Sunday, December 28, 2008

Maxx is Home

Maxx is home. He is eating and drinking, but not heartily as before. I am very troubled by the fact that Maxx is hissing (and baring teeth) at KC. They are the best of friends and have been for 5 years. Maxx is not intentionally going after him, but when KC goes up to him to say hello or initiate play, Maxx turns into Feral Cat from Hell. I have no idea why he's being so mean to his pal. I understood him hissing at KC when he wasn't feeling well, but he's better now. He's aloof, sleeping in my mom's bed all day and only coming out to eat and use the litter box. Very strange ... someone stole my cat's soul.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Unfinished Pie
Finished Pie

Merry Christmas everybody. Mom and I had a pretty good day today. Especially after the call from the vet saying that our Maxx was doing better. When we left him at the vet last night he was in very bad shape, dehydrated, lethargic and he hadn't eaten in almost 2 days. Its tough not to have him home and despite 2 kittens and an active Cairn, there is an emptyness to the house. We hope to have him home by Saturday.

Mom & I made an apple pie early this afternoon, I can't wait to dig in - 10 MacIntosh Apples and lots of cinnamonny goodness. Now there is a turkey in the oven. Dinner will be at 7p, pie at 7:10p - hahaha.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sheep. Snow. Solstice.


Karen smiling at a future hat and scarf

Logo on the Farm Truck

Angora lambs (is that right?, I never asked)

What a great day!! Mom & I went up to the Hudson Valley Fiber Farm to join in the Winter Solstice Celebration and meet Susan Gibbs (owner) and Erin O'Donnell (farm manager) and other similary yarn-minded individuals such as myself.

House - rear view

(To those of you who have absolutely no clue what I'm talking about - click on this link.- I have to thank my friend Carol Olstad for forwarding an email from our colleage Maria Cameron with the link for the Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm, a Community Sponsored Agriculture - Yarn CSA - and while all the shares for MVFF were sold out, I was lucky and very happy to discover a second farm in the Hudson Valley. I am now a happy shareholder with my mom.)

Semi frozen pond

Ewes and lambs
The drive up was interesting given Old Man Winter's one-two punch of a wee winter storm on Friday. Though West New York, NJ only got 3.5 inches of snow, it felt like Hopewell Junction got 2 feet of snow. In all actuality it was probably about 8-10 inches, but I'm a New Yawka, I think BIG. On an otherwise uneventful drive, coming off the ramp from the Taconic to Mill River Road (?), the brakes on my oh so reliable Subaru Outback (aka Chuck) locked up and we went sailing through the deserted (thank heavens) intersection and straight up the on ramp before they engaged and we came to a full stop. I did notice the SUV out of the corner of my eye on the right hand side of the road and YEAH! to him for being able to stop or I might be writing this with my leg or other body part in a cast. Breaking all driving rules, I reversed off the on ramp and back on to Mill River Road. Again, the roads were deserted. When mom saw the decline of the road, her signature sharp intake of breath and her slow reach for the door grip made me stop and assure her we would be fine. Of course, I was apprehensive on the inside, but I didn't want her to know that. Long story short, we made it. When I saw all the snow I wanted to drop to the ground and make a snow angel, but I had to help mom get up to the house. According to the temp gauge in Chuck, it was only 19 degrees. But I didn't feel cold. The mountain cold is so much different that NYC cold. Its not damp, it doesn't go through you the way it does in the city. People say its because we are near water. I think it's the mountain elevation.

4 sisters

We walked all the way around the house, saw the guys building a bonfire. I walked up the back porch steps and was told to go around the front and through the mud entrance. We took off our boots, shed our puffy coats and were instantly welcomed by Susan Gibbs. I introduced myself and my mom and mentioned the apple pie. Susan said she'd heard about the apple pie. Gulp, hope it tastes good to them. I know I LOVE my mom's apple pie better than any desert in the whole wide world. Susan steered us into the house and over to the food - meatballs, macaroni, fresh hot apple cider and hot chocolate. Seems like everyone brought desert. I had one of the little snowmen with gumball ears. Delicious.

We chatted with the other guests a bit and then I asked Susan where all the sheep were hiding. She took a group up to her little hill corral to see the new ewes and the babies (lambs, wee sheep, whatever you want to call them). What fun?! I love the outdoors, I love the mountains and I love animals. I was probably grinning like a 5 year old. The adult sheep were wearing coats and the kids were milling around, some of them in their protective dome shelters, nice and warm standing on hay. I took a bunch of pictures which I will attempt to post here.

After hangin with the livestock, we walked down to the bonfire which was in full and magnificent blaze. I took some more pictures. I roasted 2 marshmallows for me and mom and tried not to get too close so my highly combustible puffy coat wouldn't go up like a Roman candle. Susan took my picture by the fire and was kind enough to post it on her blog - thanks Susan!!! Glad you liked the pie.

Mom negotiating the snow

It was getting late and we had a 2 hour drive ahead of us, so I said my goodbyes to the folks outside. I purchased some soft snuggly yarn, got a cup of hot apple cider, talked to Susan about coming up to the MVFF on April 18th for shearing (?), I just don't recall what she said, I was so excited, my brain shut down. Mom and I made it home incident free in 1hr45mins. I am very much looking forward to following Susan's blog and upkeeping my own.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Blog Virgin

I'm guessing that most of you who will read this know me. So here ya go - my very own blog created on Sunday, December 14th at 5:00p. Might be a momentous date someday - who knows.
My mom taught me to crochet when I was around 8 years old. I never made anything worth mentioning and put down the hook for a lot of years. Now at 43, I like to say I've been crocheting my whole life, but really I've only been serious about it for the past couple of years. I was lucky enough to discover a friend at work with a similar passion for wound animal thread such as myself. She knits the most amazing things. She can also read and re-write a pattern, where I stumble to visualize what the finished product will look like. So, I just don't read patterns, I look at the finished product and recreate it. This drives my mother insane, but it works.
I've been crocheting baby blankets since high school and building baskets for new mommy's or expectant parents. I've since branched out to baby afghans and baby hats. The Ladder Shawl at the top of this page is one of my greatest accomplishments. The first and only time I followed a pattern and created a finished product. Though it wasn't the first one I made (need to find that photo), I'm very proud of that shawl and the person who made it.
Soon I was making mittens and scarves with different stitches and hats. I branched out from the simple acrylic yarn from the Rag Shop to more exotic yarns by Noro and Blue Heron.
I enjoy surfing yarn websites. A relaxing day for me is one spent sitting in a chair in the sun and crocheting all day. I have turned into such a yarn geek that everytime I go on vacation (Scotland included) I seek out a yarn store. I now have enough of a stash to start my own yarn store. But for the moment, I must remain gainfully employed in order to support my addictions
Please enjoy my blog, I promise to add to it at least once a week!