Saturday, December 6, 2008

What I've done - The G-rated version

Things I’ve Done (In Bold)

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightning at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child (do dogs count?)
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (not intentionally)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar (hated it, thought it was gross)
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square (drove through it…)
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House (I think I drove past it?)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant

Friday, November 21, 2008

Outlandish goodies

Over at Ravelry I'm part of the Outlander swap, which is a group for the fans of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander book series. In the series a post World War II nurse steps through standing stones in Scotland and is transported to the 18th Century where she ends up marrying a man against her will. He becomes her true soul mate. The book is about their trials and tribulations. Cheesy description, but there's a heck of a lot more in the 800 pages than just that (that's the first book my friends, but it's worth it.)

This fall the group sponsored a swap. I was the Mackenzie Clan leader and received all sorts of goodies from sassenach of Clan Fraser. Take a peek at the goodies sassenach sent. Granted I got this in late October, but my computer and camera haven't really been on speaking terms, so that's why you get this now.

Outlandish Swap Package.

The details:
  • Mackenzie tartan draw-string sporran with Jacobite thistle emblem Iminion promptly stowed several small tractors inside. I've rescued it and it now stores my stash of sock yarn I'm using to make mini mittens for the holidays.
  • Four beautiful Celtic knot stitch markers
  • An amazing skein of superwash merino sock yarn from an indie dyer on Etsy. This in a perfect colors for Clan Mackenzie tartan. I can't wait to find the perfect sock pattern to make socks.
  • A coffee mug that happens to match my dishes (how’d you know that sassenach?) with a Celtic knot cozy (with pattern) and
  • several bags of vanilla hazelnut tea.

I should be posting a few finished objects of the knitting variety here in the next few days. I vow that I will succeed in brokering a deal with the technology cartels running through central O'Brien County. I just hope the peace accord that I'm working on will stick.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

For Shame

Not only have I practically abandoned this baby for two months, I have yet to post anything knitting related, which I claim in my tag line. For shame is right. Instead of a lovely post of my knitting escapades, I'll quickly bring you up to speed, I'll post this popular little gem. It's like a who's done what for the knitting world.
Bold means I've done it. Italic means I intend to do it. Plain text means the fancy hasn't struck me yet.

As a trained journalist I feel obligated to crunch a few numbers and give you a little analysis: there are 98 items on the list. I've done 52 of them for 53 percent completition rate. I have intentions to complete 26 items for 26 percent of list.

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal/wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
two end knitting

Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing

Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dyeing with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dyeing yarn
Knitting art
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BOPurses/bags
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Perhaps I'm a more accomplished knitter than I give myself credit for. Hmmm, that's a point to ponder.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More Conversations with a 2-year-old

Cast of Characters: E-minion, Dad
Setting: Living room and Dining room

Dad: What are you doing?
[E-minion has the secretary open and is rifiling through the papers stashed inside.]
E-minion: Nothing.
Dad: Oh really.
E-minion: Just go outside, Dad.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Me vs Vilociraptor

I could survive for 1 minute, 3 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

For the record I think the estimation is a bit high. My bud Nicole and I went to see Jurassic Park in the theater alone, when we were about 12-13ish -- before we could drive. We thought we were cool since we went to the late show. I recall having vivid dreams in my loft bed that night.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A float of crocodiles

A new feature of Portrait of a Wannabe Domestic Goddess:
Conversations with a 2-year-old

Cast of Characters:

Setting in the kids’ bedroom at night
I-minion: Mom, there's a crocodile in here.
Mom: Crocodile, please go to my room. [Pause] The crocodile's gone, go to sleep.
[Time elapses, maybe 2 minutes]
I-minion: Mom, there's A LOT of crocodiles in here.
Mom: Attention all crocodiles. You are asked to leave the room immediately. Go to mommy's room. Jasmine will escort you to the creek in five minutes. OK Ian, now ALL the crocodiles are gone.
[After a minute of silence]
E-minion: Mom, did Jasmine really take the crocodiles to the goose water? (that's what she call the creek because of the number of geese)
Mom: Yes.
E-minion: OK, I can sleep now.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A stolen me me

What were you doing ten years ago? (1998)
The year 1998 marked my freshman and sophomore years of college. I don't recall much specifically about the year. In the fall of 1998, I was coordinating my dorm room with best bud, Kelli, at I vividly remember my father thinking the idea of living with a friend wasn't a good one. A decade later we're still very close.

