back and forth

My two lives. My late night/early mornings life of mad crafty energy, where my fingers itch to create and my mild mannered day life of teaching, biking, tennis and the love of my life!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

North American Wild Silk Moths

H. euryalus are picky eaters! Alder, Sweet Gum, Ceanothus, privit, pluot, peppertree. Finally, finally! The little buggers started eating the peppertree. Here they are. They hatched on dd b'day!

Here's what the eclosed moth will look like:

Um, so I raise wild silkmoths.

I remember ages ago a rather rich, spoiled acquaintance was visiting with a friend of ours. I was baking. He made some snarky comment about it: in essence about domestic, mundane pursuits such as baking muffins. Yeah, if I want to eat them, I gotta bake them! What did he expect, I ask the cook to do it?? (Yes. Really.)

Anyway, if I want to play with 'wild silk' other than bombyx silk, well, I have to raise my own.

And it's just way cool. Better than television.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Babies - silkworms, chicks and Baby Bugs

And the Baby Bugs are done! Now to sew for my empty-ish Etsy!

In the classroom I have 6 baby chicks, about a week old

And silkworms, a few hundred, about 2 weeks old! Spring is all over except weatherwise.

AND I've decided to learn from my previous experiences with ds being a young man, and trusting his knowledge...I leave my truck to him! Usually, in my impatient manner, I would take it in to a mechanic, say 'Fix it!' pay a lot of money and have my truck back in a few days , and not trust ds to take care of it; with no timeline, plans, of quite believing he would know what he would be doing.

Ds says he can 'easily' pull a used transmission and install it for me. And change spark plugs, change the oil, and all things like that. He doesn't trust his truck to any mechanic, because in his mind they don't bother to do anything, or care what they're doing. So do I trust him?

Yes. He was a paintball mechanic for about a year, he's always had a gift with things mechanical. And if he and Jeff, in their 'whenever' way, work on my truck - well, that would be great! It's not if I'm using it hardly at all, and it CAN be driven as is. A fitted seat cover might take care of the seating situation until I can afford $250-300 on that. And I can wait on ds and Jeff to change my transmission and stick to stock. Sigh. I'm trying....

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Swarm headed for One Planet

Here is a swarm that will soon be heading for One Planet
my one wholesaler who will also have Sock Bugs! Liz has been super, communicating like I do (alot and quickly!) and nice as anything. And I love their concept for their site. I'm working on the Baby Bugs now, and should get it shipped over to them in the next few days.

And then I'll need to sew for my own Etsy! The last Baby Bugs and Sock Bugs have sold, and my store is Bugless... Did, however knit these that was a take off from this picture from a Japanese book on Nordic Techniques! Of course, the book is entirely in Japanese, but luckily I know the techniques, and it's the perfect thing for leftover sock yarn.

There are 1000 participants in Sockapalooza 4!! I can't wait, it'll be great fun to see all those socks!! And to get a pair myself. I've never had someone ELSE knit a pair of socks for me.

Went to visit my cousin Peter near Red Bluff. He has and is going through one of the worse things a person can experience in this life. I admire him so much. He's way cool, too! He can do and fix ANYTHING! He has 40 acres, pet cows, and he says when the day is clear, you can see mountains all around. I only saw clouds, so I'm planning to go back and see for myself! I love living here in Davis, but the flatness ...well, I can't imagine living where you can see real mountains all around. I stayed for about 7 hours, and we managed to plant about 6 of the dozen or so heirloom tomato starts I brought for him, and we cleared the weeds in 1/2 of one of two greenhouses. The drive wasn't bad at all, about 2 - 2 1/4 hours one way. Mostly we talked and drank tea. He's so unique in my entire family, sort of like my Auntie Alice with her vineyard and homestead in Canada. Very much a self made man, he also traveled around the world when he was younger. Just a fascinating person.

