Friday, December 20, 2013

Random Friday

Ah, me.  Once again a couple of weeks slid by (I almost wrote "have slidden" but the English major in me just can't do it).

Sometimes life just seems a little mundane and there's not much to write about.  I mean, how exciting is this:  "I came home from work and fixed a quick lunch."  Just how much can you say about that?  Let's see . . .

"Work" meant being at the museum and trying to train the hawk to go into a carrying crate.  If you've ever tried to shove a reluctant cat or dog into a carry crate--just imagine it with wings.  Gets a little physical.

Quick lunch--hungry when I got home, so went to the garden and picked a handful of greens (kale, cabbage leaves, mustard, some chives).   Tossed them in a skillet with a little butter until they wilted, then cracked a couple of eggs on top and let them set.  Salt, pepper, squeezed on some lemon juice, and had a simple and tasty lunch.  No real big deal, except that this is the sort of eating that the foodies are going on about now,  books being written, shows on television and radio.  Fresh, local (the eggs were courtesy of the girls in the henhouse, and the lemon was from a tree at the museum--OK--the butter and salt were from the grocery store), unprocessed.  Just food.  Odd that in our overly-fed country, just plain food is becoming a rarity.

Oh--and the peacocks came running when they saw me in the garden so they got the stems that I pulled off the leaves and a few buggy greens.  I guess that' s not an everyday occurrence for most people either.

Now some randomness, and equally random pictures.

Our friends Gill and Jim got engaged.  In lieu of an engagement ring, he got her a motorcycle and side car.  Not as easy to wear, but a heck of a lot more fun.  (She didn't want me to get cold, hence the Eeyore hat.  Bob didn't have to wear it.

And no, we didn't just pose.  Gill took us each for a ride.

Projects--been making some simple stuff.  Dad gets cold easily, so I made him some
polar fleece sleep shirts and some fingerless mitts (four shirts, three pairs of mitts, so we can rotate).  Some people get obsessed about knitting socks--me, I like making mitts.  And I like wearing them--they keep my wrists and hands warm but leave my fingers free.  Dad wears his 24/7 (hence the three pairs). 

My other obsession is felted slippers.  In an earlier post I mentioned "knitting at stop lights" so that's where these come in.  They're fun because you knit them way outsized, then shrink them in the washing machine.  They're also warm and comfortable and look like little elf boots.  (and that's the best I could get the pictures to line up side by side)                                                                    


I renewed the exhibit at the Goodwood plantation (our general plan is to change out the garments about every three months).  I'm really glad that Goodwood liked my idea of a continuing (but much simpler) exhibit after we did the major "Gowns of Goodwood" last years.  The house is beautiful, but putting in even a few garments seems to bring the rooms to life.  Just imagine these rooms without the "people" in them.

And here's a wonderful gift that I just got yesterday from my friend Natasha (she was the bride a few posts ago).  She painted a portrait for me of my favorite little barred owl at the museum.  I would have loved having any painting from her, but this one is particularly touching because it's how the owl looks when I'm scratching her head (we term it "stoner owl").   Several people can handle her, but I seem to be the only one that she loves to have scratch her.  So this picture is when she is being my owl.  (insert chorus of "awwwwww" in here)

Current reading:  Finished Varney the Vampire.  Sort of--maybe.  It just sort of ended, which makes me think that all Project Gutenberg had but it probably still goes on (it was a penny dreadful issued in weekly installments over several years--an early Victorian "Dark Shadows").  So maybe I'll track down the rest, or maybe I'll say that 748 pages of it was enough.
Barbara Kingsolver's "Prodigal Summer."  Unlike "Varney" this was a some excellent reading.   Kingsolver always works the environment and how everything interacts into her writing.  It's obviously her agenda, and it's always in your face, but she doesn't beat you over the head with it.  This was a novel of a small town--bug lovers, bug squashers, organic growers and sprayers, coyote lovers and shooters.  Read it in just a few days because it's one of those that's difficult to put down.
Now on the annual re-reading of Hogfather.  Tomorrow is when we eat meat pies and watch the movie.
*Finally*--a few cat shots.  I was doing some spinning and took a quick break--and Fiona decided that the soft fiber would make a good pillow for a nap.
The other morning when I went onto the back deck to feed the "special care" animals, Timmy the Squirrel ran into the house.  With a half-dozen cats around that's not really a good idea, so I scooped him up and offered him a peanut.  He happily settled into my hand with his snack.  I think Timmy landed on his head when he fell out of the nest and, as we say in the South, he ain't quite right.  He's generally a healthy and happy little squirrel, but he doesn't see well and he's rather uncoordinated.  He can also be totally oblivious to his surroundings--as shown by the fact that he was focused on his peanut and didn't even notice the attentions of Noko Marie.
OK--I'm about caught up--at least with the blog.  Really should start thinking about Christmas . . . .

