Friday, December 04, 2009

odd question for inventors

Hi there,

This is probably going to sound like an odd question, but is there a solar powered device that I could put in a small tub of water to prevent it from freezing. It doesn't get all that cold here normally. 'Though it was cold enough last night for my rabbit's water system to freeze. It's about a gallon of water in a bucket with tubes going to each cage and a nipple on the end that they can lick for water. I could probably insulate the tubes better but that won't help if it's got cold water flowing into it. I've seen water heating systems for livestock in the feed shop. They are a heating element that you emerge in the water. But they all seem to need an electrical source and I've haven't seen any that are thermostat controlled. It would be silly to keep it on when the water is warm. Also, there's no electricity down to where the rabbits live.

so, tell me, is there a solar powered, temperature controlled, water heating device available for an affordable price or has this yet to be invented? If it does exist, how many batteries, at what strength, would it require to make the heating work?

I'm off to carting hot water from the house to the rabbit's home for the rest of the morning if anyone needs to get in touch.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


I've just taken some yarn down to Knotty by Nature, our local fibre arts shop.

It's all hand spun by me and it is lovely. But I'm selling it - except the light blue one, I couldn't part with it. It's lace weight and, though tiny, there is lots of yardage and I'm certain that I can find a use for it.

From the top going clockwise: wool, two ply, woollen spun - (my favourite) 60% alpaca, 20%wool, 20% silk, two ply - wool, cool aid dye, woollen spun, two ply - baby camel plied with silk - light blue lace weight that I'm not selling after all - pastel colours, 80% wool, 20% silk, navajo ply. I spun the last one for socks but realized just in time, that pastels are just not right for me.

EDIT: the picture posted sideways. I don't know why. Oh wait, yes I do. It was because I was thinking that this bloging program hasn't given me any trouble lately. Any way. the above description is from the blue one on the right side going clockwise.

I hope this yarn finds a good home. If one of you lovely people end up buying it, feel free to let me know what my yarn grew up to be.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Holiday prep.: The Marshmallow and the Pudding

I am in love with my kitchen.

Even though it was a stay at home in my PJs kind of day, I still managed to do a little bit of baking.

I made some plumb pudding for Christmas by modifying a combination of one of Mrs Beeton's recipes and a recipe I found here (a sight that seems to have vanished over night but I'll link it here just in case it comes back - it was really awesome and had all sorts of holiday foods that are free of the common and not so common allergies). It's so yummy. Only instead of making one pudding as I expected, it instead made five. I'm not complaining.

I also made marshmallows. As icing sugar is out, I dusted the marshmallows with cocoa. I think that corn starch might have worked just as well. They taste incredibly sweet and I just can't stop eating them. In fact, I'm off to eat some more pre-breakfast marshmallows right now. Chow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Prep.: The icing

Does anyone think that Marshmallows would be good for making the gingerbread house? I was thinking that it might dry hard and act as an icing. Thoughts?

I found a recipe here that I thought would work. It uses...

3 Tbs. (21 g) gelatin
1/2 cup water

2 cups maple syrup

1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. vanilla extract

Holiday prep.: The Gingerbread house

I've been working hard on getting ready for Christmas. It's going to be quite the adventure making a 'traditional' Christmas that I can participate in, especially giving my food limitations.

Foods to be excluded include soy, sugar (from the cane plant), all dairy products (save from goat), peanuts processed grains, barley, and eggs. Foods to be limited included yeast, garlic, sesame, tomatoes, and potatoes. I tell you, this is one heck of a challenge. I was tempted to simply let everyone else have bought treats, but it's so depressing to watch everyone eat foods that I use to love. It reminds me of how ill I am and that's the last thing I want to think about at Christmas.

So, I've been baking gingerbread. I took the ginger snap recipe from Vegan a Go Go and modified it to become a ginger bread that I can eat. It's really yummy and if I roll it out extra thin then I can cut it into shapes that will be hung on the tree.