My truck gas mileage was terrible! Only around 20 mph. I blame those big tires and no tailgate. Or so Dennis believes. I'm trying to list on craiglist to see if some young buck wants to exchange stock wheels for mine, get a free 'lift kit' (he just has to get it off my truck) and exchange a stock shift for the after-market short stick I have. No interest yet, darn it.

Went for a short 16 mile ride yesterday. When I got back in town, about a mile from home, I passed a large man out for a spin on his bike. You could tell he was trying to get in shape and lose some weight. I passed, nodded and smiled and kept going. I was going about 18 mph, and I glanced in my mirror, and he was there! The dude was trying to catch up! It was great! You go!! He slowed after a couple of blocks, but still. It's all good.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Breadbox, soy and another dream knocked out

I had a mundania brainstorm, looking at my empty crockpot in my teeny tiny kitchen, on the teeny tiny and crowded counter. I had baked bread, and there were a few left. I pivot in my kitchen, rolls in hand, and there it is! Empty, shining and ready to be used! My crockpot! Now, my boulots and baquettes go in there too, and I love it! No more rock hard bread the next day, it's pure genius!!

I've discovered that the crafty world's best spinners share their yarn porn here, on Fiber Fridays! And so inspired, I spun up some soy silk that I got on ebay, and navajo plied it. Navajo plying is perfect for my kind of spinning, which is pretty thin. I don't have to worry about bobbins of different length, it really has a very nice body to it that I like. Very textural.

And, the end of my Recumbent trike touring dream. I went to visit with Betty Jane this morning, a cheerful, sweet cyclist that is the owner of a Greenspeed. She generously let me take it out for a spin. And I did. And it was one of the most uncomfortable, longest, uneasy rides I have ever done! It was low, low, low. True, I could roll over anything, and didn't have to worry a wit about hitting something and losing control of my bike. On the other hand, I felt like a very slowly moving target! My neck started hurting right away. I felt as if I were in a continual 'crunch', and was uncomfortable the entire time. I felt vulnerable and weak, versus 'Bring it on!' attitude I get on my Dolce df. (Not the wisest attitude, but one certainly feels alive!)

As soon as I started down Frontage, I thought this ride would last forever. A 30 mile ride would take hours and hours and hours...the endless ride. I kept trying to sit UP, because I didn't like leaning back.

Sigh. At least it saves me a $1800 it would have cost me for this toy.


Oooh, oooh. Also, signed up for Sockapalooza 4!! Fun, fun!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

I can't believe I did it!

I bought myself a white truck.

From a super nice man named Jeff, I LOVE my truck!!

It has only about 12K on a rebuilt engine. 6K on a new transmission. New clutch a year or so ago.

Has a few 'gremlins' as a 15 year old truck would. The left clicker goes bonkers every once in a while. The bench seat needs a roll of duct tape (I hope to put in bucket seats) It has AC on off or full on. (Matt's going to take care of this) . No tailgate.

Pluses are: it has an alarm. It has a detachable face music thingy. (Never heard of that before!) It's manual, 2WD, shortbed, and WHITE!! He was asking $2700. I bought it for $2400, cash.

Of course, like my dearest Mom, I can only drive it with a pillow. Or else the bench seat gets in the way of 2nd/4th gear. lol.


blue...I want white, but it's red...

Why am I not on my bike??!!! Wah!!

I think I have this teacher timing thing all wrong. I stay on my feet to teach, and when MY Spring Break/Winter Break/Summer Vacation come, I finally let relax, and I get sick. I missed my ride last week, because that's when my sinus' exploded into a sneezing fit. Never really recovered, and yesterday it became all to clear I was going to miss Party I'm blue, bummed, and a bit depressed.

and I want a white truck.

But there's a red one with all of my other criteria that I'll be looking at soon in Yuba City. I don't know how it drives though, it's a 1986. I like the pre-1989 because they're smaller by 20" or so. I could spend a couple thousand more and get a newer truck, but I don't really NEED a newer truck, since I honestly want it to haul used coffee grounds. And the occasional bike or two.

And I still must ride my bike as much as possible, yes?