Saturday, April 28, 2007

Strange Ebay Experience...

We are listed as certified trading assistants for our area on Ebay. For the past four days we've been receiving multiple emails from some guy in North Carolina, with his full name, address and phone number -- asking us 'please please please call me I need to get in contact with you.' The emails are generated from a trading assistant contact process on Ebay, meaning he has an account and should know what Ebay is all about.

Okay, so probably not smart on our part, but we called him. He's a moron.

He asks 'Do you have any books or movies for sale - can you tell me which ones you have?'

Err no sir. (For one thing - we sell mostly equipment, no movies, and few books) This is like calling a yarn shop in England by telephone, when they have a full-functioning website, and asking for them to describe all of the fishing tackle they carry, how much it costs and how many they have over the phone.

"Trading assistants" are for helping YOU sell stuff on Ebay, that is why the email address is there. If you have something you want to sell but don't know how, or don't have Paypal etc etc - we can help you sell it. If you can get to the email address than you can get to our 'Ebay stores' and see our inventory that is for sale. We don't have secret hordes of books and movies for sale that aren't listed there. And please, please don't try to bypass Ebay or expect us to read inventory off over the phone to someone who takes two minutes to formulate a sentence. Sheesh!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Bathing Cat-astrophe for Pogo

Pogo: Why Would You?

Pogo got into something yucky and smelly yesterday so we made her stay outside all night. Misha and Mouse stayed out in shifts, to keep an eye on her. This morning, Pogo got a bath which was a cat-astrophe, at least for her. Later, she was much cleaner, all dry and curled up in my lap.

We also finally settled on a name for the Pyr' - She is 'Pixie.' Mark's mom and dad have a fluffy dog named Dixie, which is an odd coincidence. But, she seems like a 'Pixie' - mischeiveous and headstrong, yet cute and amusing. Extra Irony: She'll be a 100 lb+ Pixie ;o)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Cuteness Overload

Double Snooze Time

Kelba says: That's just wrong, make it stop!

We've been busy almost since we touched foot back here after the flea market on Tuesday. We have three large stacks of vinyl LPs to catalog, categorize and post to Ebay, along with our regular activities. We're also looking into further expanding some of our technical abilities here in the office. I've been adding some rows onto the circular shawl, and of course there is lots of puppy training going on as well.

We're still deciding on a name for the pyr' - but she has shed most of her shyness and is trying to throw her 'weight' around with the pack, which has led to mostly laughter and some important puppy lessons about who you can and who you can't push around, even with fluffy cuteness and whimpers. For example, Misha, who is the kitten guardian extraordinaire - has told this puppy she is not mommy, but drill sargeant. She has taken a firm paw in telling this pup what she can and can't do. Which, considering this pup will grow to be as big as Abby was, is probably a good thing.

Btw: Jeanne asked how big our animal 'herd' is now:
We have three very-large dogs (about 100-120 lbs each - it had been four with Abby), four medium-size dogs (about 60-90 lbs each), and one 20 lb. dog that thinks she's a cat. Now, add on this puppy and that makes nine once again. There are also two cats, a kitten and a goat. Remember, this is almost a farm-like atmosphere, out in the country. The big dogs have a fenced-in yard where they can run with the goat.

Personally, I hardly notice there are this many 'critters' until dinnertime! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

News from the Huntingdon, TN Flea Market

Every once in a while we like to take some pictures of what is going on at the flea market, and basically inform people where and when it is. The Huntingdon, TN flea market is every Tuesday, fair weather allowing, at the Huntingdon fairgrounds. By tradition, people start setting up around 7:00 AM. There is a small fee to sell, and they give you a numbered ticket to post at your booth.

Take a look at what we saw at the flea market today! Also, we have another *yes another* new addition to the animal pack around here - and she is making her debut at the end of the post.

A lady with a parrot on her shoulder

Puppies for Sale!
full-blooded Great Pyrnees


The flea market is a great place to find flowers, trees and garden plants.

Landscaping trees waiting for sale.

People looking over garden plants, including some pretty columbine plants.

Our booth, otherwise known as a table and a tailgate.

And yes, this is the new family member, how did you guess?
She is very shy, and was born around March 18th.

