Archive for October, 2018

An Anniversary and a Meltdown

October 21, 2018

Today would have been my 40th wedding anniversary. I am so happy to not be married to that devil. Someday I might write about him. It won’t be good so maybe I won’t.

This morning I saw a FB post on an animal rescue site in Tennessee. Something was off. It was a political meme that had been shared by a member of the group. There were 4 figures on the meme: (A) Freddy Kruger, (B) Michael Myers, (C) Jason, and (D) Hillary Clinton, and the caption read “who has killed the most?” The person that posted it wrote “D” and LOL.

I was pretty horrified that someone put this blatant political post regarding who they thought had killed the most, and put it on an animal rescue and education page, and they thought they were being clever and funny in a Halloween theme. Y’all probably have a pretty good idea that I have liberal leanings, and I’m going to be tolerant but I’m not going to suffer any fools.

The first commenter said, “I agree… Lol.”

Y’all, they are laughing about death on an animal rescue site. Animal rescuers see death every day. You don’t even have to be a rescuer to see it. I saw – *two* – dead female deer lying on the side of the road Friday morning, and I cried out loud. It’s everywhere.

The next commenter asked why political posts were being placed on the page. Then I jumped into the mix.

I said that I was leaving the group. I won’t tolerate hate speech. I won’t make any more donations. I don’t have much, but I have donated when I could. But I’m done.

The group has about 6K members. One of those members decided to tell me to suck it up. She said that I shouldn’t punish the animals because of one person’s political views.

By that time I had already left the group so I couldn’t comment without rejoining. So I sent her a message.

I went back to the FB page to screenshot it, and the post was gone. Poof. Like magic, it disappeared.

I’m sorry that people think it is okay for me to hand over money even if I don’t agree with their views because the ANIMALS. Insert handwringing. Y’all have no idea how many issues I have and how many things I do without.

I went to Sugar’s to meet up for lunch, and I told him what happened and he told me what he would have done. I seriously don’t care what he would have done or said and I didn’t need it mansplained to me. I wasn’t asking for advice. I was just telling a story, like I tell my little stories right here on the blog.

We went to the Mexican restaurant that I love and he doesn’t, and when the food came I was checking something on my phone, and he told me to eat my food. I lost it in front of God and everybody and said in a very loud voice “stop telling me what to think and what to do”. I could eat very little after that because in a perfect world I’m supposed to be having an anniversary celebration, not suffering fools.

I had wanted to go to a presentation in another county by their Historical Society, but Sugar was afraid there would be people there who had been unfriendly to us before, and he couldn’t go because he was busy being a neurotic recluse. Things are complicated.

Today will soon be over and maybe I can stop being outraged.

Maybe not.

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DNA Updated

October 21, 2018

Ancestry.com had an update recently regarding DNA finding regarding ethnicity.

This doesn’t mean that my DNA changed. DNA doesn’t change. It means that there is a bigger pool of participants so the geographic regions of ethnicity are refined.

For instance, in the past my African DNA was assigned to Sub-Saharan hunter-gatherers.

That generalization has changed to a more specific Cameroon, Congo, and Southern Bantu peoples.

The British Isles and northwest Europe section is greatly increased to 98%.

So what are your reasons for not taking a DNA test?

Casting on My way

October 20, 2018

There’s method of creating the first loop for your knitting project. It involves an overhand loop and a resulting firm knot at the base of it. I’ve been troubled about the knotty part for years. When you are running your fingers along the cast-on edge, you can feel the knot.

I don’t want to feel the knot. I work a lot of items in the round using a circular needle or double points. Socks, hats, mittens, sweaters. Almost any article of clothing can be knitted in the round.

Here’s a link to a YouTube video to show you how to make this loop. Click here.

One day as I was creating the first loop for a project, I stopped halfway because I realized that I had the answer right in front of me.

That loose end hanging on the right? Push a loop of that through the place where my thumb is.

Now it’s like a baby bow tie.

Push the loops up into a rabbit ear position and slide the needle through.

Now let’s add some stitches. I do this by inserting the 2nd needle between the stitches on the 1st needle, looping the yarn around it like I’m knitting a stitch, and pulling the yarn back through to the front and sliding it on the 1st needle.

Now I have 3 stitches! I continue to add stitches in this manner until I get to my goal. For this hat, I’m using 100 stitches cast on a #5 circular.

I join the ends by distributing the stitches all the way around the needle until the end meets the beginning. Then I add my short end of the beginning yarn to the working yarn and use them as one yarn to knit the next two stitches.

I work knit 2, purl 2, for ribbing until it is about 1.5″ long.

I switch to stockinette stitch for several more inches, then reduce the number of stitches every few rounds to finish the top. You get the idea. I’ll get better directions later.

I used a lot of Red Heart yarn when I saw all the fun transitional colors that they offered. Plus I needed cheap yarn for this science project.

The BabyGirl had asked for a Messy Bun hat. I created a pattern. Some of the openings at the top are more generous than the others, since some of our buns are more generous than others.

What a pretty, smooth join.

Yes, I am in the car at lunchtime modeling an almost finished hat.

I found that I could get 2 Messy Bun hats out of 1 skein.

So I have a whole pile of hats. Plus a smooth join that I have not seen anywhere else, so there’s that. If I had uncovered this 50 years ago, I think I would have been a much more confident knitter. And more confidence means you don’t model your hats in the car.

You just put them out on the Internet for random strangers.

The HydraFacial

October 20, 2018

I had a gift certificate to be used at a local spa. I’ve been hanging on to this certificate that I got for Christmas last year.