Of course this is just a practice run to see if it can be done. What I really want to do is to make a gingerbread house that Peggy Sue (my on line name for her) and I can decorate together a few days before Christmas. Which leads to the next challenge: How do I make icing that does not have any sugar in it? I've seen lots of recipes for sugar free frosting but all of them so far have other forbidden foods like Splenda (made from sugar) or sugar free pudding mix (made with soy). I've seen one recipe that might be acceptable at Nook & Pantry that uses only cream cheese and maple syrup; however, I don't know how sutible it would be for a gingerbread house. I can make the cheese from goats milk, but would it hold up the house? Would it go bad quickly? Would I have to keep it in the fridge and if I did, would the gingerbread go soggy?

As I understand it, sugar does three things for icing - it makes it taste sweet, it helps to harden the icing and it helps to preserve the icing so that it lasts longer. How do I get these three qualities without using the one ingredient that is so good at producing them? Any thoughts?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hi all,

Still alive. Actually, I'm doing well compared to last time we chatted.

Thanks to everyone who sent their well wishes my way lately. Dad just installed the internet in my room. It's a really long cable that goes all the way from the router, through the walls, under the floor and up into my room. This may or may not lead to regular blogging. I'm not going to put that pressure on myself just yet. I have the most ridiculous amount of catching up to do with paperwork and such like that.

(yes, I copy/pasted that from my other blog. It just means that I thought it important enough to say twice)

I have a favour to ask. I have a friend coming to stay with us for Christmas. She's lovely and from Japan. I want to make it a very Western Christmas, but I have two problems which you can help me solve. First. I've never had an ideal Christmas. Holidays are just not something we do in our house. Sure, we have feasts and get together and exchange presents. We don't need much excuse for that. But we don't decorate or stuff like that. Second. Well, there are financial limitations which mean that I cannot go in for the kind of holidays that the TV adds tell me I should. I want to have a home made Christmas. I need advice as to how to do this. I'm knitting stockings for us all and have a grand fir marked out for cutting down on Christmas eve. I've ordered the ham. I've made mincemeat that I can eat (and it's so yummy!), but I haven't found a plumb pudding recipe that I can modify successfully yet.

What I would like to know is what else can I do for Christmas? How can I decorate the tree without buying anything comercial? I was going to string popcorn. What else can I do with the tree? For that matter, how do I stop the tree from drying out and dropping all the needles? I want to keep it up for the twelve nights. What do you do for Christmas/winter holidays?
Hi all,

Still alive. Actually, I'm doing well compared to last time we chatted.

Thanks to everyone who sent their well wishes my way lately. Dad just installed the internet in my room. It's a really long cable that goes all the way from the router, through the walls, under the floor and up into my room. This may or may not lead to regular blogging. I'm not going to put that pressure on myself just yet. I have the most ridiculous amount of catching up to do with paperwork and such like that.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tour de yarn

The Tour de France is in it's last 30km as I speak. I woke up early to watch it live.

As for my tour de fleece challenge, yes, I managed to spin every day of the tour.

I spun two skeins of cat fir blended with silk,

a whole bunch of Suffolk wool,

and about half of a secret project I'm spinning lace weight for a gift.

Considering I'm hand carding these as I go along and I don't have all that much experience spinning strange new fibres like cat, I think I did more than I could have hoped. Some days I only managed ten minutes of spinning, other days, an hour or two.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

do chickens climb apple trees?

Yes they do.

This is the chicken known as Other Speckled Fool. Do you see him?

He's about ten feet up the apple tree.

Isn't he photogenic?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Le tour

The first few days of the Tour de Fleece I have woken up as early as I could to watch the race live. It often ended up being earlier than I had planed as the chickens wake up at or around 4am. This involves a great amount of cock-a-doodle-doo and cock-cock-a-do. 'Though for some reason they let me sleep in this morning.

My challenge for the Tour de Fleece is to spin up some cat fir. A friend dropped off about half a pound of cat fir (bag one of four) for me to spin. To spin this soft fibre I first have to tease it apart, then charge the carders with Bombyx silk and fir. Even being very careful at this stage, there are still all sorts of slubs but they even out fairly well when I ply. I have to spin this very slowly else it all gets away from me. My hope is that by the end of the race I'll be able to spin this up almost as well as I can spin wool.

