31 December 2009

A Last Hurrah

Last night, David and I were sitting upstairs watching a bit of TV (courtesy of Netflix) when I heard a jingle and a crash. Cougar was downstairs, so I pretty much knew what had happened. Camera in hand, I ventured downstairs to confirm my suspicions. This is the sight that awaited me at the bottom of the stairs.




The monkeys are now all in a bag and the tree is very nearly bare. I guess Christmas is over.

In Other News

I finished the Stone Soup Kitchen Sink Sleestak mittens tonight in between patients.


They were supposed to be framing Tuck, but as soon as I knelt down he decided he needed to come see me. I'm thinking they'll come in handy with the storm coming this weekend, though they've downgraded expectations a bit over the past couple of days.

28 December 2009

A Final Xmas Video

We can always keep hoping, right?

25 December 2009

A Sacrilicous Nativity

So I participated in a little bloggy gift exchange organized by Josh, and one of the rules was that we needed to take a photo of our gifts after we received them. The fleecy throw was the perfect shade of Virgin Mary blue and inspired this, um, slightly syncretic nativity scene.


Happy holidays too all of you this season!

24 December 2009

Christmas in the Jungle

For a second year now, we've used an artificial tree that starts as a decoration for David's annual warehouse sale before coming home to finish out the holiday season. Also for the second year, it's come already covered with Paca Monkeys. Of course, monkeys are always in danger when they enter a house that's inhabited by a Cougar, and scenes of carnage like these have become fairly common over the past few days.



(FYI: Those are two different monkeys with matching outfits. He likes pulling them down in matched pairs, it seems.)

Like any monkeys, the Paca Monkeys have responded by trying to relocate to the safest part of the tree possible. Things are starting to get a bit crowded, though.



22 December 2009

One Down, One To Go

With the sudden and very aggressive onset of cold weather a couple of weeks ago, I got to thinking that maybe I needed some new mittens. So I started reading through Robin Hansen's Favorite Mittens and made a mental checklist of what I wanted in the perfect cold weather mitten.

I decided first of all that I was more concerned with functionality and an easy knit than I was with "pretty". Also, I needed it to be a stash-busting project and had some C220 readily at hand to that end. One of the main deficiencies of my last pair of mittens is that there's not enough wrist coverage, although I've dealt with that by wearing wristwarmers under them. The new ones, though, should have a longer and more substantive cuff.

The other problem, though, is that I can't really drive or do anything requiring dexterity while wearing mittens, so they have to come off, leaving my fingertips exposed. Since I've developed a mild case of Raynaud's syndrome in my old age, this can actually be a painful proposition, so I decided that mittens with an individuated index finger would be useful to address this issue.

122209Mitten 001

And since I wanted them to be warm plus I also had plenty of roving at hand, I decided they should be both stranded and thrummed. However, since the appearance of thrummed knitting has always struck me as rather poofy and, well, girly, I figured I could anchor the thrums completely on the inside using the floats of the stranded knitting.

122209Mitten 002

Sounds (and looks) like quite the Frankenmitten, no? Unfortunately, that title has already been appropriated by Steph, so I'm not quite sure what to call mine. The Perfect New England Mittens, perhaps? Stone Soup Mittens? Kitchen Sink (as in everything but) Mittens? Sleestak Mittens? Regardless, I've only got the one done so far, so I need to get cracking on mitten #2.

19 December 2009


I finished up Expedition last night, wove in the one and only end that needed weaving, since I'd taken care of ends as I went along, and immediately put it on. I did take it off for bedtime, but then I put it back on to wear into work. I love, love, love this sweater - so soft, so warm. I think you'll all agree it's very flattering on me, too, though it does appear to change the color of my eyes a bit.


We'll just pretend that underneath the sweater I've got Hugh Jackman's body, too.

2,000 Miles

My absolute favorite Xmoose song. Ever.

