Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Every year about this time, a pod of orcas returns to the harbor in Kodiak to feast on the many Steller sea lions that hang out there. It's all about the timing when catching a glimpse of these majestic animals- I've only seen them 3 times in as many years! Today, a friend of mine who works on the channel leading into the harbor phoned to let me know that they were out and about. Needless to say, The Husband and jumped in the car and raced down there... here is a glimpse of what we witnessed:

A calf. I got seriously choked up. I am not worthy of witnessing such profound beauty.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I'd like to thank the Academy... even though I'm filled with hot air

I'm not one for most awards shows, but there is something about the Oscars that always fascinates me. I always have to watch that stuff, preferably while drinking one or two bottles of wine during the show. Last night, however, I actually went to bed right smack in the middle! I have been looking forward to this evening for months, yet a curious GI complaint just made me want to go lay down and read. OK, this is the TMI section of the post:

A couple of days ago, I started having some gas pains. Worse yet, there was no relief from either end. So, last night this culminated in me considering making a puncture in my stomach with a sock needle to relieve the pressure. Serioulsy. My stomach was actually distended. I tried everything- some ginger, mint, and fennel tea, some OTC stuff, creative yoga positions. Nothing. Not only was I extremely uncomfortable last night, I cold only drink one glass of wine, and I felt fatter than usual- especially when seeing all those starlets cramed in to size 000 gowns.

So, my analysis of what I did see. Way too many fashion dont's... Nicole Kidman looked like a bottle of ketchup that had a chunk of dried ketchup next to the bottleneck. Gwyneth Paltrow looked like she was sheathed in a pair of old-lady stockings. Yuck. I love Ellen, but I felt like she was hosting her daytime show instead of the Academy Awards. Jennifer Hudson probably shouldn't have gotten the award, but good for her anyway. But, found out this AM that Scorsese, Gore, Whitaker and Mirren all got well-deserved Oscars. I guess that's something.

Speaking of this AM, I am experiencing some relief- but my abs are actually sore! Can you believe that? WTF? However, I did manage to get some knitting in last night in between moans of pain and moans of "Why are they wearing that?"

The entrelac bag in process. It's about 1/2 way done. Hope to have the knitted portion done in the next couple of days. Then, I'm going to sew in a nice lining and make a fused glass button for it- my girl is gonna LURVE it.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Bon Anniversaire Maman!

OK, so her birthday was on Thursday... but her present arrived yesterday. I sent her some washcloths (which she is fascinated with- she just loves that one can actually Knit a Dishcloth), a cute fabric box, and this:

My first-ever Branching Out! Yeah, yeah... I'm always a little behind the cool kids when it comes to jumping on the bandwagon to knit these patterns. I'm very proud of it- this is the most complex lace pattern I've ever tackled, and it was made with some of my handspun.

I love how the colors look with this pattern- this yarn was inspired by the year I lived in upstate New York and the mottled burgundies, oranges, rusts, purples, and greens of the Adirondacks in autumn, which came out nicely in the leafy motif with this yarn.

She called me yesterday when she received it to tell me how much she LURVES it. I knit this in a hurry, after I finished Purple Pewter... suddenly the yarn called to me from my basket o' handspun and told me what it wanted to be, and to whom it needed to go. Love when that happens. I found the pattern surprisingly easy to knit- lace is a very logical thing- you can easily see what you are supposed to do in the next row based upon what you did before. Conversely, it is also easy to see when you didn't do what you were supposed to do. This makes me think I may be ready to try out some of Debbie New's Cellular Automaton knitting method. Hmmm... maybe I should get too far ahead of myself after only completing one little scarf...
Pattern: Branching Out from Knitty Spring 2005
Yarn: 175 of my handspun Corriedale, about 12 wpi
Measurements: 6"wide, 48" long

Friday, February 23, 2007


I've been doing some spinning over the past few days... first up, the yarn resulting from my batt inspired by my need to rid myself of winter blues...