What were you doing five years ago? (2002)
The year 2002 was a busy one. This wannabe domestic goddess was planning her wedding, or should I say, pawning as much off to my future-mother-in-law as possible. In August, I was finalizing the details of the wedding and coordination of getting all of the wedding stuff that was coming from Pennsylvania to Iowa, and then back to South Dakota for the wedding. We were married Sept. 7. We bought our house in the spring and spent the summer remodeling. We still are remodeling. We adopted Rocky, our black lab, the day before we signed the papers for the house. Then he promptly ran away after jumping through the window. He came home, though. Later in the summer we adopted Jasmine, our rottweiler.

Five things on my to-do list today:
1. Pick tomatoes and other wonderful garden goodness
2. Brush the dogs and cat. It's shedding time
3. Start my first pair of two-at-a-time toe-up socks on circular needles
4. Bathe the kids, it's summer time. They like to make mud puddles. This is a must do.
5. Wash Iminion's pants, he's a potty trainee and we do a load every couple of days.

What snacks I enjoy:
1. Frozen Hershey Bar smeared in creamy peanut butter and a large glass of ice-cold milk
2. Air Popped Popcorn, heavily salted, no butter.
3. Jalapeno peppers stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon and bacon. Yum!

What would I do if I suddenly became a billionaire?
Lift my house up, and put a usable basement under it, finish all pending projects at the house, including hubby's never-ending list of car projects; endow some substantial scholarships at the college I work for and for the Journalism and Mass Communication Department at my Alma mater. I'd probably establish my sheep/wool and hand-dyed hand spun yarn business sooner than originally planned. I might seriously consider taking in broken and beaten Labrador and rottweilers as a rescue program.

Three bad habits?
1. Biting my hang nails
2. Staying up way too late and reading in bed.
3. Chatting on the phone while driving

Five places I've lived:
1. Kennebec, SD,_South_Dakota (It's so little they don't even have a Web site.
2. Mitchell, SD
3. Brookings, SD, while in college. Go Jacks!
4. Sheldon, IA, for my first job
5. Rural Paullina, IA, where my husband and I bought our acreage

Five jobs I've had:
1. Cashier at Randall's in Mitchell
2. Customer Service Manager, managing the front end of the grocery store, supervising cashiers, carryouts and customer service desk folks.
3. Public Relations Specialist (when in college)
4. Newspaper Reporter
5. Grant Writer

(That is officially the total number of "real" jobs that I've been paid for in my life)

Five things you don't know about me:
1. I am deathly afraid of water that is deeper than I am tall. Since I'm only 5 foot 3 inches, that limits my opportunities for water recreation.
2. I really hate emptying the dishwasher of clean dishes
3. After my parents arguing for YEARS, I mean YEARS about the "Proper" way to fold towels, I have become anal retentive like my father, and fold them his way. Now I get upset when hubby doesn't fold towels the way I do. (problem is solved since he won't touch towels and lets me handle 99 % of laundry.)
4. I prefer to drink hot tea to coffee, but that doesn't mean I don't like a cuppa joe, black.
5. I always knew I was going to have twins.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

During the Hiatus

Life got pretty hectic for the last month or so. To sum it up using I-minion's favorite phrase we "fixed."

1. We hung a ceiling in our front porch, which allowed me to hang my porch swing from the rafters instead of an A-frame like a swing set.

