October 29, 2008
oh, you beautiful rutabaga
October 20, 2008
every handful is a whole new snack
file under: meta
I've decided to turn the comment moderation off for a while and risk getting slammed by sp@mmers again, because I don't like not getting e-mail notifications of comments. I miss being able to write back. We'll see how it goes.
*edit: how funny is this, a sp@m comment came in right when I was publishing this. ah well, I'm determined to leave it open for now so that I can start replying to your comments again!)
file under: road food
Everybody please rest assured that I did not eat that nasty lumpish thing I posted a photo of the other day. Cousin Mary got it right: the yellow thing masquerading as a fallen rutabaga on the roadside was actually a filthy blob of yellow insulation foam. I brought it home and threw it in the garbage, and tonight when we go for groceries I'll get myself a nice decent rutabaga that I'm sure will taste wonderful even though it didn't fall off a truck. By the way, the phrase "I dig rutabagas" came from a t-shirt my uncle Ken used to have in the seventies, that he got from the Ontario Rutabaga Producers' Marketing Board. It pictured a tall skinny dude with a shovel standing next to the words I Dig Rutabagas, and if I remember right the shirt was yellow on top fading to purple on the bottom. I've long wanted one of those shirts but am pretty sure they don't exist anymore, and a Google search on the phrase yields only one link: mine. Uncle Ken had a whole bunch of those shirts but had cut them all up for shop rags long before I thought to ask him for one.
file under: shill, baby, shill!
Oh, I slay me sometimes.
Speaking of my cousin Mary, she's been working all summer teaching herself lampworking, and has a new line of stitch markers up in her etsy store using gorgeous handmade glass beads. Y'all should show her some love so she'll keep making them and also so she'll upload all the amazing lampworked earrings I got to see when we visited last week. And remind her that I have a birthday coming up. Heh.
I've been plugging away (sluggishly, due to the chest/head cold I picked up over Thanksgiving) at getting my own shop updated, and finally managed to upload a couple of printed satchels, with more to come later in the week. Now just as soon as I feel I can go back to working under the buzzy studio lights without getting a migraine (a heightened possibility when I'm already compromised by illness), I can print up some more canvas for the next batch. I know, I'm such a delicate flower, it's pathetic.
file under: unwelcome guests
Last Tuesday I was sitting at the sewing machine in the front room with the front door wide open behind me (it was a beautiful warm day and we don't have a screen door on the front). I caught a movement in my peripheral vision and looked up to see a black squirrel standing next to the leg of my ironing board, a good metre and a half at least inside the door (that's about 5 feet, y'all). I said, sharply, "excuse me! get out of my house!". It turned and walked out, seemingly in no great hurry. I followed it to the door and there it was, sauntering down our sidewalk, whistling a happy tune.
I don't know if Cleo was asleep when this little dude slipped past her watch post but I get the sense she's not all that interested in catching things anymore. She used to be quite the efficient hunter in her day, but now that she's reached retirement age she seems quite happy to focus more on her hobbies: shedding fur, throwing up, and lying around in people's way:
file under: more harebrained ideas
I've decided to do the one hundred push ups programme, and today is my first day! I feel I've lost a lot of strength over the last few years, what with ditching the gym entirely during grad school (not that I was ever really able to do any significant amount of push ups). So: new leaf! Starting right now, in fact, as soon as I hit publish. Wish me luck.
October 17, 2008
this place no longer exists
Just outside Holmesville, Ontario there used to be a farm with a pond and some little log buildings on platforms over the water and a wide gravel shoulder you could park a car on and a tall fence through which you could pass bits of bread to waiting animals. The pond must have been man-made, as it came just up to the fence, lapping beneath the wire just a bit so that you had to be careful not to put your toes in.
There were ducks, and Canada geese, llamas, goats, and a big old gentle-natured water buffalo with a brass ring at the end of his nose. We'd bring a loaf of bread and break each piece up small, giving the pieces out slowly, watching the hillside above until the deer who were timidly hiding up there caught wind of all the commotion and came down to join the others in taking bits of bread from our fingers.