18 December 2009

Do They Know It's Christmas

Considering current problems with drought and crop failure in Africa due to climate change, this one's more than a little topical again. Of course, it might help if they could do something constructive at Copenhagen, but it doesn't sound terribly hopeful.

16 December 2009

Santa's Baby

I said there'd be more Jackie Beat. Not for the delicate.

14 December 2009

A Twofer

Since it's still technically the Advent season, I'll start with this one from Belle & Sebastian. Even it weren't a required by The Gay Agenda, I'd still love this band, and this particular tune is heart-achingly beautiful.

And this is someone's video interpretation of the Grandaddy song, Alan Parsons in a Winter Wonderland. A cheeky interpretation of a standard that any former or current New Waver should love.

11 December 2009

Ocho Kandelikas

It's now Hanukkah Chanukah, or at least it is here in Maine, where the sun's already gone down. Anyway, since I've been posting holiday videos, I thought it fitting to put one up for this holiday, as well, though it's never figured greatly in my Calvinist-turned-Unitarian-Buddhist background.

I tend to think of the Festival of Lights as a primarily Ashkenazic holiday tradition, though I think that's more a reflection of the preëminence of that particular lineage in this country. Personally, though, I've always had an interest in and affinity for Sephardic traditions (más que na' por su influencia e historia respeto a la cultura ibérica). So I found this rocking version of a traditional Sephardic song about the "eight little candles" as performed by The LeeVees. Enjoy!

09 December 2009

Ancient Music

An appropriate verse for today's very inclement weather, even though we've missed any snow accumulation right here and I do generally like the season. Still, my poor aching fingers aren't pleased at the moment.

Winter is icumen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
An ague hath my ham.
Damm you; Sing: Goddamm.
Goddamm, Goddamm, 'tis why I am, Goddamm,
So 'gainst the winter's balm.
Sing goddamm, damm, sing goddamm,
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.

Thank you, Ezra Pound.

07 December 2009


Warning: The weak of stomach may wish to stop here. On the other hand, anyone visiting this blog regularly should know to expect it by now.

As I recently mentioned, we found out at shearing that the boys were, um, a bit more boy than we had thought. According to Meg, this is sometimes done to maintain the testosterone levels in animals being raised for meat (as most ram lambs are), while cooking their little swimmers to minimize the risk of unwanted breedings.

In fact, over the past week they've become rather amorous with Posey, who suddenly decided that maybe they weren't so bad. Seeing as she's had a rather long dry spell, I suppose it's understandable. Shaun Fergus seemed to be the most attentive to their collective needs. It also turns out that whoever banded him was sloppy and only got half the scrotum, meaning not only has he earned the nickname "Lowball", there may be a chance that his boys weren't quite as cooked as they were supposed to be.

So I brought them in to work with me last night so that we could do a proper snip job this morning and, a few issues with IV catheters notwithstanding, everything went, well, swimmingly.

120709Snippity 001

Mountain oysters, anyone?

The one at lower left is the one with greatest potential to cause trouble. The others are all a bit underdeveloped as a result of the increased heat, but Ol' Lowball there is a fair bit larger, meaning there's some possibility that, despite his tender age and lack of experience and Posey's (hopefully) atrophied and unused ovaries, we could see an unplanned new addition to the farm come May. I'll keep y'all posted.

In the meantime, being a sharing sort, I thought my coworkers might get peckish during the night.

120709Snippity 003

I hear that brining improves the flavor.

Fortunately, the boys don't seem to be carrying a grudge for the injustice visited upon them, but I expect a little extra attention will be in order for the next few days.

120709Snippity 002

05 December 2009

White Xmas Redux

I love this version from the Flaming Lips:

03 December 2009

White Christmas

Here's Jackie Beat's take on it. Not necessarily something to be playing at the office. Unless, of course, you work with a bunch of sick people like I do.

This is probably not the last you'll see of Ms. Beat this holiday season.