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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

As you may have guessed, I am having a bit of trouble in that department. I did start a new warp. The sett on the thread I used this time was 12 ends per inch, which drastically reduced the number of ends I needed to create. This is awesome, as far as I am concerned. We’ve gone from 432 ends to 216. I am very happy with this. So it’s still five bouts, four of 50 strands, one of 16. Wonderful! …except I made two mistakes that I didn’t see till after the fact.

The first one was that I had gotten so used to following one path on the warping mill, I forgot I had moved the guide thread over by one peg, and wound one bout short. I, of course, did not see it until the bout was done. One of the 50 thread ones, of course. Life would have been so much easier had it been the 16 thread bout.

The second mistake came when I put the five bouts on the loom. Once again, a 50 thread bout…I lost the cross. The bout is a mess.

At this point, I rage quit. Temporarily. As in, I will return to this when I calm down. Probably once the children are back in school, and I have a bit more time.

We’ve celebrated our first Yule and Christmas here in North Carolina. We had a family over for Yule that is as pagan as I am, and for  Christmas it was just the four of us. And I’ve decided I’m going to stop with these huge dinners that I’ve hung onto all my life. We’re only four people. Aneira eats less than a sparrow does, the hubby eats only a tiny bit more as he doesn’t really care for either turkey or pernil, I don’t eat a lot as I’ve been in the kitchen all day and am sick of looking at food, and Bryony will pick over what’s on her plate and complain about nearly all of it except cranberry sauce. For Yule, we had gone simple: a huge vat of chili, to feed eight people.  It was perfect.

Why didn’t I do the same thing for Christmas? Well, based on my own self-psychoanalysis, I can only come to the conclusion that it’s my mother.

My entire life, right up until I had Aneira, my mother did Christmas, and she did it up big. A turkey and/or ham, a zillion sides, dessert, dining room table decorated with a nice centerpiece, and special dishes and silverware that were only seen during the holidays. Some of my best childhood and teenage memories are tied into those holiday meals, and I think they kind of act as my last link to my mom. But Mom has been gone for 13 years now, and I think it’s time that I realized that the holiday meals she cooked also included our extended family, where mine do not. I am hundreds of miles from my closest relative, and hubby has none left on his side. As much as I love seeing those meals hit the table for the memories they evoke, they’re largely a waste of food in the end, because the four of us are never going to finish that much food. So I’ve decided I’m not doing it anymore. Instead of a turkey, it’ll be a chicken with a couple of sides. Maybe I can find a small version of pernil, who knows?

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Ruining a large warp is on a par with falling off of a horse. Having done both, I can tell you that this is a truth.

Another truism is that when you fall off of a horse, you have got to get up and get back on as soon as possible, or you will never do it. I was a teenager when, during a horseback riding lesson, the belt of my sweater came loose and its flapping against the horse’s side drove her up a wall, and she took off with me. And though I usually, at that time, had to be told to loosen up the reins, this was the one day I’d had them not only loose, but too loose, so when she bolted, I had no control. I fell. And I distinctly remember watching her rear left hoof pass my face by inches.

I wasn’t hurt, not even bruised, particularly thanks to the fact that said hoof did not come down on my head, but the terror of watching it flash by the way it did made quite the impression on my psyche. As in, no one was easily getting me back in her saddle.

Her name was Penelope, a pretty little dark chestnut mare who was really as sweet as pie, but falling off her, though the fault was more mine than hers, changed my view of her into that of a slavering monster who wanted to kill me, and everyone wanted me to get back on??!!

I did, though, that same day. It was that, or give up horses forever. Given that I love horses, that was not an option. And though I shivered and cried, I got back up on Penelope and finished the lesson. But, obviously, I have never forgotten that view of the underside of her hoof while lying on the ground beneath it.

Ruining a warp as big as the one I’d made was very like that. Not terrifying in the I’m-about-to-die way, but traumatic nonetheless. The largest warp I’d ever done previously was probably no bigger than 125 ends, if that, and I didn’t ruin it. This is the first time I’ve ever tried to create a large warp, and it looked so pretty on the warping mill. I was so proud of myself, never dreaming that I’d done it wrong, and that made the following discovery that much more traumatic. Add the fact that I wasn’t using an inexpensive yarn, and you have more insecurity still. Ruining a cheaper warp hurts, but you can shrug it off a little bit easier. Ruining expensive yarn that you can’t readily replace is a different story. It makes me want to go back to just hoarding the yarn rather than using it.

