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: