Thursday, 7 June 2007

Fleabites apology ....

To all those people who wander onto this site through a google search for information on fleabites - please accept my apologies. I obviously have some experience with fleas - otherwise, how would I know that fleas resemble children? It is very true that if you have a flea plague - or even ONE flea - that it makes life very difficult - just when you are quietly settled down - or even when you're fast asleep in bed - or even when you're actively involved in doing something, your quiet/sleep/activity is bound to be interrupted by that pesky little flea - the same thing that happens when you have children or grandchildren. Unlike children and grandchildren, however, there is no up-side to fleas. They don't give you cuddles and kisses; they don't want to snuggle quietly on your lap; they don't look lovingly into your eyes and say "I love you Grandma Flea" - but then again, they don't examine your face intently and say "Grandma, when are you going to die?" or "Grandma, you need to get new teeth" (a bit difficult when you don't have dentures).

It is possible to exterminate fleas, and we often do, while we only wish that we could put children and grandchildren into suspended animation from the time they turn thirteen until they are twenty or so and all done with the teenage rebellions.

As for fleabites - a mixture of baking soda and vinegar is a handy remedy for itching when you don't have any proprietary stop-itch stuff around. For the other sorts of fleas, when all else fails, a video or a computer game may leave you feeling just a little bit guilty, but will give you some relief from the itching for a little while.

Good luck!

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Stash ....gulp ..... enhancement ....

You know how it is - one minute you're vowing that you'll reduce the UFO pile, that you WILL NOT start anything new until you have finished more than one UFO - and then, across a crowded yarn shop, your eyes see - someone else, holding THE most beautiful combination of yarns that you have ever seen .... all the good resolutions run out the door. You feel the silver tongued devil sitting on your shoulder whispering in your ear - go on girl - you KNOW you want it - what harm can come from a little bit of wool? - the little Flea will look bee-ute-i-ful in those colours - you know she's been asking you to knit her a pink shawl FOR MONTHS - and you haven't even started one - how can you look into those big brown eyes again and tell her that?? And if you're careful, Grandpa Flea need never know!!

Five minutes later, you're walking out the door, bag heavier, purse lighter - justifying yourself, as the guilt slowly creeps up to meet you - it wasn't very much - less than $50 - only $49.99! - of course I'll need to put some other yarn with it - but little Flea will LOVE it - she'll be so pleased - I hope Grandpa Flea doesn't see the bag ..... he'll say "I thought we were decluttering" - "you've already got more wool than you can ever knit" - "you could knit all day, every day until you die and you'd still have wool left over" ....."where are you going to put it in our new house - it's smaller, REMEMBER" ... "you should be selling it, not buying it". Who needs self generated guilt when Grandpa Flea's around? But he does have a point .... just a small one, but a point, nevertheless.

Once home, a quick flick through the SMALL amount of stash that has not been packed away during the house sale, and the yarn for the prospective shawl has grown to this.
An hour or so later, and a shawl is on the needles. What happened to the UFOs? I hear you ask - ah, well, um .. it's like this - the squares for an indeterminate purpose have been hastily put together for a doll's blankie - and the remaining yarn returned to stash. The long socks - half knitted in New Zealand last year, have made some progress - one is finished and the other is up to the heel. It would have been finished except that two balls of Patonyle were not enough! and I had to join another ball in, half way along the instep, so I decided to frog back and make the join before the ankle. The last sock should be finished very soon and it can then go to the elderly gentleman with cold legs who lives near my daughter (I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I did buy him a pair of long possum fur and wool socks while in NZ as it was clear the socks wouldn't be finished last winter. Possums are a protected animal in Australia, but they are an imported pest in NZ and cause a lot of problems for the NZ wild life - destroying the native habitat with their voracious appetites, and breeding like fruit flies because there are no natural predators to keep the numbers under control).

Speaking of possums, there has been a lot of fighting going on over the last couple of weeks, and the shy possum who nested in the tree house opposite our deck disappeared and there was quite a lot of possum fur around on the ground all over the yard. I'm not sure if the possum was taken by a cat or fox, or vanquished by a superior possum and gone off to sulk somewhere. The possum box is inhabited again, but I think it is a newcomer - it's a bit hard to tell. The other night the inhabitant of the second box, who is REALLY shy, was making its appearance, well after dark and I managed to catch part of it with the camera. It's hard to take photos at night as I can't see anything on the little screen, and just have to point and click and HOPE!