Sunday, July 31, 2005

Spiral Crone's Scotty story

From Linda Kerby, a treasure of the SheepThrills yahoogroup:

I don't know if I ever told my Scotty Story to the list or not. No matter;
I'm going to tell it now.

When I was a student at Kansas University in 1986-1987 I heard that Scotty
was going to be in the student union signing autographs as a part of the
twenty year anniversary of the show. I got in a long line and waited my
turn to get my autograph. He looked very tired and bored but he was polite
and patient with all of us.

I got to the table and blurted out, "You know, I was a freshman here when
the show started and I used to sit in this building with my friends and
watch the television in the lobby.

He looked at me long and hard, then he leaned over and said, "Aye, Lassie,
an ya ha nae graduated *yet*?"

Farewell, Scotty

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Cool air

I am enjoying the feel of of the nice Canadian high that Stephanie probably wishes she'd kept for herself (42/107??? EWWW). They have been promising it for at least the past 36 hours and today was hotter in the lab than yesterday, which was no joke either.

The hole dug into my malarial swamp of a backyard, the one which threatened to consume the digging machine in sticky mud, back in the wet season? It became the home of eleven greenfrogs and a pickerel frog. Over the past couple of dry weeks it shrank down by about half, which explains one way or another the smaller population of frogs (down to the two or three largest). I hope the decrease wasn't ranophagy by cats or the other frogs. It is raining sporadically but enthusiastically now and I am hoping it will fill back up. I have considered using the hose, but my water comes directly from the water that I suspect underlies the swamp and it might just drain the pool at the same rate it fills.

So with the digging and so forth I have been having an interest in making Northeastern Native-style pots, fired in one's campfire. But Concord seems to be deficient in art supply shops and even more in any of them with potter's clay. They say, maybe in Nashua. or Boston. But it says in the bookthat the clay sources of indigenous potters are often within a kilometer of their homes or encampments.

So the other not very nice, but not obscenely hot, day, Monday, I went out to plant my Ligularia, my Salix Nishiki, and a stolen cattail out near the pit/frog home/hereinafter referred to misleadingly as 'pond.' The mosquitoes were somewhere else and Sarah picked plantain and thoughtfully laid down a mulched path, and I determined to dig a hole. The heap of spoil, pondfill, whatever, had hardened into a barely tractable lump (I have a mattock. Actually, I have three, and this was the medium one). Sarah has been a digger for a while, even if now retired, and both of us looked speculatively at the pile. I broke off some of it and moistened it in the traditional 'spit test,' a quick and disgusting archaeological trick to get an idea of the soil texture. This stuff made a long, flexible worm. in fact, I have all the clay this indigenous person will ever need. I have severl pounds soaking, some I sieved while it was dry and some I am just seeing whther the rocks and sand fall out in solution. Pots before Christmas!

And the frogs will like it if their hole gets bigger. Maybe I'll get a chance to line it, but I know there are already dragonfly eggs in the muck at the bottom.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

It was pretty good.

I thought I had ordered the new Harry Potter. When my mailbox was still empty at 3:30 yesterday, I went and checked and it was still in my Amazon shopping cart. Ellie needed to go to Home Depot and I needed to go to the lab, so we went into Concord, had dinner, and I read the book when we got home. I meant to leave the last 100 pages for the morning but i took the book upstairs with me and...

Sometimes this reading fast thing (I am not the fastest-reading person I know, but close)is a two-edged sword: it was late and dark and I was the only person I knew who had read it, so no one to talk to, and longer than anyone else to wait for the LAST ONE, another thing of which to be careful what you wish for.

On the plus side, it leaves me with my day free, unlike daughter, who is hoping not to have too many customers at her gift shop job today.

Perhaps I shall Birch. I am tired of humidity and heat so high before noon that a simple cup of tea makes me sweat profusely.

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Try not to notice that one of these hasn't even been planted yet...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

What's new

Well, I've been busy. And lazy. Like, pots of perennials not getting any younger on the porch, grass curiously not getting shorter, it's too hot. And I keep being at work, the dig, the lab where I exist to take population pressure off the dig and incidentally document the truckloads of modern cr*p we are digging up, very carefully.

I believe I mentioned I had cast on Birch. I am not sure whether I mentioned that I had cast it on again. And again. And again. Most recently, I cast it on, marked every ten stitches, and knit two rows of stockinette Now it's behaving like a textile instead of a cat's cradle. I still love the delicious cranberry Lorna's Laces, and the other day I got about three rows of pattern done (with rows of purl in between. Thank you, Cassie and Claudia!).

And I am on the seed-stitch lattice square of the Barbara Walker Learn to Knit Afghan. I finally gave up trying to follow the directions and looked hard at the picture instead. Much easier. If I had been learning to knit I think I might have lost heart.

My frog in the rubbermaid pan of broken jars and water stopped being around. At the same time we found a dead greenfrog in the entryway. I mourned for him for several days and then cleaned up the broken glass. The small, deep hole Paul dug in the Malarial Swamp area of my backyard, the one that filled to the brim and almost ate the earthmover, is now the home of at least four or five small greenfrogs and a diving beetle and many dragonfly eggs. The swampiness of the immediate area is somewhat relieved, though not entirely. I found some marked-down perennials, including a variegated willow tree, at Home Depot. The willow tree, which I hope will look less like it has a disease when it's bigger, should also help the swampiness. If it ever gets planted. We are running enough mosquitoes of an evening inside the house that I am reluctant to try to dig a hole in the saturated clay near the 'pond.' But I don't think the phoebes mind the change in the distribution of the water.

Twilly keeps bringing frogs in. We keep taking them out.

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Me and my cat, Asty.

The Evening Grosbeaks, whom I still believe are fiscal and social conservatives, were feeding their young at my feeder. There were several Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks, whom I think are more liberal (the guys wear pink, all right?), but I haven't identified any babies yet. I also saw a turkey hen with seven utterly adorable chicks, but she was not at my birdfeeder.

Ellie is trying to build a cat condo/kitty castle/carpeted tall thing for her cat to sit in and play on. She has learned the difference between chipboard and plywood now. Where did I go wrong, that she didn't know already? She's 19. She does, however, make amazing gluten-free birthday cakes. We had one yesterday for my father's 78th birthday. All of us are amazed that he's that old. He and my mom are moving from their house to an apartment in a week.

I don't mind urban archaeology, but I am not good at bearing industrial rubbish any better than I do fools. Although you cannot put fools in little properly filed plastic bags, at least not legally.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Perfect weather

I thought I ought to balance some of my whining with an expression of heartfelt gratitude. Yesterday I woke up WITHOUT a feeling of sulkiness and dread, and rain was not even forecast, and it was sunny, breezy, some slightly deflated puffy white clouds in a blue, blue sky and cool in the shade. It must have been hot in the sun, because Sarah went strawberry picking and burned herself good. Later she made a gluten-free starwberry shortcake that had me whimpering with ecstasy. I think the other people at the table liked it too. A less burned Ellie also produced pizza worth slavering over, so I did. Yummy.