I haven’t created a new warp yet. I’ve played with the idea for a few days, and then I received an excuse in the mail: stainless steel rings for a commissioned chain. Now that, I’ve already begun, as you can see. But the excuse won’t last for very long; the pattern I’m doing is one I can do in my sleep, and the only reasons it’s going to take me a little longer than usual is that it’s longer than I’ve done before, and it’s stainless steel which, barring grade 1 titanium, is the hardest material on my hands I’ve ever worked with. I can only add a few segments at a time, before needing to rest my hands. So that’s the current excuse for not getting back on the horse yet, so to speak. And if I don’t get the chain done fast enough, the next excuse will be getting ready for Yule. It is around the corner, after all, and I am the chief cook and present-wrapper. We haven’t even gotten the tree out of the garage yet.

I will try to finish the chain quickly, because I do intend to get back on the horse and take note of the lesson I learned. Like horses, I love weaving too much to give it up.

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I did. I said I wasn’t cooking yesterday, but I changed my mind late Wednesday night, due to the nagging of my youngest child. So at midnight, hubby and I were in Walmart, buying the fixings of a turkey dinner. Honestly, I was pretty darn surprised to get everything at that hour. I figured the store would be out of everything by then, but no. So dinner was the ubiquitous turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and deviled eggs, with a Marie Callendar apple pie and two rolls of Dutch banket for dessert.

The banket did not go well, and let me explain why. I haven’t made it in quite awhile, but I hadn’t misstepped this badly on the recipe before. What happened is that I have discovered a job that a Vitamix absolutely cannot handle: making almond paste.

Normally, I use my food processor for that job, but since the reduction in kitchen size, things aren’t always easily accessible now, or it’s a pain to find the space to use them. Such is the case with the food processor. There is precious little room between the cabinets and the counters. The Keurig fits, but the space is cozy, to say the least. The Vitamix does not fit, so it resides next to the Keurig in its two distinct parts. The base to the back, the carafe at the front, because it sees the most use. The food processor doesn’t get used a whole lot, so it lives elsewhere. I didn’t feel like dragging it out, and thought I could safely use the Vitamix for the job. I make almond butter in the thing all the time, why not almond paste?

I’ll tell you why: almond paste is considerably denser. The Vitamix quit, in the middle of the job. Just…quit. And I had to drag out the food processor anyway. As a result, the almond paste has a different texture than it usually does, because I usually chop the almond up very finely, into flour, really. This time, it had a very grainy texture, and was a good deal stickier than usual. It still tasted the same (read: delicious), but the texture was way off the mark. But it was still a hit, so there’s that.

I love cooking when I have an appreciative audience, and lately I have one often. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but Aneira has herself a boyfriend. And given the fact that she is only fourteen to his sixteen, they are never unchaperoned. He comes over, often with his father, and all adults keep eyes on them.

He’s a good kid. He helps, unasked, with the household chores and groceries, and calls me “Ma”. He brings Aneira roses and tells her things like seeing her eyes brightens his day. He’s respectful, and doesn’t resent constantly having adults around. And he’s willing to brave her father and her insane uncles to be with her, which is a big deal. Both of them love sitting down and playing games with us, whether it’s Cards Against Humanity or Dungeons and Dragons. The kid’s a keeper, no doubt about it, but they’re both young, and might decide not to keep each other forever, which is totally normal, of course. By the same token, this could also be my future son-in-law, so it’s a good thing all parties get along! But since he’s been around, I cook for six almost as often as I cook for four. And it’s lovely to have them enjoy it, so I’m happy to do it!

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Though tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I am not cooking for it this year. The tiny kitchen is more than a little daunting. I do plan to cook for Yule, which gives me a month to work out the logistics of cooking a huge meal with many components, in a kitchen the size of a postage stamp, which I will necessarily be sharing with whichever child is selected to do dishes.

The deal is, if I have to cook, someone other than me does the dishes. It is Law.

That being said, though I’m not doing the big turkey day extravaganza, I do find myself in a baking mood today. I haven’t done any since we moved, and there are a couple of things I haven’t made in awhile that I’m craving, both being my versions of things at the Dutch bakery back in Colorado.

First is the bacon/ham/gouda quiche that they made there. I haven’t made it in at least a year, primarily due to complaints that I made it too often. I figure I’ve waited quite long enough, and that’s what I’m making for breakfast this morning.

