Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Good Cause

Probably everyone that reads this blog also reads Claudia's Blog but just in case a few extra people wander over there b/c of this post... I figured I'd mention her and her MS Ride Fundraiser. She's only got a few days left before she rides and she's only got 38% of her goal and it would be so awesome if she could retain her #1 status of last year.

You see last year, knitters (and regular people) all over donated to her ride to the extent that she had the highest total of anyone there. That's cool

Of course there are also tons and tons of awesome prizes. All a person has to do to get put into the drawing is donate $10. There are so many prizes that the odds of winning one is very high, and it's super nice (mostly knitterly) stuff. But doesn't everyone know at least one person they like that knits? Well, hopefully if you are reading this blog, that's at least a little true. ;0)

Anyway, maybe if we all post about it in the next couple of days, she'll have a few new readers and get closer to her goal. Whaddyasay?

PS: I don't feel so awful about the baby doves anymore, they are getting bolder and bolder and just stare at me blankly while I photo them now. yaay

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Officially, I Suck

The baby doves have hatched. Apparently they've been hatched for awhile and somehow I just didn't notice. So I decided, I'd try to get a couple of good pictures.

As soon as the mom saw me coming, she flew down to the ground and did the "come and get me and leave my babies alone see I'm hurt and can't fly" dance. That really should have been my cue to think to myself, "Self, leave the babies alone, everyone is getting upset."

I didn't. I wanted to try to get a good picture, since the ones I took from the ground (the 1st picture) yesterday with flash, were just barely ok. So I tried to get the camera a little closer. Turns out, instead, I just scared the poor little things silly and they flew out of the nest. At least they are old enough to fly - thank goodness - or I'd feel like more of a heel. Of course, if they couldn't fly, maybe I could have easily put them back where they belong, if they didn't plummet to their deaths onto the concrete below.

baby bird on the roof next door

baby bird on the ground
on my other next door neighbor's driveway

same baby bird on the ground
between my house and the neighbor's

About this time I feel like a stupid idiot and considered going to stand in fire ants to make myself feel better.

Instead, I tried to corral the baby that flew to the ground back into the shade of my flower garden, which is closer to his/her nest. This worked a little. The pavement was seriously hot and I didn't want the baby to get overheated. Well at some point the baby flew into my garage and into the mouth of a plastic bag which previously held dirt. So I was able to actually pick him/her up and after two tries, deposit him/her back into the nest. --WHEW-- The other baby was already on a branch close to the nest.

sorry about the slight blurriness,
it's a bit windy today

So I left that one well enough alone, finally having learned my lesson to leave baby birds the hell alone. This is something I should have previously learned, I know, and I'm pretty sure I did. That's what happens when the inner photographer fights with the inner animal lover.

The baby bird I put back in the nest DID let me pick it up twice, the first time it didn't have much recourse, having flown into a bag. The second time he/she could have easily escaped, having flown onto the hood of my next door neighbor's truck. You can see him/her looking at me confusedly and perhaps curiously at me from the safety of his/her nest.

I can hear the instinct wheels rolling in it's head, "Why didn't predator eat me when it had a chance?" Of course, I don't want baby to grow up NOT fearing humans, but at least maybe they won't be totally traumatized when I respectfully take pictures from a distance.

I might still go stand in the fire ants if I didn't already have poison ivy all over my face and left hand. I'm pretty sure I'm the first Massage Therapist to call into work "itchy" instead of "sick" at my particular place of employment. Either way, I still feel like a heel and a bad baby bird host.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Life in the Middle Lane

I would say "Fast Lane" but that would be exaggerating. However, between work and laundry and back and forth to baby sitters and sick kids, it's not been easy to keep up with blogging. I have had plenty of knitting and reading time, but that's been at WORK, where it's been so slow lately. I don't know if my first week was a fluke or what, but it went from being crazy busy to worse than slow. Slow would be something like 4 a day, or 5, considering I'm there for 10 hours not including lunch. Fortunately, if I don't have anything going on by 5, I can go. Hopefully it will pick up soon. I only did 2 and 1/2 hours yesterday and it was nearly painful.

On my days off, it's either been torrential rains or blinding heat, so I haven't been able to get the garden sorted out yet. ACK! My seeds and seedlings are going to bake =( Maybe some will live. It's SO late.

With all the storms, though, we've had very interesting cloud and lightning displays.

I took this one for the bird - this light post is in most
of my sky pics, at least this time there's
something different
about it

This is the first time I've ever attempted to get photos of lightning, and I did it the hard-I'm-much-too-slow-for-lightning-way. I'm most proud of the last one.