So I've been spinning and carding, and carding and spinning the last few mornings while I watch the tail end of Le Tour de France. Finally yesterday I finished my first skein.

It makes me happy.

Friday, July 03, 2009


Goodness me, I posted on my blog. Does this mean I'm back? Perhaps.

I've been bumming around Raverly the last few weeks as it's been too hot out during the day. I've joined the Tour de Fleece again this year. Let's hope it's with better results than last year. During the Tour de France, we set ourselves a spinning goal. Mine is to spin up some cat fir that I've been commissioned to spin. It's quite the challenge. We spin every day that the Tour rides, a challenge in and of itself for most spinners, and if we are successful there are possible prizes. I'm part of Team Van Isle which is for people who live on the west coast of BC, in and around Vancouver island, and/or really like the place.

In other yarn news, I'm not certain I like the way that my yarn relaxed and looked so uneven when dyed; as you can see from yesterday's photo. I counted treadles and thought I had gotten the twist quite even, but obviously not. I wonder how I can improve.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


I've been haveing fun with yarn:

This is from madder useing different mordants and assists on some hand spun suffolk wool. From left to right; Rhubarb, Copper, Alum and iron, and Alum.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


I know I haven't been around the blog much. I'm just going through a rather rough patch just now, what with my health and everything, and I don't really want to talk about it.

I feel confident that I'll be back to blogging once things settle down in a few months.

So long 'till then,
Truly Trampled

Friday, April 17, 2009

Deconstructing sweater

I've been deconstructing that sweater I found last weekend.

First, I took some scissors to it and cut up the front to turn it from a pullover into a jacket. I knit up some button bands out of some early handspun I had in my stash.

Then, I thought that since it is a jacket, it needs some pockets. (more on that later).

And there you see my other lucky find last weekend: a free sewing dummy. It has all sorts of moving parts inside so I have to learn how to make it my shape and size.

If nothing else, it's great for photographing things for my blog.

Monday, April 13, 2009

chicks and chicken

I've spent a lot of time over the last few days watching our chicks. They are something new and I'm curious to learn about what they are like. I've never raised chickens before. Sure, I've taken care of friends' chickens from time to time, but they've always been adult birds. Our chickens are baby chicks, they are so small and fragile. There is something inside me that feels driven to protect them from harm.

It's interesting to see the chicks developed. Because they were born in a factory, they have no mother to teach them how to be chickens. A week out of the egg, they have only just begun to learn how to clean themselves. Some have figured out how to sleep like a bird instead of flopping down on the floor with their head at an odd angle. There are all sorts of things they don't know yet that I would have thought were instinctual for chickens. It just goes to show you one of the problems of industrial agriculture: the animals (and plants) don't know how to be themselves or are produced in an environment where they aren't allowed to be what they are.

While watching the chickens I've been thinking about my eating habits. I eat meat, not a lot, but some most days. I'm not going to be vegetarian any time soon and vegan, for me, is a long way off. I think that these are both very good ways of being, but it's not for me just now.

Even though I eat meat, I'm still deeply concerned with the conditions in which the animal is raised. This has two reasons: one, I don't like it when animals are mistreated and forced to live in conditions that do not meet their needs; and two, the quality of the meat is improved if the animals do not experience undue stress. Not only the taste improves, but also the nutritional value that we acquire from eating it. That way, if you grow an animal in a way that is closer to it's, well for lack of a better word, essence, then they may not grow so fat so fast, but you need substantially less meat to get the nutrition and flavour that you seek which leads to fewer animals being killed.

I digress. These chicks living in our coup; half of them will be food. This brings up weird feelings in me. I'm conscious of where I buy my meats and the conditions that they lived and were slaughtered. But this, raising chickens for my own consumption, this is different than driving down to the local butcher and buying something for dinner. I have several weeks to get to know these birds. That's what worries me.

