made by Leeloumade by Leeloumade by Leeloumade by Leeloumade by Leelou

Saturday, April 30, 2011

You can learn a lot of things from the flowers, in the merry merry month of....well, April.

 I had a fantastic Saturday with my Mom, despite my lungs and throat feeling sandblasted, gunky, and sounding like a wheezing, braying mule when I cough and breathe. Strangely enough, I had plenty of energy earlier today though. But now, my butt is planted firmly in my knitting chair by the window, and I don't intend to move for a while. So what did we do? I'm so glad you asked. It was supposed to be a "crafting" day, but turned into a "gardening" day instead. No objections here.
(As always, click on pics to view larger versions. They're really great.)

We went to Plant Depot in San Juan Capistrano, which is probably my favorite nursery. Roger's Gardens in Newport Beach is impressive, but waaaaay overpriced. This is Plant Depot (I always call it "Plant Despot")
Well, a very small part of it, anyway
Here's the coolest part of Plant Depot:

Chubby koi. If you don't get that
 reference, go watch "Exit to Eden".
 Better yet, don't.
Make sure you get my good side

No paparazzi, please
 Turtles (lots of turtles!), koi, waterfalls, it's all very zen and serene. I love this place.

I IMMEDIATELY thought of my best friend, Morgan when I saw these black flowers. If I could send them to England for you, Morg, I totally would. So incredibly beautiful! Mom said "Wouldn't it be cool to do a black and white garden?" I wanted to. Badly.

These are just a few of the flower macros I shot with my beloved Coolpix L120. There are more, but I didn't want to bog you down here. I strongly urge you to go HERE to see the rest. I promise, there's not millions. You won't regret it. You would make me very happy if you went there and said "ooh!! Great shots, Boo!" *Hack hack* wouldn't want to disappoint a poor sick girl, would you? I love comments. LOVE them. They make me feel like I matter. 
Here's our haul from the Plant Depot:

Don't mind my messy Element. 
After we reveled in our spoils and talked all about what we were going to do with our succulents, ferns (mine), and coleus (coleii?), we drove down to San Clemente to have some lunch at Baja Fresh and check out Lowe's. Did you know they closed the Charo Chicken on Pico? I WAS SO UPSET!! My mouth was all ready for a big giant Charo burrito with black beans and guacamole, and it was GONE! *sob*. Baja Fresh was a "meh" substitute. Goodbye, Charo Chicken. I'll miss you. At Lowe's, I looked for the proper type of soil to suit my terrarium project. Then I found the COOLEST PLANT EVEEERRRRRRRR! *echo echo echo* No, really. It's the niftiest thing I've ever seen. My Mom was appalled *appalled!* that I hadn't heard of these before. She feels like she failed as a mother who raised her daughters to love plants as much as she does. It's a
and it's supposed to get some pretty fluffy pink blooms in the summer too!
It was $3, I had to have it. Here's a video I took when I got it home to show you what it does. The background music was our soundtrack for the day, a Pandora station based on Django Reinhardt. Very fun and relaxing. Anyway, the video!

Isn't that the craziest plant you've ever seen?! I'm so in love with it. I asked my Mom how long it takes to unfurl, and she said "I guess it depends on how traumatized it is." Then she harrassed it a bit and made it shrink up again. I said "hey! Be nice!" And she said "it'll recover." 

It sounds totally stupid, but all of a sudden, I loved that plant with my whole entire heart. I've been on a bit of a self-help kick lately, reading Tiny Buddha (awesome website), searching for non-hokey happiness books, etc. Not that I'm UNhappy, persé, but sometimes we could all use a little boost. I'm all about self improvement lately. Hence, the yoga. Anyway, that was so profound and made me want to cry a little. No matter what trauma that plant goes through, it'll recover. It might shrink up a bit on itself and protect itself for a while, but gradually it'll open back up and be its old self again. I want to name this plant. Seriously. I could use some suggestions! My camera still doesn't have a name either, but it'll come in time, since nobody had any ideas. 
First I took some tiny succulents and made this little landscape pot:

So cute and tiny!!
Then I tackled the terrarium project:
Two coleus (coleii?), a tiny african violet, some scotch moss, and two hedgehogs. Just 'cause.
What do you think? I hope I did it right, and that it won't turn into a humid pile of mush in a couple of weeks. Anybody out there ever make plant terrariums? 

