Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Poinsettia in their natural habitat...

...my front yard.

This bush is taller than me, and the flowers are wilder and tougher looking than they come at the flower shops, where these probably came from some decades ago. Must be all that tender loving care they get around here from me.

I'm still feeling crappy - having this cold over Christmas when I couldn't relax and get well has kicked my butt. We lost one more chicken, but the others seem to be doing a lot better. And no, I still haven't fixed that shower.

Monday, December 19, 2011

sick day

Somewhere between the husband's company party Friday night, the Yule party at the Green Man on Saturday afternoon and the Penthouse Pet of the Year party on Saturday night, I started to feel that tickle of a cold coming on, but I powered through it all anyway. I mean, come on...someday when I no longer live in LA I'd be kicking myself if I passed stuff like that up. Culture Diving is my favorite sport.

Anyway, the guy playing Father Yule at the pagan party had to leave early for another gig playing Santa at the Playboy Mansion, and I took off to clean up and dress up to look like someone who ought to be on the guest list at the Roxbury
. We sipped some free cocktails, watched the flock of cute little Penthouse models run around for a while, then walked home. I love my neighborhood.

Sunday I stayed in jammies and spent the day reading bad novels and drinking hot toddies, and I feel like doing the same today, but this holiday gift just ain't gonna sew itself, and I'm running out of time. Feeling grateful for small gifts, like happening to have two spools of thread in the right color so that I don't have to leave the house. Wish me speed and luck, and the same to you in whatever giftmaking you are indulging in.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Stormy Weather

The chicken-lighting experiment is on hold for a while. The entire flock has come down with some sort of nasty respiratory illness, and I lost three of them in three days earlier this week. This is what I get for taking in a stray!

I sent one of the deceased off to UC Davis for testing...they have an awesome free service to test backyard poultry and find out what killed them. Betty (one of several production reds who are all named Betty because I can't tell them apart) seems to have died of a bacterial infection, though I'm still waiting on further testing to find out exactly what. A chicken carcass, double bagged with frozen gelpacks and newspaper insulation, has to be the strangest thing I've ever sent via UPS.

The rest of the flock is on antibiotics and extra vitamins, along with an intense coop-cleaning regimen, and I'm hoping they will pull through. Since I won't eat the eggs while they are on medication, I shut off the light timer to get them some extra rest. I'm still getting about one egg a day and boy I hate throwing them in the compost.

On the brighter side, I'm getting ready for the holidays and making a few presents. I love Christmas/Solstice/whatever-mas, with all the parties and singing and decorations. We've got the tree up, stockings hung, and the mannequins who watch over our living room are dressed up like Christmas elves with ornament bandoliers. One of the gifts I made is the feltboard playset above for one of my cousin's children...hopefully they have as much fun with it as I did.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Rust Age

This is what I found when I opened up the damp, crumbling paneling and plaster (because I'm sure you're all dying to know) -
I think I see where the problem is.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Let there be light!

This year, for the first time, I decided to start adding winter light to the chicken coop to see if I can get a few more eggs out of my girls. When the light went on, all the girls immediately jumped down from the roosts and started eating! So funny. I hear it will take them a few days to get the new schedule, but hopefully soon their days of freeloading will be at an end. I know there is a lot of controversy about this topic, but my hens are not exactly pets...they're here with a job to do, and buying crappy store eggs when I have 17 slackerschickens in the backyard? Silly.

A few days ago I got up (well, to be honest, I hadn't gone to bed yet) before dawn to hike up to the Griffith Observatory to watch the sun come up over LA. Sadly it was a little too clear that day for an amazing sunrise, but the view was nice and the air was good.

Now, back to the plumbing fixing...which seems to involve tearing out the drywall of the ceiling below next. Fun! But maybe I'll get a bathroom that works for Christmas.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Madness Season

Some of the madness from my Thanksgiving weekend...

A green baby dress, made with Knitpicks Essential sock yarn and the ever-loved bone hook. So sweet, so tiny...0-3month size.

A little jacket, made with recycled natural wool singles from some thrift store sweater. This was some of the oldest yarn in my stash! Again, made with the tiny hook. This one is probably more like a 6 month size.

Another baby dress, made with some leftover dark blue fingering wool/acrylic blend. At least, that's what I think it is...I bought this stuff for 100yen a ball from a shop in Japan, quite the bargain for the amount of entertainment I've gotten from it! I used the same yarn to make a dress for a cousin's baby last year, and I still have one ball left that might make a hat. The bone hook was also implicated in this madness.

Last but certainly not least, I used two balls of Knitpicks Wool of the Andes to make a little Red Riding Hood cape, because that's what all the cool babies need. I had to use a bigger hook for this one, and I just sort of made it up as I went.

I'm working on one more little brown sweater now, but I think the compulsion is starting to wane, as I'm not feeling the need to stay up all night working on it. Maybe I'll even make a full-sized garment again soon!