I'm pretty certain I can eat them, but I know I couldn't kill them. Not at this stage in my life. The fact that I faint at the sight of blood has something to do with it. If I can insure they live a life that is congruent with their chicken nature, free from stress, then I don't think I would feel as bad about it as I do when I have to eat a factory or industrially raised chicken.

I think that there is something in the fact that they are food that makes me feel obligated to respect them. I feel more responsible for them than I would, say, a pet. Like I feel more responsible for a fruit tree or a vegetable plant than I do for ornamental flowers. There is a connection there: these things will nourish me, so I need to nourish them.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A sweater find

I found this sweater at a Yard Sale yesterday. It's 100 % wool, hand knit, and possibly from Nepal (but I have my doubts about that). I figure it would be just right for wearing around the farm. It's also about 12 sizes too large for me.

So, I was thinking, should I stick it in the washing machine and shrink it down? It would make it warmer and more durable. But it might not work (I think it's been through a machine or two in it's day). I could steek it and turn it into a cardie. That would be cozy and more practical for around the farm. Any thoughts?

weaving continues

So, I fixed the warp. I don't exactly know how I did it, I just sort of got rid of some of the old warp threads and replaced them with easy to use warp threads. Anyway the weaving is going like a charm right now, so that makes me happy. I wonder though, if I made the weaving too loose.

I'm working under the theory that when I wash it the mohair will bloom and the blanket will appear thicker and warmer. That's the plan at any rate, but what the blanket has in mind is any-one's guess at this stage.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

peep peep - Easter chicks

The chicks arrived today. When we arrived in the shop there was this chorus of "peep, peep, chirp, peep" all around the shop. When they brought the chicks to us, they were contained in a tiny little box.

I tried to count them all as they came out of the box, but some of them got away from me before I could get at them. I think that there are 22 girls (the red ones) and 24 boys (the yellow ones) for a total of 51 chicks. As I took them out of the box I had to dip each one's beak in the water as apparently they don't know how to drink unless someone teaches them.

They are so tiny and so cute. They already recognize me as the person who tends them (I've taken on the job of feeding them as it will get me up earlier in the day and give me a reason to go outside). I almost named one of them George. This is a bad thing because the boys will be food by the end of the summer. They will have a good chicken life first, but I can't get attached to them. But as they are now, they are the cutest little things and they go "peep, peep".

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

weaving woes

A friend of mine lent me a ridged heddle loom to play with. I have to start off by saying that I'm completely in love with this loom. If I were to get myself a ridged heddle loom, this would be the one for me.

Unfortunately, I've made a small error in judgement: It's the warp you see, I decided to augment it with some mohair handspun singles and, well, two inches into weaving I'm just about ready to give up on yarn all together. This is just not working. The yarn is fuzzy and stretchy and sticky and just not warp material. It looks nice, but other than that, I'm not skilled enough to weave with this.

So, the loom and I are going to spend a day apart, after which, I will come back and see if I can salvage this warp. Maybe, I can undo what I've woven so far, cut out the nasty warps and attach some nice warp in it's stead. All this without undressing the loom? Maybe? I have no idea how I'm going to do this. Any thoughts?

Saturday, April 04, 2009


Say hello to the newest member of our family.

Now we can call ourselves a farm.

Friday, April 03, 2009

This might seem like an odd question

This might seem like an odd question, but I would really like to know: Is a person more than the sum of their behaviour? I know Skinner would argue that they aren't, but I've always felt that one can separate who you are from what you do. Well, not separate completely, more compartmentalize.

If someone did something wrong accidentally, like say, ran over your cat with their car, that action was wrong. That doesn't necessarily make the person a horrible, horrible human being. Not in and of itself. The person might be generally good: gives to charity, reads to deaf orphans, &c. or the person might be generally nasty: tortures small animals, rapes trees, &c. or that person might just be average. One action does not a person make, and in this example, I feel that one can separate the one time act of running over a cat from the general theme of a person's life.

