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our new baby

We have a new baby in our family - a baby squirrel that is.  I think he was born in our attic.  The flickers made a hole in the side or our house next to the chimney under the eaves, and then the squirrels moved in.  This little guy was trapped in our window well on Wed - twice.  Or maybe it was one of his brothers or sisters one of those times.  Anyway, two times we had to put 2X4s in the window wells so little baby squirrels could climb out.  Here is the second time it happened.
We figured he found his way back home again.  Then yesterday Adam came home early from work to work in the yard, and this little guy was following him around all over the yard!  He ended up climbing up Adam.  Since there had been a cat hanging around and we have lots of foxes in the neighborhood, Adam didn't want to leave him out there while he went to pick up kids, so he popped the little guy into a cat carrier and brought him along.  

My mom used to volunteer with the humane society back in Rockville, MD as a wildlife rehabilitator, and she raised and released over 100 squirrels (plus the occasional other animal).  I called her and e-mailed her pics of him, and she confirmed that he was not big enough to be out on his own. He is probably about 8 wks old and is somewhere around the age of being weaned.  He acts like maybe he was still getting some milk from mom, but it's hard to know for sure.

We've decided to call him Zaboo (after the character from The Guild).  We'll take care of him until he is old enough to go out on his own, and then we will release him.  In the mean time, we'll be building him a better squirrel cage.  He is drinking water from an eyedropper (he chokes on it when he tries to drink from a saucer) and making nut dust out of peanuts, almonds, pecans, etc.  He must eat SOME of what he chews up, but he is far from efficient at this point.  He also has eaten some carrot and broccoli.  He is very sweet and spent the day at work with me, hiding inside my sweater.  He likes to snuggle up under my arm - I think he misses his mommy.  :(


CraftyCon 2010!

Now you can get a PhD in Horribleness "mini MBA in Craftiness" at CraftyCon 2010 in Chicago.  www.craftycon.com/  It's October 21-23, 2010.  You can get your name on their e-mail list to find out more details and get notified when registration opens.  Sounds neat.  I'm looking forward to hearing more about it even though I probably won't be going - it's too far away.  If I go anywhere, it will probably be to the Bay Area Maker Faire in May.
Crafty Con 2010

From their info post:

It is going to be in Chicago, October 21-23.  It will be plum chuck full of craft celebrities and inspiration.  Consider it the chance to earn your crafting MBA.   You'll have the opportunity to meet and interact with top names in the craft industry and find out what it really takes to make it in the craft world.

If you are serious about crafting, check it out.  Registration will open soon.  Make sure you sign up with your email address and we'll let you know as soon as you can register!  We'll have a great early bird deal you won't want to miss out on.

Are you excited?


I'm a bad, bad blogger

I swear, my posts are getting further and further apart! I was finally goaded into posting by Snuffykin (totally unintentionally on her part), who mentioned in one of her posts that I had been nominated for a Bobby Award on Ravelry. I can't believe that she blogged about it and I haven't yet! So, yea, I am a finalist in the Geekiest Project category. I am up against some amazing stuff like PlanetJune's Discworld, Baby's first DNA, the Lorenz Manifold (with Snuffykin's project as the picture!), a knit dissected frog, a Wonder Woman sweater, etc. http://www.ravelry.com/bobbys

My project is Gillian the PCR gel. I made it during the Ravelympics in summer 2008. Here's a picture of her and my info from the project page. Jeez I'm a hopeless geek.

"The second in my science geek series. This amigurumi is a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) DNA gel stained with ethidium bromide to make the DNA glow pinkish-orange under UV light. Under regular white light, the gel itself is clearish white and the DNA is not visible."

And another pic of the whole science geek set (which I have displayed proudly at work for a completely non-appreciative audience):

Have you seen the blog Gumi-Gumi Island? She goes by KnittingTurnip. Her blog is at: http://amigurumiandpizza.blogspot.com/ Check out her work. It is TOOOOO cute! I especially like her little babies in animal suits. :D

And she is having a contest right now in which you can win a customized baby bunny! Woohoo! I'll tell you about it even though that means my chances of winning are lower if you enter too (see, aren't I a sweetie?) Go to the page here for info: http://amigurumiandpizza.blogspot.com/2009/11/giveaway-ups-i-did-it-again.html The contest only runs until Dec 19, so make sure you enter before then. Who doesn't want one of her adorable baby bunnies? Below is a pic from her blog announcing the giveaway. Squeeeee!

I hope I win!!!

Ganesh is done!

I made this for a friend on Ravelry who commissioned it for her hubby's 50th birthday. Lord Ganesh is on his way to her as we speak. He lived with me for so long, I miss him now!

More pics under the cutCollapse )

Presents from TheKnittyCat!

My friend TheKnittyCat just send my kiddos a care package with some wonderful little peeps in it! They were so excited! First thing out of Taran's mouth: It's Oddish!!! He then went around talking like Oddish apparently talks: Odd Odd Oddish! He is a total Pokemon freak. He LOVES his Oddish and Pokeballs and could not possibly have been happier with her choice.

