Sunday, February 22, 2009

Our life in a cartoon

Imagine my surprise this morning to see a drawing of my kitchen table, my husband, and myself on the editorial page. We must have met this cartoonist, but I don't remember it.

Or if we haven't met him, we must be more of a stereotype than I ever dreamed. Here all this time, I've felt unique-individual-like I didn't quite fit in. Turns out. I'm just like everyone else out there. So much so that when a political cartoonist draws Mr. and Mrs. Average, he draws me and Dave.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Vaccinate your kids

"THE doctor who sparked the scare over the safety of the MMR vaccine for children changed and misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with autism, a Sunday Times investigation has found." Full story here. Lots of other info and links in the other blogs I read at left. I'm really tired of this issue. I think we need to put it behind us. Vaccinate your kids. It won't cause autism.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Zoo on Thursday

What I forgot to mention is that two elementary schools in the district lost power in the wind storm. Yes--the boys didn't have school. Again, it was a day I didn't have to teach. I am very lucky. We went to the zoo. Nothing like the zoo on a chilly, windy day. No people, but the animals up next to the fences. Or at least the elephants and lions were up next to the fences. The male lion graced us with a good roar. I've never heard that before. He stood and looked right toward me and Alex and growled/roared for about 30 seconds. It was pretty dramatic. A zoo employee said he hears it all the time, but that the lion always stops when he walks up. I told him the lion had stood right there and roared at us--The worker said we were really lucky! Note the photos were taken with my phone, so they are not the best.

Three down --One to go

When we moved in, there were four big evergreen trees in the back, so we couldn't see the neighbor behind us at all. Two of these trees blew over last spring. Last night number three blew over. The fourth big tree is leaning, and the root ball is coming out of the ground, so it will have to be taken down. That leaves just two small evergreens, and they block our view of woods, not of the neighbor. Oh well. It is kind of nice to have the back opened up a bit. And the neighbors seem just fine. We can now really see their chicken coop. (Yes, our backdoor neighbors have chickens...)

Enjoy the photos. You can see the big tree that is still upright is listing towards the playset. The closeup of the ground under that tree shows the bulge of the root ball. When the wind blows you can see the root ball rising out of the ground. It is just a matter of time. When we get the one that is down taken out, we will just have the tree folks take this one down if it is still standing. No point in paying for two trips from the tree guys.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Baby Bear

A new bear has joined the family. Baby Bear. I made him from the exact same pattern as the fuzzy brown and black bear in the photo. The difference in size is the result of smaller yarn and a smaller hook. The hardest part of the process is sewing all the arms and legs on the body. Making the head and ears is pretty easy, making the pieces is easy. Sewing them all together is tricky. I did the crochet for this one on Sunday, just working off and on as I followed Joseph and Alex around the house as they played... I stuffed, finished, and sewed him together today. It took just about as long!

Public Service Announcement

How to clean up the inside of a pull up after it has been torn apart by an angry child.

1. Let the bits dry for awhile. They will be easier for the child to pick up by hand or with a vacuum.

2. Do not rub with a cloth or walk on the bits before they dry.

3. If you do walk on the bits or rub into a table before they are dry, clean the residue off wood floors or tables with a weak vinegar/water solution.

I don't really feel like describing the incident that leads me to this knowledge. I don't want readers to feel sorry for me, or to think that my angry child is bad. He isn't bad. He is naughty. He is troubled. I wouldn't mind if my readers would say a prayer for that troubled child. And his parents.

Now back to the healing power of crochet.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Bunny and Bear join Monkey

Clearly, I'm working with my yarn and crochet hook instead of blogging. The photos of Bear don't do him justice. He is MUCH cuter than I can show in a photo. Bunny is Alex's. He is not a cute as he looks in the photos. Bear has two eyes, but they don't show up because they are just about the same color as the yarn. Both these guys are acrylic. Monkey is a Wool/Silk blend.

I've been experimenting with textured yarns. I don't like the really long fur on the bunny. It is hard to work with, and the results are too shaggy for my taste. Alex likes him, so that worked out just fine. I've used these yarns because that is what shows up in the clearance bin. Nice, brown, grey and off white pure wool is never on clearance. I did find some nice "earth-friendly" fiber fill. I finished the bag of polyester fiberfill I'd had in my craft bin for a decade at least, and then bought a new bag made from corn--not petroleum! Technically, Bear is Joseph's--but I'm having a hard time letting him go play. I think he might need to stay with Monkey on my shelf for awhile.

If you want to really see FUN and cool crochet projects, check this site about Hyperbolic Crochet... I'm so impressed with this, and I promise to post if I make any of these. My mind is churning to see if I can find a way to model musical scales, and show the difference between symmetric structures and the asymmetry of the diatonic musical scale this way... Okay, I'm a total geek...