compared with about 65 degrees for the rest of the house. Now at least I know where to find him. :)
I also managed to finish one of the shelves in my studio. With a little help from Home Dept the Ikea shelves are just perfect.
Yes - that is peg-board nailed to the back of the shelves. Nice, eh?
I'm working on the next set which are wider and which I think will accommodate the little Adona Printing press my dad gave me. I think that will go a long way in book production. I'm super excited about my studio now. Slowly things are falling into place.
And finally - SEPTA (South Eastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority) is on strike! It's amazing. The traffic is amazing. I heard on the radio that Septa calculates about 900,000 rides per day! And now with them on strike - all those people are in cars, or on bicycles. In the morning it's not so bad - I've been riding my bike, and dealing with half asleep people. In the evening - well - hold on to your hat - because people are tired, and cranky and crazy! Plus - all these people who haven't been riding their bikes are doing the darndest things. I actually yelled at a guy today who was riding the wrong way! I was ticked - because here's the thing: The Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia has fought long and hard to get two streets in center city to have bicycle lanes painted on them. We finally got two streets (one running in each direction), and they are one block away from each other .... and here comes this knucklehead! No helmet - coke bottle thick glasses - riding the wrong way in on a one way street! And I can't believe I'm actually battling bicycle traffic! Most of me is thrilled - but a little part of me is annoyed - especially when someone you passed a block earlier has the nerve to park in front of you when you are both waiting for a red light. Then you just have to pass him all over again - and yes - it's always a guy.
The good part about the strike - it's been so quiet on my street - I forget how noisy those buses and trolleys are.
Now you're caught up - more later.

Monday, October 26, 2009

If you want something done... (part 2)

Sure enough, I didn't hear back from either one of the pest control places. I called one and she told me to just get rid of it myself. "Take it to a wooded area." Great. Had I known that, I would have done it on Sunday.
I took the poor little guy out to Wissahickon creek in Chestnut Hill this evening. He was so dehydrated, he walked right into the creek and drank and drank. I hope he makes it. He was so cute.
Hopefully I catch the next one soon and we can be done with this chapter!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

If you want to get something done...

You've got to do it yourself. One down, one to go.
I called two people today to see if there was someone to come get the raccoon. I didn't expect an answer at the one place, but the other one advertised 24/7 service. Hmph. If I can't find someone to get the poor thing by tomorrow, I'll have to take care of getting rid of it myself. And before anyone even thinks that means I'm going to kill it - I'm not. I'm going to take it out to the Wissahickon and let it go. I'm taking a baseball bat with me to to keep it from attacking me. But let's all hope I don't have to do that.
I'm also making nice progress on my perfect shelving unit. Notice the pegboard on the back? How perfect is that!?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pink Scarf Knit-a-Thon

Way back in August, while I was sitting on the beach in Newcastle, I had this idea. I wanted to knit pink scarves for Breast Cancer patients and survivors. I've seen this done before, but I really wanted to do it here with all of my fellow knitters. Use up some of our stash!
I started talking with one of my knitter-students and she was excited about the idea as well. I had no time to research where to send them, so she took care of that, and I hosted. We invited tons of people, but the knit-a-thon boiled down to me, Stevie, and Jacques. This was probably a blessing in disguise because it gave Stevie and I a chance to work out the problems with this project, mainly, that we can't pass knitting from person to person - people knit differently. So we realized we would pass the yarn - much more fun anyway. We both got about 10 inches done, got to try out some different stitches, and threw a bunch of other ideas around for how to approach this project. We want to try to do it again - probably February - because that's the pink month. We will drum up a lot more publicity, sooner - And we need to make sure it doesn't rain, like it did all day today.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ask me what I did today…

I worked with William Still's Diary. I am making a clamshell box and designing the label for it.
William Still was an abolitionist along with Harriet Tubman. He kept a journal of all of the "runaway slaves" that passed through his station on the Underground Railroad. A sizable donation was made and the book was conserved by the Conservation Center of Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia. I took a cab ride with Leah to pick it up last Wednesday.
It was wonderful to read every entry : each started with "arrived"…

Arrived - that word that is so loaded. This diary, filled, every page of 1 and 1/4 inches thick of it filled, with entries of people who had "arrived" at freedom. I held the book in my hands, the record of what happened, of the subversiveness that lead to freedom of so many people, I couldn't help but be moved. And the word arrived, such a positive word, I couldn't help but smile and be joyful! Even though these events had happened over 150 years ago!
If he had been found out, if his diary had been discovered, if he had been caught,… but he wasn't. I took several mini-breaks today to read entries - one of my favorites read:
a man who is respected by both his white neighbors and colored friends… he left a wife and 5 children, all free." (Free is actually underlined, but I don't have that function on blogger).
This is only my favorite because it brings everything home to me. My grandmother went into hiding during WWII from the Nazi's. Not because she was Jewish, but because she disagreed with the government and they came after her. Her plight was not the same as the slaves, but the action is the same. The willingness to abandon everything, everything, because one believes they are safer - surer - or have survival, if they leave. I don't know if I could do the same. I hope I am never put in to the same test.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I am a genius

