Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween -- Winter is Nigh

Molly's sinister pumpkin
Today was Halloween and snow kept fluttering on and off up here in the North Country.  Winter is certainly on its way trying to erase all memory of the 70 degree days we enjoyed just a few days ago.  But I don't mind because now I can start wearing the heavy sweaters I from Nova Scotia and Ireland.

Abby's chicken pumpkin

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thank God for You Tube!

My Louet Victoria Spinning Wheel arrived Monday.  It was pretty easy to put together and I liked practicing how to pedal to keep the movement going smoothly.  But it stopped there.  I didn't have a clue what to do next.  Thank God for the internet and You Tube.  I found some tutorials and at least know the mechanics.  So can I spin?  Of course not.  Stay tuned, though.

Knitting vs. Litigating

Need I explain my preference after 25+ years trying cases?  I thought not.  So now I take joy from using my hands and imagination instead of my voice and arguments.

Here are a few of the items I completed over the past year.  I'll add pattern info tomorrow since it's really late but I wanted to actually get something out.

My strange cat, a present for my mom.
Molly, my 16 yr old, knit this elephant.
My first bag that I use as a project bag.

A silly purse for my daughter Sarah.

The bag I use every day
Time to sleep.  Check back tomorrow (actually later today).


Thursday, October 21, 2010

My First Spinning Wheel

I just won my first spinning wheel -- on eBay!  My husband asked me what I wanted for my 60th birthday and I told him I wanted a spinning wheel.  While he thought it was an odd request, he agreed.  So I did research, remembered conversations I overheard at the Common Ground Fair a few weeks ago and decided on a Louet Victoria.  I wanted it because reviews were very positive and it is portable.  Then I found one on eBay and my husband (an expert on all things eBay) did the final honors in stealth bidding in the last 10 seconds and I won it : ) 

Now all I have to do is wait for it to arrive.  And, yeah, I guess I need to learn how to spin.

More tomorrow.  Gail

Friday, October 15, 2010

Taxes? In October? Unfortunately Yes : (

Yes.  I've been busy trying to get our Federal Income Taxes finished and can only post a quick note now in case someone is actually following my blog.  (I can always hope)  Of course my master procrastinator husband had me file for an extension in April which brings us to October.

And is he finished figuring out his part of the necessary info?  As usual, NO.  So I sit in front of my computer with Turbo Tax on the screen frantically entering the numbers as he hands them to me.  While I wait I eat lunch, or photograph my knitted animals, or take the girls to their eye doctor appointments, or write that I haven't vanished on my blog.

Always a grand time here at the McNally/Miller World Headquarters.

So when I return tonight or tomorrow morning I will sign on with the pictures I while waiting.


Monday, October 11, 2010

My Rooster Dilemma . What to do with Pretty Boy.

When we first decided to get chickens I was adamant that we would not get a rooster and so we didn't.  But as the chicks grew and we began keeping them outside in a doghouse with chicken wire around it I became more afraid that predators would get them.  Although my husband blames this fear on my eastern European heritage, I believe my fears are justified.  The birds were close to the woods that abut the Connecticut River and even though the river is about 850 feet below us I know that fisher cats and mink and fox are all in close vicinity and all love chicken dinner as much as we do. 

Abby playing with the now deceased Cinnamon.

My solution was to get a rooster to help protect our hens and at least give us a warning call to allow us to rescue them.  And our friends, who by the way lost half of their meat birds to coyotes, gladly gave us one of their young roosters.   And before you could blink your eyes, the rooster appeared to help assuage my fears.

As time went by we laughed when Pretty Boy (aka Stud Muffin) learned to crow sounding much like a kazoo.  Or when he ran after our youngest daughter Abby, nipping at her heels thus causing her to carry a baseball bat whenever she visited the hens.  We chuckled even as he started attacking the hens who weren't ready to allow his less than romantic overtures.  And how can we forget the first time Abby saw him attack a hen -- she screamed hysterically until her older sister Molly ran in and scooped Pretty Boy off the hen, chastising him as she held on to him.

But now, 18 months after his arrival, Pretty Boy has become down-right mean to the hens and to all humans except Molly.  If he could kill my husband Jack, Pretty Boy would be extremely happy.  He still runs after Abby but tolerates me because he knows I'm the alpha human, that is, the Mom. 

Molly is another story.  She can still pick him up and he will accept food from her and actually comes up and gently pecks her hello.  And Molly loves him back.  And feels sorry for him because that's the way she is.  She understands that Pretty Boy brings all the bad feelings on himself.  She knows he is mean and rotten and dangerous.  But she also knows that once we give him away, he will be someone's dinner.  She wishes there were a farm for unruly roosters that allowed them to live their lives out because we named him and watched him grow up.  He's just not another meat bird.  He has a personality and she knows he's just misunderstood and he doesn't deserve to be eaten.

So where's the huge eagle who swoops from the sky and picks up Pretty Boy and carries him off to be dinner for her babies?  Where is the story book ending that keeps me from making the decision to send him away?  

Sometimes it really sucks to be the Mom.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A New Decade -- How to Welcome my 60th Birthday

Starting with my 20th birthday, I have marked each decade with a new life changing event or situation.  My record:

20th Birthday   Ten days before I turned 20, I gave birth to my oldest daughter in a doctor's office in Kutztown, PA.  So much for wanting her born at home.  Does it counts that we were back home in less than 2 hours? 

30th Birthday   I was exactly halfway through law school. 

40th Birthday   My third and final marriage. Coming up on 20 years.

50th Birthday   I celebrated in Guangzhou, China, adopting my youngest daughter.  I thought adopting Abby was better than buying

60th Birthday   ???????????

I still have 2 months and hope that the focus of my next decade will be evident by then.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Help! Work in Progress

Please bear with me as I slowly learn how to blog. You would think I could figure this out being an attorney and all but no it apparently it takes time.  

And how do I make it look great like all the blogs I read each day?  Can I import the nice things?  Why isn't as simple as they say, not content but the window dressing!  Mine looks so, so boring.

Don't shy away.  Do come back. 

And if any of you have any suggestions how to help me spruce this up, please, please speak up and leave a comment.