Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Shake, Rattle, And Roll!
Brandon has had a very busy weekend. This Sunday was his bridging ceremony from Tiger Cubs to Wolf Cubs, and the start of the real cub scout work toward becoming a Boy Scout. He was very excited, but the best part was that he won 2nd place for his race car in the Pinewood Derby! It was a lot of fun, and a very nice picnic was had by all.
Brandon also did a spectacular job on his spelling test, and brought home the proof on Monday after noon. So in the midst of our preparations for celebrating Brandon's first 100% on a spelling test, we had a rather unsettling guest apper in our back yard. Now, we are used to all kinds 'round here. A skunk got Charlie a few months ago. Gophers have manuevered a brilliant hostile take over in the back lawn, squirrels abound, along with hummingbirds, woodpeckers, doves, hawks, and a breeding pair of Oriels (very beautiful birds those). We saw bats over the house last week. An owl lives across the street. Mountain Lions have been sighted at the neighbors yard, and a California Black Bear regularly turns over our trash. All of these things, I think I have taken very well. But we also live in Rattlesnake country. Western Rattlesnakes.
I know they're all around, but I don't think I have actually seen one since the baby rattler slitherd over my bare foot while I was getting the mail about 3 years ago. Prior to that, the last one I saw was a youth my Grandfather caught and kept in a trash bin for us to get a good look at, so we would know in the future what to avoid. That was at least 20 years ago. They generally leave us alone. I know they are out there, but don't worry about it too much, except for when Javier is running in the mountains, and getting rattled at every other day. So needless to say this old gent was a bit of a surprise to me, when I turned off the garden hose.
I had never seen one so big. He has at least 11 rattles on his tail, which makes him about 5-7 years old, I think. He had a lovely even shake as he rattled his tale at me. I admired that for a split second as a percussionist, and then I think my heart leaped into my throat as I darted inside. JAVIER! Guess what's outside! When I say it's a rattlesnake, and a big one, he says "Get the camera!" My husband. Gotta love him. I would never have gotten these pictures without him. We admired him for a bit, figured that he had eated a whole squirrel or maybe one of the myriad gophers living under our lawn. Then, after we showed the boys and Maia what a rattlesnake looks like and sounds like and talked about what do if they see/hear one, we figured that we didn't want him to continue residence in our back yard. So we called the Police.
The Sierra Madre Police Dept. is an anacronism of days gone by, and one that I truly appreciate. They are honestly there just to help. They will pass the time of day with you, hand out stickers to the kids, wave to you from their car, and also take away naughty rattlesnakes.
It was really quite an education talking with the Officer that came to remove our snake.
Apparently because he was so full, he could hardly move. His strike range was reduced from roughly 2 feet, to about 4 inches. And he was a bit dopey. So much so, in fact, that the Officer was able to pose with the snake! I could hardly believe it. This one is definitlely going down in the our family history books. Even Maia was excited about the "atal 'nake" and kept reiterating how it was "all gone" now that the police had come. Javier kept getting her to talk about it again, and again, just so he could hear her say "atal 'nake"...we both had to agree it was the cutest thing at that moment.
So after the snake left to go digest it's meal for the next few weeks up in Chantry Flats, we went to go ingest our own supper over at Applebee's. Brandon's reward for a perfect score.
Moving on, I am in a bit of a knitting quandary. More like, I'm about ready to roll up into a fetal position and cry. I have been knitting the "Lace Edged Tee" from a pattern I got at Knitpicks. A now discontinued pattern.Why, you might ask, is this important? I cannot find my pattern anywhere. I have sifted through every pile. Looked under, around, and over. I have begged the knitting goddess to shed light upon my unfortunate soul, and bring back my pattern. There is no way I can finish this piece without the pattern. There is still lace work at the edges of the sleeves. I've never knitted a V-neck before. I KNIT 11 INCHES OF STOCKINETTE IN THE ROUND IN AN ITTY BITTY GAUGE! It almost drove me crazy, not having anything else to do but one knit stitch after another. The upshot is that I can now knit and not look. But now that I'm ready to do shaping, now that it's about to get really interesting again...THE PATTERN DISAPPEARS!
My mother might say that the hawaiian menehune took it. Or house gnomes perhaps? I'm pretty sure I have a few of those. Too many things disappear and then turn up in the most unlikely places. Perhaps just an errant fairy named Puck decided to play in my knitting basket (which would explain why I spent an hour last night trying to straighten out balls of yarn). What ever the cause, the result is that I am getting desperate. I have several more skeins of this waiting to "become". It really wants to become a Lace Edged Tee. The rest is just weeping as I try to imagine myself ripping back all that I have accomplished for no good reason. Except the lack of a pattern. Sigh. Does anyone know where I might get a copy of this pattern? Anyone?
While I fuss and cry about my missing pattern, I have cast on and begun a lace shrug from my new book "Lace Style" from Interweave knits. It is meant to soothe my knitty soul, as I am stymied at my current "large" scale project. Then I realized I started the pattern on the wrong side. The whole set up. It was ribbed wrong, if such a thing can be. The cast on edge I wanted to be the "public" side of the work was not. I frogged and reknit. I have dropped no less that 3 lace stitches that had to be carefully worked back into place. And this is a really easy pattern. Anyone have any ideas what to do to appease the knitting goddess? Does she like fudge?