Saturday, August 11, 2007

Victory over the mouse!!!

We actually got the mouse to move out a couple of weeks ago, but I've been insanely busy and forgot to blog about it. The mouse went through 4 traps - as in ate them and made them not usable any more. We then bought a couple of metal live traps but Mr. Mouse refused to use those. I'm sure I could have dusted for prints and found little mousey paw prints all over it.... *sigh* Then J found a cool Smart Mouse Trap online. We ordered a couple early on in the mouse escapades, hoping that we wouldn't need to use them and would just have them on hand for the next time we got invaded. Since Mr. Mouse was still living in the basement when the traps arrived, I set them out. Six hours later J came upstairs and got me so that I could check out the weird noise coming from the basement. Sure enough - we had caught us a mouse! I promptly drove him out to a nearby island and let him go; after giving him a sharp reminder that not all houses would try to catch him humanely for several weeks and would probably just resort to poison or kill traps. *grin* Who knows if he understood me or not, but I feel better about it.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mystery Stole progress

I love this pattern! The pictures aren't awesome, but the stole looks amazing. I did block the stole out to see how long it is so that I could decide if I wanted to add or delete any length during clue 4. I've never blocked lace before and, like darn near everyone else, I am amazed at the difference. Here's the progress so far (with 3 lifelines - the white bits across the top).

In other news - the mouse is now up to 4 points to my 0. The little snot has destroyed 4 traps and now that we switched to metal traps he is avoiding them. At least he's not coming upstairs like he was before I switched to metal traps. *growl*

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mouse 2; BunnyQueen 0

We have a mouse, and he's quite the smart little snot, too. Mind you, I like mice, when they are invited in and contained as pets. I even like rats; well, actually, I like pet rats much more than I like pet mice. However, when the little fuzzy critters come into my house uninvited I am not happy. So, out came the live traps and the peanut butter.

The mouse was first spotted skittering under the door that goes down to the basement. Since there is a fairly large gap (3/4" or so) between the edge of the stair tread and the wall I wasn't sure if the mouse was coming up the stairs or up the studs of the unfinished walls and through that gap. For starters, I set the traps on the top step, at right angles to each other. I figured that way I had a chance of catching him either way.

The next morning, I check the traps and see that they are both closed. Now we've had mice before (5-6 years or so) and I know that a closed trap does not always equal a caught mouse. I carefully picked up both traps and took them out to the garage. I was pretty darn sure both were empty just by the feel. Because of this, I opened the traps into a plastic box that I could slap a lid on if I was wrong and then could use to transport Mr. Mouse to the nice island nearby. Sadly, no mouse. And a quick look in the traps (just to make sure he wasn't hanging on for dear life) confirmed that some of the peanut butter is gone. One point to Mr. Mouse.

After chatting with the partner, we recalled that the multi mouse traps were more successful last time around, so I trundled off to the hardware store and picked up a couple. I baited them and put one on the top step and one, perpendicular, one step down. Last night, DP heard a strange noise from the kitchen/garage end of the house. Now it could be the foster bunnies since they live in what the builder calls the breakfast nook. DP cautiously crept down the kitchen and listened intently. The noise repeated and no bunny had moved. In fact, she claims they were all looking at here as if to ask "What is your problem, lady?".

I finished up the pair of rows I was working in the MS3 and went to check the traps. The two multi-mouse traps were empty and the other two traps were several steps down from where they had been set. I feel like the darned mouse is thumbing his little nose at me. You guessed it. The two small traps are both empty and it appears that more peanut butter has been eaten. Second point for Mr. Mouse.

I did see the little guy last night when I opened the basement door to go down and get something out of the freezer, and noticed that he took a right turn at the bottom of the stairs. Now that the question has been answered (up the stairs or up the studs) I moved one of the traps to the bottom of the stairs, along the wall.

Wish us luck. I would really, really like it if I could outsmart the mouse.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

It's Raining, It's Storming

This morning when I got up it was somewhere between 88F and 92F. DP and I had to drive down to Hastings on an errand, and opted to go to Walmart and pick up a few things. When we went into Walmart, it was clear, hot, and sticky. By the time we came out, it was 72F and raining and blowing so hard I could not see the edge of the parking lot. We waited a bit, since it was too nasty to drive, and then started home once it started to clear. A few miles later, we had to pull into a parking lot and wait again as I literally could not see a single car length ahead of us. I knew there was a gas station at the top of the hill, right before the stop light, but I did not see it until we were about 2 car lengths away. Nasty.

