Saturday, May 23, 2009

Still Here! How'd THAT happen?

Hey! Look! It worked! I still have a blog! It looks okay? All the bits and bytes still here? The little "followers" thing added? WOW! I did it! (small happy dance)

I was gardening today, weeding mostly, spring/early summer makes our dandelions go nuts... Anyway, we had a water spigot break, and my leather gloves were soaked. I had to take them off to do a couple little chores. I set them on my weed basket, and this just looked so cool, I had to share.

So, I present:
The Invisible Gardener

Uh, can you tell from the area behind that I am not FINISHED weeding? Yeesh...

Things have been going well for me at the Sheriff's sub-station, and they let me listen to music or use the computer while I am at my desk. I found out that YouTube has a way to view to a series of videos, and so I just put in "Tom Petty". Found about 30 or so that were grouped together, and started it, not because I wanted to watch the videos (albeit that was nice, when I wasn't busy), but I could listen to some music I liked.

Then one of the deputies came in, looked at the screen, squinted slightly, and in a rather intimidating voice said, "Tom Petty, huh?"

In my most assertive mouse squeak, I replied, "Yes, I like him."

He then nodded, rubbed his face, and replied, "Yeah. I saw him live in concert about '92." We then had a pretty nice conversation, but boy, when he first came in, I thought I was going to have to ditch the music fast! Watching the deputy sit heavily in the chair, and stare at his monitor for a while, with nothing on it, I suspect maybe he just wasn't having a great day...

Actually, I did have to later turn the music down later, I don't know if anyone else would have noticed, but one of the songs is "You Don't Know How It Feels". I had it turned up loud enough to hear in the immediate area, (including the public reception area), so I had to RUN, not walk to turn it down, since the lines probably aren't particularly good for my situation, to wit:

Let's get to the point, let's roll another joint,
Let's head on down the road, there's somewhere I gotta go,
you don't know how it feels, you don't know how it feels,
you don't know how it feels to be me...

Somehow, I don't think the narcotics deputies would appreciate me warbling that little ditty... Still like the song, though. Just QUIETLY!


I also was a spinner for a school group. They had all sorts of activities presented that were Oregon Trail/Frontier oriented, milking cows, (well, sort of), making butter, making shake shingles, forge, and several other things. The kids enjoyed trying to spin yarn, I don't use a drop spindle, so I let them try to do the 'hand' portion of the wheel, feeding and separating the fiber to spin. I do the footwork, as we were in a barn, and all the kids had shoes on. I didn't want either horse poop, or anything stuck on the kid's shoes to get on my wheel. (Having performed at a few of these, I have a "spinning rug", it keeps the wheel from sliding about, and keeps it out of dirt or less than nice conditions on the feet.)

One bright boy asked if he could spin the wheel with his hand. I have to say, I was rather impressed, the boy kept it spinning and was making the yarn. (I tried to explain that this was the way they made yarn before they added the footman, but explaining to a bunch of kids who are right back from lunch, and wound up like all get-out, I don't know if it even came through. But they had fun.)

I was having a hard time by the end, the whole event was in a horse barn. This equation? Dry horse poop + dust kicked up by walking kids + forge smoke + smudge smokes (something to do with a Native American display, I didn't catch what was going on) = Heavy, heavy coughing, and disGUSTing nose blowing...

I also got a dust bath. One of the activities was raising 200 lbs. of hay with a block and tackle. Then they would let one child at a time ride up and down. The brace was squealing like all get out, and when one girl was up about 6 feet, squeee-CHUNK, down it came! She fell off the bales into horse poo, and while she didn't seem to be hurt, she was utterly mortified about being dirty. I didn't think anything more about it, she was well looked after, and I went off to lunch... (They didn't let any more kids ride on it after. MUCH disappointment in the carpet rodent community...)

I came back as they were repairing the brace, attached to the overhead beam. Which had several years of dust on it. They were hammering back with workmanlike precision. Directly over my wheel. Where I was sitting. I quickly moved the wheel, now spotted with dust, as was the small amount of ivory fluff I was spinning. I cleaned it up pretty well. I didn't realize, however, I had spots of reddish dirt all over my felt hat! (I didn't know if I was going to be outside, so I wore a round-top style western looking hat.) I was able to get the dust off with a dry brush, but I was surprised none of the kids commented on my 'spotted' chapeau...

Milking. THAT was fun to watch. They had set two hay bales side by side, with a saddle rest on each. Tied to that was 4 calf bottles tied together and turned upside down, tied so they would hang like udders. Cover the outside in Holstein spots, and a fake cow head, ta da, milking station. The kids tried to milk just to see if they could, (2 "cows" because there was about 100 or so kids, they wanted to give everyone a chance. ) Soon, the side by side became too much, and I was hearing, "MILK, MILK, MILK!" chanted, as two near frantic squirts came out of faux teats. They had just made into a milk off!

They were also grinding corn into cornmeal. The concept of "GRIND" was lost on some of the kids, who had block A, and rock B, slam together as hard as you can, and watch corn fly all over. (Some lucky horse will probably find nibbles in a day or two.)

Now that I know what the group does, I might even dress in western-ish garb for the next round. And not sit under beams, or near forges!

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