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Let about three weeks slide by there.  The usual--work, Thanksgiving, kayaking.  I'm a little scattered-minded at the moment with the holiday season (and I think there's a birthday in there somewhere too).  So to settle down with one topic--reading.

I know that some people are not readers--I probably read this somewhere--but I don't get it.  That's like saying some people don't need to breath.  I don't remember learning how to read--Mom read to us until we were reading on our own, and then Mike and I both read constantly.   The parental punishment of "go to your room" for any misdemeanors sort of failed when we would be told "OK, time's up, you can come out now" was met with "Let me finish this chapter."

In elementary school I annoyed the teacher by reading everything at my level (remember reading levels?  They were color coded) instead of just the minimum for moving up--then all the next level and so on until I was out and asking for more (and now I wonder why they were annoyed--but they were).   At the beginning of one year of high school the teacher passed out a "what did you do on your summer vacation" questionnaire, and it had five lines for "what did you read?"  I turned the page over and listed about 30 books.  The teacher questioned me afterwards--was this the truth?  I said it was close--there were probably more but that was all I could remember.

Reading takes you out of yourself--you can be actively learning, entertained, amused.  Wander a new land, or know more about the land you're standing on.  My reading is pretty eclectic--it's whatever grabs my fancy at the moment (I see that a movie is being made from "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."  I've never read that, so onto the reading list it goes).

My sister-in-law Margo was wondering how I manage to read at much as I do (which to my mind, isn't enough).  After all, I am working 3 jobs, and do the spinning, weaving, sewing, kayaking, taking care of critters, etc.)   My answer was "insomnia."  Somewhat a joke--but true.  I've always had problems getting to sleep, but that's reading time.  And if I do the 3:00 a.m.  wakeup, I can lie there and fret--or turn on my little book light and read.  There's reading at breakfast (neither Bob nor I can carry on a good conversation at that hour of the morning).  There's the bathroom reading (National Geographic, Smithsonian).  Being too busy can sometimes give you reading time.  If I've finished with Appointment A, and it's going to take me 20 minutes to drive to Appointment B but I'm not due there for 45 minutes, I hit whatever coffee shop is available and curl up and take a break in between.

And that's why I started my "what I've read" list here.  Margo is organized and has her reading lists (and her movie lists) so she knows what she'd read and seen.   If I ever made such a list, I'd lose it.  So into the blog it goes.  Current reading:

As mentioned above, magazine reading includes National Geographic, Smithsonian, Spin-Off and Ply (both spinning magazines) and Wild Fibers (a social geography magazine focusing on fiber sources).

Since the last post, I've done my annual reading of "Dracula."  I also listened to several short stories by Bram Stoker while doing hand-sewing at the costume shop.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.   Meh.  Made a better movie than a book.   I like exaggerated stories and adventure, but I'd like there to be at least one toe held in the world where the laws of physics apply.  Didn't bother to finish it.

Knitting Rules--Stephanie Pearl McPhee is a Queen of Knitting and writing about it.  Her blog is hysterical.

Knitting Yarns--stories by writers about knitting.  I'll do a blog post about knitting sometimes--it's more than knitting.  Hence the dozens of books out there about the meaning of knitting.

An introduction to The Compleat Angler (a book written in 1653 about the "meditative man's recreation).  Must read the book itself sometime.

And, currently--VARNEY THE VAMPYRE.   I have started this many time over the decades and never gotten past the first few chapters.  It predates Dracula by 50 years or so, and it's really awful.  The author was once hauled into court for plagiarism (tending to make money of Charles Dicken's popularity by writing such books as "Oliver Twiss" and "David Copperful."  The case was thrown out because the judge declared that the writing was so bad that no one would ever think it was done by Dickens.   "Varney the Vampyre"  was a penny dreadful (stories released one chapter at a time--the Victorian equivalent of a soap opera) that went on for years.