Now that we are home, I'm staying inside and knitting lace. In addition to the Snowdrop Shawl, I decided to jump on the Mystery Stole bandwagon after seeing the first 50 or so rows at a knitting group last week. The yarn is a lovely slate/storm cloud blue and I'm using simple clear beads. I think they add a nice hint of flash without being really noticeable.

The bunnies are all doing well, although DP and I did annoy them all yesterday by cleaning litterboxes. Humans just do not put litterboxes back together correctly. *sigh*

Saturday, July 7, 2007

A new shawl started

I really love the look of lace, but every time I have tried something more complicated than a simple lace pattern in a sock I have ended up saying bad words and throwing the wool and needles.

I had downloaded the Yarn Harlot's Snowdrop Shawl pattern a few months ago, but in my crankiness with lace I had not even looked at it seriously. For whatever reason, the pattern literally fell off my desk at my feet a few days ago. I decided that maybe I should try the pattern and see what happened.

I love this pattern! It's pretty easy to knit (assuming yarn overs don't scare you silly) and very fun. Yes, there are charts, but the pattern itself is so straightforward that the charts are easy. I think that this might be a good introduction to charts for someone who wants to try them.

The knitting is slow going right now, but that is because I keep stopping to pet the pretty turquoise wool (Cherry Tree Hill merino lace) and admire the lovely pattern of yarn overs. Part of me hopes that I will soon stop that and just be able to knit but another part of me, and right now it's the bigger part, wants to always knit things that I love this much. It just seems right to love what you knit so much that you have to stop every few rows to appreciate it.

So, for the eye candy. First, the wide angle shot. This is only lightly "blocked" by tugging gently on it before snapping the picture.

The second shot is the detail of the snowdrops themselves. For some reason, the closeups all look like dark ink has been spilled on the yarn. There are variations in the shade of turquoise, but there is no dark blue. Weird.

So, that's the lace for now. As soon as I finish this repeat I am stringing a lifeline. Actually, now that I've blogged this, I should probably go string one right now before the knitting goddess decides I've got to much hubris and smacks me back down a few levels.

Happy weekend all. Hopefully it will be slightly cooler wherever you are.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I've been tagged for a meme by Amy. The idea is to type my birthmonth into wikipedia, write down two historical events and one holiday that happened therein, and tag five friends. According to Wikipedia, on Sept. 12:

* 490 BC - Athens defeats Persia at the Battle of Marathon
* 1609 - Henry Hudson discovers the Hudson River.
* 1575 - Henry Hudson, English explorer

Okay so there were things that were way more socially important, but I thought it was interesting that Hudson found the Hudson River on his birthday.

I'll tag anyone who reads this (which is likely way less than five) .

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Knitting away

I've been mostly working on the Ruana Wrap lately, as well as forcing myself to knit on the shawl that I was commissioned to make.

I've also been rereading Diana Gabaldon's series, out of order, as I find the books. I love her work. It makes me laugh and cry and, most importantly, think. I've long been fascinated with Scotland and her history. While I know that these are a work of fiction, she makes history seem so alive and vibrant. So many of the history books I've read make Culloden seem flat; just the facts on paper. I find myself wanting to read more (non-fiction), but loath to plod through more dry history books. Does anyone have any suggestions for a more interesting read I would love to hear about it. (Come on invisible readers - hit me with your best shot .)

The bunnies are all doing well. Harvey is recovering well from surgery to get rid of the last of his cellulitis. Jameson has moved on to a sanctuary home as we just learned that he has kidney failure and likely only has 6-12 months to live. He'll get spoiled rotten there and enjoy whatever is left of his life. We just got a sweet (but very skittish) new pair who we renamed Tristan and Isolde. We are working on teaching them that people can do good things, like pet and bring food and treats, and not just "bad" things, like pick you up and trim your toenails. The hard part about that is that Tristan is a Jersey Wooley and needs to be groomed every day. Oh well, he's learning.

Must go make dinner and get some laundry done. More later.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A new quiz...

I found this on Amy's blog and thought it was too cool not to share. This is another "test" that is pretty much right on for me. Apparently Amy and I are somewhat alike. :)

Your Power Element is Water

Your power colors: blue and aqua

Your energy: deep

Your season: winter

Like the ocean, you evoke deep feelings and passion.
You have an emotional, sensitive, and spiritual soul.
A bit mysterious, you tend to be quiet when you are working out a problem.
You need your alone time, so that you can think and dream.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What I've been knitting

There was a small explosion of (human) babies in the local rabbit community, so I finally had my excuse to knit some of the adorable patterns in Mason Dixon Knitting.