Yep, that's bright. About 14 wpi, 175 yds. Oddly enough, the sun has been shining ever since I started spinning this yarn. It's much more sparkly in person.

And, I felt compelled to dig in to the stash o' batts and spin up this lovely...

"Earthworm"- 3 wpi, 85 yds. I'm really proud of this one and submitted it to The Yarn Museum's Coils Gallery. This skein won't be living with me much longer, though... I'm giving it to a good home.

Some time ago, I crocheted a hat using Kureyon #126 and took it to The Rookery to sell. It went rather quickly, because, I dare say, it was very cute. I found out recently that the woman who bought the hat is the same woman who owns the framing shop/gallery next door. She is quite a fantastic spinner/artist in her own right, and we have great conversations during my Saturdays at the shop.

So, when I found out she had my hat, I told her all about how it was made in my favorite colorway, which I haven't been able to find in some time. Turns out, she bought 9 balls of the stuff from The Rookery. The following week, she GAVE it all to me. I mean, holy shit:

All she wants in return is for me to knit her a felted bag using some other balls of Kureyon she provided (more on that soon). I made it clear that just knitting a bag would not enough for such a fucking righteous gift, and told her I would be providing her with lotsa other goodies in the near future. So, when I finished "Earthworm" yesterday, I just knew it had to go to her...

Anyway, the bag? One word: Entrelac. I love it so far. It's gonna be awesome.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Creamed Corn

As the two readers (hi mom!) of this blog know, I am occasionally prone to ranting about off-the-wall stuff. Then, I feel like an ass. So, I slept on this one before deciding to post. I decided that I actually had A Valid Point and should proceed.

I'm not much of a charity knitter. That's a failing on my part and I intend to be better about it. I mean, check out these folks for some wonderful inspiration. I love their blogs, and these are some of the people who are inspiring me to knit for charity (my friends and fam really don't count in that sense).

One thing, however, that I am finding disturbing is a theme that I have seen on several blogs. Now, I know these folks are in the minority, but it bears mentioning. I have run across the notion that people knit for charity with what they consider substandard yarn. As in, "Yeah, someone gave me some crappy Red Heart acrylic, which I would never wear, so I decided to do some charity knitting with it." Now that is just not cool. That is like giving nothing but creamed corn to a damn food drive. I mean, let's face it, people with limited means are grateful for anything they can get, but no one, not one living soul, really wants to grub on some fucking creamed corn. Spend an extra few bucks and get some canned artichoke hearts, some yummy organic Mac & Cheese (like the stuff from Annie's-YUM)... give people stuff you would want to eat, not that which you want to get rid of.

Same goes for yarn. I'm not saying you have to knit hats with cashmere or anything, but Cascade 220 isn't really that expensive. Lion Brand also has affordable yarns that are pleasing to the touch and sight. All I'm sayin' is, if yer gonna knit for charity, give a little bit more than just your time. And yes, I have officially declared Red Heart acrylic to be the creamed corn of the fiber world.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Life is a series of trade-offs

There are so many things that I LOVE about living in Kodiak. The wild natural beauty, the fishing, the wildflowers, the tidepooling, moments like this:

The dog and me- Pillar Mountain, 2/19/07.

This is my "intrepid explorer" pose.

That being said, there are a lot of sacrifices one must make when living in such a remote area. While I often welcome these minor inconveniences, in winter, they can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. However, I have learned to live without good produce, a Thai restaurant, decent live music on a consistent basis, etc... There is one thing, though, that has been driving me batshit. You see, everyone on the Interwebs is raving about the new issue of IK. We don't have it yet. For the most part, we get magazines 1-2 weeks after everyone else in America. I have learned to deal with this with my beloved Vanity Fair, but I'm dying to get my hands on that entrelac sock pattern- among other things. It seems like such a small thing, but it is a good example of some of the isolation I've been feeling this winter. This is my 4th winter here, and man, it has been a tough one. I don't think I have the S.A.D. or anything, but just a touch of the winter blues. So, I carded a batt the other day to help me overcome:

This has to work.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Noro Kureyon One-Ball Wavy Gravy Hat Pattern

Is that a long enough name for a pattern? Anyway, this hat uses a little less than one ball of Noro Kureyon. I wanted to come up with a hat pattern that would use that one odd ball I always have laying around, but have the hat be long enough to cover the ears (I'm not a big fan of beanies). Plus, the pattern stitch is very stretchy... although the finished diameter of the hat is 17", it stretches comfortably around my 22" noggin (I have a verry large head).

Dimensions: 7.5" from center of crown to base of scalloped brim. 17" diameter- but can accomodate a wide range of head sizes (see above).

Yarn: 1 ball Noro Kureyon (hat shown in color #159 )

Needles: 1 16" or 20" circular in 5 mm (US#8). Set of 5 dpn in same size.

Gauge: 5 st/inch and 8 rows/inch in stockinette stitch.


Using long-tail CO, loosely cast on 72 sts

Join, taking care not to twist

Rnds 1&4: purl

Rnd 2: knit

Rnd 3: *(k2tog) two times, (yo,k1) four times, (k2tog) two times* rep from * to * to end of rnd

Rnds 5&6: knit

Rnd 7: as Rnd 3

Rnd 8: purl

Repeat rnds 5-8 a total of 9 times.

Knit two rnds

Decrease for crown:

Rnd 1: *k7, k2tog* rep from *to* to end of round (64 sts rem)

Rnd 2: knit

Rnd 3: *k6, k2tog* rep from *to* to end of round (56 sts rem)

Rnd 4: knit

Continue as established, decreasing 8 sts every other rnd until 8 sts rem. Draw yarn through the remaining stitches and fasten off. Block lightly.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Puppies and other assorted eye candy

My current work on the needles is still top-secret. Hopefully I can unveil it late next week... not too much else going on in regards to the knitting front. Had some dear friends over last night for handmade rosemary/sun-dried tomato foccacia and various antipesto-like toppings. Yum! We also drank copious amounts of wine, solved all of the world's problems, and laughed our asses off. Plus, we got to meet this little lady:

a little husky mix named Luna, aged 8 weeks with her new dad. How cute is she?
(yeah, yeah, I know that a few weeks ago I bitched about people putting pet pics on their knitting blogs.
I didn't mean that all pet photos were bad, I'm just annoyed when they are the cornerstone of damn near every single post.)

And, since there is little else to report, here is a treat for Eye Candy Friday:


Me walking on the beach at Cape Chiniak. Memorial Day 2006.

Can you tell that I am yearning for Spring?

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I just changed to the new version of Blogger- meaning that a lot of my page elements are a bit on the wonky side. Bear with me over the next couple of weeks whilst I get everything straightened out... I'm a bit HTML-challenged ;-)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Cupid and his arrows...

I used to hate Valentine's Day. I mean, let's face it, it is a construct of the retail industry and pharmaceutical companies. The retail industry profits off of all of the useless fodder that one feels they must give/receive on this day, the drug co's benefit from the crushing sense of self-doubt that people feel when they do not live up to the status quo of Cupids and roses and shit like that. Hey, heaven knows that I popped a Vicodin (or 3) on sad, lonely Valentine's Days of the past. But, for joy, now I have a reason to celebrate...

The husband and me, 2/13/07.
Piedmont Point, Fort Abercrombie State Hist. Park
Note how blue the Gulf of AK is in the background.
Try to ignore all of the chins.