I knitted on the Morning Glory socks a little while tending the booth. We usually bring Kelba with, where her coonhound 'song' (aka howl) is admired by many hunters and lovers of the breed. I think she gets more attention than our merchandise each time we go!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Pogo says: Get em' Daddy!

Click to Enlarge

I nearly fell over laughing after getting this series of pictures. Pogo jumped up into Mark's lap while he was playing Grand Theft Auto and, as a chase ensued, seemed to be saying 'Get em' Daddy!'

I finally got to the point where the circular needle fits!
There were twelve double-pointed needles before switching over.

Oh, and yes, I did go with the red stripe ;o) thanks Susan!

Mark's mother's rose bush bloomed

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Mouse, a Pogo and a Color Question

I found these two asleep on the stairs to the basement last night. Of course, Mouse attempted to deny the entire thing. After all, it's a kitten... who wants to be associated with a kitten?

Note Mouse's one slightly slitted eye in this pic...

What kitten? That kitten or me?

Mischa, the dog who licked Squint's ear, also is confused about this kitten. She thinks perhaps she is supposed to be babysitter again. This morning she was keeping Mouse and Pogo from playing together. Maybe she thinks Mouse is attacking Pogo. Just after this picture she snapped at Mouse and herded Pogo over to the door to be licked and checked over. Later Pogo and Mouse were playing again bouncing around packages to go in the mail and having a very good time together... while Mischa was outside.

However, it is good Pogo has an attentive 'babysitter', whether it be dog or cat. We've been allowing Pogo to go outside near the porch the past few days. She always has one of her 'babysitters' sitting nearby watching her. We've seen a hawk in the valley (on the other side of the house) which would be worrisome if there weren't several large dogs to bark and notify us to kitten dangers, or two 'big cats' to run up to said kitten and say 'take cover.'

Slow-knitting on the socks. I'm trying to decide if I want to continue with purple and blue striping for the circular shawl or add in another colour from the new Palette yarn that came. I have some lighter blue colours, a lighter purple and red Palette that could be alternated somehow.

There are three blues(Lt,Md,Dk), three purples(Lt, Md, Dk), and white. Problem is I've started with the darkest blue, and the medium purple.. and wondering where to go next.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Chris Made Me Do It

All I have to say for myself is 'Chris made me do it.'

Kelba was the only one who fit.

MDK bib and small scrubbie dishcloth from the extra yarn.

I've cast on for my Morning Glory kneesocks as well, but it will be a while before they are photogenic.

We went to the flea market to sell yesterday morning, and made out pretty good. We were selling our bulk spices and also some computer surplus.

SovereignIT Spices
We are selling Ginger, Garlic, Paprika, Oregano and a Peppercorn Mix on Ebay and at our flea market booth.

I also picked up a few copies of the old magazine Workbasket from a vendor, and some Organic Gardening mags as well. The Workbaskets have some good knitting patterns including socks, a lace top and mittens.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Yarn Came!

The yarn for my knee socks came! It is Morning Glory 'Sock Memories' from KnitPicks. Obsidian Kitten had used that yarn for hers, so I decided to give this colorway a try. I also bought some KnitPicks Essential to try - and some extra Palette for the Circular shawl and for the heels and toes on these knee socks. All of the yarns I bought were wool (Essential is 25% nylon) and fingering-weight... there's a trend there ;o)

The MDK project in progress, and the new sock yarn.

Puck and Pogo play near the house skeleton.
Pogo has really taken her 'place among the pack' here. Almost all of the dogs are playing with her, and Mouse was even seen to kindly roll her around and teach her some pouncing lessons this morning.

Survey: IF you enjoy green vegetables, of any kind, which ones do you like and how prepared?

Maybe I'm a bit strange, but I like brussel sprouts (the crunchy, just barely cooked all the way through kind, not the mushy ones) and steamed broccoli. I eat both of those on occasion, if the proper mood hits me.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Resident Swatch Tester

Click picture to enlarge

Pogo: This thing feels like my kitty mommy's tongue on one side!

Pogo found out she really likes the reverse-stockinette side of my swatch. She blissed out rubbing against it. Between that and discovering how long my hair is now when it is down - she has had a wonderful day. However, last night she tipped over an iced tea glass and nearly scared the life out of herself.