Okay - well, that's probably debatable, but I feel really good about my idea and that it actually worked! With lot's of help from IKEA and Home Depot, of course.
I've been hoping and looking for the perfect cabinet/shelving/drawer unit thing for my studio for a long time. Of course, what I want doesn't exist. I've wanted card catalogue drawers for lots of storage and other sliding drawers for more storage. Finally, I've been able to construct my own. That is, I know how to construct my own - it's still a work in progress.
Firstly - I bought these little numbers from IKEA: It's amazing what a little stain and polyurethane will do. I'm not sure where they will end up - but it will be someplace worthwhile.
And then I discovered, IKEA has finally made 7ft. tall shelving units! Brilliant!
So much more space to organize stuff! Things I don't need much will go up high. Other things go on lower shelves. I plan on working on that side of my work table so here's where my genius and Home Depot came in.
I bought the paper trays from IKEA - and drawer mechanisms from Home Depot. And voilá!
Drawers of stuff that slide in an out! And it works! That's the best part! Usually my good ideas don't actually work because I've forgotten some vital Newtonian Law of physics or something - but this time it actually works!
I haven't finished it yet because I spent most of the day grading my brains out. Ugh. I hate grading. My dad always tell a story about a prof. at Whittier College who said, "I teach for free, they pay me to grade." Well, amen to that. That's exactly how I feel. If I wouldn't have to grade - whew! Life would be great, and I'd have the perfect shelving thingy for my studio all finished.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I caved

It's gotten cold. Really cold. Much sooner than last year. It's been in the 40's for the last few days and it's cold.
I caved. I went to Home Depot and bought a space heater. Guess who took the prime seat? I'm thinking of going back to get another one for the bedroom. Thank goodness the one from storage is here as well. It's downstairs warming up the studio. I'm not looking forward to my heating bill.
I got tired of waiting for a pest control person too - I bought a racoon trap (live animal). Let's hope I can get 'em. I need to get my house insulated! And they are what's holding up the show.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lovely Long Weekend

It was a wonderful long weekend. I'm so sorry it's taken two weeks to post anything. I've been up to no good as usual.
(sigh) - It's possible you all may need to perform an intervention. Is there a 12-step program for this? I'm supposed to be on a yarn diet with a few other people. But what are you supposed to do when you get THE BEST BOOK EVER!?I spent all weekend knitting, crocheting. I also bought The Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches. "over 900 great stitches..." Yessssss! I actually checked this book out from the Library first - and realized it needed it for my library, and well, that's a slippery slope. That's how I came to own the other one. But I was good - there was another one I wanted - all about knitting little sea creatures, but I restrained myself - maybe next month. Ya never know when you're going to have to knit a squid for someone.
This is what my couch looked like tonight before clean up. I checked out a ton of dvds from the library - The Streets of Laredo, Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Indiana Jones, Motherland Afghanistan, Men in Black, Space Cowboys, The Incredibles - good knitting stuff. We curled up and knitted. I was productive too - in addition to all the flowers, I crocheted this scarf. Well, it's only half of a scarf at the moment - it's for a book I'm doing with my students. I need to take pictures of it - which I would be doing right now, but the battery in the camera died. It's charging. This is how Jacques occupied his time: That's hard on the knees - let me tell you. He actually had a rough weekend. On Friday we had to go see the Vet. :( Not his favorite thing to do. At. All. Let me tell you. She talked me into giving him all of the vaccinations. I don't want to do this because my other kittie died a horrible death from the rabies vaccine that gave him cancer. Well, in the last four years things have changed, and they administer them differently which is good. But she didn't tell me what would happen on Saturday. Scared the crap out of me.
Jacques slept downstairs that night and wasn't waiting at the door for me in the morning. I called and called, he didn't come. When I finally found him, he looked miserable. He didn't want to eat - he just meowed pitifully, and didn't want to do anything, not even go outside. I called the vet, they said it was pretty normal but if things didn't improve to bring him in on Monday. Well, things did clear up - and he came upstairs and wanted to curl up with me. I was so relieved. I still worry about him a bit though. I thought his winter fur was coming in well but he's been so lovey dovey, and cozying up - I think he's cold. Maybe he needs a sweater.....
And I wasn't a complete recluse. I did get out.
On Sunday I went to the Shell Show at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Eat your hearts out.
Philadelphia Shell Show logo
Apparently it's an annual thing, and I can't wait to go next year, Ann are you coming? (Ann is a shell lover). Now - I make fun of this because we have this great German expression: Es gibt sachen die gibts garnicht - which just doesn't translate - but basically - gist of it is - there's stuff that exists you would never guess existed. This is one of them. There is a show, an art contest - best shell art, Best Sailor's Valentines, (google these things), best collection, best specimen, best fossilized shell - and on and on. And there are some serious ribbons too. None of these cheap little dinky ones - we're talking full rosettes, three part ribbons, gold foil stamped. Wow. Then downstairs are the vendors. Oh dear. I cannot get sucked into this world. There were a few things I had to buy. They were cheap!
I bought a Nautilus "pair" The same shell cut in half, the giant tonnat thing - and a smaller one. These are the same shells I found piles of in Australia - just not as big. Yes - that's my cell phone there to give you an idea of the size of this thing.
When I got home, Jacques helped me unpack. Sorry the picture is blurry - but it was too cute to resist.
Okay - that camera battery should be charged now - I've got to get this book printed! It's due tomorrow. I can't believe how much I'm slacking on this.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fried Green Tomatoes