It's really badly written.  Awful  All 748 pages of it.  All the characters are stereotyped (the beautiful victim, her noble brothers, the gruff old retired admiral (who has to start almost every sentence with "shiver me timbers") and the cruel vampire (who, however, did not choose to be this way and wishes he did not need to feast upon the living)

And I'm loving it.  Best treatment for insomnia ever. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Time Travelling

We seem to have been skipping around time the last week or so.


Tallahassee has it's first Steampunk Expo.  Steampunk is an aesthetic based on the Victorian style, brought into the unknown future.  Think of what a rocketship would look like if it was designed by the Victorians, and you get the idea.

To be honest, it wasn't much, and we really weren't expecting much.  That sounds cold--but it's a movement that's just getting started in Tallahassee and we wanted to support it.  But there was a group from Jacksonville that brought some pretty cool stuff (note:  lamp parts seem to be useful in creating future weapons)

I was particularly taken by this little killer (I assume robotic) prawn.


A few days later we jumped from the Victorian future to the 1940's as once again we fired up the jeep and drove in the Veteran's Day Parade.  It's always gratifying to see the turnout--the crowds were estimated at over 20,000.  And, of course, I had to ham it up as Rosie the Riveter.

1500 YEARS AGO, Yesterday

What goes up, must come down.  Sunday Liz and I gave a talk to the Panhandle Archeological Society on the Nasca era pottery and textiles on display at the Museum of Fine Arts on campus.  It was a last hurrah--this exhibit's time is over, and it's someone else's turn.  It was rather surprising on how fast it went--when you're setting an exhibit up, there are a lot of decisions about how to arrange the stands, what goes on what stand, what angle everything should be, the background, the lighting.  Taking down--well, you just (carefully!) take it down.  The covers come off, the pottery gets nestled into bubble wrap on a cart to be rolled down to the storage shelve, the textiles get wrapped in tissue and back into their drawers, and that's that--takes about an hour.   I snapped one last picture before the students helping with the next exhibit got out the putty knives to peel the sign off the wall (the letters are decals).

I left before they took my name off--I had rather liked having it up there.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Nostalgia for Our First Home

You never forget your first home.
Of course, I have had many homes in my life--when your Dad's in the military you move around a lot, and "home" is where you happen to be living at the time. (Mom had a great talent for making a home--Dad once told her that he could pitch a tent in the middle of a desert and she would go "cluck cluck cluck" and make a nest).

But *my* first home was our apartment in Alumni Village--the married/graduate student apartment complex off the FSU campus.  We only lived there about a year, then we upgraded to a slightly (very slightly) larger apartment, and then had moved on to have our second anniversary in Texas when Bob got his commission.

But I have always loved that little apartment--*my* first home.  The Village will be torn down in a year or so.  The occupancy is down, and the buildings old (they were already seeming a bit shabby 40 years ago).  They don't have the amenities most renters require now--the laundry room is a few blocks away, there's no WiFi or pool or gym.   I'm not sure if they every had a prime, but if so, they're past it.

Now that the apartment is unoccupied, Bob got permission to go visit it.  He's been there doing inspections over the years, but it was my first time back.  Suddenly I felt 20 again, and a newlywed (well, almost a newlywed--we did a shocking thing at the time and moved in two weeks before we were married!)

Our was the one on the top floor. 

I do see a bit of an air conditioner in this picture.  We didn't have one--we couldn't afford to buy one, and if we had, we wouldn't have been able to afford the power bill to run it.  We just sweated a lot.

I felt a little trepidation about opening that door.  Sometime you should just keep your fond memories intact and not besmirch them with reality.  But guess what?  It's rather a nice little apartment.  Brighter than I remember it (somehow I remember more gray).   And there had been the "damn you" wall in the living room--the one with the big hole where a previous owner had stuck an air conditioner and  covered with a chunk of plywood, with nasty water stains all down the wall.  I'd stare at that ugliness and say "damn you damn you damn you" and finally hung a cheap Indian print bedspread over it)

But the room I kept returning to, that made my heart give a little pitty pat, was my kitchen.