I also want to make some Dutch banket. I miss the homemade almond paste filling the flaky puff pastry, warm right out of the oven. And it’s a holiday pastry, so it falls right in line.

I’ve been up since 4 am. I don’t know why I woke up then, but I did. I wish I could blame these cravings on that fact, but no. I’ve been thinking about the quiche for several days, and because I was introduced to both the quiche and the banket at the same place, it follows that both would come to mind at the same time.

Sigh. Looks like I’m getting up to start the day. I need to get some ham, almonds, and powdered sugar so I can get to cooking…

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The holiday aftermath: the bags were a hit. Bryony hasn’t put hers down since Christmas day, although she has removed the drawstring and the gods only know where it is now. If I’d known it was going to vanish that quickly, I probably wouldn’t have spent the time making a crocheted cord for the thing, just slipped a plain old piece of yarn through the holes…or not made any holes at all!! Ah, well…they loved them, and that’s all that matters to me.

Bryony turned seven this week as well, and, unfortunately, their dad was just starting on bronchitis (yes, for once, it wasn’t me!). Unfortunately for him, she refused to be patient and wait for us to celebrate her birthday in January, and dragged us all to Chuck E. Cheese that evening. The PIP was less than thrilled, as he felt like utter crap and was forced to endure the noise and the tons of people when all he really wanted was to crawl into bed and be left alone. I honestly couldn’t blame him: I had bronchitis earlier this year, and if he feels anything like I did, she’s very lucky he felt obligated to go out with her on her birthday! For both of us, it started with a headache that was unbelievable in its intensity for not being a migraine. I swear that was almost worse than the nearly incessant coughing! But he went, which didn’t help matters later on…he’s been awake for the better part of two days now, due to the coughing that gets worse at night. Because he’s got sleep apnea anytime he catches anything that settles in his chest, we’re back to sharing the bed so I can poke him, which has the result of starting him breathing again. That being the case, I’ve also been up since he’s been sick, and catching a few winks here and there during the day.

Her birthday is really difficult to deal with, falling as it does in the middle of the holiday season. There’s no point in throwing a party for her anytime between Christmas and New Year’s, because A. no one will come, and B. no one who has children has any money left to buy birthday gifts for someone else’s kid at that time! So every year, we plan for doing something in January, and every year, she naysays us, insisting on doing everything on that day. It doesn’t feel right, she says, to do it later. Ordinarily, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but because he wasn’t feeling well, it was this time, and even though we explained to her that dad was sick–he was feverish, coughing, the whole nine yards–she threw a temper tantrum. My response would have been to put her in her room and do nothing at all, but the PIP felt that he would rather give in and do it her way despite the tantrum this time. He’s gonna regret that next year, I’m sure.

As to the mythical portion of the post title, that came out of something that has always amused me: legendary, so-called monsters that in ancient times always inspired fear, such as dragons and gryphons, have become symbols of other things now. Honor, loyalty, strength, you name it, usually good things. How did they make the metamorphosis? For instance, my high school mascot was the dragon, and all of us who graduated from that school still refer to ourselves as Dragons. I often wonder how one balances a belief that dragons are honorable creatures with the belief in St. George, the ultimate dragonslayer. It’s never been a problem for me; I’ve always been on the dragon’s side!!! But how did a creature who once upon a time was known as a man-eating monster and destroyer of whole villages become a symbol of anything good? Of course, me being myself, I’ve also always wondered how much of their existence is fact or fancy? I’ve seen ancient depictions of dragons from different countries that looked the same, or so close as to make no difference, yet at the time there was no reason to believe that the peoples from those countries had crossed each other’s paths. So what does that mean for their existence? Was it actually a dragon, or a leftover dinosaur, maybe a pterodactyl or something like it? But the pictures in question look nothing like what I’ve been taught to see as a pterodactyl at all. Then again, no one has ever found a skeleton of a dragon, either, at least not provably so. So what does all this mean?

Well, I’m a romantic, I’m Wiccan, and I love fantasy, so I prefer to believe that all those fantastic creatures did exist, and that maybe they still do, just on a different plane than we do. Or maybe no skeletons have been found because dragons are truly immortal, and they’re in hibernation somewhere near the core of the earth where we can’t get to them. Sounds like a great story, right?