Or is it me that is screwed up? Can one mistake define a person. Is the person's behaviour the sum of who they are? Is that all there is to a person's sense of themselves? If I say I don't like behaviour x, is it suppose to follow that I don't like the person who did x? I had always thought no. But maybe I'm the only one. I just don't know anymore.

The past is another country

On this last trip to Seattle, the car broke down in the town where I grew up. Well, one of the towns where I grew up. I was young enough when we moved away that I don't have a very accurate map of where everything was. I had thought that since we had an hour or two to wait until the car got better, maybe we could poke around and see how everything was getting along since we moved.

Not only was there snow on the grown, IN APRIL - what a joke, though I wish I was joking - they had also closed my old elementary school and, I can barely believe this to be true, the quiet old retirement town that we left now is home to, according to the locals, the largest walmart in Canada. So much has changed and so much stayed the same. There are little pockets of the past nestled in among huge developments. Things I thought would never change, have and other things remain.

What I remember and what the place is like now are completely incompatible. I wanted to see the place with adult eyes to learn just how everything was, but no. I can't match my mind's map of the place with how it is now. The landmarks are, well not gone, but overshadowed by development. It's the weirdest thing to go back, because you can't go back. Even though the place is the same, it's not the same place. The past really is another country.

Friday, March 27, 2009

For the shear joy of it

Yesterday, as I was finishing up lunch, someone shouted for me to come outside quick. They are shearing sheep next door and I can go watch.

Upon hearing this news, I threw on my shoes and jacket, ran back for my camera, then hurried along to see the sheep get all nakid. I was hugely excited as I've never seen sheep shorn before and especially because I've never taken photos of sheep being shorn before. This was going to be fun.

The only thing I did wrong was that, though I remembered to take my camera, I forgot to also take the memory card that makes camera work. So, sorry all, no photos.

I got there and I had a huge amount of fun. I learnt a lot about sheep. You have to remember that I have virtually no experience when it comes to caring for large animals. Sure, I've milked a cow before, well tried to at any rate, but that dosen't count. So, I spent the entire time questioning the shearer about everything even remotely related to keeping sheep.

The sheep were all rams which are definitely not pets. If your body language is not assertive and confident then they are extreemly dangerious. Even though they were all three years old and younger, I was very much aware that the smallest of them was almost twice my weight and almost all of that muscle. I even got to do some slight wrestling with one of them who tried to make a break for it. It was very strong, but once I got the grip right, I managed to turn it's head and send it home.

I got to bring home some fleece all of which were from breeds I've never worked with before. I have one Suffolk, a whole lot of Charollais, and a couple of Charollais crosses. The Suffolk is my favourite of the lot. Considering that this fellow was shorn in September last, it had quite a nice staple length. The Charollais is a very short fleece but extreemly fine and soft. It is going to make a nice woolen yarn. The shearer said that she spins that stuff up for baby clothes, it's that soft.

I might send some of this away for processing. I've been informed that the well at the farm won't support the amount of washing I want to do this year. I could collect some rain water and heat it up on a camp stove perhaps.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

ain't no one here but us chickens (two)

(sorry all, blogger somehow knew I was in a hurry so it was mean to me. Clare, please comment again, I had to delete the first post to fix the code on the page. Stupid internet making me re-learn html before I've had coffee)

One of the interesting things about keeping a blog, or any journal for that matter, is the psychological effect it has on the individual who keeps it when they let things laps. The first few days you don't blog, it's fine, you can blog tomorrow, but once so many days pass it's more difficult to write. There is nothing you can think about that is good enough to compensate for not having written. Or, maybe, you cannot get the wording right - that beautiful flow of words that comes so easily when you write every day, dries up. Whatever the reason, the longer you leaves something like this, the harder it is to get it going again. It follows faithfully one of Newton's laws: bodies (or blogs) at rest tend to stay at rest. You need substantial force (of will) to set things going again.

But really, you don't. You don't need some great thing to write about, some super-duper event to share with the world. The blog (well, this blog) is not about that. It's about little things. Every day things. Really, when it comes down to it, it is that sort of little everyday things that make up the world.