2. My father-in-law built floor-to-ceiling book shelves in my hall way and built lockers in my laundry room.

3. My husband got his mojo going to get on of our "twin projects" completed, a 1949 International Pickup. It's running and driving now. He has grand plans of taking it to a car show this weekend. I don't know if he's rounded up a seat, or a radiator hose, or fuel line yet. But, apparently these are "little things."

4. The garden grew. I watched the weeds grow, too. Eventually I weedwhacked them. See why I'm a wannabe domestic goddess? We've picked a few tomatoes, a lot of cucumbers and I'm going to be inundated with serrano peppers soon. What the heck do I do with hundreds of them?

5. I broke my knee. Well, basically I really messed it up. But, not in a way that is typically understood. My ACL is in tact, so are my ligaments and it isn't sprained, which is why a month and a half of physical therapy haven't helped. I'm off to the doctor tomorrow to find out what the next step is. One thing I do know is my knee hurts. A lot.

6. I got really motivated to get a few knitting projects done, but then, life sidelined most of them. I'm finally getting going again.

7. I-minion is a potty trainee. Diapers allowed at nap and over night, but we're getting to the point they are dry.

8. We tried potty training E-minion at the same time, but she got stressed out. We're taking our time with it now.

9. It got hot in Iowa, that means I didn't really cook, or do much of anything, see No. 5 for explaination.

10. We went to Mitchell for an exciting weekend, visiting with Gramma Caela and time to catch up with Kelli, of fame.

Bad Blogger

You would be surprised how many blog posts have this title. The month or so have been really hectic at this wannabe domestic goddess' house. With real life obligations, visiting relatives and huge work deadlines prompted me to not want to even look at a computer, let alone type, edit photos or post on the blog. Now things are slowing down, I'll be posting with regularity, again, I hope.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Shhhhhhhh be vewy vewy quiet . . . I'm hunting wabbits

Jasmine are joining forces. Between the two of us, we hope to strike fear in the rabbit population near our place. Although I'll let her eat anything that we catch. This weekend we've discovered that a rabbit -- only one because there wasn't enough damage to be more than one -- sampled my cherry tomatoes and a sweet pepper. They've still got leaves, so I think they'll make it.

I'm going to install chicken wire around my precious garden tonight to keep the little buggers out. I think they are aware of my plot and they've started taking revenge.
They have systematically chewed through the coaxial cable that connects our satellite dish to our router in a couple places. Consequently, we have no Internet at home and haven't since Friday, May 30. This could explain why last week our Internet was a bit on the flaky side.

The chicken wire comes at an ideal time considering everything else in the garden has sprouted, proving that I might be able to grow things after all.

I hope to post soon with our weekend activities soon. You'll be introduced to our other set of twins that live at the house through a few pictures and maybe a video, if I can figure out how to do that.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

This Takes The Cake

My birthday was this weekend. I turned 29. Eeek (I really can't be that old, can I?) For the last 23 years I've shared my Memorial Day birthday festivities with my little brother, Alex.

My dear husband has a reputation for making "special" birthday cakes for family members. Alex and I agreed we could share a cake -- it wasn't always that way, though. Jeremy racked his brain coming up with a way tie my interests -- yarn, knitting, sheep -- with Alex's -- guns, military and other fire arms.

When he unveiled the birthday cake Sunday night it was decorated with the standard "Happy B-day Mariah + Alex." Then he hand drew a sheep with -- get this -- machine guns mounted on their backs. It was inspired by Ausin Powers movie where Doctor Evil's son gave him sharks with lasers attached to their heads. I think the sheep with machine guns cake is the coolest cake ever! Tell me what you think.

He told me he was frustrated because he had red, yellow, blue and black food coloring and his options "were limited." I still love it. A cake, I didn't have to make.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I have a garden gnome

She's almost 2 1/2 and is really quite helpful.
She and my brother -- Uncle Dan -- planted the majority of the garden on Sunday.