It was such a relaxing afternoon, Django Reinhardt playing in the background, the sun shining, playing with plants.... even the dogs just chilled out and relaxed.
Loki's very proud of himself for helping 

Rowan and Seamus are actually co-existing instead of chomping
on each other! It's a springtime miracle!!
I took the leftovers from the 6-pack of the coleus (coleii?) and the rest of the scotch moss and made a little "throw it all together, it's so pretty" pot, and the fern went into its new home in my indoor window box next to my knitting chair.

All in all, a wonderful day. Even though my skin hurts, my lungs hurt and are trying to escape through my esophagus, I'm very contented and relaxed. I'm even sipping a bit of wine. 
Everybody in their new homes:
Extra tiny succulents in some tiny pots I had lying around. What do you think?

Left to right - sensitive plant (yet to be named, help please!), extras pot,
and far right is the succulents landscape
It's all foggy now, but that's what a terrarium should do
As a matter of fact, I'm so serious about wanting help naming this sensitive plant (mimosa pudica...mimosa? Yes please!) that I'm going to have a little contest giveaway in the hopes that it might create a little more interest. SO!! Here it is: If you submit a name, you'll be entered to win two mini skeins of sock yarn from The Yarn Lady in Lake Forest. They're called "Sock Bites". This stuff is gorgeous, people. It's enough to knit your own Boogie Earbuds, or two or three pairs (my sister knit an entire baby hat out of the larger size you see below)
There's no indication of what the fiber content is, but it's extremely soft and squishy.
Really good stuff. You'd get both of these!
 or if you're not a knitter (I'm an equal opportunity blogger), you can win a custom B.Clef small wallet much like this one: (only made to your preferences)

Let's see those suggestions! The winner will be randomly chosen from the name suggestion comments at 10pm sunday night (tomorrow), so I can ship your package out on monday. Yes, I really can make a wallet that quickly, and the yarn is ready to ship. ;) If you e-mail me back in time, that is. So don't forget to leave your e-mail address or blog address. I love to read your blogs! 

Friday, April 29, 2011

It's just another, it's just another daaaaaay

(I love throwing a little oingo boingo in the title there...)

It's incredible what a good night's sleep will do. I woke up feeling better than yesterday, and enjoyed browsing the feeds on my Pulse app (it's an app that puts your favorite websites, blogs, news readers, etc in a great format so you can browse all of them) for a good 20 minutes.  I especially enjoy the craft and home and garden feeds. They're so wonderfully inspiring and it sets such a creative and happy mood for the day. Even if I don't get to make anything that day, it's great to see beautiful design ideas. Here's a few of my favorites:
Apartment Therapy - inspiration comin' out the wahoo here. I'm sure you've heard of it and are familiar with it. If you're not, get your booty over there, pronto.

Fresh Home - similar to apartment therapy, and I love it when they include cool little shopping finds. For example, they posted this thing this morning that I just about died for and made me want to jump out of bed and immediately try to make one: You can click on it for the link
I have several of these type of books on my beside table, and this would be PERFECT.

Shelterpop - a really fun and funky design site.

Craft Gossip - Craft Gossip is way too much fun. They gather ideas and projects from far and wide of every type of craft you can think of. A lot of them are tutorials, or just beautiful things people have done. If you "like" them on facebook or follow them on twitter however, be warned that they post prolifically. I don't mind, I love seeing things people have made.

Oh my goodness, I need to stop. I could bombard you with all kinds of wonderful inspiring links, but it would be never-ending. Crafty Chica, Oops I Craft My Pants, Sew4Home, etc..etc..etc.. the first two are blogs, but SO much fun, and so very inspiring. I have a girl crush on Oops I Craft My Pants (on craftster her name is Noooooitaremybirthday, which cracks me up).

Anywho, you're probably bored by now. What's that? How did my wii'ing go this morning? Better than expected, actually, except for one little hiccup. I already whined about yesterday being kind of a rough day, so on my way home I picked up a big ol' meal from Taco Bell. AND I had a slice of frozen strawberry cheesecake from our freezer. So nyah. For those who would say "food shouldn't be a reward, or a comfort thing" you've obviously never felt the satisfaction of crawling into bed with some yummy junk food and watched something extremely entertaining on tv. Go run some laps or something, I'll take my taco bell.  