Bob was 20 then, and- like all young men- ravenous.  And I liked to cook.  We were pretty broke, but beans and rice and dubious rolls of hamburger and cabbage and spaghetti  could make some pretty good meals.  You could get boxes of bacon "ends and pieces"--mostly fat, but they flavored a lot.  I had a new husband to cook for, and sometimes friends, and had my parents come up for Thanksgiving dinner in *our* home.  

And it's still a fine little kitchen.  When the Village was built 50+ years ago, it was assumed that the occupants would cook. There is a full-size fridge, and a double sink, and some counter space.  Heck--it's not much smaller than the one at Rob and Jeff's house.   And it's much bigger than some I've seen in the modern "luxury" apartments--the ones I call half-assed kitchens because they're only big enough to get half your ass into them.  A half-sized fridge and a microwave and that's about it. Not the center of a home.

I wish we could have stayed a little longer.  I would have liked to cook another dinner in there.  I could still live there for awhile, until all our stuff and cats caught up with us.  I laugh because the little cottage that I use for my studio is about the same size of this apartment.

I could sigh, and say "we were happy then."  We were--but we're also happy now, with a house and a cottage and a big barn full of too much stuff, and cats and chickens and peacocks and other assorted creatures, and the detritus of many hobbies scattered around.  It's been a long time since that little apartment.

I still like that kitchen.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Dress has Launched!

During all the busy-ness of the Howl, another set of busy was taking place behind the scenes--Natasha (director of Education at the Museum) had to plan her wedding to fall between the Howl and the Fall Farm Days (which is tomorrow). Rob and Jeff were sort of the wedding planners, taking care of all things like flowers, seating, being sure there was enough ice, and all the details that go into a lovely wedding.  And lovely it was.  My favorite weddings are small ones, and personal.  A friend (in the case, her godfather) to officiate, friends for the music, friends for the caterers.  It takes a village to make a marriage.

And of course she looked adorable--because I did manage to get the dress finished in time.

Congratulations, Ken and Natasha--may there be many good times ahead!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Howl, Part 3

Now just some random haunted trail photos.

Inside the "Hive" (Jeff's name for it--I still think of it as the fishnet).  Made by hanging much milage of erosion cloth.  It also got draped on the actors--who blended right in.  And the walls bit.

Homage was paid to the build crew by creating and displaying their death masks.

And strange things could be seen through the windows of the cabin.

Until next year . . .

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Howl Part 2

OK--it has nothing to do with the haunted trail, but isn't this the cutest little baby snake you ever saw?  Bob was working in the garden and spotted this little guy--at first he thought it was an earthworm and then realized is was looking back at him.

Back to the trail.

In order to create a successful haunted trail, you have to have one foot planted firmly in Crazytown.  You have to be the sort of person who picks up baby dolls wherever you find them.

You have to be the type of person who can take PVC pipe, electric cable, a foam skull, and paper mache and create this

That's the fun part.  Crazytown is a fun place.  Many people live there.  But to have a successful haunted trail you have to have the other foot planted in the world of checklists, budgets, and planning.  Recuiting volunteers (and they rocked!) You have to make non-much fun items such as this.

As each actor checks in, he/she is handed a card saying which scene they'll be in, what sort of costume they need, what sort of makeup, and who can tell them what they'll be doing. 

The security team is briefed (members of a motorcycle club--bless these guys)

All the scenes in the trail are built according to ADA standards and are wheelchair accessible.

Meh.  But after the checklists are done, you can get back to Crazytown and down to the serious business of scaring people.

High fives are given when you startle someone enough that they fall down.  Victory dances for when you hear someone say "I just peed on myself"  (and more so when your nose tells you that other functions have expressed themselves).   But in all of the years we've been doing this, we have never literally scared the pants off someone.  But Rob saw a woman step into the woods--and he assumed that she was trying to hide.  His charge and yell of "arrrrrghh" suddenly turned into an "oh--excuse me" as he realized that she was taking care of business before facing the last scene.  Rob--you rule!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Howl Part 1

I had every good intention of posting regularly during October to tell of the building and running of the haunted trail for the museum's Halloween Howl.  Well, I seem to have gotten busy doing it, and not writing about it.

In short--it was an amazing success.  It all ran smoothly enough that it made us nervous, and on Saturday the museum was letting in over 600 people an hour (there are events all over the museum, so not *everybody* went on the trail, but it sure felt like it).  It's too big and too complicated (and I'm still too tired) to write in any coherent manner, so you'll be getting it in a random fashion.