... and not with overpriced roses, bad chocolates, or cheesy cards either. We are going to meet up for a sushi lunch and a hike in the woods. This is love. I wouldn't have it any other way. Here is a lovely post on the meaning of true love, not the faux romantic sappy stuff. That is exactly why the husband and I are so happy- we laugh, love, sometimes fight, and always grow. Together. I am the luckiest woman in the world. I look at this picture and think, "Wow, that guy, with those kind eyes and sweet temperament. This man, in all of his hot Black Irishness, with rapier-sharp wit, who never raises his voice, who always supports the silly things I do... this man loves me." I hope you all can find the same kind of love and trust someday...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I didn't have a chance to run down to the LYS yesterday to take a more improved picture of Purple Pewter. However, we got a rare sunbreak today, which left me scrambling about the house to find the camera so I could take a better picture of the shawl. So, here are some slightly improved images. I think I can only blame so much of my photography issues on bad lighting... methinks I am just a shitty photographer...

See those books in the background? All fiber arts books.
Mostly about knitting. Someone is just a tad obsessed...

I pinned the edges into points. Not only does it look snappy, It's a hell of a lot less time-consuming than trying to pin lace edges straight. I may be lazy, but I make lazy look good.

The batt for this yarn was a combination of several colors, everything from gray to burgundy to lavender to purple and a few shades in between with some "Marcasite Flash" Angelina for sparkle. The glittery bits are hard to see, but they are in there, I promise.. I allowed the colors to blend randomly on the drum carder and spun it all up in just as random of a fashion. I LOVE the painterly effect this gave the fabric.


Dimensions: 56" wide, 35" long
Yarn: My very own handspun Corriedale- about 325 yds, sport weight
Needles: 5.5 mm 24" Addi Turbo
Pattern: Rob Roy shawl- pattern available here (for free! Because I am not only lazy, I am also cheap.)
So, in the interest of saving $$$ on gas (read: I'm cheap), I probably won't get a shot of the Kureyon cap until Saturday, when I go work at the LYS. Then, I will post the pattern. Until then, there is another handspun lace project beckoning... shhh... it's a secret!

Monday, February 12, 2007


The purple pewter shawl is complete! And, I have to say, it surpassed my expectations. To be sure, it is a simple lace pattern, but this is the first time that I have made such a large piece using allover lace stitchery. The size turned out perfect (about 56" wide)- my biggest fear was that I would end up with something too big for a kerchief, too small for a shawl! This also marks the most substantial work that I have made with my very own handspun. Below are some pics, pre- and during blocking (I just love the difference some water and pins make):

Yay! Crappy pics taken in low light! My signature look! Fortunately, the shawl dried quickly, so I will be unpinning it this afternoon to take down to the LYS- she has nice full spectrum lights in there that are perfect for photographing the fuzzy stuff. Also, I finished that wavy 'lil Kureyon cap the other day- I will be posting the pattern, but I forgot to take a pic before taking the hat down to the shop! So, later today or tomorrow, I will be putting up the hat pattern- and some decent pics of my proud achievement in all of her glory!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Hats=Crack for Knitters

So, after finishing the Diamusee hat, my needles were beckoning me to cast on yet another! I had no control over the situation- I think I may be a hat addict.
Why I love hats:
  • They are quick to knit, even at a fine gauge.

  • Everybody loves hats, just about. I know that I can never have too many.

  • I can put them on consignment at the LYS and make a profit because of the minimal labor cost.

  • If they do not sell at the shop, then they make a great gift. (Yeah, that's tacky. "Ummm, hey, here's a hat, made just for you, that no one else wanted to buy..." What the hell, I am tacky!)

  • They are a great use for small quantities of yarn, as shown below:

This is a hat that will (hopefully) use only one ball of Kureyon to knit, using what may be my favorite "mindless-when-I-don't-feel-like-I'm-being-lobotomized-with-stockinette" stitch, Feather and Fan. It' s a simple knit, and I will post the pattern when the knitting is complete. Then, because I have an addictive personality, I will probably start another.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

"To think something is not necessarily to say it."