So I rolled out my yoga mat, fired up the wii, and braced myself for a thorough chastising from Judgypants wii. 
Wait, what?! A compliment? Positive reinforcement?! I'm speechless, wii...thank you!
Then I took the body test, and here's what it said. I'm putting my estimated BMI out there in public now, so don't judge........
Lower than yesterday! With Taco Bell, cheesecake, AND a glass of wine! 
That totally made my day. I wanted to jump up and down and yell "HA! Take THAT you judgy bastard!" Not that I'll be having junk food and cheesecake every day, mind you, but I feel like I got away with murder. 

Next came the balance and reflex tests, and I goofed on the reflex test. So when it told me my wii age, I didn't feel quite so smug.
Yeah yeah yeah.....we all have those days.

Happy friday, everyone! What are you doing this weekend? I'd love to know!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Trudging the Happy Road of Destiny

Do you ever have one of those days where you wake up and feel like "I'm not good enough, I'm not smart enough, and gosh darn it people don't like me?" That's  a big exaggeration, but I woke up this morning feeling very "meh". Kind of less-than. My neck and shoulders have been more sore than ever, my creative inspiration to knit and sew has gone flying out the window, and I seem to be disappointing people left, right, and sideways.  I'm hoping that the pain in my neck and shoulders are just part of the getting-stronger process that comes with new exercises, and I'm not inadvertently making it worse.  Strange thing for an MT to say, right? Shouldn't I know these things? Well, sometimes the answer is pretty clear, and sometimes it's not.

So what does one do when you wake up  to a "meh" day? I haven't a clue, but here's what I did:

  • Immediately stripped my bed and and started some laundry 
  • Made a cup of tea 
  • Did my wii fit routine 
  • Flipped the laundry and started a new load
It's not much, but at least it's something.  I wanted to be a little bit productive so I have *something* at least to feel good about today. I was going to brush my dogs and do a tiny bit of sewing before work, but I just got a call that I have to go in sooner than I thought. So I pretty much have time to eat some breakfast, get up to Newport for my Dr.'s check-in appt., and that's about it. The dogs will have to wait until tonight or tomorrow morning, or else it'll have to be saturday. When I've been asked "why haven't you been sewing?" and I tell them I haven't had the time since switching to a permanent afternoon schedule, they always ask "What the heck do you do with the rest of your time?" I just don't know how to answer them. I wake up reasonably early, check e-mails, facebook, twitter, etc., take the dogs out, make some breakfast, feed the dogs, do some yoga, and that seems to leave me with about an hour of useable morning to get anything else done. Then by the time I get home in the evening, it's too late to get any projects started and still get to bed at a reasonable hour. Can we add a few more hours to the day, please?

Bitch and moan, bitch and moan. Sorry, everyone! Here's how the wii'ing (HA!) went this morning:
BEFORE I even stepped on the balance board, here's what the Judgy McJudgerson wii had to say.  First it asked me "remember when I asked if you knew the reason for your weight gain?" (I hadn't had a gain in a couple of days, THANKYOUVERYMUCH!!)

Gee, THAT was motivating! 
So I dutifully took the damn body test so I could mark the calendar that I'd worked out today. And hey! 
I felt really great about that!!
After the basic balance, it'll give you a couple of tests to further gauge your balance. Then it give you your wii fit age. Mine can fluctuate all over the place, depending on the day. But today:
This is what initially came up. Not bad!
Then something really weird happened. An "8" came falling from above and squashed the 7!

Yeah, don't look so happy, mii. That was a slap in the face.
WTF?! Is the wii out to discourage me in any way it can? Is this boot camp? Maybe it wants to break me down before rebuilding me, just like the Marine Corp. It sounds totally silly, but that just contributed to the "sigh....meh" overall discouraged feeling of the day so far. But yay for me, I did my whole routine.