Quick background information--for the past 19 years the Tallahassee Museum has held the Halloween Howl.  A big part of that is the Haunted Trail--about a quarter mile walk through the woods.  For many years the trail was done by the crew who called themselves "The Sick Puppies"--Rob, Jeff, Bob, and myself.  Finally, we burned out.  In 2011 Bob and I ran off to Oaxaca, Mexico for the Day of the Dead (Rob and Jeff decorated the museum grounds), and in 2012 we did the Cabinet of Curiosities.  For complicated reasons, we came out of "retirement" this year and did the trail.

We do try to take advantage of our space--all you need to do to scare most people is simply put them in the woods at night and keep it dark.  We just push it a bit more.  Some people aren't prepared to take that.  We found it strange that a large number of people (at least 30 according to our Line Wench), after standing in line for an hour and a half, would start down the trail, see the first scene--then turn around and walk back out. (And these are taken during the day--imagine it at night, when you're pretty sure someone is going to jump out at you)

(Jeff is a genius--the tombstones and the mausoleum are made of Styrofoam.)

And there's the teaser.  A nice soft bed is calling my name--more later.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Haunted Trail Begins

For many years (possibly too many), the team affectionately  known as "The Sick Puppies" (Rob, Jeff, Bob, and myself) built and ran the haunted trail at the Museum's annual Haunted Howl.  We loved it--too put it honestly, we were obsessed with it.  Our dream was to have a professional level of haunt--the type that is actually installed year-round, added to each year, with a budget of many thousands of dollars.  Of course, our little team would have a month to build all the sets from scratch, and the term "thousands" never applied to our budget.  Every year we tried to top the year before--more and bigger sets, more elaborate props, more special effects.  Of course, the bigger and more elaborate it was, the more work it was to tear it all down and put it away.   We burned out, and in 2010, after our biggest and best trail ever, we retired.  We loved the trail, but it had kicked our butts. 

In 2011 Bob and I went to Oaxaca for Day of the Dead, and Rob and Jeff did a beautiful static display on the museum grounds.  In 2012 we did the Cabinet of Curiosities which was brilliant and we loved it--but we still thought of the trail. Each of those years someone else had done the trail--and had sort of called it in (which is a phrase which means "did a half-assed job").  We tried to let it go--but it bugged us.

2013--a friend of ours has been named the new Director of Education for the museum--and responsible for the Halloween Howl.  We want her to look good.  Retirement has failed--the Sick Puppies are back on the trail.  Uh . . .

But we made a pinkie promise (for real--I made the guys link pinky fingers) that we wouldn't kill ourselves.  In 2010 we had 13 large scenes.  We decided that you really only need three big scenes (beginning, end, and one in the middle).  The rest can be fillers.

So far, so good.  The build has begun. 

The campground is ready for the bloody campers. 

Bob has started arranging his dolls (it's a little disturbing that Bob not only collects dolls but does
some very strange things with them--I try to avoid thinking about it).  He still has another 30-40 dolls to add to the scene.

My fishnet (which Jeff insists is "the Hive") has been built of erosion fabric.  I will be making
costumes covered in the same material, so that the actors will be invisible.

The haunted vineyard has been started.

The toxic waste dump is finished--but I forgot to take the picture.

The final scene will be "The Farm."  We thought if we put everything we have into the last scene, that
will be the one people remember.  It will have drop panels, a tipping wall, a maze--and some things I don't even know about yet.  Rob and Jeff start with the infrastructure, which will later be filled in.  At the moment is just looks like a forest of 2 x 4s.

In short, not too bad!

More next week as the we continue to create the magic.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Big Projects, Little Projects

I started my new job two weeks ago.  Not that I gave up either of my old jobs--so now I curate the historic clothing collection, do animal education at the museum, and sew in the costume shop at the School of Theatre.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I (as always) have some projects going on.  I just have fiddly fingers and need to be twiddling with something.  And I usually have several going at once, to suit available time and brain cells.  My recent projects:

Purse.  This was for practical reasons--my purse was falling apart, and I really dislike shopping (and purses tend to be expensive).  I want at least two pockets on the outside of a bag (keys and glasses) and a half-dozen pockets inside to keep everything from taking a nose-dive to the bottom.  Bob had given me this batik cotton at some point and it seemed just right.