We attempted to go to a 'spring craft fair' in Paris, TN today - but it wasn't much more than a garage sale with high-priced items. So we rented some movies and came back home.

I'm working on a project from MDK and eating lemon pudding. I think the package notice that was in our mailbox on Saturday means my sock yarn is waiting to be picked up at the post office! *cross fingers* yay!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Pogo Helps Out in the Office

Need help packing?

Or finding the right modem or printer cord?

Pogo's 'on the job' - helping us sort out cords, connectors and pack computer parts for shipping. At least, she thinks she's helping ;o) She also surprised me by learning how to climb up on the counter (via boxes and chairs) where Mouse's food dish is... all by herself now. We've had a busy week, and now there is a long rainy and cold weekend coming up.

I ordered two knitting books, Mason-Dixon Knitting and Stitch n' Bitch vol.1 They came in the mail the other day. I usually don't buy lots of knitting books, but there are patterns in these that I will use again and again. The yarn I ordered for the knee-high socks should be in next week, probably.

Kelba is quite embarrassed we caught her humoring the kitten the other night. Her eyes seem to say 'Please - don't tell anyone you saw this!'

Have a good Weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

New Kitten has a Name

I got a Name!?
We decided to call her 'Pogo' because she goes down the stairs like a little pogo stick. Coincidentally - there was a comic strip character by that name as well. However, I didn't know about the comic strip until this morning! Pogo is a little like Tigger, in the bouncey part ;o)

Attack kitten!

Pogo getting up close and personal with the camera

Other candidates for names were 'Gizmo', 'Squeak' (didn't think she'd grow into that one), 'Audrey'(Little Shop of Horrors) and 'Chewy' (Chewbacca). Chewy didn't seem like a good idea with 8 dogs around.. but she did answer to that when it was said.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Knit, Bloom, Mew

Started adding coloured rows onto the circular shawl.

Ordered some yarn and the Stitch n' Bitch book to make some knee high socks! Thanks Shannah, for the pointer and for showing me your Irish Nacho socks too!

We continue to have new orchid blossoms open! It is amazing!

A new addition - we were given her at the flea market in Huntingdon this morning. We had talked about the possibility of getting a kitten last week, when they 'sold out' before we found them. She had a fuzzier calico sister that was very jumpy, and a sweet little orange brother.

She doesn't have a name yet. Any suggestions? She is very sweet and remarkably good natured and calm, considering the number of dogs here. However, she is also active, playing and exploring the house tentatively. She has met half the gang without incident and is currently fast asleep in my lap having kitten dreams. Mouse grumbled at me and stalked away as if to say 'I was just getting you trained as my human, and now you bring this kitten in? *grumble grumble*' Kelba guarded her in the car while we were in WalMart, so she thinks it is her kitten to watch over when we aren't paying attention to her, maybe.


Very sweet stripes and markings.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Doing a little Spot Cleaning around the House

Spot, the Great Dane, tentatively allows Mark to vacuum him after several windy, dusty days here.
His sisters were cowards - they might get baths ;)

Happy Easter!

Rabbits and carrot

Wishing you all safe travel and a happy holiday wherever you are :)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sweet Delight - gauging knit

Click to Enlarge
The colours are starting to stripe vertically!

I'm swatching. Everyone can fall over now in pretend shock. I never swatch. See what I mean, though, about this yarn being a little 'gappy' on a size 7 needle? I hope after I wash the swatch it will tighten up a little.

The facts: On a size 7 needle this yarn, Baby Bee Sweet Delight (wrap) has 5 stitches to the inch and 7 rows to the inch. That is with my knitting, which has loosened up a little - but my knitting used to be terribly tight. Metal needles aren't as bad for 'tight knitting' as bamboo, but that could be a personal quirk.

The fabric, although it is a little gappy, is very soft and light - with a nice drape. I can see why some people were using this for adult and children's clothing, as well as blankets. The colours are striping vertically, but last time I swatched (the one that was ripped out) I didn't notice that. Maybe I hit a 'magic number' in the width. There are 55 stitches on my needle.