When I have the time, I'm going to refresh and start using my awesome iPad "to-do" app again and get organized so I won't feel like the sword of Damocles is hanging over my head. Next step (I'm DREADING this one though, because I'm not in a great financial place right now) is to get back on track with and check back in with my budgets. Wanna talk about Judgy McJudgersons and nagging? The app sends you alerts when you've overspent in a particular area (like gas, pets, etc)  have accrued a finance charge on an account, and nags you when your balance gets low. You either have to REALLY keep on top of things to make mint happy, or develop a thick skin and shrug it off when it nags you and makes you feel like you're a terrible person who can't manage their money.  

Well, I'm about out of time, so I'll quit my moaning and make this day a lot better. Please tell me some of you have these days too!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Just a suggestion to any potential comedians out there, rape is NEVER funny. Ever ever.

One thing I absolutely love about blogging, is it allows you to take a step back and appreciate things as a potential story for future writing. Perfect example: tonight.

My friend "S" is going through a really tough time.  Today was a particular day that would have marked what should have been a happy occassion in better circumstances.  I had gotten home an hour or two before, and had been chilling out reading a magazine and watching a movie.  "S" called while I was out of the room, filling doggie dishes with dinner.  This in itself is unusual, because "S" and I are relatively new friends, and we've never done the "call just to chat" thing. We've hung out just the two of us on only one other occassion, so I immediately called her back, thinking that something might be wrong.  She wanted to meet up for food and drinks somewhere, and even though I was a bit tired, I wanted to spend time with her.  After a lot of calling around, seeing what time restaurants closed, it was settled that we would go to Hennessey's in Dana Point.


Apparently Monday nights are comedy nights at Hennessey's. Presumably, open mic comedy nights, judging from the "talent" that was there. First, let me say that I give FULL props to anybody who has the guts to get up there on stage and put themselves out there, for better or worse.  Especially comedy. Comedy is such a subjective thing, and it's VERY hit or miss with your audience. What you think is funny might leave a room full of crickets chirping, or the worst joke you know leaves everyone howling with laughter. Your ego usually rides on the tenuous mood of the audience on any given night. Full props. THAT BEING SAID.........

Most of these guys were NOT funny. Not only NOT funny, but offensive. Not the "Family Guy" kind of offensive where you're snickering, but kind of ashamed of yourself for snickering. We're talking about SO crass and offensive that it makes you squirm in your seat, embarrassed for the guy on stage. One guy was making jokes that were so incredibly racist and offensive, he managed to offend

  1. Black people
  2. Hispanic people
  3. Asians
  4. Transgender and the entire LGBT community at large
  5. Disabled people
During the next guy's routine, an older white guy interrupted, taking issue with the white comedian's black culture and history degree he earned in college. Then he proceeded to sit in front of the stage at a small table that a black guy and his white, blond girlfriend were sitting at and STARE at them. He rested his hands on his chin and STARED at the black dude. Just stared. He stared with this infuriating smug smile on his face. As far as I could tell, he didn't say anything, he just made him very, very uncomfortable.  S and I couldn't believe what we were seeing. She said "are we going to witness a brawl break out or something?" "I was just thinking that..." I said.  The black guy and his girlfriend just got up and left, not engaging or saying anything. The jackass white dude just waved his fingers condescendingly at them as they went out the door. My jaw was hanging open and I couldn't help but say "whaaat an aaassshoooole" a bit louder than a whisper. S and I kept looking at each other and wrinkling our foreheads and eyebrows, wondering if we'd just stepped into a bad movie. This was bizarre.  Really, really bizarre.

The host of the evening (and the first comedian to go on) heckled S and I because we weren't laughing, and were just keeping to our own company, enjoying our drinks and food.  He wasn't funny. Like, *really* not funny.  You can't win! If you laugh, you're encouraging them. If you don't laugh, you're singled out and heckled. I just wanted to get out of there. Two of the comedians knew when to git while the gittin' was good, and got off stage pretty quickly. One guy was actually kind of funny, but he packed it in early too. Rough crowd, I guess. *innocent look*