So, my every day things:

Well, for about two weeks, the cougar moved into our shed. This was great because the deer stayed away and stopped trying to eat the new buds on the fruit trees. But the cougar moved on when G'pa set fire to the yard. This was a few days after he fell out of the fruit tree (12 feet) and hit his head. You think that would slow him down a little, but no. After 24 hours and a night of observation in hospital, he was out and about in the garden again. I tell you, I can't keep up with him. Anyway, this bump on his head came to our advantage as it was the very same fire chief that helped him after the fall, who came and told him off about the fire. The fire men very kindly educated us on all the little details that the council neglected to inform us about when we asked (like yes the council was right, we can burn, but only under certain conditions-something the council denied). So we learnt something new, got to know the local fire chief, and started building a chicken coup.

What? I didn't mention the chicken coup? Yesterday I helped dad start it. It's nice to get outside after most of a month in bed (tell you about that later), even if most of what I did involved eatting popcorn and watching with the occasional fetch, carry and "hold this there, no a little to the left, no, my left". We made a floor and two walls. Today, it's the other two walls and with luck, a roof. Later, we will put some siding on and with any luck at all, it will be finished before Easter (when the cute little chickens come home). This house is for the hens (and one rooster) and they will probably be free range. The neighbors seems to be able to let their chickens out without any loss. The cockerels will go into chicken tractors so that they can move around where we need them to eat bugs.

I think I'm going to make a sign for our coup: "Ain't no one here but us chickens." I think that's how the saying goes.

And here's Ginger:

She loves watching us make the chicken coup but gets a little upset that we aren't spending all our time petting her.

Rabbits, eh.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tangled whispers

The Whisper Cardigan has created a rather emotional knitting experience for me. No, nothing has gone wrong with it; just I worry that it might.

At moments I am completely in love with this creation. The fabric is so airy and light. The yarn is amazing, if I may say that myself. I love the colours and, really, the whole thing is just so exciting.

At moments I hate it. The yarn is so thin and, to be honest, I don't have much faith in it. That's not a good sign considering I spun the yarn myself. This isn't going to be an everyday cardigan/shrug like I had hoped because the fabric is so gossamer. The slightest tug will end in this item being flung hopelessly into the repair pile. Also, the fabric is rather transparent so I'll have to take more care than normal to insure it dosen't clash with what I wear underneath. And then there is the unreasonable amount of blocking that this is going to require...

I do love it though, and I am going to finish it if for no other reason that to learn something new about spinning and knitting with such fine singles. Perhaps the structure of the knitted fabric will compensate for the weaknesses of the yarn.

Because I'm so conflicted (at moments I can't stand the sight of it, other moments I cannot put it down) I cast on a Tangled Yoke Cardie. Again, knit with handspun from some Louet fibre I picked up at last year's Spin in. Now this is a project that admits no doubts. I am completely in love with it. I call it my comfort knitting as it seems to sooth my nerves and gives me the strength to return to the Whisper Cardie.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Can't wait for spring

It's been uncharacteristically cold for this part of the world for more than a year now. It even snowed again yesterday and this morning. I wonder if that is why the finches are drinking from the humming bird feeder. Don't they normally eat seed?

It's a good excuse to stay inside and blend fibre.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Handspun handwoven blue scarf

I would like to tell you the story about this scarf.

It began by carding fibres at Knotty by Nature with Josiane. We blended together some merino and silk noils with the hope of making some textured and very interesting yarn.

Then I found some silvery grey corriedale and spun a warp which Kitten kindly let me measure out on her warping mill. Warping mills are cool and I want one just like hers.

As I've been house bound most of the last few weeks, venturing out on occasion only to over do it, so dad rented me a Knitters Loom from Knotty by Nature.

This is my first time using a Knitters Loom, actually, this is my first time using a ridged huddle loom all by my self. (oh darn, look! It's snowing again. Has the ice age started? I'm told we missed the last one in these parts, so we are over due for a glacier or two.)

It wasn't love at first sight with the Knitters loom, but I think if we got to know each other better, we could become good friends. But, I do like the ridged heddle more than I thought I would. They really took advantage of the qualities of the yarn.