Rebecka Gecko laid her two pretty little eggs. Compared to her size these eggs are huge. They come out all squishy, though, and harden later. I'm pretty sure it was a couple of days before I noticed the eggs. I'm glad she put in a place that made them very easily removable.

I removed them to their own little incubation spot, as directed by some website or another. Apparently we have some time to wait, so it'll be a while before we have any hatchlings.

Last year, some very pretty flowers migrated under the fence to my yard from my neighbor's yard. I tried and tried to get a good picture of them, but the color was always off. This year, armed with a better camera, I can finally show you both the real color and the name. They are called Mexican Petunias. Ain't they purty?

Finally, sock progress. As I said before, I have tons of knitting time at work, and these socks are coming along pretty well.

I'm using the gusset increase directions from Socks From the Toe Up by Wendy Knits. I am having a bit of an issue not knowing exactly which form of M1 she uses. I started out using kf&b increases, but it looked nothing like the increases in the picture. (the directions don't get specific about which M1 is used, I looked) So then I started doing the M1 where you take the yarn from the space between the last two or first two stitches, but it left a gaping hole. Then I used the same yarn from between those stitches and twisted it good, which closed up the hole. I'm still not sure I'm doing the same M1, but it'll have to do. I didn't rip back every time I changed my increases, I'll call them my 'learning' socks. Ripping back socks made on needles size 0 is not an option unless it's really an awful, horrible, obvious mistake. These aren't mistakes, just experiments. I think they might be a teensy bit too long for me, though. The jury is still out on that one.

One more little bit of news, I now have a Wii Fit which is totally fun and great motivation for exercise. I have nearly always disliked working out. It was fun in school and I liked doing yoga while in massage school, the couple of times we did it. The great thing about the WiiFit thing is that your progress is measurable, it counts every minute you work out, and measures your balance while doing the exercise and you get points for each one according to how balanced you were, etc, so you compete against yourself. It's cool, I like it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Yarn Harlot in Dallas

Plano to be exact and it was such a great time. You know how you feel giddy and excited before an event and giddy and excited during an event? Well, this is one of the only times I think I felt even more giddy and excited after as well. It was the perfect little outing for Heidi and me. We started out as early as we could to avoid rush hour traffic all along the way. We sort of succeeded in that. I was prepared with a roll of dimes for the tollway that we never had to pay. (which was nice - we along with our other sister had gone to a Jimmy Buffet concert a few weeks ago that was a bit past Plano and we paid the toll SO many times it was ridiculous)

The event was scheduled for 7:30, we were there somewhere close to 5ish and about 1/3 of the chairs were already taken. Hunger was an issue, however, so we headed back down and across the fake street that went through the little strip mall type place we were in and entered a restaurant. Once we were inside, we realized we were in a brewery/restaurant and it was SO cool.

Those are the giant vats of beer things
(Heidi is ducking b/c she's camera shy
but I managed to get a good pose out of her eventually)

and we all know how I don't do good taking pics of me
so this is as good as it got

I wasn't sure which of their brews I wanted for sure, so they brought me tiny little taster glasses.

Then, when I made a choice, I was afraid I'd bitten off more than I could chew - so to speak. (ordered taller than I could drink?) Not sure how to make that apply to a drink.

I didn't waste any, though, and then it was back to the book store, which was packed to the gills and getting more packed by the second. Heidi and I got a couple of the only chairs left and held them for quite awhile, since we got back there around 6 or so. Regardless of the crowdedness, though, we were all very happy to see her when she arrived.

and happy to be a part of one of her famous sock pics

I loved her monologue! It was, of course hilarious and very entertaining. What I didn't expect is that it would be educational, historical, scientific and thought provoking. Of course I won't repeat her information because that will rob someone else of having the really awesome chance to hear for themselves and experience such a terrific event. I definitely recommend getting her new book - "Free Range Knitter" and going to see her in person. It really is a very enjoyable evening.

Heidi took my picture with her. I'm holding my socks in progress

This is about where the socks were at the time of that photo

and just to be silly, a sock pic of my own

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Lizards, etc.

I mentioned yesterday that I have lizard news. This news is not about Lizzy, our Texas Spiny Lizard. Who has recently found she likes to be upside down hanging from the ceiling of her terrarium.

In fact, it is about the two new lizards we have. About 2 months ago, the husband came home with another Mediterranean gecko. We put her in with Lizzy and they seemed to ignore each other and intermittently cuddle. (if lizards do indeed cuddle) Then a few weeks ago, I found another, larger one in the garage, and we put it in with the other two. The two geckos seemed to be ok with the company of each other just fine, too.

