29 May 2009

The License

Traditional, you say?

The Defenders

Because if some people's rights are up for popular vote, why shouldn't everybody's be?

27 May 2009

Hot Dish Supper

Karen - who is one of David's employees, his fit model, and guitarist in the band who played at our wedding - has a summer tenant for the mother-in-law apartment over her garage who is from South Dakota. Since David is also from South Dakota, she decided it'd be fun to have a South Dakota party. Which, if you are from the region, would also be known as a Hot Dish Supper.

So David made green bean hot dish topped with canned fried onions, which is pretty much de rigueur for these affairs, someone else made creamed corn, and other people made other hot dish with dead animal in them and jello (also dead animal) with mandarin orange in it. Much wine (not South Dakotan) was also imbibed, and then for dessert the hostess made a very yummy rhubarb-strawberry pie (true story: David's mom's family hails from Leola, SD - Rhubarb Capital of the World - and in the mid-70's his Grandma Rose was crowned Rhubarb Queen). Also for dessert, David found this Memorial Day cake and piped on icing in the shape of Mt. Rushmore.


David would like everyone to know that while Mount Rushmore is the name of the mountain, the actual title of the sculpture is "Shrine of Democracy". And once he posed with a handbag in the old Visitor Center (since torn down) in the same spot as Eva Marie Saint in "North by Northwest".

In the course of the evening, we also found out that Chris, Karen's tenant, has family roots in Hecla, SD, which is where David's dad comes from. Considering it's a town of about 300 people, they're probably at least related by marriage somewhere down the line.

Other Food Stuff

I've been making quite a lot of yogurt lately, which is actually quite easy and very yummy. With this latest batch, I decided I'd hang it up in cheesecloth (actually, it's a loose weave muslin, rather than the cheapie disposable stuff from the supermarket) to drain off the whey and make for a thicker, richer end product.


Note how I cleverly framed it so as not to show the pile of dishes in the sink below. And yes, that is gift wrap ribbon used to tie it up. It's called recycling.

25 May 2009

Memorial Day

"Corn Poppies in Bockfließ" by Kopernikus1966 on Flickr

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

22 May 2009

Green Porno

I hadn't seen this before, since I don't have cable and therefore can't watch Sundance, but I love Isabella Rosselini.

You can see more from this series here.

19 May 2009

Local Denizens and Antipodean Visitors

Okay, so I know I haven't been great about updating lately, but a lot of it is just not having the free time to keep up. Last night's frost warning notwithstanding (except for where we live along the coast), spring is definitely here. When I got home from work Saturday morning, there were garter snakes in each of my front flower beds, and then a rather long milk snake basking in the grass along the eastern side of the house. Then later there was another small garter snake back in one of the front flower beds, along with what was probably one of the original garters.

And Saturday evening, David and I went looking for something he had seen earlier in the afternoon, namely this beauty:


This lovely is a gray tree frog, and is something we don't see too often, as they're quite good at camouflage. Saturday evening just happened to be quite chilly, though, and this one was moving a bit slowly as a result. It also was not on a lichen-y tree, as it should be, so I released onto one so that it would be nicely inconspicuous and protected.

On Sunday, we went down to Boston to see my little sister, who was up for the weekend visiting friends. And on Monday, I drove over to Harrisville to meet up with Nanna Peter, who had spent the weekend at the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat, which David and I weren't able to attend this year.

I've known Peter for several years from the glbt-knit listserv, but this was the first time we'd managed to meet in person. He's also known as Andrew's Tall & Handsome. I was a little dismayed to arrive in Harrisville and find a sign on their door that they were closed on Mondays, but the owners happened to be around and took pity on us, so yarn was purchased (no pics as yet, though).

Afterward, we made our way back to my home, had some cheese fondue and a bit of festivity for our guest, and today I drove him around town a bit to see some of the sights. Unfortunately, I had to work tonight, but Peter should be off at Chicks with Sticks as I type this, likely having a riotous time. Of course, I've had horrible camnesia of late, so I have no photos to share, but I know he's off to visit Mar next, so hopefully she'll do a better job than I. As brief as the visit was, it was wonderful to get to meet him finally, and maybe it'll give us that much more impetus to make the trip Down Under to visit.

On the knitting front, I did finish off my little lace sample project last night, but it's still at the boiled ass stage and needs to be blocked. Hopefully, that will get done tonight, as well, and I'll have pics to share tomorrow. As well as pics of the first daylilies, which started blooming a few days ago now.

One more item - My cousin Liz, whom I've mentioned before plays Wendy Simms on CSI (She's good - go and see for yourself.), has this as her Facebook status today:

All right. I don't want you to feel like I'm hitting you up for money but I am, in fact, hitting you up for money. I have been volunteering with Meals on Wheels of LA for the past year and a half. They have fallen upon hard times in this economic climate (imagine that) and need donations: Meals On Wheels 900 Hilgard Ave LA,CA 90024 or www.mealsonwheelswla.org

If you are so inclined and able, go on over and make a donation. We all know what a difference $5 can make. Alternatively, you might consider donating to MoW in your own neighborhood, since it's a fair assumption that the LA organization isn't the only one that's been affected by the economy.