Over the course of the morning she helped planted all of the tomato and pepper plants. Then she planted a row of cucumbers, beans, and a double row of sweet peas before she got bored/hungry for lunch. After nap the minions helped plant the gourds, mini pumpkins, regular pumpkins and canteloupes. Then we watered the garden. Any time you play with the hose is a fun time.

Say a prayer to St. Anthony

I vividly remember when I was about 4 losing one of my patent leather Mary Janes after church on Sunday and my mother ripping apart the living room in search of this one shoe. I watched in awe -- I'd never seen a tornado in action, but this had to be pretty close.

"Mariah, we've got to find you shoe. Say a prayer to St. Anthony. He's the patron saint of lost things." My mother grew up in a solid Catholic family where saints were apparently frequently called up on to find lost items. She was transferring it on to me -- a child growing up as a Catholic with a father who thought organized religion was a crock.

"Please St. Anthony help me find my shoe." I prayed out loud and then quietly added "Before my mom loses it."

Soon the shoe reappeared, which was inevitable -- the house wasn't that big. It had fallen into my mom's craft basket next to her rocking chair and I was given a reprieve.

This weekend I found my self uttering a prayer -- albeit a silent one -- to St. Anthony to help me find the pattern to make a knitted hoodie for my daughter. Last fall I made one for my son -- but said I'd wait to make the other one until I got a new set of circular needles. Which I did for Mother's Day. The pattern has grown legs and walked off.

The first place I looked, and have done several times since, was my craft basket next to MY rocking chair. No dice. A quick, and semi-systematic search through the chaos known as my craft room yielded similar results. I was mad now.

The sage green yarn is wound. I've found some pretty pink or purple to add as stripes, but alas no pattern.

So, wish me luck in finding it. I'm making a size four. She is 2. Hopefully, I'll find it before she gets to big for it.

Here's the one I made for her borther. It's officially SDSU Blue and Gold. I didn't plan it that way. He picked the blue. I added the gold because it was just too blue. I think we'll be heading to some Jacks games in our future.

Three minutes to spare

There are times in life when you switch to survivor mode even though it isn’t a life-or-death situation. You switch to automatic pilot and go. Get up. Dressed. Wake minions. Feed Minions. Dress minions and head out the door. At work it’s working for survival -- trying to push a gigantic project out the door. We’re talking the size of project that some people spend a year and a half on. Since I’ve been at my current job for not even six months, I didn’t have that luxury for this most recent “project of doom” as I like to call it.

It had been a topic of discussion since I started, but it wasn’t until March that we actually got started figuring out what we were going to do over the five-year grant period. Deciding exactly we would spend a maximum of $2 million tax payer money to improve student learning at the college where I work didn’t begin in earnest until April 22. That’s the day the grant was announced in the Federal Register. The instructions were given in tiny type. 50 pages, 12 point font, 1-inch margins and the deadline was 3:30 p.m. May 22.

I’m not a number person but that’s 30 days. Thankfully, everything pulled together in the last two weeks. When I left work two days before the grant was due, the budget numbers that I had come up with, didn’t match the numbers that automatically added up on the forms I filled out. I left, on time, because I had to go and be a mother. But the nagging sense of dread never left. I was convinced that we’d never get the numbers to add up, the totals wouldn’t balance and I’d was doomed to fail as a grant writer. Did you know sometime’s I’ve got a fatalist attitude?

That night I went to bed and dreamed of work. Set in a lush tropical setting near a waterfall. I stood at the bottom of a cliff and way up top there were hordes of numbers. Like Muppet numbers – soft foam and had arms and googlie eyes. They milled around at the top of the cliff searching for some semblance of order – running into each other -- until the command came.

Suddenly they all ran to the edge of the cliff and jumped. It was a leap of faith – hoping I would catch them and put them in order. Instead I broke their fall and was crushed in the process.