Anyway, when the fourth "comedian" took the stage, we had about had enough. S was still willing to giggle at the jokes that were kind of funny, but I've always been a tough critic when it comes to comedy. I don't laugh as readily as some, and as a general rule I don't enjoy standup comedy unless they're really REALLY good. (ie, Eddie Izzard, George Carlin, etc) There are many times I wish I had a more sensitive funnybone.  SO. Fourth comedian. *sigh* First of all, he started making VERY sexist jokes (I just had to delete a bunch of stuff I'd written about his routine, because I want to keep it somewhat clean. And he wasn't. At all. Sorry, use your imaginations - think of the most offensive, sexist crap you've ever heard in your life and I'm sure he said it). Then he made jokes about wanting to kill himself. Repeatedly. Side note: S has been studying forensic psychology, going for her Master's degree. She doesn't find any of this amusing at all, because it's something to be taken very seriously and reported. He must have seen me rolling my eyes and S's blank face, both of us clearly exuding "dude, you're really not funny." At one point, I leaned over and whispered to S, "it's like a wild animal - don't run, you'll only attract their attention". This is exactly what happened. I wish I could remember precisely what he said, but the disgust and rage pretty much wiped my memory except for the bare bones.


Wait for it.......

He said something along the lines of "Hey, you're not laughing. That's okay, 'cause these guys over here are probably going to RAPE you in the parking lot as you're leaving in a back alley."

Total disbelief. He did NOT just say that. I said "exCUSE me?!" I turned to S and said "that's it, we're leaving right now." S said "let's pay our bill, then we can go". Dude wouldn't let it go though. S said something like "Don't make me 5150 your ass" (something to do with psych social code reporting, I hope she can clarify this sometime) and he said "How do you know police codes?". Before I could stop myself, I said "how do YOU know police codes?" The audience thought this was pretty funny.  I kept getting more and more enraged at his chauvanistic, pig jokes. He said something about us being all offended, and I said "yeah, dude. You just told us we're going to be RAPED outside. Really NOT FUNNY."And when he ran with comments like "you should be thankful you got a warning! Usually there's no warning for that! Here it comes, I'm gonna shove it in you!" it took every ounce of my self control not to go up there and kick his testicles into his brain. Really. I can't make this up.

I pushed my hand toward him and said "you need to stop, RIGHT NOW." The audience was howling at the "warning" part of his jokes, and I'm sure my face turned beet red with my immense rage. Rage at the audience too, for thinking this was acceptable. Jokes about rape? NEVER okay. Anyone who knows me knows I usually don't speak up, I HATE confrontation, and will do anything to avoid it. But this guy.........this guy brought all the rage I had ever felt toward sexist assholes to the surface and I wanted to pound him into oblivion. Our server brought our credit cards back with the receipts, we signed them, and started to walk out.

S got in a parting shot "Good luck with your career, dude!"

His retort? "Good luck with your LIVES!"

Good one, dude. Snappy comeback. Really. I flipped him the finger.

Post mortem: In the car, S talked about his comments about suicide. She said they really weren't funny, and if she were his psychiatrist, she would be obligated to report him as being a danger to himself. I agreed, because I got the feeling that part of him wasn't kidding. There was something desperate about him. Maybe he was up there on stage seeking social approval, wanting attention he wasn't getting otherwise. I felt a bit sorry for him, because he was so UNfunny, and because I could see him in my imagination. Sitting at home alone, incredibly depressed, wondering if it was worth even living. I got where he was coming from, and for a moment I understood him, and felt sorry for him. But.........

Any man (I don't even want to call him a man....) who thinks that making jokes about rape (directly TO women in the audience), crass jokes about objectifying and belittling women "I was SO drunk, I wanted to tell her to 'suck my **** and I'll lick your *****', but all that came out was 'suck my ******') is funny and great comedic material doesn't deserve my pity. Go play in traffic, dude. Wearing black. At night.

I can't even remember the last time I was this angry. This is the type of angry that comes in my dreams sometimes, when I'm dreaming about beating the **** out of school bullies I wish I'd had the guts to stand up to all throughout school. Those rich, satisfying dreams where I'm grabbing their arms and heaving them over my back and slamming them to the ground repeatedly. Issues? Me? Nope. Just a "nice" girl who never had the guts to stand up for herself. But you know what? I'm pretty damn proud of myself for telling that guy off tonight, even if he blew it off as comedy fodder. At least I had the guts to try and put him in his place, and S backed me up beautifully. Even as I'm writing this, I'm so angry I need to go watch a movie about puppies, or fish getting lost, or some other movie that will diffuse this acid eating away at me.

Moral of the story? Rape is never funny, people. Never.