Kaisa got a little bunny peep named Felicity who likes carrots, celery, and her friend Flutterby the butterfly (who conveniently came along with Felicity). They are so cute! I foresee lots of snuggling in their futures. :)

Flutterby loves to sit on people's heads:

Kasia discovered Felicity's little bed makes a nice little pill box hat:

Thank you TheKnittyCat! You're the best! My kids will love you forever! :)

Is there a spy?

I got the following as part of an add for the Spin-Off Autumn Retreat, but it is like someone has been secretly watching me and taking notes...

"Does this sound familiar?

For years, you've had a secret, inexplicable yearning to make yarn—a subconscious desire that you've resisted, rationalized away, and pushed to the back of your mind. Things have happened, though, that make this resisting harder. Perhaps a good knitting friend has confessed a desire to learn how to spin, or maybe you just happened to attend a sheep and wool festival and couldn't tear yourself away from the spinning demonstrations that seemed to be occurring behind every barnyard door.

Or you've walked away from your local knitting shop with a bag full of unspun fiber—even though you're not quite sure what to do with the stuff—you just like the way it feels and smells.

Eventually your resistance has eroded, and you've finally been able to say aloud, "I want to make yarn. I need to make yarn. This yarn must be made."

So, you found some books, magazines, and websites and pored over them, wanting to learn the secrets—how to turn this insubstantial fuzz into yarn that can be knitted up into the gorgeous garments that dance across the insides of your eyelids at night as you're falling to sleep?"

So now do you see why I think there must be a spy? Or maybe it's a hidden camera. The spinning bug has bitten. I took a drop spindle spinning class at the Estes Park Wool Market, and now I want to take a wheel spinning class next year. You know what that leads to, don't you? Pining for my own spinning wheel! Just what I need since I have no free time as it is. And when I do craft, I feel guilty because there is always something more important I should be doing (like laundry, feeding the kids, etc.).

Well, I'm going to play with spinning anyway. I may not make it to the point of owning my own wheel, but you never know. Maybe I will.

My first spinning from right after Wool Market.


Health Care Reform

This was written by the father of one of my good friends from when I was growing up - John William Smith from Rockville, MD

Til This Summer..... An American Story

Until this summer, when the Town Meeting Thugs, took over the town hall health care meetings, I thought I lived in a democratic America.

Until this summer, I thought I lived in a democratic America, and loved the fact that Americans overwhelmingly elected a black man to the nation's highest elective office, that is until THT began carrying loaded guns to the President's appearance at health care meetings. Until this summer, I thought calling the President vile, racist-names, was a thing out of America's unforgiveable past.

Until this summer, when the THT took over the nation's Town Hall meetings, and drowned out any intelligent discussions of the nation’s need to discuss the need to reform national health care matters, I thought I lived in a democratic America.

Until this summer, it did not dawn on me that the THT were bought and paid-for insurance and pharmaceutical company shills and provocateurs.

Until this summer, I thought there was at least respect for the office of the President, until THT burned him in effigy, painted Hitler-like mustaches on his pictures, and called him names that belied any respect for his office and for his humanity.

Until this summer, I thought American parents would welcome a public address by the President, to the students of the nation to study hard, get good grades and graduate from high school, but I was wrong about some misguided parents.

Until this summer, I had hoped that America's racist past was receding from its heart, but the THT, in their most virulent outbursts about race and culture, erased those thoughts of hope from my mind. How sad!!!!!!!!

Until this past summer, I had hopes that America's belief in democratic principles, would be a shining light to people of other nation's, but the THT have given a black eye to that hope.

Until last summer, the THT thought they had won the health care war; good Americans saw through theTHT "30 pieces of silver" take, and good Americans overwhelmingly still want a new and reformed health care system that will:
not discriminate against the sick and disabled; protect the health care needs of senior citizens; be portable across state lines; be competitive with a public option function; be cost effective and keep costs contained; cover and protect all Americans.

The THT had a wonderful summertime insulting the intelligence of the American people, and insulting elected officials and their constituents; even now the THT don’t realize that they have lost the war against the American people. There will be a new health care law.

Written this day, September 7, 2009, by johnwilliamsmith

First handspun

I finished my first handspun. This pic shows it partially spun, with the original color of the batting.

More pics of the process and the finished workCollapse )

Estes Park Wool Market

Last weekend was the Wool Market in Estes Park. We have gone the past few years, but this was the first time I signed up for workshops on Thurs and Fri. My friend Kathy and I rode up together and stayed over Thurs nite at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes.

Thursday, I went to the Ravelry class. It was taught by Jess, Casey, and Mary-Heather. They were the three people behind Ravelry for a long time, but they have recently added a 4th person. Sara was not at Estes though. They talked about the history of Ravelry, its neat features and how to use them, and they answered questions. Poor Jess had bad altitude sickness and clearly just wanted to get to lower elevation so she could feel better.

Here is a pic of Mary-Heather, me, Jess, and Casey from after the class.

More + swap and animal pics!Collapse )