The budget did balance – thanks to the help of a spreadsheet goddess who helped me write formulas and help me solve my problem. And to top it off we submitted the grant at 3:27 p.m. Ladies and Gentlemen that is exactly three minutes before the deadline.

I’m not a procrastinator. I do like to work on deadline. This, however, was a bit close for comfort. The only time I truly began panic was at 3:15 p.m. and the 50 page document was not ready to send electronically.
Consequently Memorial Day weekend I spent in recovery with family and am now just getting caught up with life, knitting, and my desire to raise my own food.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Cherry Yarn

I needed something to do the other night when a friend was visiting, so I decided to dye yarn. After a quick rooting through the cupboards I came up with two packets of Walmart brand “cherry” drink mix, one “cherry” Kool Aid drink mix packet and one cherry burst or some other cleverly designed marketing name for a cherry flavored drink mix from Kool Aid. The yarn of choice was a skein of Reynold's Lopi in ecru that I scored at our local craft store for about $4 per skein.

Like so much of my life, I just kind of winged it. It's basically the procedure outlined in
knitty's directions.

The process: Wind the ball into a hank. Soak the yarn in warmish water for at least 30 minutes. I think it ended up being about 45 minutes to an hour, because I started this before supper. Dump the powder in a glass mixing bowl and dilute with water to dissolve. Pour into the pot. Add yarn. Add more water to make sure yarn is covered. Heat it up until almost boiling. Shut off and let soak. As the yarn takes up the dye, the color in the water will disappear. Let it cool. Rinse. Wash with mild soap. I usually use the minions’ baby soap. Rinse again. Hang to dry. I usually hang it over a hanger with a grocery bag hooked on the ends so it will catch the water drips.

I then inhale the wonderful aroma of the yarn/drink mix combo. It's a strange, yet oddly comforting odor. I then re-skeined the product and begin the process of identifying what I’ll knit with it. I’m not a huge fan of the yarn itself, but it does felt nicely. I sure this yarn is destined to become a felted proejct.

Lesson of the Night:
Putting freshly dyed yarn on a freshly cut lawn will guarantee that there are little flecks of green grass interspersed in the wooly goodness. And, that will tork you off.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Peanut Butter Gnomes

We have hit critical mass. I must. get. groceries. While I have bread, milk, butter and eggs, I am out of peanut butter and cheese. Until recently I’ve been convinced that there are peanut butter and cheese gnomes that keep my fridge and cupboard stocked with these staples. They must be on strike.

That means no "peanut sandwiches" – a favorite breakfast/snack for both kids. It also means the frozen Hershey bar that is patiently waiting in the top bin of my freezer for a special night to be unwrapped, smeared with peanut butter and consumed with reverence along with a glass of ice cold milk is ignored.

Our cheese status is also in dire condition. I am out of American cheese to make the staple of mac ‘n’ cheese. I always make homemade – never the stuff in the blue box, ick! It seems like the kids suggest this for supper nearly every night. To complicate matters, I'm almost out of mozzarella, cheddar and the sliced cheese I use to make cheese sandwiches. Our meal options are suddenly limited.

Tonight’s agenda includes going to town, buying groceries, schlep them home, unpack and put away. Did I mention I love to shop for groceries, but don’t like to put them way?

Country Livin’

There are certain perks for growing up in the country. The kids are just beginning to learn the benefits. The other night we staked out the garden and will till it up in the next couple of days.

We planted marigolds in the big planters in front of the house. I’m glad that I had a moment of brilliance to pick up a pair of garden gloves for each of the kids. As soon as I pulled my purple and white gloves with the little nubbies, the kids wanted a pair. All I had to do was pull them out of the bag and then manage to get fingers in the appropriate slots. I think the favorite part was watering the newly planted seeds. Is it a surprise that little I.minion pointed the hose at his sister and mother as soon as I pulled it out? Thankfully when we were done everyone remained dry.