You can also see the circular shawl peeking out at the top of the picture -- it is creeping slowly. I've been working on the swatch the last few days, bit by bit, at my computer. Once it reaches ten inches by ten inches - it goes in the washing machine for what luck will have with it ;o)

Link for Later: Knee Socks toe-up. Not sure if I want to try toe ups yet.. but I need a pair of knee highs!

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Divorce that Isn't Quite Yet...

My divorce was supposed to be settled yesterday, April the 5th. My lawyer had received back the card for the serving of the papers and as of the morning of the 4th the case was set for default on the 5th, as Jesse had indicated he had no lawyer and would not be contesting. (this was told me via my lawyer's office at 10 am on the 4th of April - by an assistant)

However. at 4:00 pm that same day, the assistant called me back. They had just been notified that Jesse HAD retained a lawyer, and WOULD be contesting the divorce. However, they had no other details until next week.

We are sitting here thinking - What more could he possibly want? He has everything, except me - and I'm not going back. There is nothing in the law that says I have to live with him against my will, even if we are married. He has Willow and Sally, the vehicle, the furniture, all but 900.00 of the money that was in our savings account when he moved. He had called me and asked for that to be sent to him - but that money went to pay my lawyer, as he had chosen to leave it.

He has the wedding ring, even if he doesn't know it. It was in the top drawer of our dresser when I left that morning. He had called and asked for it. He also wants my engagement ring back - which is being kept at my mother's house in Minnesota. He was told he could have it if and only if he returns the family photos that are in a box marked 'Rhe's photos' that he took with when he moved. After he called for money a second time the lawyer suggested a temporary restraining order could put an end to that until the divorce had been settled. The last time I had personally spoken with Jesse he had said that all of the boxes were still unsorted and he didn't know if or when he would get to unpacking. I told him he could leave anything of mine at my mother's house or garage, wherever it would be safe.

He has called the business (Mark's father's) that we worked for several times trying to get more money for insurance and worker's compensation. That was about three weeks ago. I really can't see how he can afford up to a thousand dollars for a lawyer and hope to get something out of it. This is especially unlike him, considering how reluctant he is to part with money, except for things he wants for his own enjoyment. He would hesitate, when we were together, to spend thirty dollars for a necessary doctor's visit but spend freely on books or other toys.

I'm not asking him for alimony, or charging him with abuse or adultery, or asking for half the estate, or even for court costs. There are several things I have record of that I could charge - but I wanted this to be nice and simple, with as little upset and nastiness as possible. The lawyer filed the cause for divorce as 'inapporpriate marital conduct' - the near-equivalent of a no fault divorce for Tennessee, but without the automatic division of everything down the middle.

What can he stand to gain, except a little extra time and pain for himself? Does he want a chance to play the victim? How? It is annoying me a little, if annoying me is his goal - but there is much more here to attend to than the chance that we go to court on the 5th or the 25th to settle this. In fact, this is my opportunity to make certain the judge knows I want that box of photos and albums and a few other things that were left behind. Before, I just wanted it to all be quickly severed and done. I can take a little extra time to make sure these items are returned to me, if he is going to 'force a fight.'

As far as I can tell, I have no assets he could want or possibly hope to get. I am lucky to be able to pay my student loan once a month, with help from friends. The only thing I have title to is half of our truck - which he was told he could have. I asked my lawyer to remove my name from the title of that truck as part of the proceedings. My lawyer says he has to have some benefit (financial or otherwise) to contesting the divorce, or Jesse's lawyer would not take the case. So, whatever his pipe dreams are - I'll have to wait until next week to find out.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Project Spectrum Yarn

Baby Bee Sweet Delight yarn in 'carousel' colorway

Project Spectrum for April is all about pink, yellow and green. Does this yarn count? We went to Jackson yesterday and I stocked up on some size 1 and 2 dpns* and two skeins of this new yarn. The colours are so bright and the yarn is so soft! I have a plan semi-worked out for what to do with it -- but the circular shawl will still take up most of my time. I tend to pore over yarn catalogs and look at everything - but not buy until I have a good idea what to make with it. This is one reason my stash is still so so small, even after a few months.

About this new yarn - the label says it reccommends a size 10 knitting needle. A size 10! This yarn is just barely thinner (yes, thinner) than average sportweight, imho. I knit up a small swatch with it on size 7 needles and it was loose and gappy enough to make me not want even think about size 10. I'm guessing a size 4 or 5 needle will actuallly satisfy my idea of knitted fabric. However, if it shrinks or fulls a lot when it is washed -- maybe the size 7 would be better? Has anyone worked with (and washed) this yarn before?