The baby kimono knit in Lion Cotton, color sea foam:

I wanted cool buttons for the kimono, but they needed to be unisex since the baby's gender was unknown and I wanted it to be usable for any future babies. I found these darling, but not too cutesy, Peter Rabbit buttons:

To go along with the kimono, I also knit a burp rag and three bibs. The colors aren't nearly as pastel as they look in this picture, and I was done knitting before I realized that I had picked purple and yellow - MN Vikings colors. :)

I found cool star buttons for the bibs:

I found a cool pattern from Red Heart Yarns (when I actually unearth the pattern I'll post the name) and knit it up in a soft baby yarn from the stash. I did two of these for two sisters who were due within weeks of each other. I chose a light green and a medium purple.

These were fairly easy to knit, but not so mindless as to be boring. There is a lovely 8-stich cable as well as a "plume" pattern in each quarter of the sweater. You can see the details in these pictures, as well as the cool bunny shaped button.

The kimono is a very fun knit and I think I might have to start knitting them for charities or something since my friends tend to have children like mine - four-footed and furry. :) The bunnies don't really appreciate my knitting efforts being directed their way.

I'm off to clean some bunny litterboxes. More later.

Much delayed post

It's been a crazy few weeks here at the Bunny Palace. The partner was seriously sick for a few weeks; not serious enough to be hospitalized, but serious enough to require a lot of care and TLC. In addition, we had three or more medical bunnies in the house at any given time. Yikes!

Lance, from the last post, was neutered successfully and the vet was able to determine that whatever was in the one testicle was fully contained and had not spread. We treated his sore feet with plain diaper ointment and they started looking much better very quickly. When other sick bunnies started coming in, our fostering coordinator "borrowed" Lance to foster, with the hopes that he would bond with one of her two girl bunnies. She was successful and now Lance has a permanent home and a bunny friend, too. According to his new mom, "Lance would bond with a brick wall if it gave out food or pets." Gotta love those big white bunnies (BWB).

Then Ghost, another BWB came down with sudden head tilt and we noticed that the weird growth in his ear was suddenly growing (it had been the same size for the month or so that we fostered him prior to head tilt). Two rounds of antibiotics and his ear infection (the cause of the head tilt) is mostly gone and he has stopped rolling uncontrollably. He still rolls, but now he can stop himself after one revolution. The vet poked a hole in the growth last week, hoping to find enough material in it to send out to the lab for analysis. We all expected the growth to be full of something solid, like scar tissue, but instead it was so full of "goo" that the vet was able to completely empty out the growth. The weird part if that Ghost has improved dramatically since the growth was cleaned out. There is nothing we know of that should link a growth on a rabbit's ear flap to head tilt. Head tilt is usually an inner ear issue. Weird, but we'll take it. :)

About the same time, Harvey, yet another BWB, came in to the vet in critical condition. He had been in a bunny fight while being bonded to another rabbit and instead of developing abscesses as bunnies usually do, he developed cellulitis. Within 48 hours of the bites he nearly died. Once the vet got him stabilized, he went on heavy duty antibiotics for a week. Then the vet tried to remove the cellulitis to see if she could make any improvement. Unfortunately, the cellulitis was too involved with the muscle tissue. I've spent the last two weeks putting hot compresses on his leg every day and picking at the scabs to try to make sure that anything in the wounds could come out. The really good news is that after two weeks the wounds are much, much smaller and less inflamed. We've gone from not being sure he was going to live, to not being sure he was going to keep the one leg that was the worst, to knowing he's going to keep all 4 legs! Woohoo!! He goes in for surgery later this week to try to remove the last of the cellulitis.

On the knitting front, I've been too busy to do much knitting, but I have been working on the Ruana Wrap from Lion brand yarns. It's pretty mindless and very tactile so it's fun. :) Hopefully after this week I'll be able to actually write some knitting content instead of all the hoppy reasons I haven't knit.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wool! It's wool!! (and an update from the Bunny Palace)

Well, okay. It will be wool. At my house. Real wool that has only been sheared and skirted, not fussed with. This will be the first time I've gotten to play with more than a sample sized bit of unprocessed wool. I won an auction for a pound of white Cotswold and a pound of gray 7/8 Cotswold and I'm so excited. Now. here's hoping I haven't overextended my good karma thing and find out that the wool isn't as nice as I hope.