And maybe I’m crazy, but I feel that making the choice not to believe is to deliberately remove the magic from life. And where’s the fun in that? Fantasizing about the actual existence of dragons, unicorns, and gryphons (oh, my) is a lot more fun than some fantasies, and lets me hold onto a bit of childhood, which will keep me younger at heart than those who don’t! Just my opinion.

Speaking of dragons, I’ll be taking my little guys into the tent in a little while. Progress is being made, a tiny bit at a time, at least as far as the cage goes. Mnementh will actively approach the cage sides and climb them to meet me eye-to-eye and beg for treats that he will take from my hand. Canth and Ruth are starting to approach, but a good deal more slowly, and will snatch their treats and run for it. Last night, Ruth took his treat to the hammock, and I slowly reached in to pet him. He leaned away from my hand and headed for the hills after one stroke, but he didn’t crab and didn’t try to bite, so I’m going to take that as a step in the right direction. Slow and steady, and all that.

Well, I’m off to see how the PIP is doing and then set up the tent. Wish me luck!

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The completed bag

The completed bag

At 4:00 am on Christmas Eve morning, I have finally, finally, finally completed Bryony’s bag. She will have it in time. Apparently I work well under pressure. Who knew?!

It isn’t perfect. There are a few things I would do differently on another bag. Thankfully I wanted it to be slouchy, because I chose the wrong yarn if I wanted the bag to stand up on its own. That is not happening. The yarn I used was Lane Borgosesia Oceano, and it’s a sport weight viscose/cotton blend. Lots of drape and very shiny, just all around gorgeous yarn. I think it’s been discontinued. I bought it…hmm, I’m going to say a couple of years ago, at the Yarn Outlet here, which means if it was discontinued, I might possibly have a shot at finding it there–and only there–but there’s an equal chance that it’s just gone forever.

Being pressed for time, unlike Aneira’s bag, the strap on Bryony’s was double crocheted. Aneira’s strap was single crocheted, and it took longer to do than I expected. Since I’d had to rip out so much of Bryony’s, I didn’t have that kind of time to single crochet the entire strap again. Double crochet looks more lacy, but the thing is finished. I hope she likes it.

Wave pattern

Wave pattern

Even though I had a time crunch going on, I took a break for a little while today and learned another crochet pattern from YouTube. It’s a 3D crocheted braid, which intrigued me, and it’s a very pretty pattern, but for some reason it wasn’t clicking in my brain for

awhile. Now that it has, I can do it from memory. I have no earthly idea what I’d use the pattern for, but the lady who made the tutorial, Sheruknitting–no idea of actual name–said in the video that it would later be used for a larger project. I’ll have to find said project.

I think learning the pattern was so complicated for me because I’m used to crocheting in 2D, rather than 3D. The braid has to be twisted a certain way in order to look right, and to figure out where your hook is going next. I frogged it several times before the light dawned in my brain.

Well, I’ve got a ton of things to do tomorrow…today…so I’d better get off this computer and get to sleep!!

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Bryony's bag...nearly there!!!

Bryony’s bag…nearly there!!!

YES!!!!! The worst part of Bryony’s bag–the body–is finally done!!! I’m working on the drawstring cord and the shoulder strap now, both of which are easy. And once I’m done, it may be a very long time before I attempt a bag of my own. Okay, probably not true, as I’m working on a design for a drawstring backpack with Roman Reigns’ symbol on it, but I may have to rethink the colors. Because his ring attire is black, I thought the backpack should be as well, but working with black yarn down in the manacle, as dim as the lighting is down there, would be an utter nightmare, even with my lighted crochet hooks! And an adult-sized backpack is going to take a good bit longer to make than the child-sized bags I’m just finishing off. Assuming, of course, that I don’t wind up having to restart that bag three times!!!! So a color change may be in order.

Since my original plan was the bag in black with the symbol in white, I did think about simply reversing the colors, but white gets dirty too quickly, and the dirt shows quite well, so that’s kind of out. Black symbol on a red background is a possibility, but not my favorite color scheme either. This will take some thought, and I’ve got plenty of time to worry about it!

I know this post is short, but blame the time of year! I’ve got to get back to this thing and finish it off, and I’m also trying to get the house presentable for Christmas Day. The children seem to have an aversion to keeping any room in this house clean for longer than three seconds. And I’m doing the huge feast for Christmas as well, so I need to start what can be started early so I have less to do on the day. Because, yeah, that’s gonna happen. Right.