I tore out my swatch -- maybe I should reknit it and try washing it with the next load of laundry.

*The size 1 and 2 dpns are to use with the purple and brown yarn in my 'stash' - the same yarn as the circular shawl, in case I have white left over from there I can make some socks etc... After all - I really do enjoy working with the Palette and the small needles, even if it does take forever to finish a project ;)

Other knitters and what they're doing with this yarn:
White Violet used a size 3 needle to make this 12-18 mo. old little girl's dress.
Jan used this yarn doubled to make Baby hat and bootee sets - with a size 7 circular needle.
Alpaca Rose used this yarn to make an afghan - but no word on what needle size, looks like at least 5 to 7.
PearlKnitPurl made a beautiful red camisole out of this yarn - in a small needle size, doesn't say which size.


Home-made Cream of Chicken soup (not condensed)
Pan-cook one skinless boneless chicken breast with a little water, some olive oil, garlic(minced or good garlic powder), pepper and salt until cooked all the way through. Cut up chicken in pan. Add just enough water to cover chicken, and maybe a little more oil. Let come to a low boil and cook for several minutes more.

Turn off the heat to the burner! Strain off all the juice into a cup and save it. Put the cooked chicken in a bowl and keep warm.

Toss a few tablespoons of white flour into the bottom of your pan and add the juice back slowly, stirring to make a roux. Mix well - then slowly add just enough milk to make a soup consistency. Slowly warm the mixture again to a slow boil and add back the saved chicken meat. Add extra spices or seasonings and serve hot.

**Not a low-calorie dish ;o) I used whole milk in my soup. If you don't like the taste of the olive oil, use canola or vegetable oil - you don't need much, about 1 to 1.5 tbsp oil total. Soup serves 2.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Here and There

The needle for the circular shawl came in the mail. I still have a little ways to go before it will fit.

A new bird softie.

We went to the flea market and sold some things. It was a warm, busy day! There were turkeys, peacocks, puppies, goats, rabbits, chickens and even kittens! We only got to see one of the kittens, though - as they were already given away. We spent a little and made a little - to come out just about even. Then we saw a working lathe machine and had to buy that as well. Hopefully we will get to test it out soon and see what can be made with it :) The weatherman says we will be getting 20 and 30 degree temperatures this week with storms. I'm glad we didn't plant more in the garden last week!

A treasure from the past:

illustration from the book 'Three to Get Ready'
Written by Betty Boeghold and illustrated by Mary Chalmers

This was one of my favourite books as a little girl. The story is beautiful and sweet, with the pictures sticking in my head even as an adult. I found a copy of it available on Ebay and ordered it :)

Three little kittens, George, Ginger and Gigi, each get lessons about different 'growing up' things - being 'ornery', selfish, reckless etc.. and Momma cat is there to help them learn their lesson without making the world seem too big and scary. The picture above is about when all three kittens get a ball for their 'three-month birthday' and Gigi the calico takes George's ball. She won't give it back, but she can't play with two balls at once, either. She has to sit and guard both balls while the other two decide to play with Ginger's ball, which makes her very sad and sorry she was so selfish.

Momma cat comforting Gigi after she has said she is sorry.

And some real kitty antics:

Yeller, the outside boy cat.

He says he has a rough life.

Mouse doesn't agree...

Sunday, April 01, 2007


The dilemma: I can make really complicated, original creatures. That is an ability, and the end products are very satisfying to have as an accomplishment. However, they take up so many hours, and so much handwork - that it would take me months to create one, then another month to repeat the work to the same quality. Also, the kind of work I do (hand-stitching) isn't something many others are willing to do, or so it seems. Especially complicated >20 pieces projects. Just making a clear pattern on how to make (dragon, kangaroo, etc.) is also difficult when the project is so complex. I also don't like to put out 'lower quality' objects into my shop - but they seem to be the ones that sell. That is, the simpler projects posted more often grab more attention than the strange and complex ones, many months apart.

*sigh* well back to making bird pincushions for the flea market.