Temperature Scarf.  I mentioned this a few entries ago.  It's slowly growing--I only have to knit less than an hour a week on it, but I can't forge ahead because I have to wait for the daily high temperature.  It rained for almost two months straight during what is usually our hottest time of the year.  On the plus side, it kept the summer from being as dreadfully hot as it usually is.  On the minus side, I'm *really* getting tired of 90-95 degree orange  :-(

The One-Ounce-Wonder.   I started this about a year ago, and it might take another year to finish it.  It started with the question of "how much can I do with one ounce of fiber?" (in this case, a luscious yak down/silk blend).  So it got spun nice and fine and the knitting began.  It doesn't get worked on much--it's a bit difficult to see yarn this fine, and the lacework is pretty fiddly.  It's going to be a triangular scarf (or shawl, depending on how big it gets).  So far, I've knit a little over a half-ounce of the finished yarn.  Now its name refers to the question of "I wonder why I'm doing this?" or "I wonder if I'll ever get it finished?"

Felted Slippers:  These knitted squares will turn into another pair of felted wool slippers.  They're just simple garter-stitch squares.  I really shouldn't even admit to my knitting time on them--they're my driving knitting.  Uh--yeah.  My daily commute includes way too many traffic lights, often red.  Rather than pound on the steering wheel and swearing, and ONLY AFTER COMING TO A COMPLETE STOP (ahem), I knit.  I can do garter stitch literally blindfolded, so I'm not even looking at it, and I can drop it in mid-stitch when the light changes.  I get about two squares done a week, and my blood pressure is much lower.

The Folded-Strip Tote Bag:  I saw a cute pattern for making a tote bag out of a long narrow strip of fabric.  Perfect for something handwoven, no?  I've warped the loom with some chenille yarn (which will feel nice and velvety) and I'm doing what's called a "clasped weft" which is letting me do this two-toned irregular zig-zag design.  It will probably have to wait until after the Halloween Howl to get much woven on it--as I have another big project with a deadline.  To wit:

The Wedding Dress:  A friend is getting married in about a month (see the shawl/veil I made for the occasion a few posts ago).  What she really wanted was a vintage-looking dress.  She had even found a late 50's pattern.  Downside is that it wasn't her size, and patterns that fit closely need to be tweaked for  individual bodies anyway (for instance, it has a tight-fitting sleeve with elbow darts, and her arm is shorter from shoulder to elbow than the pattern).  I just sort of barged in and said I would make it.  Two old sheets later and we had a pattern that would work.  The fabric is a *gorgeous* cream-colored silk/hemp (yes--hemp!) blend.  It's almost finished (and you don't get to see pictures until after the wedding) but my fingers are sore.  The skirt is very full--and I don't like the "wadged up" look of tight gathering--so I did what's called "cartridge pleating."  Basically, you fold the fabric into small pleats, and then sew them to the waistband.  One. By. One.   By. Hand.  Takes awhile, but its so pretty.   This is almost finished--I need to put it one her one more time to choose the hem length, and then hem it up.  By hand, of course.

Finally, a finished project of another sort.  We just released our last possum.  He was one of the group that escaped into Bob's room during Mike's visit last spring.  The others have long gone on their way, but something went wrong with Stumpy (somewhere along the line when he was a baby he lost most of his tail.  The Manx look is actually quite adorable).  He was in the release cage, and one morning he was spinning in uncontrollable tight circles.  Because of all the rain this summer, we had a major mosquito problem, so the general suspicion was West Nile virus (I didn't get him tested because there really isn't much treatment for it except time).  The neurological problem was bad enough that he couldn't even eat or drink on his own, so twice a day for about three weeks we wrapped him in a towel and I pinned him down to stop the circling while Bob squirted water and soft food into his mouth.  Much to our amazement, he recovered.  We kept him another month to be sure--and then opened the door and let him out.  It was really a hard thing to do after spending so much time on him, but giving a critter his freedom is what rehabbing is all about.  Unlike squirrels, opossums usually don't hang around or come back after a release, so I probably won't see him again (but if I do, he'll be easy to recognize)

And the building of the Haunted Trail began last weekend--pictures to follow.

Oh yes--almost through reading Jules Verne's "Mysterious Island."  I really think those Victorian authors got paid by the adjective . . .

And that's how I keep myself busy.