1/4c flour
1/4c Japanese bread crumbs (Trader Joe's)
1 green tomato
1 egg, beaten
1 t salt
1 t cumin
1 t coriander
pepper to taste
olive oil for frying

It got cold early this year. Fall has fallen. It was 40 degrees last night. Which means it's time to harvest all of the tomatoes I've got - 'cause they ain't gonna get any redder.
I checked for recipes on the Internet and found a bunch. Fried was all I could face while I was hungry. But with all of the little cherry tomatoes I've got I think I'll be doing some pickling this weekend. I'm sure I can invent some other ways to use up all of these goodies as well. :) I love eating, fresh, organic and local. Wish you could be here to enjoy these:


Sunday, September 27, 2009

A rainy Sunday

It was one of those days...a rainy day.
It just was a light rain but it rained all day long. So what do you do on a day like this? You pick up the cat, and sit where he was sitting, and let him lie, draped across your lap as you knit. I wish that was all I had to do today...

I had to pay the bills, arrange things for the week, appointments, prep for teaching, a little shopping, etc. And I also had to check up on what I did yesterday.

Yesterday I hung my de-humidifier and attached it to the drain. Ahem - yes, rather proud of myself. It doesn't seem like I screwed it up - but only time will tell.
Lee stopped by on Tuesday to check on things, and to look at the situation with the dehumidifier. He talked me through on what he would do to get it to run constantly. I was having to empty the bucket every morning and every evening (which I wasn't doing, of course). So he showed me where he would hang the machine, and where I should put the hose into the drain.
It wasn't that hard. I just got some of that wire stuff from Home Depot with the holes in it. Measured it off. My drain is stainless steel and will hold up to anything, so Lee thought I could probably use that as a prop. I had left over piece of shelf, so I screwed the wiring into the wood and then hung the thing from the joists:
And it holds! Yippee!
While I was working, I had the basement door open to the yard for some fresh air. Jacques had to check on me every once in a while. It's always fun when there is something new to check out, right?
At any rate, I checked on the dehumidifier all day today. There are no funny leaks or drips in any weird places so I'm going to assume everything is working fine. My basement smells a lot better than a month ago that's for sure. Let's hope this does the trick. Unfortunately, Jennifer said that her electricity bill skyrocketed. Sigh. Well, I think I'll run it on high for a few weeks until things really dry out. Then maybe I can set it down lower, or higher - depending on how you look at it.
In between checking on the contraption downstairs, I paid a ton of bills, looked at my finances in general (I'm never going to be rich!), and blocked the red/purple sweater.
Because let's face it - what does a girl-dork do on a rainy day besides knit with the cat? She watches all of the girl-dork best movies ever, The Princes Bride, Willow, and The Labyrinth. And it took all three of those movies to sew the sweater together, knit the collar, and sew up all the loose ends. What do you think? It's a short sleeved sweater, and you can wear the collar up, or down depending. I love it. Especially since I didn't have to buy any yarn for it. I used stuff form my stash! It was a sweater I started two years ago, and decided I didn't like. I was looking on for something cool and found this pattern. Size 11 needles? check. enough yarn? check. style? check. I think I will probably knit this pattern again. It's soOo easy, and quick. I think it took two weeks to make this thing! (that's including the rest of my crazy life). Unfortunately the buttons I chose are a bit too small, I will probably have to get different ones. Oh well.

The rain ended about four in the afternoon. I walked to the drug store and wanted to sit in the yard and read. But that didn't work because there was one little cloud after another that came by and sprinkled my book. I gave up and watched the sunset from my living room window.
I love watching the sun set on clouds.