Monday, March 26, 2007

What a Week.

Last week was a little crazy and weird. You know the kind of week that just gets sucked right out from under your feet before you even knew it was starting? Or the kind of week that when it's over just looks like this? That was my week.
The bad news last week was that I could not find my camera cable. Well, I found one in the laptop bag. This means I will be able to share with you, in pictures, the finished flower basket shawl, cows, and Girl dumping poo on the ground (but more about that later.) I drove a lot, was not home much, and had that great time-killer "jury duty" drop into the middle of my week. You ever see Toy Story? The part where the little alien guys are in the machine? "The Claw chooses who will go and who will stay..."? That's how it felt, sitting in a room with 63 other people waiting for The Claw to descend. At 8am. After spending 70 minutes doing farm chores 20 minutes from home in the opposite direction of jury duty.
Usually I love doing chores. I am used to the whole rhythm of it, and for the first few days it's novel and soothing. But then Girl's car breaks. Then it snows. And I get snagged by The Claw. And the coffee pot gets broken. And the hours get smaller and smaller and smaller, and no knitting happens, and no sleeping happens and nothing happens that does not involve the smell of cow s#!t or the inside of my car, driver's side.
I believe in being connected to your food. I know most of my meat by name. I know what they eat, and how they live. You'll note, by the way, that there is not a significant difference (beyond color) in the ends of these animals. The same blank appearance is present in both the hind and front ends. They are what Mr. Wonderful calls "dumb as stumps". Currently there are Ivan (who's what we call "next"), Socks, Ben and Jerry and...and...Buddy. Naming your food Buddy says something about the situation. What it says is that 'Buddy' is about as likely to get eaten in the end as the family dog. Buddy is an orphan. He's now the size of my car, and a spoiled brat. Buddy does things like butt you in the tush and/or lower back as hard as he possibly can with his miserable bovine head, knocking everything out of your hands. This is a nursing behavior that mother cows beat out of calves as they grow. Buddy did not have a mother cow. Instead he had a bunch of suckers who fell for his big eyes and curly lashes. I would eat Buddy after this week.
Basically, our food has a face. It also has a componant most meat-eaters never encounter. It has poo. Lots and lots and lots of poo. Poo that must be removed. What happens with poo is that after a good snow fall, the cows refuse to move much beyond their barn. They fear snow. The cows seemed to be pretty intimidated by the stuff, sort of the opposite of an Alzheimer's patient who won't walk on dark carpet because they think it's a hole? These cows won't walk in the white stuff because it's...not a hole. So the poo piles up fast, and gets walked in and becomes a slurry of poo and mud with puddles of water forming on the surface as the temperatures hover just above freezing. It smells like poo, which if you grew up on or near a farm does not bother you much, but you are always aware of the effect the poo has on others, like fellow jurors, students, shop-keepers, etc. Wheel-barrows are not the easiest thing in the world to drive when they're loaded with slushy poo, especially over rough terrain, and sometimes bad things happen to good Girl. I had filled the barrow and turned it over to Girl for disposal. I probably should have had more sympathy. I mean, mothers are supposed to be caring, gentle souls right? I didn't. I laughed my butt off while I tried to get a good picture of the poo on the ground, and the angry Girl. I would have fallen down laughing if it were not for the poo beneath me. You don't want to see the face of Girl. It was not a face of ironic humor. It was not a face that accepted it's role as s#!t shoveler. It was a face that said - clearly - "My mother is laughing at me and taking pictures for her frelling blog, AND I AM GOING TO KILL HER!!".
Lest you think we have time for nothing here but gaities, we'll talk about the office. I don't do well with 'slow'. I am kind of a fast mover when it comes to projects. I figure with a good latex paint and two people you should be taped, properly cut in, twice coated, and done (including tape off) in less than one day. Mr Wonderful approaches jobs with a very different attitude. It is, to be certain, a more relaxed one. But we do not agree. Once I commit, I have one speed - high. I don't stop till it's done. I will skip meals, ignore children and pets, and basically continue until forced to stop. The difference in our styles becomes more apparent as we age. I am able to do less if I want to be able to knit the next day, so where normally I would adopt the "FINE, I'll do it myself" mentality, I now must wait. A lot. I had the room painted and ready to go by early afternoon of last Saturday. Trouble is, I can't move onto the floor until Mr. Wonderful finished the ceiling. All week long I wanted to choke him. "JUST PAINT THE FLIPPING CEILING!!!" was running through my brain daily. "So, you worked all day. Big deal! Who cares!?! PAINT!!! PAINT NOW!!!". In the interest of marital bliss I said nothing. I survivied, the ceiling is done and I am starting the floor today.
Finished and blocked the Flower Basket. I basically ignored the directions. I used one strand of alpaca silk laceweight, hand-dyed by Gail Callahan. I think I was using a size 6 needle, but I don't really remember. (I know, isn't it awful how I totally don't pay attention to stuff like that!?) The pattern calls for two strands of something totally other and a completely different needle size. The result is a super-light and beautifully lacy shawl that I love. I loved the pattern - I was using the Interweave version, NOT the Fiber Trends version which we've had some trouble with at the store in drop-in. I really think that anyone who wants to knit this shawls should have both patterns at their disposal. The Fiber Trends version gives great alternatives for yarn weights. I don't wear shawls, which is kind of sad. But there it is, ready to be worn and beautiful. And I am very sorry about the crappy pictures. I swear this camera just makes choices about whether or not it will work on any given day. No matter what I do it just has bad days. It's been dropped a few times. Maybe that's the problem. It's been dropped a lot, actually. I did finally figure out the auto white balance thing (thank you Tamara!) That made a huge difference. But the "I feel so out of focus, and I don't feel like using my flash today..." nonsense continues. It;s not that old. 2 years?
Man, this house smells amazing right now. Last night's coq a vin is simmering on the stove into soup-ness and it smells just amazing. I want to crawl into the stock pot with it. It's a soup day.
Oddity of the week - a triple-yolked light blue
Americauna egg about the size of a goose egg. Unbelievable. The brown egg is a normal hen egg for comparison. It's her first egg of spring; she goes out of lay over winter. I guess she thought she'd get it started with a big ole' bang. This is my first triple yolk ever. I can't believe the hen can even walk after popping this thing out. It's like the equivalent of a 15 pound, 4 ounce kid born vaginally, no epidural, no episiotomy. Just unreal. I bow to the abilities of Yenna2, the greatest blue-egger in town. Now if she'd just eat some calcium so her shells would last into the house...

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