Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday snippets

Last night was an unexpected visit from B & K, some of my Olympia pals. The evening light was just turning that amazing Maxfield Parrish blue, as the streetlights and treelights were coming on...

Stood in the middle of the crosswalk to get this picture; reminds me a lot of the scene in Spirited Away, where Chihiro is running down through the town to try and get back to the known world, and all the lights come up as the sun goes down.

We met at Button Emporium, (they wanted to get hair ribbons for the kiddo), and then had dinner at Sushi Ichiban. We exchanged early wintertime holiday gifts too; their tin of home-dried fruit just might become part of a 12th Night fruitcake...

damnfool hens... last night went out to put them to bed, which involves shutting the weighted door to their house, to keep them safe all through the dark, 'till I open the door in the morning and they can roam the half-backyard that is their domain. As I've done ever since the time that Stupid Hen decided to not go to bed one night, I untoggled the back doors to "count beaks". WTF! there were NO hens in there!

A quick lookaround did not show any huge piles of feathers in the yard, which was good, but where were the speckldy sisters... Mind you, it is cold and dark and spitting drizzle, and the girls are moulting, so have large gaps in their feathers. Yay for tinybright LED flashlight, I found two hens by the edge of the leafmulch compost bin, and with much looking, found the third hen wedged between the arbovitae and the edge of the house, under the downspout extension. One at a time, I picked them up and stuffed them back in their house.

They are very odd birds indeed. The only thing I can think is that there might have been a hawk or coon watching the henhouse last night, and they hid themselves rather than head for bed, but usually if there is some predator about, they raise enough of a ruckus that I notice and go outside. Eventually I do want to give them some covered spaces for wintertime, but that involves both building more solid infrastructure, and spending extra dosh, (which is a bit thin on the ground this year, due to extended and unavoidable time spent not working).

Maybe can rig up something with the old sunshade; there is a forecast for gaps in the rain, and it might be possible to reconfigure the fencing to both confine the hens a bit more, and to add some windbreak to their zone. And, if there is a gap in the weather, it might be possible to actually get some of the leaves raked up from the front yard and dumped into the henyard. The years I've managed that, in the old henyard, made a big difference in the condition of the soil, dead leaves combined with hen action really adds condition to the soil, and the current henyard is destined to eventually become garden beds

On the maslin pan debacle*, the score is finally Fjorlief 1 - Carbon 0, but it was a very close call indeed. Tried: ammonia overnight, boiled with baking soda overnight, oven cleaner overnight TWICE, (all of these one at a time, mind you, there is a level of science experiment that I know better than to try without a fume hood) didn't work, then tried boiling mix of water and Ajax lemon dishes soap, and scraping with spatula while boiling, started to be able to at least scrape some tiny flakes of carbon off... 220 grit wet-or-dry silicon carbide paper, used repeatedly and alternating with more boiling dishes-soap water, seems to have done it, auto-body abrasives plus massive and ongoing application of "elbow grease"...

Still moving slower than usual, but decided to head into downtown to the Art Museum to see the exhibit of Japanese prints (thank you E, for the ticket). 'Twas crowded, and rather overwhelming, but there were in fact some real gems; Hokusai waterfalls, I'm thinking of you... Every time I have been to P.A.M. I enjoy looking at the William Morris "Artifact Wall" (not the William Morris from the Arts and Crafts era, but the contemporary one...) something about the hundreds of mysterious objects pinned to the two-story wall is fascinating.
And I walked through the Native American art rooms, which were basically empty of visitors, despite the splendid objects on display. The way that there is no boundary between made for use and made for beauty, just so, as I try with my ownlife to have that be the choice made, when there is a choice, though the context is different.
Bronze coyote sitting outside is one of my favorites as well...

Here is a short animation of the Android Sisters: Electric Sheep
"when they go blah blah blah, do you go baa baa baa..."

dog is turning around and around,
settling down to sleep

* the night before surgery, while I was rather obsessively filling out advanced directives and writing letters to my nearest and dearest, my sister G was rather obsessively cooking a triple batch of cranberry sauce. What can I say, we each react to stress in our own ways... well, somehow, in the midst of dealing with splashed sauce on the front of her sweater, in just a few minutes the sauce in the pan went from perfect to irretrievably scorched, and left a thick lumpy layer of carbonised sugar and cranberry fused to the bottom of my beloved maslin pan.

I saved for a year to get that pan, and it is not a luxury, is in use every week, almost every day. And I really wanted to find a way to salvage it, rather than just replace it, as sister G offered to do. 'Tis is spendy bit of kitchen hardware after all, and well made. New maslin pans are available from Lee Valley. If you are a tool junky like me, or love hardware, or like to garden, Lee Valley is dangerous. I have been a happy customer of theirs for many years, they often have oddball things that are not easily available otherwise. You have been warned...

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