Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More Color

The "woodland elf" cloth is off the loom and washed--now it has to decide what it wants to be when it grows up (I draped it over my dress form just for fun.

And more color is happening outside.  The azaleas remind me of popcorn getting ready to burst open.  You step out one day and there's suddenly hundred of little green buds.  Then a few days later there's hundreds of little pink buds.  Then *POW* and they all pop open.

While I was shooting these, Babs the peacock was trying to get my attention, so he gets yet another picture of himself in here.  The sun was behind me and I thought my shadow on his tail looked pretty cool.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mysterious Waters and Manatees

We went kayaking on the Wakulla River this weekend with our friends Rob and Jeff.  We've been meaning to do this together the famous "sometime."  For about three years now.  "Sometime" finally happened (possibly because I called and set a date for it).

Wakulla means "mysterious waters."  While it specifically refers to the freshwater spring that feeds it (of unknown depth and length--basically forever and forever) it does seem an appropriate name for the area in general.
The river is fairly shallow, with the bottom covered in long eel grass.  As it waves in the current, you can see the white sand below.  As befitting "mysterious waters" sometimes a patch of sand will slowly float to the surface and take a long low breath.    It's hard to say just what is so appealing about manatees.  They are not by any means attractive (those sailors who mistook them for mermaids must have been out to sea for a looooong time).  They're just rather blobby.  But as a fellow kayaker noted "they're a big blob that make people happy."   Sadly--they are easily mistaken for a patch of sand, and they move very slowly.  I've never seen a manatee that didn't have scars from boat props.

 And what's a trip out in the boats without an alligator.  yes--that's the tip of Bob's oar there.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Camp Gordon Johnston

Camp Gordon Johnston was an amphibious training camp for World War II.  Every year in March they host a celebration and parade--and, of course, being the proud owners of a WWII jeep, we go down to be in it.  It's fun--an old fashioned small town parade (complete with Canadians in umbrella hats.)

I am touched every year by the biker group, who line the parade route to offer their respect to the veterans.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fiber and Zumba!

Spring break was this week--but I went in to campus anyway.  Three of us "borrowed" the textile lab so I  could show them how to make felt scarves.  Compared to spinning and knitting or weaving, felt is instant gratification.  You just lay it out on a piece of bubble wrap, roll it up, and rub it for awhile.  Here's Wanda and Nancy with their scarves.  Note that I'm not showing mine.  I thought I'd go outside my comfort zone and away from my earth-tone colors and did one with a yellow base and red and blue decorations on one side and orange swirls on the other.  It was . . . not attractive.  Later  I went to a spin-in at the local knit shop (Really Knit Stuff) for an evening of spinning, nibbling, and talking.

Tonight I started a Zumba class (the latest version of Dancercize)  On the plus side--I still have the stamina and rhythm to make it through an active hour-long class.  On the other hand--thank goodness for hot showers, Tylenol, and Aspercreme!

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I wrestled the "woodland elf" warp (see earlier post) onto the loom--it didn't cooperate very nicely but I eventually won the battle and the weaving is going well.

I'm getting together with some friends tomorrow to show them how to make felt scarves.  Of course I'm supplying the wool--white can be dull so I dyed it.  No decision making on the color choices--I had some dyes I had mixed up for a project some time back (can't even remember what for--maybe a dye workshop), so this was a way of doing housekeeping by using them up. 

No matter what I do, Mother Nature can beat me.  Our little peach tree is in bloom now (may or may not get peaches--usually it puts out one or two and the squirrels beat us to them).   And, of course, nothing can beat the beauty of a peacock--although in this particular case Bob does often want to beat the peacock.  Babs (dumb name, I know--he was the last one we hatched and hence the baby of the group) has imprinted on me.  He enjoys being scratched--and he tends to be a bit fixated on my feet (the other birds give him the "Oh dude, that is so wrong" look).  However, he violently attacks Bob, and will even attack the car if Bob is in it.  He's even ripped his way through the screen on the front porch to get to him.  We often ponder medieval recipes for roasted peacock . . .

I'm going to a spin-in tomorrow evening--and saw a comment on-line that "those spinners sure bring great snacks!"  Oops--better come up with a snack--and it's not my style to just pick up something from the grocery store.  On the other hand--I'm limited to what I have on hand because I didn't want to drive into town.  I had seen a recipe for caramel corn that also had cranberries in it--that sounded pretty good.  Alas--no cranberries in the house.  So I made a tropical caramel corn--dried papaya (yeah--no cranberries but I did have papaya--go figure), crystalized ginger, a bit of chopped candied lemon, and sea salt.

We ate most of it while watching a movie this afternoon--at least I saved some to take tomorrow.