12 May 2009

Döggi Långstrump

So, a bit of background first:

At the clinic where I work, there are two full-time day doctors, Doug and Sara. They're both foreigners - Doug is Canadian (and didn't see anything wrong the first time he saw this), while Sara is Swedish (and hadn't seen this until I showed her). They also have a mostly friendly rivalry that is ongoing and whose origins have been lost in the mists of time, but which mostly consists of sabotaging each other's desks.

Anyway, a couple of weekends ago, Doug shaved a ginormous mat off of a cat's back and left it on Sara's desk. Yesterday, Sara and one of the daytime techs decided to affix bits of this matted fur to a printed photo of Doug's head (which is, in fact, rather devoid of fur) and take pics of it to put up as the desktop wallpaper on all of the computer terminals. And being Swedish, Sara decided to make one of the photos look rather Pippi Longstocking-ish.

I thought that was such a good idea that I took another Pippi-esque photo of the head and went online to find some Pippi images to attach it to. Because we don't have Photoshop here, I used the open source program GIMP. The look of the program is similar to Photoshop and it can perform a lot of the same functions, but it's different enough that there's still a bit of a learning curve. Still, I managed fairly well for a rank amateur - at least for comedic effect. See if you agree.




10 May 2009

I Blame the Zombies

I really was planning to go to NH Sheep & Wool yesterday and see everybody, but I got caught up in this weird dream about zombies. Well, pseudo-zombies, at least, because there really wasn't so much with the eating of brains, but everybody was getting this virus that made them kind of shuffle-y and bitey, which was how they spread the virus. And George H.W. Bush (Not W, but the dad) was somehow involved in and recruiting me to help stop it, and Barbara Bush was there, but with long, black Gypsy woman hair. And when I woke up there was a huge puddle of drool on the pillow and it was too late to go to the festival. Last night the dreams included Isaac from the Love Boat, so I'm not quite sure what's going on in my brain.

Fortunately, though, the weather held well enough both Friday and Saturday to get some much-needed yardwork done. Our lawn has been growing like a B-movie radioactive monster, so getting it mowed was a priority and the Flying Spaghetti Monster blessed us with nice weather for that on Friday. I also took a few minutes out of that task to get rid of several of these:


That's a gall caused by the cedar apple rust fungus, Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae. There were at least a couple more galls too high in the tree for me to get, but I'll be treating the apple trees regularly with antifungal sprays (already on order) this summer to try to minimize the problem and see if I can possibly break the cycle.

And speaking of apple trees, remember the cute little pea trellis I made with prunings? Well look at it now (Look closely, since it's a little hard to see, or embiggen).


It's leafing out! That means they're also likely to produce roots and turn into little apple tree clones, so I can dig them up at the end of the season and plant a little orchard. Most commercial apple trees, of course, are grafted onto rootstock selected for disease resistance and ability to set tree size, but this heirloom variety, Wealthy, is known to be a hardy variety and actually originated from seed that came from Maine, so I expect it'll do well.

I also got a few pics of the flower beds. This first one is the last of the daffodils and the only double-flowering (and only white one) one of the bunch. I have no idea how it got there, but it smells lovely.


And then there's this unassuming lovely:


And some proof that we really are in a different growing zone from most of the rest of the state (the southern exposure also helps):



I also managed a slightly blurry photo of one of the more mobile residents of the property:


I know some people get freaked out, but we really are very fond of our little garter snakes. Given how close they tend to stay to the house, I suspect they've got a hibernaculum somewhere down along or inside the foundation. I just wish they'd eat more of the slugs and snails.

And lastly yesterday, I managed to capture the boys having a moment. Tuck was actually looking much happier before I pulled out the camera.


There's also been a bit of knitting, but it's an experimental lace sampler and won't be fit for public consumption until it's done and blocked. And now I need to get ready to go back to work. Why does that always seem to come around too soon?

04 May 2009


Living an hour away from work in a fairly rural state means I spend a lot of time driving. And to stay awake while I'm driving, I either listen to news on NPR or I listen to CD's. And if you pass me on the Maine Turnpike, you can tell which I'm listening to by looking to see if I'm singing along or not.

More often than not, I'll be listening to Gillian Welch. I almost never get tired of her songs and the musical stylings of her partner, David Rawlings. And of all her songs, this one is my absolute favorite:

So dark and relentless, I love it.

Today, though, I decided to go with a little Alison Krauss:

In Other News...

...well, there's not much to tell. I finished my spring semester course and have 8 days before the next class starts. My upcoming 5 days off from work are predicted to be rainy, which may make getting the lawn mowed and getting some gardening done a bit tricky. There's been very little knitting of late, too. Some of it's being too busy at work, some is lack of mojo, but these things tend to be cyclical and I'm not too distressed about it.

The biggest thing today (well, Sunday) was David's 41st birthday. This year was much, much more low-key than last year's bash. I made him a yummy carrot cake and we watched The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, birthday boy's choice. And then it was his bedtime.

We'll see if I can't manage some more garden photos this coming week. I've already got iris and daylily buds like you would not believe up against the house, which is good considering I've just deadheaded all the daffodils. And Saturday is NH Sheep & Wool, though there haven't been any firm plans to go as yet. Still, David seemed interested, so I expect we'll try to make a day of it.