Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I know what I WON'T be when I grow up...

It was a grand idea. A tower of Martha Stewartish beaoootiful cupcakes, decorated with freshly tinted coconut, festooned with candy flowers and chicks! Tumbling, carefree and joyful yellow confections of chirp, dancing down the tower of festivity, celebrating the union of our chicken loving friends!

Twenty five dollars, 2+ hours, amid miscellaneous mounds of  mush, our dreams of confectionery acclaim came to a screeching halt.

I was laughing so hard, tears were running down my face. Back to the drawing board!

... and I can safely remove 'Pastry Chef' from my retirement career options.

Onward! Here is something else I accomplished this weekend-

Tomatoes are planted. Hidden from fowl and freeze are Black Trifele, Black Krim, Carbon, Sungold, Lemon Boy, Celebrity, Beef Master, San Marzano Redorta, and Yellow Submarine.

I know. The WoW's aren't filled.

I'm just a livin' on the edge kind of gal ~

Friday, March 23, 2012

FO Friday!

For the uninitiated, FO is 'Finished Object' for a knitter~ And here's mine! Need more knitting eye-candy? Clickie here for more to go to Tamisami's site where the FOs congregate!

This was knit in Knitpicks Chroma and regular black sock yarn. The pattern is a freebie from Paton you can download from here simply called 'Fair Isle Socks.'

Honestly, I started them last year,  stuck them in a Sockbug, and sort of...forgot about them.


Happy Friday everyone!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Can I Keep Him?

So there I was, rolling along and playing tag with cloudbursts, when my ever wandering eyes landed on something green along the side of the road. I slowed down (I'll take any excuse to slow down) and started to focus on the sprouting un-weed like green that popped up every few yards.

They were big. Bigger than any of my seedlings. They were bold, growing away from the newly furrowed fields. Rebel plants, sprouting in the shoulders of our very own Yolo! And a mystery. Tomato? Sugar beets? Sunflowers... or some spliced super-duper genetic marvel? I didn't know, but I knew one way to find out. And that's when I hatched my plan...

Today, I came home right after work, and for the first time this year, didn't have to cajole, bribe, or argue with myself.  I pulled on the layers of lycra, strapped on my carbon soled shoes and helmet, and hastened my bike out the door. With plastic bags, a hand trowel, and Sports beans, I was on a mission. A rescue mission.

Okay, pics are better. 

I wish I had centered more, but I was a very nervous seedling rustler. 

"Honestly, officer, I was just taking pictures of the view...."

I know. I've lead a pathetically clean life. Until now! 


1001 Uses for a Bento Box. 

Unfortunately, I had a ways to go before I could get home. Riding on my top bar was less than ideal, getting whipped up by the wind, and hit by my knees.

So it was into my sweaty back jersey pocket for the 45 minutes it took to get home.

But these super-duper engineered and genetic monsters are hardy.

Little Shop of Horrors, anyone?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bubby, Chickens and a Sheep in my Living Room

Decree: He's closer to me than a boyfriend, but he's not a husband. He will henceforth be referred to as 'Bubby'~ (Yeah, I tried to not let the power-of-my-very-own-blog get to me, but what the heck. You only live once.)

Here is a pic of Bubby's girls. In pecking order, I give you Connie, Elle, Goldy, Skittle, Zippy, and Pippa. Bubby spoils them, has built them not one, but two henhouses.

They in turn, give us entertainment, fresh organic eggs, and keep my yard free of bugs. slugs and Bermuda Grass.

!!! B E R M U D A G R A S S!!!

angels singing and great light effects here-

Chickens...yard...gardens..(hang in there)...Spring...Spring Cleaning...means foraging into corners long ignored.

And I started to realize, in every nook and cranny and under pieces of clothing in various hidey holes I had, I always came upon a bag of fiber. It began to concern me.

Feeling particularly brave, this afternoon I started pulling them from the shadows, and piled them in my living room.

Good lord, make that 2 sheep, and a lamb thrown in for good measure. Chicken coffee mug placed for reference.

I may be frugal about clothes, eating out, vacations and entertainment, but here is my Achilles heel.

Puts crown firmly back on head - 'I decree that 2012 will henceforth be a fiber free buying year'

Wish me luck.

This post is for the express reason to remind me to resist and desist spending any more money to buy fiber, no matter how soft and delectable!

