And now it is August and the summer is flying by in a mess of rain storms and cool weather. The yard, more than ever before, is living up to its swamp title. It hasn’t been properly dry, read able to be mowed without danger of sinking, all summer. The neighbors, who are very much more exacting about their yard care than I am, are upset that their riding mowers, which they use because it saves time on the twice weekly mowings, are leaving great ruts in the yard. We also have a riding mower because it puts us above tick reach. We mow maybe every other week. Someone has to balance out the fossil fuel use.
My neighbors deeply dislike my yard care. To be fair, I do not have a traditional yard to go with my traditional house. I have a comfortable habitat, not a lawn. If I remember correctly, Howard Mansfield explains in Dwelling in Possibilty, that to dwell used to mean to care for the land as well as the house. I take that to mean that you not only have to care for the land, but also the animals that live there. It is their home, too. Now, having been dragged for eighteen years to Sunday school, I remember a few Bible verses. The one that stuck with me the most was the one about the least of us. For me, and I know I am showing my tree hugging ways here, the least of us are the animals and the bugs and the birds and the little things that live in our yards. To dwell on my land, these creatures and their habitats became my concern. I need to make them feel at home, too.
In my younger days, I played simulation games like Caesar in which you had to build the perfect Roman village. If you didn’t put in the right touches, the people wouldn’t come. My yard is like that. I have to put in the right touches to make the resident animals happy. Otherwise, it is like knowing I will be having guests but not setting a place at the table for them or providing food they can eat or even acknowledging that they have a right to be there, too because my idea of the perfect table did not include actually using it for guests.
So my yard is a “mess” by many people’s standards. But I love it. I have three types of squirrels who cavort on my porch. Today we had gold finches hanging upside down off the sunflowers to eat the seeds. We have raccoons (those I could do without but there you are). We have a banded bird who has been with us for almost six years. We have a cardinal who uses the side mirrors on the car to show off his virility to the local females. There are moles and shrews and sometimes a turtle and bunnies and, once, a fox. One of my favorites is our yearly monarch inhabitation. They are back this year and in great numbers. Without us trying, we had common milkweed start in the front flower bed and swamp milkweed (it is so happy this year) start in the backyard. There are berries of at least three edible sorts, jewel weed with flowers that look like tiny fairy shoes, Queen Anne’s Lace to attract swallowtail butterflies, and so much more. This year we had to be careful of which door to use because there were nesting birds all around the house.
My human neighbors hate my yard, but the animals are very happy. I try to be a good host to them and hope that they feel welcome in my yard.
When I started crocheting years ago, I started with plastic hooks. I crocheted so tightly that I snapped quite a few of them. As I got better and did more complex things, I moved up to metal hooks. The yarn slid more easily and the work was easier with the metal hooks. As I started looking around more online, I noticed wooden hooks. Wooden hooks were the epitome of attainment in my little crochet world. I received a set one Christmas and, oh, they were everything I thought they would be. I was terrified I would snap one so my crochet became looser and better. I used them for special projects that I only worked on at home because the risk of hurting one by hauling them around in public was just too great. As I became more and more used to working with wooden hooks, I bought myself two of the really nice hand turned hooks from Etsy. I have only used them a little because I am afraid of breaking them.
It turns out, my fears were well founded. I broke the first one by dropping the protective box that they live in. Good bye little green 3.5 mm hook. Things went well for a while. I was very careful. I even managed to safely take some into public and not snap them. But I became complacent. I wasn’t careful. I picked up my project, yarn bowl, and hook and trotted off to crochet without making sure the hook was safe. Of course it dropped and the head came off. Good bye faithful 4.5 mm hook.
I am not qualified for wooden hooks. I am too careless. I must use metal hooks. I may let myself have the ones with the nice soft grips, but not right away because I am mad at myself for breaking the wooden ones. The others are safe in their little protective box where I can’t hurt them. I think I should invest in a shadow box where I can seal them in so they can be safe from me.
Yes. Liver. Oh, the violation of liver. Marla, our dear and devoted Snowshoe Siamese, has been diagnosed with IBD. In an attempt to heal her gut, she has to eat a special gel liver paste. It is as horrible as it sounds. Possibly worse when one considers that I am a 17 year vegetarian and that I hated liver when I did eat meat.
Really hated liver. I think it is a learned behavior from my father, though I would like to think that I would not have eaten it even if I had been given the opportunity without his influence. I remember one festive family dinner when my mother tried a different method for cooking the dreaded liver only to have my father taste it, throw down his fork, scream “Don’t eat it kids! It’s liver!”, and then take us out for pizza. Liver. It’s not for dinner.
Anyway, the house smells of liver. There are cans of liver on the counter. I have to buy liver every week. Yes, it is processed and cooked liver, but still. It is spiritually liver. Ick. If it helps Marla, it will be worth it and all will be well, but liver. Shudder.
We did do some crafting. H has finished all of the bunny fiber she was spinning for Rabbit Wranglers. We shipped it off this morning, so they should have it very soon. They are collecting more fiber, so expect to see more bunny fiber spinning stories soon.
Now H is on to her next project, spinning a puff of roving from Hipstrings.
I, despite having a bunch of projects started, have been focusing on one because the yarn and the colors are making me really happy. It’s almost done, I think I have three more big color bands to go and then finished! I made it with a mess of stash yarn, so, in the way of all things that go really well, that yarn has been discontinued. I’m going to do another one in a yarn still in production (or in production at least until I start the project) and then release the pattern. I may do a shawl and a scarf since I have to do it over.
That’s about all here. I hope your summers are going well, if very, very, very fast.