The above quote is paraphrased from one of my favorite books, Wise Child, by the late Monica Furlong. This book, as well as the others in the trilogy (Juniper and Colman) helped shape my core beliefs from a very early age. Although they are generally considered reading for young adults, I still enjoy picking them up and reading them from time to time. It's a nice view into remote Scotland in a time when the region was transitioning from Pagan lifeways to Christian beliefs. And, especially in Juniper, there is much talk of spinning, weaving, and dyeing from a magickal perspective.

But, I'm afraid I thought of this quote for more sundry reasons. Last night, when I was teaching my sock class, I was once again reminded of the very short distance between my mind and mouth. I was discussing with one of the students why ssk and k2tog decreases are both used, as they slant different directions. Because the knitters in the class are fairly new, I wanted to make the point that if it was just easier to use one method of decreasing in their first pair of socks, that no one would fault them for it. I said, and I quote, "You know, that's just kind of an anal thing." Yes, I said, "You know, that's just kind of an anal thing" in the middle of a freaking knitting class. Fortunately, I quickly realized how that sounded, and without missing a beat, I just kept talking, and managed to throw in other words like "retentive" and "perfectionist" to smooth over the fact that I had just used the term "anal" in a sentence during a freaking knitting class. You know, I don't think that I am socially retarded, but I am definitely socially awkward at times. Hmmm... I wonder what kind of people will be visiting my blog after this post? ;-)

Ahem. In other news...

I finished the Diamusee hat... pardon the poor pic quality, but cloudy days in my poorly-lit house translate to yucky pictures. The colors in this yarn are much more subtle than the crayon-like colors which my camera avec flash interpreted:

I'm especially fond of the crown- didn't even plan on the colors working out that way in the bullseye pattern (if you squint I swear you can see it), but it looks like I did. Hmmm... I wonder if this increases my chances of having an eagle poop on my head. One can only hope.

This pattern was a great way to use this yarn- it's a little spendy (but worth it!), and I used all but 2 yds of the ball for the hat. I happily threw the leftover strand of loveliness into my Random Bits of Yarn receptacle to be incorporated into another project.

Pattern: Ela's Favorite Hat from One-Skein Wonders- adapted to include lacy swirl decreases on the crown and purl bands at even intervals.

Yarn: Diakeito Diamusee- 1 ball approx 100 yds (oops- tossed the ball band & can't remember the colorway/exact yardage)

Needles: 5 mm 20" Addis/ Brittany dpns

I seem to be in itty bitty project mode- I also just finished a Kureyon-chan bag for my stepdaughter's b-day. Unfortunately, I sent it off before taking a pic. I like the pattern, pretty much a standard model for the felted purse, but I wish the author had made it such that the pattern uses up more of that "stray skein of Kureyon" for which it was designed. Even after adding about 10 extra rows, I had a bunch left! Also, I adapted the pattern for knitting in a buttonhole rather than cutting one. Dunno why, but that cutting thing always gets under my skin a bit. But really, I'm not being mean- it's a cute design and well worth making. I recommend the pattern, especially for someone new to felting knits, but in the future, I will make the bag larger in diameter. A nice, quick evening knit is always nice...

Secret Pal 10 Questionnaire

I've never done the whole SP thing before... just came across the questionnaire on another blog, and thought I would give it whirl. Since I work at the LYS, I'm sure I can come up with all sorts of lovelies for my SP! And, for whoever is assigned to moi, here is some handy and useful info:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I'm into the animal fibers: wool and alpaca are favorites, with a little silk thrown in for good measure. I love all things Noro... the more rainbow-like the better! I'm not a huge fan of cotton, but I will knit with it if it is especially lovely.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a felted cylinder that everything goes into. My dpn's are sequestered in a case made of felt. Yeah, I could probably be a bit more organized ;-)

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I taught myself when I was 18 on vacation in Scotland. After making a pair of socks that turned out like sweater sleeves, I went on hiatus for a few years. I've been knitting consistently for the past 5 years and consider myself somewhere between intermediate and advanced.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Nope- I like surprises!