Monday, March 12, 2012

reluctantly healthy

I did not want to workout today.

It's Conference Week, so the usual hour of abs workout after school ala DVD didn't happen.

Gf #1 said, 'Oh that's right. I guess I'll do the torture yoga tape instead...'

Hmmm, bringing home the abs tape to my home to workout did NOT occur to me.

Gf #2 called after school. 'Feel like playing tennis?'

"Well, no...it's cold, it's getting darker, it's windy..I don't know where my racket is. Do you have tennis balls? I don't have tennis balls....whine, still getting over my cold... whine whine... "

I was pathetic. You should have heard me. I'm surprised she didn't laugh at me, but she simply let me off the hook, and said she'd head out to the gym for a workout instead.

I'm not, by nature, a go out and let's sweat kind of gal. I'm more of a cozy-up-under-a-blanket-and-knit kind of person. Earth Dog is my Chinese horoscope. I sit, and I stay.

BUT...one aspect of future retirement is being healthy enough to enjoy it. And it's a struggle for me. I sat and thought of my harder working cohorts of fitness. Both older by 5, and more determined and disciplined by a factor of 5. I sat and argued and struggled with myself for a good 30 minutes, before I got up and made myself gear up for a short ride.

A short 16 miles later, I felt better. I always do. My gfs would have approved.

Now it can rain.

Naming my Blog

I don't think of mortality a lot. Maybe I am now because I just did my taxes.

At any rate, it's sort of an odd redo of my late teens and early 20's. 'What do I want to do when I grow up' has morphed into 'What do I do with the time I have left?'

Long ago, it was the wide expanse of endless possibilities.

At this junction of my life it seems to be 'Save for retirement' or 'Experience what I want out of life while I'm still able to'

Grace mused about how many healthy years she had left, and I got to thinking how many years I have left~ my dad died in his mid 50's, my beloved mother in her late 70's. If I cast further in the family tree, my grandparents lived into their early 80's, and many aunts and uncles are flirting with 90+! So I gave myself a solid 80 year life span, and doing some 3rd grade math, figured at the start of this blog, at 53 years of age, I was 2/3's of my quest for the big 8-0.

Hence, pull up a chair and make yourself comfy. And welcome to the last 3rd of my Life.

I have cookies.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bike Tours and Crafty Spaces

Bike Touring is something I've thought about.

You ride around with some 60# of gear on your bike, and go somewhere. You can eat a lot of food. You see new sights. You meet people. Adventure!

There's also bad weather, crappy roads, angry drivers and crazy people, bugs, and mad dogs.

Um, so yeah, in retirement, I will read about bike touring.

This is the last and almost finished journal that I read on Crazyguyonabike site:

Fun read. Too be young again~

Phase One of retirement is to go from the classroom, into my very own Ms. T's Homework Club/Craft Studio at my house for about 5+ years. 2nd-6th, 6 slots, 2 hours a day after school. The families can sign up for as many or as few 1 hour slots as they would like through a web site.

I can tutor and help with projects. If the student doesn't have any homework or projects to do, I'll teach them how to knit or spin. Needle felt or crochet. Clay sculpture, basketry, origami or chainmaille jewelry. We can make candles in the Winter, and herb planters in the Spring!

It'll be amazing.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Nest Egg is in the Henhouse OR Zombies in the Hallway

Yup. Here you have my nest egg.

Looks more scrambled now that I looked off into the horizon and have a date to retirement.

That date was chosen because that's how long I figured I could survive/last as a classroom teacher before I turned into the dreaded 'Zombie Teacher' where everyone avoids you, and you snap and snarl at coworkers, parents, and poor hapless children and whispers of '...she needs to retire' float behind your back as you leave the staff room. Did you know that teachers make deals with each other to tell if you get signs of zombishness? Oh, indeed. I've made that deal with 2 other teachers. Can't say I don't look ahead.

Oh, yeah. Retirement. Pension, you say? Little egg would be mine. Big egg would be those cast iron folks that put in 30+ years into the system.

So I'm thinking of being one of those phased retirement folks. So what do I wanna be when I retire? That's my new question!

So far ideas have ranged between packing boxes 10 hours a day during the holiday season for Amazon and living in an RV camp, or knitting socks for 50 cents an hour. Gah.