Perhaps the best part was the fact that J. got our Farmall Super H running to move a couple of non-self propelled heavy objects in the yard. I.minion was thrilled when it fired up, and the grin he had was visible from at least 100 yards away. He was so psyched. J tooled around the yard. When E.minion had the chance to go for a ride, it was “too loud” and she wanted to “plant fowlers.” So, that’s what we did.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mudder’s Day

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day. It was quiet warm day that we spent outside. J. cooked, made an angel food cake, my favorite, but J. was disappointed that my Mother’s Day/Birthday present didn’t arrive in time to wrap and deliver on the holiday. But, today, the wonderful brown box arrived in the mail. Inside was the most amazing gift ever -- KnitPicks Harmony Interchangeable knitting needles. I’ve lusted after the colorful laminated wood needles since they were introduced. I have a set of interchangeable needles – which are a necessity for those who knit in the country and want to be able to start projects as soon as the yarn is in hand. I held off ordering because I didn’t really NEED to have another set of interchangables. As soon as I slit the packing tape I was in heaven – the wood is so smooth and beautiful to behold. Then when I cast on some Berroco Comfort DK in the same rainbow shades as the needles I realized what a treasure my treasures had given me. The joins are amazing, the nylon yarn, I know not a great test yarn, but it was in my basket, slid over the joins like butter. The points are so precise and they have just the right amount of slipperiness. I’m anxious to actually start a project. Then the kids’ “Happy Mudder’s Day” just melted my heart. Thanks kids and J. It has been a wonderful Mother’s Day.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

An Owly Experience

Opportunities abound when you live in the country. You can pee outside, if you want -- I prefer indoor plumbing, but it is still an option. You can see red-tail hawks living in your grove, deer grazing and bunnies frolicking in the sun. The chances of seeing the dogs try to catch the deer and bunnies are pretty good. But, I never expected my dogs to corner an owl in my front yard in the middle of the night.

When I heard the dogs barking I assumed they were tormenting the cat, who had escaped earlier that evening. I was wrong. When I went to the door less than 15 feet from my front door was a horned owl sitting on the ground -- all puffed up -- looking big and mean as she hissed and clicked at the dogs. After getting the dogs inside I had to, of course, take pictures.

We consulted the local sheriff's department and in turn, the state game warden who was on duty, to find out what we should do since she didn't fly off immediately. After talking to both, we checked on him/her and he/she had either waddled off or flown off once she was alone.

Lesson of the night: In the spring owls will kill prey -- usually small stuff like bunnies -- and bring their fledglings, aka baby owls, to the site to let them feed. That's the reason why our owl was on the ground where Rocky and Jasmine could get her.

This morning I heard an owl hooting. I don't think the dogs hurt her.

My Mount Olympus

OK, OK, I realize that my Mount Olympus is really just a farm house anchored in a sea of corn and soybeans in northwest Iowa. It certainly isn't the highest point in the state --
That's not far, though. This is home. I share it with my hubby and our twins, the minions. Individually known as E.minion and I.minion. We have a pair of dogs the size of small calves and a fat cat who call this seven acres of turf home. I'm originally from western South Dakota and miss the tall grass prairie and open spaces. I find solace in the fact that I can see a 13-acre restored prairie out my kitchen window. My dogs chase white tail deer, bunnies and the occasional skunk. I dream of turning this gem on the prairie back into an operating farm -- growing food for the family and raising sheep for fiber.

Blogging for the very first time

I've been yearning to establish a blog that will encompass my life as a writer, photographer, wife, mother, chef, knitter, seamstress and wannabe domestic goddess. Tonight's the night. People will tell me I'm a domestic goddess, but really I'm just a pretender. Sure I can sew clothes, whip up a mean meatloaf and sinfully delicious cinnamon rolls and can bake with a pair of 2-year-olds, but I'm an impostor. This blog will chronicle my attempts to ascend to the ranks of goddess. Welcome to Portrait of a Wannabe Domestic Goddess.