Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

01 June 2007

Unusual > Weird > Aggravating

That was the sequence of my afternoon yesterday: from unusual to weird to aggravating.


The unusual part was when some kind of small jet flew very low over the house. At the thundering jet noise, I ran outside (the dogs came, too) just in time to see it pass above the trees.

While I was still in the "What was up with THAT!" stage, the day made a rapid segue to


While I'm nice enough, for a human, according to my dogs, there's no denying that I can be very slow on the uptake when it comes to Things That Are Important To Dogs.

I turned my head from looking up at the sky to the outer part of the fenced yard, just in time to hear an animal sound and see something small and furry fly through the air.

In an instant, Ajax was facing off with a baby woodchuck, flat on its back, chattering its teeth at him in fine Samuel Whiskers style, and flexing inch-long, sharp black digging claws.

I shouted "Leave it!" in my best drill-sergeant dog-command voice and raced around the dividing fence to collar the dogs and drag them into the inner part of the fenced yard.

Then I was facing off with a baby woodchuck, which was giving no quarter. First I tried to urge it towards the fence with a stick, which it literally leaped to attack. My brain wondered urgently, "Rabies, do woodchucks get rabies?" while my hands (which are generally much smarter than the rest of me) said, "Shovel!"

I grabbed the shovel that I use to scoop up after the dogs, and tried to scoop up the baby woodchuck. Its teeth dinged off the shovel a couple of times before I got the blade under the woodchuck's bottom. As I carried it towards the fence, it backed up and off the edge of the shovel, and then hung on! and dangled from the edge of the shovel blade! by those long sharp black claws!

By which time I had lifted it over the fence and set it down on the path outside the fence.

Fence: woodchuck on outside, me (heart beating rapidly) and dogs on inside. Whew. It chattered its teeth a couple of more times before ambling off, turning at least once to warn us that it was nothing to be messed with.


Meanwhile, in the morning Truffles had thrown up on one of the rugs. I decided to wash a rug batch, only to find at the end that my front-loading washer was not draining.


90% of fixing a washer is knowing where to find the impeller, the pump that empties out the used water. The other 10% is getting the water out, getting at the impeller, clearing the clog, and replacing the hose clamps.

It would be easy, except washer parts are designed (in my opinion) for male upper body strength. Lacking that, I substitute tools and the secret magic repair(wo)man's words, which are generally spelled "@#*+$%^!!!" It's all a matter of intimidating the inanimate object into co-operating.

Today so far I've only had to shut the damper and take the chimney cap off so I could put a long stick down and get a starling out of the chimney before it fell into the woodstove.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am impressed with your washing machine know how. I am a jane-of-all-trades wannabe, but I am not even close. Still so much to learn.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Dude, you fixed your own washer? Huzzah! Although I must admit, I don't think I've ever heard you swear. I may have to retire to my fainting couch just from thinking about it! ;-)

Summer! Boys! Together at last? Call me, baby!

3:07 PM  
Blogger Bells said...

I had to google woodchucks. I kind of thought they were like possums. Turns out they're a groundhog (never really knew what they were either - nothing very hoggy about them at all so it seems!).

They don't look scary. I found your description strangely gripping! Glad you got the better of the little critter.

2:59 AM  

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