With this scarf, I didn't try to do things the right way. Actually, I did everything as wrong as I could and still make fabric. I didn't set the yarn, I didn't fuss over math, I didn't beat evenly, &c. But I did, or didn't do, all this for a reason. Partly because I wanted to show off the texture of the blue yarn but mostly because I tend to obsess over technical aspects of fibre arts. With both knitting and spinning I've learnt all I can about technique, structure, and different ways of doing things as I can get my hands on. I tend to do this. I try my hardest to get the technical aspects of the craft as perfect as possible. I deliberately didn't do this with weaving. I wanted to see what happens when I play around with this, an inherently a technically focused fibre art, and see what happens. I also wanted to see if I could overcome my perfectionism.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I admit, I've found it very difficult to blog lately. It's nothing to do with the blog itself, but rather to do with the setup of my day. Before, back in the condo, I would gratefully received my coffee, retire to my room and blog in privacy.

Writing for me requires a lot of thought and solitude. I find I just cannot do it with other people in the room. I have all these stories to tell you, but when I'm expected to make conversation at the same time (not to mention before I finish my coffee) I just cannot focus. It's a bit like how I feel about using a large kitchen knife; I can't have people too close to me for fear that they will bump into my arm and I'll loose another large chunk of my thumb. But when I am alone, I'm completely confident in my knit using abilities.

At the farm here, the internet is in two places: downstairs in the basement which I cannot go because that's where we are storing all the things that make me ill until we can sort through them and begin the elimination process; and upstairs between the kitchen, dining area and liveing room. I find it very difficult to focus on writing when I am watching people playing around with my spinning wheel settings which I only just got right, pulling on one of the drive bands and stretching it so that the wheel with the double drive band now needs re-drive-banding, and so on. I know that person is curious, but UG, I need my own space. Before, there was a respect for domain: if it is something that so-and-so owns, then you don't touch it except in an emergency, now if it's in the house, no matter how delicate (not just talking about wheels now) it requires fiddling with and occasionally braking.

For example, just now after getting covered with oil from disconnecting the old oil tank, it was necessary to tell me something that I have no interest or involvement in when I was just about to write something really good about how having Lyme infecting the brain causes one to have a very short attention span and makes it easy to forget the extreemly witty things they were going to write before they were interrupted.

As you can tell, not being able to write every day is taking it's toll on me. I've tried writing the post in my room then coming online to post it. Besides the fact that I have to wrestle with blogger for formatting (a hell I'm not willing to go through each day) I have to do it while people expect me to interact with them. I'm not sociable in the morning. I need a good four hours to wake up, no matter how early or late I get out of bed.

The house is in a state of becoming and will continue to be this way for several months. There is a lot of renovations to get done and it is surprisingly difficult to get people to sell you a new heating system. Even when this is all done, I don't think there will be a place where I can write and craft without constant interruption. My bedroom is out because of the need for it to be space. Everywhere else is public space and is open to the rest of the house.

I think I need to look into building a studio. How hard can that be? Somewhere with lots of windows and airflow. Somewhere with running water and internet connection. Electricity and heating would be nice too. Maybe a ceiling fan. Somewhere where I can be my grumpy, antisocial self in the mornings without feeling terribly bad about it.

I wonder how one goes about something like this? I wonder if I'll be able to start it before I go completely batty.

Anyway, I now feel considerably less grumpy for being able to express myself. I also have a plan of action, though no one else in the house realizes it yet and it will probably won't go into action until next fall. But I like finding solutions. They make me feel productive.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lovely Llamas

I wonder how I would get them home. I suppose I should install the fence first then go looking for livestock.

Monday, March 09, 2009

March came in like a Lion

Well, it started snowing again this morning. We now have over two inches of white stuff on our driveway. This is just crazy. I guess I'm not going to spinning tonight. I'll just have to stay home and play with yarn all by myself.

Errata: Yep, I know it, my spelling skills suck.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

dear deer

Deer in the snow at night is surprisingly difficult to photograph.