*ETA* after I wrote this last night, I fired off an email to the contact on Hennessey's website, just to let them know what had happened and how I never wanted to go back there again. A friend on Facebook suggested linking the contact here, and for a brief second, I was tempted to. After some thought though, I decided not to. If you guys had been there and seen/heard it too, I would totally be behind you guys 100% bombarding them with the wrath of Khan. Of course, if you wanted to go to their website directly and send an email anyway, there's really nothing I could do about that. ;) Even after a good night's sleep and a fresh perspective, yep....still pissed. Not in that "it's going to ruin my day" sort of pissed, just the "yeah, there really was no wrong way to interpret that whole debacle, and it's never going to be funny" sort of way. But I've had my tea, done my yoga, and it's a beautiful day. Life is good.

Monday, April 25, 2011

We can rebuild her. Better than she was before. We have the technology. Stronger, hair shorter, blonder, cuter.

Can most of you see the new date and title font? That's my handwriting! Isn't it exciting? (Monty Python type "yaaaaaay...") I downloaded an app on my ipad today that's called iFontMaker. You can create your own fonts in your own handwriting (or stylized if you like), then convert then to .tff so you can use it for EVERYTHING! Yeah, that ate up a good couple of hours this past weekend that would have been put to better use. Please tell me you like it! PLEASE?! Otherwise it was all in vain! I'm kidding, really. I found it pretty exciting though. Download here if you want to play too. 

Moving on. Speaking of moving on, I've been trying really hard lately to "walk the walk" instead of just "talking the talk" when it comes to health and wellness.  I'm constantly asking my clients about their water consumption, and asking if they're doing stretches or exercises at home, etc. The water thing isn't a problem for me, though I do always have to remind myself to keep guzzling.  I do stretch my neck and shoulders on a regular basis, but it does little to help with awful neck and shoulder tension which results in daily headaches. Acupuncture helped for a while at the beginning, but I pretty much resigned myself to just "dealing with it". An awful thing for a massage therapist to say, right? Yeah. Hypocrite, right here. But I'm changing that! Really! I've been doing yoga on the wii every day for the past week or so, and I feel stronger already. The pain still comes and goes, but getting stronger is a gradual process. Exercise, stretching, plenty of water, changing postures, it's all going to help. I'll be blogging a bit about the wii progress, since I know some people are interested if the yoga program really helps or not. So far, I like it. I'm a lot weaker than I thought. It feel good to move in new ways though, and I'm consciously trying to relax and meditate while doing it. WELLNESS, dammit! 

Springtime always brings bouts of creativity and inspiration with it, and it's so energizing. This past winter was a really rough one, with lots of turmoil and changes and drama.  I feel like I've come out the other side now though, and the timing with the gorgeous sunny spring couldn't be more perfect.  So, with all this inner change going on, I felt it was time for an outer changes as well.  I've never been very consistent with getting my hair cut or trimmed, so when I decide it's time, I like to see a difference.  Oh boy, there's a difference this time! 

It really does make you feel like a whole new person. So much fun. 

Even my Mii (wii avatar) got a haircut! What do you think? Does it look like me?

Check out the consistency on the wii calendar! I'm really starting to look forward to doing my routine every day. Every few days I'll add more strength exercises and such, so it's gradually getting longer and more difficult, but in a good way. And can I just say, the wii fit is SO JUDGY!! If I ate too much salt the previous day, and didn't drink enough water, the weight can fluctuate by a couple of pounds.  I don't mind so much, it just reminds me to drink more water, but the Judgy McJudgerson wii fit says "Oh! It looks like you gained two pounds since last time! Do you know why?" and it asks you to pick a reason, most of which are being lazy and overeating. I chose "I don't know", because there wasn't an option for "I ate too much salt, okay? It's water retention, you butthole!". There totally should be though. Anyway, yesterday it said "last two times I asked if you knew the reason why you gained weight, you said 'I don't know'. Let's not make it a third, okay?" 

Ummmm...WHAT?! Wow. Tough taskmaster, and so very judgmental! Anyway, it's not about losing weight for me, it's about getting stronger and more flexible and FEELING better. Which I am. So yay me, you can take your "reasons" and shove 'em where the wiimote don't shine. 

