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.)

31 May 2008

Silly Ajax Story

Yesterday I was out scooping up after the dogs and out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ajax in snake-hunting mode:

Whacking in the long grass with his front paw, tail wagging joyfully, darting his muzzle cautiously into the grass and out again.

He was right next to the fence, so I went over to escort the snake to safety just as he tossed his head as if he'd caught something.

Then I saw what it was, and I really did laugh out loud:

A shed snakeskin!

Over the course of the day, he hunted for it and killed it several more times.

Semi-Random Replies to Some Comments

By the time he had his vet visit, Ajax was fine. The vet said she could detect very slight lameness in his right leg by the way his foot was turned, but it was so little she believed it was a strain or sprain and not his hips.

The Niebling swatch was one of those "Let's see how he does this" things. Charts are great, photos are great, but I really have to feel how the pattern grows in my hands. I can't wait to get my hands on the patterns from Lacis. Anything that makes garden string look that good, I want!

Paw paw flowers do look like weird alien lips. And yet another thing I like about columbines is that the hummingbirds come to them.

Once I saw an enormous bumblebee going from columbine flower to columbine flower, but he wasn't wasting any time crawling in them: he was landing on the outside and stabbing right through the end of the nectar spurs to slurp out the good stuff.

I love our all-by-itself house. We have talked seriously about buying the next-door property if the absentee owners ever put it on the market. Just in case that doesn't happen, we've been planting shrubbery along the property border line.

And yeah, having it paid off and really ours is great. We still have to pay the property taxes, insurance, and utilities, but not having a mortgage gives us a certain freedom.

Just this morning I heard the indigo bunting singing, and what I think was a grosbeak (every year I have to relearn his song). There is a lot to be said for living in a place you love.

The hops are mainly my husband's. In the past, he has made such oddities as all-local beer (a member of his brewing club grew, threshed, and malted the barley) and hopped mead, and he usually shares either root cuttings or hops cones with the brewing club that meets at a brewpub.

The kind of hops you get in a homebrew store are called pelletized hops. To me they look like rabbit chow. I'll try to remember to take a picture of the cones when they develop later in the year. There is something compelling and prosperous-looking about hops vines with the cones on them.

A couple of the things I have learned about hops: The cut-down vines burn with an incredible fury when they are dry. Wow. Resinous an' all. If you get hops cones on your car the resin is teh suck to get off. The only beers I ever liked in all my long history of "Yuck" faces made at brewing club meetings were . . . unhopped.

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Blogger Donna Lee said...

My husband was fascinated by the idea of growing hops and I may be in for trouble. I don't like beer, not the smell or taste. It takes 2 days for the smell to leave our house. THank goodness we bought a new grill with a large side burner and he can boil it outside. Although, the neighbors might complain!

5:20 PM  
Blogger Rose Red said...

I love that he was "killing" a shed snakeskin! Much safer for him and for the snake!!

4:10 AM  
Blogger Knitting Linguist said...

I'll have to share all the hops info with my husband -- I wonder how well we could get them to grow here? I'm very entertained by the slaying of the snakeskin (and very glad it wasn't a rattlesnake!). :)

4:03 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

I've been meaning to grow hops over our westside windows, but somehow never get around to it. Like you and Donna, I don't like the smell or taste of beer, but shade to the west? That's useful.

5:05 PM  
Blogger historicstitcher said...


Followed your profile link from my blog...I totally agree about not liking hops! I've never been a beer-drinker, never liked it. I have a friend now who brews, and taught me to make wine. I really enjoy it, and can finally get beer I like the taste of!

Enjoying your blog a lot! Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment!!

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: removing hops resin: I've had good luck using grease to remove pine pitch from skin. Hand lotion, olive- or cooking oil, sunscreen, even peanut butter (or other food-with-oils) work well.

Gwyndolyn O'Shaughnessy :-)

7:47 PM  

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