So, to all, my holiday greetings: Happy Solstice, Blessed Yule, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Happy Holidays, Feliz Navidad…I’m sure I’m forgetting some, so please forgive me!

Edited: Five minutes after I published this post, the unthinkable happened–I went to test the drawstring length against the bag and put it through the holes I’d made for it to make sure everything was copacetic…lo and behold, I had somehow forgotten to put in the last hole!! As a result of that mistake, I’ve had to rip back the entire shoulder strap  and three rows of the body: in excess of roughly five hundred stitches. I’m currently trying to decide if I’m going to scream or cry. 

 

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11 days till Christmas, and seven till Yule on the winter solstice, which, being Wiccan, is really the day I should be celebrating on, but it’s easier just to stick with Christmas Day. The kids would undoubtedly be happier if we went for the solstice, since it’s sooner, but, hey, we’re not even certain yet that they’re getting gifts this year. They’ve misbehaved so often and so badly in recent days that I’m inclined to just return everything and be done with it.

And there’s so little time left. Is Bryony’s bag finished? Not. Even. Close. I will have to work until my hands can’t move to get this thing done in time. I don’t know if I can do it. I forgot to reckon with how much I have to do during the holidays. There’s all the cooking that has to be done, which, thankfully, doesn’t take place until the day in question, but there’s getting things wrapped, shopping, hiding things cleverly enough that the kids can’t find them, and a zillion other things that I have to do, both concerned with the holiday and not. Tomorrow, in fact, we have to get the kids out of school early to get them to the pediatrician by 3:15, because their behavior has been such that it’s time to consult a professional. Bryony got herself in-school-suspension for half a day for bullying another little girl so badly that the child’s grades have dropped and she’s depressed. I was shocked to find this out, because we have had numerous conversations about bullying and how to treat one’s friends. Apparently, nothing has sunk in.

And Aneira is a teenager in nearly everything. Her mouth is writing checks her derriere can’t cash. The disrespect level has gone through the roof recently. If I spoke to my mother the way she’s been backtalking me lately, I wouldn’t have needed braces. I wouldn’t have had teeth. As it stands, after the latest episode of backtalk, when I asked her to help with the dishes only to be refused, I informed my child that I will continue to feed and clothe her because the law requires that I do so until she’s eighteen, but not to ask me for any extras so long as she refuses to behave like a member of the family. Her reaction was to shrug and say “Fine”, and walk away. Meanwhile, I went from anger to tears and back to anger. So, to the pediatrician to consult about behavioral issues and modification. I’m nervous, because with both parents being bipolar, the likelihood of the girls having the same problem is astronomically high, and I’m not keen on putting my kids on meds. I’m hoping that if they are diagnosed as bipolar, or ADD, or something like that, there’s a way to avoid meds. I just don’t want to start them down that path this young.

The animals also need attention as well, particularly the gliders, because they won’t stay tame without human interaction, as evidenced by the Dragons. As I’ve said before, they’re one step up from feral. One very short step! I don’t want the others to regress that badly either. So I find time to spend at least an hour with each group. Normally, that means I spend time with one trio and Maverick one night, and the other trio gets me the next night. The girls make an effort to spend time with Stitch, the rabbit, and the dogs are woven throughout the pattern. They’re easy because they have free run of the house and backyard, other than the master bedroom, so they’re not missing anything at any time. Still, making quality time for everyone and keeping up with everything else drastically reduces the time I have for working on Bryony’s bag or for sleeping.

Which explains why I am still up at quarter to five on a Wednesday morning.

Tonight was the Kaos Krew’s night for tent time. We’ve made progress in some areas, not enough in others. We have reached a point where all three of them run to me for comfort and safety when something startles them, and their idea of fun in the tent is to use me as their personal jungle gym, which means they’re all over me, including up in my hair. What we have not learned is that it’s not nice to bite me. Zoe, in particular, has a penchant for biting my fingers and toes. I invariably forget to put socks on when going into the tent with them–every time. And of course, it doesn’t take long for Zoe to figure that out and make a beeline for my toes when she thinks I won’t notice. Yes, she did get me once tonight. You would think, as often as she does it, I would have learned to never forgo socks. Even Aneira has learned that, and she doesn’t spend as much time with them as I do. She puts shoes on to go in the tent, yet I can never remember to put on socks. Go figure. But at least we’re making progress on bonding, which is all to the good. That means that at some point, the biting will stop. I hope.