5. What's your favorite scent?

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Kind of... I am a fan of all things Godiva and any other candy that is artisinal in nature

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
Yes, I spin, do leaded/fused glass, lotsa mixed-media work... if I can make it with my own two hands, I'll try it!

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Just about everything save for cheesy country and death metal. If I had to choose, bluegrass and GOOD hip hop (AKA poetry set to a beat, folks like Mos Def & Mr. Lif) are my faves- yes, my computer can play the MP3's

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
Love purples, blues, and greens. I am into most colors, but yellow is not for me!

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I'm married, and have kids covered in fur. Japhy, a black lab, and Fiona, the cat

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Everything 'cept the ponchos. I love scarves and hats!

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Hats, mittens, and socks

13. What are you knitting right now?
Some socks, a hat, and a lace shawl

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
But of course!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I prefer circs, esp Addi Turbos

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Lucky me, I have both!

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
3 months old

18. What is your favorite holiday?

19. Is there anything that you collect?
hmmm... I dig on shells, crystals... anything beautiful that comes from nature.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I do not have any subscriptions, but I regularly buy Fiber Arts, Spin Off, and Interweave Knits. Also love Quilting Arts and Textile Fibre Forum, as well as Knit Knit. I have lotsa knitting books, but would love to get any of Barbara Walker's Treasuries. As far as yarn, Sea Silk is something I would love to play with! (Geez, I sound like I have expensive tastes! Don't worry, I'm just as happy with some dishcloth cotton.)

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I've played with a lot of techniques, and would love to master lace knitting.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes! I am a size 8, average width.

23. When is your birthday? September 15

Thank you in advance kind SP!

We'll I'll be...

Just took a look at the hits on this blog... seems that folks from all over are taking a peep at the silly little things I do and say. It's funny what a motivator that can be; I mean, this is in essence an online journal which I do mostly to keep a record of the things that I create. But, knowing that people from Russia to Paris to Australia are looking at this, why that just makes me want to share what I do even more. Thanks so much to all who visit- it brightens the day considerably.

So, that being said, there are but a few things to share today:

The purple pewter shawl comes along nicely. I'm thinking two more of the 11-row pattern and I will be out of yarn and therefore, done. The size will be about what I expected and I think will make for a dainty little wisp that I can secure with a handmade fused glass shawl pin. I'm hoping that wearing it will make me feel like I'm in a Jane Austen novel, even when I am just outside picking up my dog's poo.

Am also working on a hat using Diakeito Diamusee. This yarn makes me think that this is what Kureyon wants to be when it grows up. Don't get me wrong, I love some Kureyon (and have a stash of it to prove it) but Diamusee is so soft, the color changes both surprising and elegant. Of course, as with most singles yarns, I think pilling will be a bit of a problem. I've experienced a little just in the knitting process. However, these pills were easy to remove without damaging the look of the fabric. I think after a bit of wear, all of the pills will have worked their way out of the hat. As far as the pattern, it's based on one from One-Skein Wonders created by the owner of Knit Knot in Portland, OR and is perfect TV knitting. I got most of it done last night while watching, and I am not ashamed of this, Dirt. Man, something about those scandalous shows on the FX Network. Cracks me up that it is owned by Fox, who also runs the most conservative cable news network. Rupert Murdoch is laughing at all of us on his way to the bank- making money off both sides of the moral spectrum. Good for him...

Am also doing a little spinning. This wool of undetermined origin is minimally processed, to say the least. That is what I like about it. I like the feel of lanolin on my fingers, the VM (most of which comes out whilst predrafting), the fact that this is a very organic looking yarn. There are about 7 oz of this stuff, which I think will end up as a 3-ply worsted weight. I'm thinking densely knit hiking socks with some gansey-style stitches.