I have been to this spa for haircuts. The stylist that cut my hair has moved on to another salon, and I watched a YouTube video about how to trim your own hair. So you know what I have been doing out in the yard.

I decided to get a facial. It’s what the ladies of the British Isles do for their lovely skin. At least that is what I’ve read. So I looked at the spa’s website.

There were several types of facials listed. A Signature. A Deluxe. An Ultimate. And my favorite: A HydraFacial.

Why would this thing be named after a creature of mythology?

A HydraFacial it was to be, then.

I am happy to report that I did not sprout extra heads.

A New Spider in the ‘Hood

October 13, 2018

Ten years ago a friend was redesigning her flower beds at the front of her house. She gave me the choice of taking any and all of assorted plants and bulbs.

Several of the bulbs I tucked at the base of several pine trees. Several years they put out some spindly growth that looked like daffodils, although they never bloomed.

One of the hurricane-damaged pines fell over on August 24, 2018.

Almost a month later I was returning home in the evening and noticed something glowing red in the near darkness.

I’d never seen this type of flower before. The internet tells me that it is a spider lily.

Over the course of several days, more bloomed.

I feel lucky to have these beauties. They need light in order to bloom, and when the pine tree fell over, the light was able to warm them enough to spring forth.

And who doesn’t love a good spider in the woods?

A Dying Cause: Part 2

October 6, 2018

A handsome black and white tuxedo cat would visit the Treehouse feeding station by the driveway. He was not there very often, and usually only in the evening or dark. Sometimes, when I drove in after work when the nights were longer and darkness was about, he would be in The Treehouse. He would not run away immediately, but he kept his distance between the two of us.

One random daytime, I saw him waiting to eat some canned food. Pop-up and Georgia ate their fill while he waited patiently. This made me wonder if he was also coming by in the daytime, and I wasn’t home to see him.

He was a solid-looking fellow. I supposed he was a male because of his beefy shoulders and head. A male adult cat’s hormones cause his body to change and become thicker in the upper body, making him stronger and more suitable for fighting and mating.

*****

Last Sunday evening I arrived home after spending the day with Sugar. It was a pleasant late summer evening, and I sat at the picnic table after feeding the cats. Mr. Packett rambled over to me, and we sat there, enjoying the evening while darkness fell. There weren’t even many mosquitoes out, and the air temperature was mild.

As I got up to go in, I heard a cat meow from outside the gate near The Treehouse. I thought it was Pop-up because of the tiny little meow. He has a little voice, almost a whisper, as though he had never used his voice much and it didn’t develop properly.

I walked over to the gate to see what was the matter, and the cat spoke again from the undergrowth by the driveway.

It wasn’t Pop-up. It was the tuxedo, and the situation appeared like he had just arrived after everyone else had eaten. This was a perfect time to set the trap.

There’s always a trap by my front gate, and there is always cat food in the trunk of the car. There was also a towel hanging over the gate. These things aligned and conspired with the cat to create action on my part.

I set the trap and baited it with a whole can of Friskies and covered it all with the towel. I placed the trap at the side of the driveway with the open end pointing toward the cat. At this point it was fully dark, and my outdoor security lights were on. I went back into the yard and called Sugar on the cell phone to tell him the news.

The cat crept forward and inched into the trap. I waited for the trap door to spring closed. It did not.

I hadn’t used a trap in a long time. Maybe the trip mechanism was defective. Maybe the cat hadn’t stepped on the plate, and I realized that the towel wasn’t covering the trap completely to the ground on my side, and I could see him straddling the trip plate.

Sugar and I talked for 15 minutes while the cat continued to eat. I supposed as he got closer to finishing the can, he might be digging out the last morsel and might activate the trap door. Either that or he would back out and be gone.

Several of the other cats had gathered at a safe distance to watch the drama unfold. They got still and small. An odd quiet settled over the scene. Even Butter tucked himself into a pose instead of squawking about. Butter is usually the one that goes into the trap even though he doesn’t like canned food. He’s that guy who sees the warning signs and checks them out anyway. “Caution: hot surface” means that Butter needs to know how hot.

This was getting ridiculous. I decided that the cat would soon be on his way and then I’d check the trap mechanism. Suddenly Pop-up, tired of waiting for action, sprang up on the gate to see me. The commotion of the sound of the chain-link fence and me telling Pop-up to get down startled the tuxedo in the trap, and he turned to make his escape and the trap door slammed shut with a classic bang.

Sugar and I made a plan that he would take the cat the following day to the shelter to drop off to go to the spay-neuter clinic.

This was accomplished, and later in the day he got a call from the shelter that the clinic had tested Mr. Tuxedo for disease, and he was feline HIV positive.

Good-night, Mr. Tux. It shouldn’t have been your time to go.

Without A Breeze

October 1, 2018

Two years ago, Hurricane Matthew came to call. He caused one of my large pines to fracture near the base from wind stress.

Last year, during Hurricane Irma, the winds caused the pine to tip over until it was cradled by a water oak. The pine hovered there at a 45 degree angle, suspended over my chain link fence.

On the early morning of August 24, 2018, the ground shook at 4:15 when the pine toppled over. This detail will become more relevant in a future post about the reason I was awake to know the time.

Black cat provides local color

But for now, my poor sad pine fell over when the last wisp of the water oak branch gave way. Do you know about water oaks? They are known for having hollow cavities in the trunk, and branches that are easily broken.

There was no breath of air that caused the enormous water oak branch to break away. It was simply the time for one thing to tumble away, causing another thing to tumble.

So let’s take care of each other, shall we, until it’s our time to let go.