Please, please, wish me luck on getting this bag finished in time. After that, I think I’m done with crocheting for a little while!

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Maverick and I in the tent

Maverick and I in the tent

I made a tactical error tonight during tent time with the gliders: I took the three Dragons in first, then forgot to wipe down the floor of the tent before bringing Maverick in to play afterward. Apparently, he was much displeased. Any area of the tent or my person that had contact with the three intruders had to be re-marked and/or attacked…which included my person. Won’t make that mistake again! Normally, Maverick is the most laid back of the seven, and acts as an ambassador glider when I know he’ll be meeting people, because he isn’t a nippy glider. Or say, rather, that he isn’t a glider who nips to get blood. But he was very unhappy with the scent of the Dragons in the tent this evening!

Interactions with the Dragons are still very discouraging. Mnementh is the only one, still, who will approach me, or allow me to approach him. Canth and Ruth still respond with absolute terror and run and hide if possible. In the tent, hiding isn’t really possible, other than to cower in the pouch that comes in with them. It’s so sad, especially since I really love all seven of them. I hate to see an animal that scared of contact with its owner. They seem to have no idea that I would never hurt them. They’ll run all over me in the tent, but I can’t touch them, or even twitch in their direction unless I want to see them run for the pouch.

Mnementh and Canth in their pouch during tent time

Mnementh and Canth in their pouch during tent time

Tent time is recommended because a small tent forces the glider to have some kind of interaction with the owner, which goes toward the bonding process. This isn’t an issue with Mal, Inara, Zoe, or Maverick. They have no fear of me whatsoever. I haven’t been putting any of them in the bonding pouch for awhile. For one thing, it’s been too cold, in my opinion, to take them out. For another, the Dragons need the attention a lot more than the others, so they’ve been the only ones to ride around in the bonding pouch, but only at home, due to the aforementioned temperatures. Which means they spend far less time in the pouch than I would prefer, because I don’t want the dogs further terrifying already scared animals that realize that they will fit into a canine maw with room to spare. I also don’t push Bryony into interacting with them, because she can’t seem to remain still or move slowly around them, which contributes to their fears. And she’s as nervous around multiple gliders as they are around her.

I’ve gotten some pictures from Blue’s new family, and he’s doing wonderfully! He readily bonded with them, which makes me happy at the same time it makes me sad and a little bit jealous, because he didn’t bond with us in the least, and he was born in this house and handled from nearly day one. I’ve redoubled my efforts with Stitch now, who is currently running around my room as I write this. He seems much happier now that he is an only rabbit! So maybe that will make bonding with him easier, as he seems to be less stressed now.

Bryony's bag...restart number three!

Bryony’s bag…restart number three!

Bryony’s bag is still giving me fits. I’m on the third restart now, with less than a month to get it finished, and never did get around to the micro-macrame or kumihimo jewelry I wanted to make for the girls too. These bags have been the bane of my existence, and I love to crochet!!!! I should have just woven some bags instead. Well, live and learn: hindsight is 20/20! I might be able to add a piece or two more if I can manage to finish this bag with at least three days to spare. At the rate this is going, it may not happen, but I’m certainly going to try!

The rounds are somewhere around 200 stitches each, but the yarn is so much smaller than what I used for Aneira’s bag that the bag itself will be smaller. The yarn is a viscose blend–I want to say cotton, but I don’t have it in front of me at the moment, so don’t hold me to that. I’m using the smallest crochet hook I have without resorting to the truly tiny ones, and I think it might still be a bit too large!

Well, it’s three am at the moment, so I think it would probably be a good idea to get Mr. Stitch into his cage and head to bed myself. Good night, all!

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Maverick's cage, complete with adorable cage set. He's very happy with it!

Maverick’s cage, complete with adorable cage set. He’s very happy with it!

I know, the title is a bit confusing, so allow me to explain: LPCS stands for Lay’s Potato Chip Syndrome. This refers back to the commercial that says you can’t have just one. The same goes for other things in life, and that brings me to our lives. You can’t have just one sugar glider. Yes, LPCS has taken over my house. Sort of. We’re drawing the line now.

Since Maverick’s arrival (Yes, the name remains. It was put to a vote, and two of my children’s favorite people voted in favor of Maverick. And I promised to abide by the ruling of the second person, so the name stays.), three more gliders in need have been brought to my attention. Well, actually it was eleven, but three of the eight males are coming to us. Quite soon, as it happens. That puts us at seven. Five males, two females, and, for the moment, three cages. The plan is still to acclimate the original members of the Kaos Krew to Mav, and move him in with them…eventually. The other three are already bonded to each other, and will have their own cage.