A couple of days ago, I had to clean the terrarium, so we put each lizard in solitary for just a little while, and we discovered this:

Our little girl gecko, recently renamed Rebecka, is going to be a mommy! She has a tummy full of eggs. Here is the possible dad, who seems to be called Geico. (the kids, not me) Rebecka gecko was found in the company of another gecko who may also be the dad. I prefer to think we have both parents, just because.

Consequently, when he was in the garage, he was totally white, but he turned dark in the terrarium. This got me to thinking, the garage walls are white, so maybe if I put something white for the lizards to climb on they may change colors. I put up a paper towel. Who would have thought that three lizards would love a paper towel so much. Lizzy stays on it most of the time now.

NOW, I really need to do some research as to whether Rebecka gecko needs her own environment to lay her eggs, and if the newly hatched babies might look a little too much like crickets to be with Lizzy. We don't want that, because she's getting pretty fast at catching those crickets.

Now for the etc. Look what we discovered in our tree in the front yard. A pretty little dove in a nest, just out of arm's reach, above our sidewalk (which hopefully won't be a bad thing for the new babies)

I put my camera on my tripod, tilted the top almost straight down, held it up over the nest (when the mom had flown away) and set the timer. Two pretty medium sized bluish or greenish eggs.

I also will have a real garden this year! Here's the rough beginning of it. I have some big plans, even if it is a bit of a late start.

Tomorrow or Saturday, the trip to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I was going to do that first, but my oldest wanted to share the lizard news with his class and tomorrow is the last day of school. SO.. in case they can get their teacher to look this up, I've posted it.

Of Blogs and Star Trek

Is it possible that we first saw the possibilities of the electronic journal from Captain Kirk? "Captain's log stardate 2715.1 ....." I was thinking last night, as I tried, unsuccessfully, to sleep off the migraine from yesterday after 3 Excedrine Migraine tablets. Pro - headache sorta under control, con - so much caffeine! So there I was, lying in the dark, blogging away in my mind. It would have been a really great blog, too, if I only had the computer from the Enterprise. I'd say, "Computer, begin recording." Except, I'd need the neural interface, in order to avoid waking up anyone. It was after midnight, afterall. At some point, though, a person is so tired but full of information and caffeine that the stuff in the brain begins to become ridiculous. I kept hearing (for real, not in my head) this screaming outside. It sounded like a child crying, until I opened the door. Oh, just cats. Cats fighting like Klingons. Cats creating - The Next Generation. Cats - Voyager. Cats - Deep Space Nine (and I couldn't stop saying Bablyon 5, too, but that's a whole other layer of Gene Roddenberry) And since we are talking about Star Trek, I'm still pissed at the way DS9 ended, I mean COME ON, what ever really happened to the Emmissary? I know he's with the prophets and all in the worm hole, but... throw us a bone and give us some closure. And how DARE they kill off Jadzia Dax! jerks (I realize that wasn't the end of the show, I just never got over it) She and Worf were such a great couple. I wouldn't mind having a Worf of my own actually, but that's another story.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Stay Tuned

Sorry I haven't posted to update everyone. It's been busy busy busy. I got HIRED! Yaay! I really like the place I'm working. Check this out... This particular chiro got into the business because his wife suffered chronic migraines and he wanted to be able to help her. To date, she hasn't had a migraine in twenty years! When I heard that, I nearly started crying from just the prospect of being any percent of migraine free. One of the perks for working there? FREE treatments! OH THANK GOD!

I have my first treatment tomorrow, since I have a pretty screaming migraine going on as I type. Consequently, that is the reason there are no pictures in this post, it's pretty much all I can do to type a bit, even though I have all sorts of blog material. Maybe I can get some real stuff in tomorrow.

SO... I'm working 3 days a week to start, and I'm there from 8A to 7P give or take, and even though they are pretty busy with massage clients, I'm not booked ALL day, so it's a doable schedule. Once school starts back up in the Fall (this is the last week of this year) I may be getting my ideal schedule, which will put me home in time for the kids to get out of school.

Heidi and I really really really loved seeing Stephanie last Friday. She is super hilarious, I mean, I knew that already, but seeing her in person was just so great. Plus, her photos don't do her justice, she is really pretty, and sweet. She even complimented my Picovoli! Of course the poor book store didn't have the slightest clue as to how many people were coming (as usual - those muggles never get it do they?) so it was pretty much standing room only as much as an hour before she was there, at 7:30. We came as early as we could, like a little before 5, and half the seats were already taken up. I'll tell the real story in another post.

Anyway, I have enough material for about 4 posts, actually, lots of new cool sky stuff and lizard news and cool yard developments. Be back sooner than later. Till then, try to imagine what my lizard news might be - talk amongst yourselves