I've got to run to work now, so I will wish you all a wonderful day full of wellness and happiness, and don't let the idiot wii fits get ya down. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Little J, Sockaholics, and A Horse Who Thinks It's A Dog

*The iPad blogging app I'm using uploads really crappy quality photos. As soon as I get home tomorrow, I'm going to edit this post with the much better quality photos. Don't want anyone thinking any less of my beloved camera ;) On that note, what should I name my camera? I rarely name things, but this thing never leaves my side and I love it so much. I want to name it. Suggestions?

Edited to add: I replaced the photos with their higher quality cousins. You can click on them to see the full size versions.

Right now I'm pet-sitting at a friend/client's house, nestled into a rather comfy souped-up futon and happily watching Ratatouille. After writing there will be knitting. Not that I'm a super foodie or a chef or anything, but Ratatouille was one of the best, most feel-good movies I'd seen in a very long time. It leaves me inspired and happy, and it's such a wonderful movie. Pixar, you really are somethin' special.

The Story of Little J: The other day, I was puttering around my room, doing laundry and vacuuming and such. The huskies were sitting at the glass door that leads to the backyard, both their heads darting and swiveling in tandem, which could only mean there was something VERY interesting out there that they wanted to get at VERY badly. I shooed them away and saw a little baby hummingbird clutching onto a plant outside, looking not so great. I immediately grabbed my camera and quick-like-ninja slipped out the door. Not ninja enough, apparently, and he flopped and fluttered his way over to a dead rosemary plant. He seemed comfortable there, so I carefully maneuvered around him, snapping photos and putting my new prrreeeeciousssss to work with its super fantastic macro closeup settings.

A couple of times, I had to hiss at my Mom to get Seamus (her sheltie puppy) back in the house NOW. If baby hummingbird was going to stay in the rosemary bush, he wasn't going to be safe. He didn't seem sick or dying, just very young, and kind of in shock. I broke a small branch off of the plant and carefully pressed it to his chest, just above his feet (that's how I used to get my parakeet to step up on my finger) and he flapped his wings and stepped right onto the branch.

Elated, I snapped a few (read: TONS) choice close-ups before slowly walking him across the yard and putting him into the high hanging fuscia plant. Before we could get there though, he flapped, fluttered and flopped his way to the star lavender plant. He was safe enough there, so Mom and I decided to leave him there for the day. We were sure his parents would find him (they were buzzing around, peeping at him).

After I got home from work that night, Mom showed me where he was hanging out, and his parents were indeed caring for him and bringing him food. I caught some pics just before the sun went down. I stayed stock still in one position for a half hour trying to get a shot of his parents feeding him, and this is as close as I got before the sun went down. (Just pretend like I actually loaded the photos onto my iPad from my laptop and posted one here. I'll edit tomorrow to add the pic) *added pics!*
There's one of the parents checking for "all clear" in the upper right

Feeding time! I was only able to get a quick shot with Mama sitting next to Little J

As far as we know, he's okay and back with his parents. We've seen his parents buzzing around, but no sign of him, but we're optimistic. My Mom named him Little J, I'm not sure why.

Overall, it was a pretty chill weekend, though there was a LOT more I would have liked to have gotten done. Pet-sitting saturday night and tonight, and today was the monthly Sockaholics Anonymous meeting at The Yarn Lady.

Kind of a small turnout this time, but always an absolute blast!
I've never felt this way about a shop. The owner, Ginger, has really turned it into something special and created a wonderful, supportive community of fiber lovers. The classes, workshops, and social knitting nights are usually very full, and the "it" place to be. ALL the cool kids hang out at Yarn Lady. By the way, I totally want credit for NOT buying two skeins of malabrigo. There was a colorway I've wanted for a long time, "hummingbird" (apropos, oui?) and a new one that's an absolutely stunning bright purple that made me gasp out loud. I'm going to kick myself when it sells out tomorrow, I just know it. It was hard, you guys. Really really hard. Like, addict saying no hard. I want credit, dammit!

Here's the project I'm working on, which I'll be writing up as a pattern. They're going to be yoga socks. Interested? Would you make some if I wrote up the pattern?

On the way home, I was totally tickled to see this:
A horse who thinks it's a dog! You go, dude. Hang your head out that window and be proud. Sniff those breezes.

I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing weekend!