On the karma front... Friday we took in a bunny from the shelter. For the first time, I am actually quite seriously glad that I don't have the address or name of the so-called human that surrendered this rabbit. He is supposedly 6 years old and was surrendered in a feces encrusted, wire bottom, tiny cage. We knew from the outset that he had horrible sore hocks on both back feet and one extremely large testicle. We initially thought the testicle might really be a hernia (apparently common in dogs, not sure how common in rabbits), but a trip to the vet for a quick check made us think it was more likely a tumor so we scheduled the next available surgery, which was today. Saturday night while I was putting antibiotic ointment on
his back feet, I took a good look at the rest of him and noticed that the poor bunny actually has something that I have never seen before - sore hocks on his *front* feet.

He's such a sweet bunny and he seems to love human companionship that DP and I have both been hoping and praying that he would make it through today's surgery and we wouldn't find that the tumor was cancer and had spread. Okay, that sounds weird. We'd hope that anyway, but this bunny has had it so bad that we want him to have more than one week of good before he goes to the Bridge. Somebody, or somebunny, was listening and the tumor was completely contained and is now in a jar decorating a shelf at the vet's office. It's gross. She loves it. Our vet is definitely in the right field.

We did however discover, when the vet did an x-ray to try to determine if there was anything else going on, that at some point in the past, he had a badly broken leg that was just allowed to heal as it chose. His left back femur is about 40-50% shorter than his right back femur. I tell you, there had better be an extra special place in the afterlife for people who let this happen to people or animals.

The worst, in my mind, is that his injuries aren't from active abuse. They are from neglect. Abuse I can at least sort of understand as it often goes with mental illness of some kind. That doesn't mean I like it, just that I can understand it. What I can't understand is how anyone can allow another living being to live in such absolute filth, much less with a clear medical issue, and not feel the need to do something, even if only to euthanize. They had to have known when he broke his leg. With a back leg like that it would as obvious as if a human broke their femur.

So, anyway, Lance (the bunny - after Lance Armstrong, fellow testicular cancer survivor) being healthy enough to survive surgery and all may well have used up any good karma that is hanging out in my "plus" column. Here's hoping not. :-) I want to have fun with my wool.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

No snow, but a purple brain.

Once again the weather forecasters missed the boat. I opted to work from home this morning because we were supposed to get a few inches of wet, sloppy snow in time for the morning rush hour. If the Twin Cities got any snow, it was definitely north of us, as our roads are dry as can be. Oh well, at least now I don't have to listen to everyone grumble about the snow. Never mind that we live in Minnesota....

If you are looking for a diversion, check this out. I was reading Bibliomaniac's blog the other day and found a new quiz. The results on this one are actually fairly accurate for me, at least.

Your Brain is Purple

Of all the brain types, yours is the most idealistic.
You tend to think wild, amazing thoughts. Your dreams and fantasies are intense.
Your thoughts are creative, inventive, and without boundaries.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking of fictional people and places - or a very different life for yourself.

Oddly enough, I've been on a purple kick lately, too. Several friends have had babies recently and much of that knitting has been purple. My most recent sock knitting is purple. I've even found myself wearing a fair amount of purple, all of which is very unusual for me. *shrug* It's a phase. I'll be back to blue soon enough.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

A new yarn, the Harlot, and plans for Easter...

I finally got a chance to try Fleece Artitst yarn, and I love it! I picked the amethyst colorway and am working on the Horcrux Socks from SixSoxKnitAlong. The only thing I would change is that next time I will go down a needle size or two. I used 2.5 mm needles and the fabric is a bit looser than I like for sock.

In other news, I was able to get to the Yarn Harlot event here in St. Paul on Wednesday and it was a blast. The Harlot is one of those, IMHO, rare writers who is actually better in person than in print. She has a supremely expressive face and a sly way of making things that would read straight get a roar of laughter when she speaks. Muggles of the world beware; the Harlot is on a mission and your world will no doubt be changing. For those of you who have not yet had a chance to see the Harlot in person, make every effort to get to your local event. She is well worth the drive and the short night of sleep. Three day's later I still find myself telling my partner (also a knitter but who didn't attend) things like, "Oh, and another thing the Harlot said...."

Let's see, what else? Ah, Easter. While neither Joanna nor I are active in a church, doing something for Easter is almost an obligation in a house with this many rabbits. We are, therefore, heading out to the house of another MCRS volunteer to eat, socialize and pay attention to rabbits. Several of us who are either single or don't have family in the area will be there, so it should be a blast. We've done this before at our house for Easter and Thanksgiving, but I am grateful someone else volunteered to host this time.