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Weaving class May 25

Exciting news: the nearby town of Huntingdon, PA is trying to start a Fiber ArtsFest! It will be May 25, 2013, on the campus of Juniata College in Huntingdon.

I’ll be teaching a four-hour tablet-weaving class in the afternoon, “Card Weaving for Anyone.” (I offered to send them a photo without the dangling threads, honest. But I do like that band.) The class will be suitable for all experience levels: beginners are welcome, and I’m pretty sure that even experienced tablet weavers will learn something.

The sample band in the photo? That’s what we’ll be doing by the end of class. Really.

Even if you’ve never woven before, you’ll be weaving something like this by the end of class.

tablet weaving

That’s my current project, and will be trim eventually.

In other news, the baby plants in the garden continue to grow.


The daffodils are in full swing.


And we’re about to have a tulip explosion.



A while ago Laura commented on some of my Trygvi photos, and asked whether he really spent that much time upside-down. She didn’t remember Grendel as frequently inverted.

Trygvi really does spend a remarkable amount of time with his feet up in the air, whether doing a headstand, or swimming the backstroke across the living room floor. (No really. Someday I’ll succeed in getting video.) He doesn’t lie down like a normal dog, settling one half then the other. Instead, he goes headfirst in a somersault. I haven’t managed to teach him how that command, because it’s not something he naturally does, and he gets terribly confused when I try to position him.

Grendel, on the other hand, maintained more of a wolf-like dignity.

Okay, you can stop laughing now. At least he was right-side-up most of the time. I think this is the only photo ever taken of Grendel inverted.

Grendel puppy

And this is one of the few pictures of Trygvi looking distinguished that have ever been taken.

Trygvi outside

I don’t expect there to be many more of those: he’s not big on standing still.


peas and lettuce


Friday flowers

Today is wet and dreary. I don’t know about you, but I could use a pick-me-up.




I feel better already!

I’d wanted squill in my lawn for several years, but hadn’t gotten around to planting them. Last fall I finally did. They’re only a couple inches high. The tiny blue buds appear first, on leaves that are almost invisible among the grass.

squill buds

They unfurl into lovely blue flowers, scattered around the lawn. They’ll be gone by the time I have to mow.



They will multiply over time, forming bunches of blue flowers.

April feels like spring

It snowed here all through March and into the first week of April, interspersed with just enough sun and warmth to demonstrate what we were missing. But finally this weekend spring got its act together, with warm weather and sun, mixed with rainshowers.

Yesterday’s 81F and severe thunderstorms were a bit disconcerting: we seem to have gone suddenly from winter to summer.

But the weekend was gorgeous. I finally got out and started the yard work. I cleaned part of the front flower bed, chopped down whole piles of shrubbery from the part of the yard that’s been selected for this year’s improvement project, and I cleaned up the raised beds. (Raised beds! No digging!)

Raised beds

I pulled any remaining dead vegetation out, topped up the beds with more soil to compensate for settling, and put in the cold-weather crops: peas, spinach and lettuce.

I found a few escapees from the fall, too.


The perennials are starting to come back to life. Not the rosemary: it’s not hardy here, and I didn’t bother to find a big pot and a place to store it for the winter, but the hardier perennial herbs, the strawberries, and the lovely little rhubarb nubbins.


With the warmth and the rain, there should be new growth any minute. I haven’t seen any pea shoots yet, but I don’t expect it to take long.

And then it will snow again, but fortunately the peas can take it.

My favorites

Loch Ness monster revealed in medieval manuscript!

Mjolnir found!

A plea for Lancastrian punctuation.

Did you spot anything particularly fun?


I’ve been repeating all week that March is fired, and I’m just giving it a couple of days to pack its bags and go. I’ve been repeating this, loudly, every time it starts snowing.

But the crocuses are finally blooming! No photos, because it’s raining. Hey, at least it’s not snow. I’ll get some pictures soon.

I’m going to swap in some Christmas pictures instead. I know, wrong holiday, but I came across them while looking for something else, and wanted to share.



These are from the house we rented right after moving to Pennsylvania, so this is Christmas 2002 or 2003. Best Dog, Best Cat, and Demon Goddess Cat who is of course Best of All Possible Felines, or Any Other Creatures.

Spring and string

The snowdrops have been blooming for a couple weeks, and I saw the first tips of crocus on Wednesday, fittingly. Now if it would just stop snowing…


An article yesterday talks about a well-preserved tunic that has melted out of a glacier in Norway:

A pre-Viking woollen tunic found beside a thawing glacier in south Norway shows how global warming is proving something of a boon for archaeology, scientists said on Thursday.

The greenish-brown, loose-fitting outer clothing – suitable for a person up to about 176 cms (5 ft 9 inches) tall – was found 2,000 metres (6,560 ft) above sea level on what may have been a Roman-era trade route in south Norway.

Carbon dating showed it was made around 300 AD.

The museum holding the tunic has some photos, including a close-up of the diamond twill fabric. And look at those armscyes.


Entropy in action.








This is why we can’t have nice things.


And notice he switched couches. Can’t nap on it after all the cushions have been thrown on the floor!

Not enough stuff

I don’t think I have enough things to actually make up a post, but I don’t want them to get lost, so here you are.

A whole new perspective on Penn State squirrels

Medieval medical science (yes with pictures; you’ve been warned)

Commander Chris Hadfield on Zen Pencils. What are you going to do today?