Speaking of socks, part II of my Basic Sock Construction class is tonight in which we tackle the heel. I'm going to give my students a little pep talk (which is really for the benefit of one particular student) in which I discuss how when taking on a new skill, it must be approached with the mindset that you can do this. That no, this is not hard, it just needs to be figured out. I have taught myself many different art forms: printmaking, stained glass, lampworking, fusing, and knitting are just a few. Gee, that sounded arrogant, didn't it? My point is though, I was successful at teaching myself those skills becuase I went in with the attitude that yes, I am capable of this. When you go into something and say/think "This is hard" or "I can't do this", you are setting yourself up for failure becuase words like that set up mental roadblocks. I hope this works.
On another front, I made incense yesterday! It had been years since I had made the stuff, and I still had lotsa powdered sandalwood and various resins to use up. So, I busted out one of my favorite resources, The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, and Brews by the late Scott Cunningham and went to town.

After blending red & white sandalwood with dragon's blood, myrrh, and copal, some rosemary and juniper, and oils of vetivert, patchouli, juniper, and cedar, then adding some saltpeter (to make them smolder) and gum arabic to hold it all together, I came up with these little bricks:

Husband says it smells like the incense they used to burn at church when he was growing up. It's woodsy and heady and wonderful! I need to do a few more test runs, and I will come up with a more detailed post on how to create combustible incense. It's pretty damn easy, really, just a little time consuming- like most things in life.

PS: If you are visiting my blog from far, far, away (or even not so far), drop a note in the comments- just so I can link back to your own blog ;-)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

me, me, me

This seems to be la meme du jour, and while I do not usually do such things, I do enjoy talking about myself. So, here are Six Weird Things About Me:

1. I have three kidneys. #3 is not functional, it just kinda hangs out there. This was discovered when I was 13, having strange abdominal pain, and doctors did all sorts of x-rays and such to find out what was going on. No diagnosis for over 5 years, when it was discovered that I have polycystic ovaries and a touch of the endometriosis.

2. I sneeze when I eat peppermints. Not because I am allergic, but the minty vapors tickle my sinuses in a funny way. I used to think everyone did this. Apparently, this is not the case.

3. I am married to a federal agent. To most, this may not seem weird. To many of my friends, this came as a shock, considering that I was raised a half-wild hippie chick in the NW by some verrry counterculture kinda parents. Just goes to show that Cupid has a sense of humor.

4. I hate ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise. With a passion.

5. I learned how to shoot a gun when I was, oh, about 7 years old. Maybe that's part of the reason I was given a soulmate who carries a gun as part of his job.

6. I prefer rainy days to sunny ones. Extra points for really cold days with lotsa snow.

I saw a nice variation of this on Bezzie's blog: Six Things That Piss Me Off. Speaking of Bezzie, she has put together a very bitchin' giveaway of goodness (Kootchie Awareness Yarn Extravaganza) inspired by a cause close to her heart (cervical cancer)- and all you have to do is get a Pap smear to be entered (or, as she calls it, a "Cooter Rootin"). Check out her blog to see the details. OK, worthy plug aside, here are six things that piss me off:

1. Hypocrisy. Especially that which is rampant in the fundamentalist moral minority.

2. Friends that kick you to the curb simply because of what yer husband does for a living. For some people, smoking pot is more important that solid friendship.

3. Restaurants that serve substandard food. It is not hard to make things taste good. Sometimes, a little pinch of salt and/or herbs will do wonders.

4. The Resident and his cronies and all of these bastardly things they have done.

5. People who treat their pets poorly. Everything you ever wanted to know about a person can be summed up in how they treat their animal(s).

6. The fact that Paris Hilton has been paid $1 million to attend the Vienna Opera Ball. This is a centuries-old tradition that used to only be attended by the bluest of the bluebloods. Now, the nouveaux riches have moved in and are inviting people like Ms. Hilton. WTF? They should have invited me instead- at least I have more than one functioning brain cell, remember to wear panties, and don't have my dirty laundry all over the Internets because I forgot to pay my storage bill.