The funny thing is that the PIP called it a week ago. He said this would happen, and I blithely told him no. I was ending it at four. We didn’t need any more.  He suggested that I make room for another cage, because he was sure there would be more. I laughed at him.

Look where I am now.

When I sheepishly ate crow and told him about the three boys, he only laughed. He’d expected it because I’d mentioned them before. I had actually said no to taking them, initially. Twice over. And initially, they were set to go to other homes. But both homes fell through, and I was told how bad things were for them, and I weakened. I couldn’t help it. I saw pictures, and gave in.

The thing is, gliders are incredibly easy to care for, once you have the essentials. If you have the ability to make their diet, which is made up of things you eat anyway, and they have a large enough cage, and you have time to spend with them each day, it’s not difficult at all. They’re considerably less messy than my rabbits, and less smelly, by a long mile, and cleaning their cages is a lot easier. Paper towels in the catch tray, which you throw out every other day and replace with more, or cut a piece of fleece to size, and shake it out every other day, then wash while another piece of fleece replaces the dirty one. Hardcore cleaning once a week, for which I have a steamer. Add the fact that they’re frigging adorable, and there you go.

Having them leap to the front of the cage to see you every time you walk through the door is gratifying. Hearing them bark makes you go “Awwwww” every time. And watching them “ride the lightning” on the wheel makes us all laugh. The largest expense has been housing, and that, too, can be accomplished pretty inexpensively if you keep a weather eye on Craigslist.

This is not to say that it can’t be expensive. You have to have a vet accustomed to sugar gliders, for one thing, and sugar gliders from breeders can run anywhere from $250 to $1500 for one animal. And since they don’t do well as singles, then you’d have to figure on spending $500-$3000 for a pair. I’ve been lucky–all of mine are rehomes/rescues.

This is also not to say that it’s all fairytales. Gliders are nocturnal, which means they’re noisy at night. All night. Again, I’ve been lucky there: mine, on their own hook, have changed their schedules. When they arrived, they would get up at ten or eleven and stay up until about six am. Now they get up around four am, and stay awake until about four pm. And, of course, it takes time to create a bond with them. It’s not like a puppy, kitten, dog, or cat, who will pretty much warm up to you right away. It can take years to bond with a glider. My first three still bite me. Maverick has been handled so much by his previous owner that he pretty much doesn’t nip at all.

My bedroom, though, looks like a zoo exhibit. Currently, there are two large glider cages, two rabbit cages, and four spare cages inhabiting the room, with the third glider cage soon to be moved in. Fortunately, the master bedroom is a huge room, but I’m going to probably get rid of all but two of the spare cages soon. The larger spare will be kept as a hospital cage in case one ever becomes ill, and the smaller will be a travel cage for trips to the vet. All others will go to new homes.

You know where you can really get in trouble with gliders? Accessorizing. There are any number of adorable bonding pouches out there for sale, and tons of people making cage sets that are equally adorable. And, well, it’s necessary to have another cage set on hand while the first is in the laundry, right? And they love toys. Fisher Price toys are always a hit. So are large Lego toys. And large branches and long chains for climbing. My glider cages are more brightly, gaily colored than the rest of the room.

But this time, I really am drawing the line. When it was ferrets, I stopped at six. With the gliders, I’m stopping at seven. Enough really is enough.

In crafty news, I have redone Aneira’s bag, and am beginning on the shoulder strap now. I reversed the colors this time, making the variegated yarn the background, and the pink yarn the pattern. As you probably saw in my last post. The holes are in place for the drawstring, and I managed not to add any stitches this time. The only thing I still didn’t get right is the base, which still cupped as I made it. I blew it off, figuring that this child is going to load the bag with all her junk anyway, and the bottom is going to cup no matter what with all the weight. Give me a couple of days, and it’ll be finished completely. Then I can focus my attention on Bryony’s bag. And finishing the first crocheted glider toy.

I really hope the kids can appreciate all the love and effort that’s going into this. I know Bryony probably won’t, as she’s the baby, but she might surprise me. She loves her crocheted blankets because I made them. Aneira is old enough that she should understand, especially if Bryony does.

Well, it’s time to get the littles fed for the night…Maverick, at least, will be up soon!

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