About ten years ago, on the way up to Goderich at Thanksgiving, my mom and brother and I stopped there. The buildings were still standing but the animals were all gone, the weeds were taking over and the water in the pond was low and muddy, with barely enough room for the hordes of giant brown carp who were the last remaining residents. They swam around and around, around and around, frenzied. We didn't bring any bread.
This past Thanksgiving weekend I drove by the farm again with Peter; the place had changed so much I almost missed it completely. The pond is still there, deeper and cleaner-looking now, but the weeds have grown in so that it doesn't quite reach the fence anymore and the old log buildings are all gone. No matter how hard you stare at the high hillside, no matter how long you linger, the deer aren't coming down anymore.
October 16, 2008
i dig rutabagas
It's harvest time where I grew up, and we spent a good deal of time last weekend driving back and forth along roads of my childhood, to and from various Thanksgiving gatherings with family. A rutabaga field just outside my hometown was being harvested Sunday morning as we drove by and I was reminded of something my family used to do this time every year: my parents would drive slowly down then-unpaved Airport Line towards Exeter while my brother and I excitedly scanned the shoulders and ditches for rutabagas that had fallen off the trucks going past. We weren't really poor enough to need to eat fallen vegetables off the side of the road, but the game was fun nonetheless and I'm convinced that the thrill of finding them this way made the rutabagas taste better (and anyway, it's not like they'd go bad very fast lying out there, so why not?).
On Monday we dawdled around Exeter a bit (where I successfully Kinneared a guy wearing the most amazing Pink Floyd trousers and a t-shirt with fireworks over a cruise ship), then made our way at a leisurely pace from my mom's house to London to visit Peter's sister. Along country roads I let my eyes slide half-distractedly over the ditches in vain hopes of spotting something crunchy and delicious there. Peter had already said that he would not stop to pick up any rutabagas; he shares neither my enthusiasm for the joys of found produce or my love of raw rutabaga. Still, when I spotted a familiar yellow lump lying in the grass I shrieked in excitement, "stop! stop! A RUTABAGA!".
There followed a tense scene: him disdainful, me pleading, him: do you seriously want me to go back?, me: well, I guess not, well, yes! not if you're going to be mad though, but YES GO BACK PLEASE. I promised him he wouldn't have to humour me with any of my stupid shit for the rest of the weekend (this is at noon on Monday of a long weekend, mind you, and while my intent was sincere, I was forgetting that by these terms he'd only be exempt from humouring me for about twelve more hours). He said he thought the exemption should last the rest of the month. I agreed at once, ready to give in to any demands just so long as we could GO BACK AND PICK UP MY RUTABAGA NOW.
We turned around, drove back a full concession then turned again in order to approach the treasure spot from the same direction as before. As soon as I caught sight of that yellow lump I began to have doubts, and as we came to a stop a little past it I said, "I'm not sure that's really a rutabaga. It looks like it might be a piece of wood". Through gritted teeth Peter said, "go back there and pick it up we are bringing it home whatever it is EVEN IF IT'S A FUCKING DEAD RABBIT".
My friends, I present to you my bounty, thankfully not a dead rabbit. And now Peter does not have to humour any of my stupid shit for the rest of the month.
I can't wait until November.
October 01, 2008
While I was uploading the photo I knit two more rows. That means my sock is now twice as long! Jealous?
february lady, finished
pattern: february lady sweater by pamela wynne
yarn: recycled, wool/alpaca blend, gray with bronzey undertones (the exact colour of my cat)
time to knit: 19 days (would have been more like 12 but i got bored two thirds of the way through the second sleeve).
buttons: 3 cm catalin from vintage necessities (yes, they're the same style as the ones i used on the miss henry cardigan. y'all don't even want to know how many other sizes and colours i bought these same buttons in. several sizes of just the yellow is only the start of it).
mods: none, although i'm considering making the sleeves a little longer due to the extreme drapiness of the fabric making the elbows kind of poochy. i'll decide later. nah, you know what? looking over the photos again i can already tell i'm going to lengthen them. stay tuned.
verdict: love, love, love. even with the poochy arms. once they're longer i'll love it four times.
a closeup on the buttons:
there is a reason why everyone on the planet is making this sweater right now. it's because it's awesome.