Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Somebody's Knockin'

Should I let him in? 
Lord it's the devil would you look at him… 

A wooden deck makes a distinctive sound when walked upon. If it’s a pitch black night in the mountains, and you’re all alone in a house in a strange neighborhood, it’s kind of scary.

It was spring break a couple of years ago. We’d gone to the mountains to our house there. I was off for the week but not everyone else was, so after the weekend they headed down. I stayed, alone.

The house is in a residential area. Although most of the homes around are vacation homes, a family lives across the road, full time. It’s nice because they keep an eye on things and would be there if I had an emergency.

I was relaxing after a day of exploring downtown, watching re-runs on TV and knitting. Suddenly I heard steps on the deck. These weren’t baby steps. Clomp, clomp, clomp. What? There shouldn’t be anyone coming to see me. I didn’t hear a car. Maybe it’s George from across the street?

I froze in my seat. Who could it be? What should I do? Summoning all my courage I got up and peeked out the window. There was someone, in a shirt, plaid looking, walking in front of the railing on the front deck, in the grass. It was a stealthy walk, lumbering really. My first impression was a hunchback like I’d seen on horror movies as a child.
Things look different in the dark!
My heart in my throat, I decided to turn on all the outside lights so that I could see who this creature was. I was locked safely inside, peeking cautiously from the edge of the curtain. What did I have to lose? I flipped one switch, then the other. I watched from my safe place, trying to decipher the actions of the outside visitor.

Suddenly he reversed directions. Instead of heading to the door he was further out on the lawn. There is an aspen tree in the yard, with a section of wire fence around it to protect it from the wildlife. He backed into the fence and it startled him. Up on his hind feet he stood. The hunchback was a deer!

When we visit the mountain house we usually bring corn and hay for the deer. They wander freely and we enjoy watching them. The extra food entices them to stopover. They linger as they eat and we get to observe and appreciate nature that we don’t usually witness. Apparently this little guy enjoyed the feast so much he wanted the last drop! He’d stuck his head into the sack and it stuck on his antlers. He wasn’t able to get it off and was stumbling blindly around the yard.

I felt bad. Fortunately though, I had seen a video before the others headed down the mountain. It showed how dangerous a deer can be. They rise up on their hind legs when threatened and slash their razor sharp front hooves around, pawing anything within reach. They can maim and kill with their front legs.

Watching futilely, there was nothing I could do to help the innocent creature. He flailed about. I had visions of policemen questioning me as they found a poor young buck with his head in a corn sack, dead, in the road. The S.P.C.A would come on the scene and newscasters would be everywhere with cameras, trying to catch a glimpse of the abuser, me.

He moved forward again, coming up between the house and the gate. He struggled and thrashed and finally got the sack off of his head. He looked up and it was like he saw me watching from the little crack in the curtains. If a deer could smile, he did. Then he took off, gracefully leaping to the driveway and sprinting away. It was our lucky day.

Somebody's knockin' ...
Oh, somebody's knockin'...

It’s so nice in the mountains. This last trip was extremely pleasant. It rained and the temperature was cool. When outside, there was need of a sweater or jacket!

Two of the littles came with us and they explored, hunted snails and played until the were exhausted. 
Umm umm good!
Frogs and snails...
Bryce came up and Alan took the boys to town so we got to explore the thrift shops. That’s our fun thing. I found a vintage set of TV trays in pristine condition. He found some of his beloved Pyrex! I also found a folding dresser mirror. It’s beveled and I like it a lot. The outside is a little scarred but that’s okay. We had a good time.
Set of four!!

Folding beveled mirror. Opens like an easel.

It's so nice there. We eat, relax, eat and just enjoy.

Every time I go up it’s that’s much harder to come back down the mountain.

But I do.  At least it rained at the house while we were gone. But needing a sweater? Not at all.

Somebody's knockin', should I let him in?
Lord, it's the devil would you look at him...

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Candy Man

Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew… 
Cover it with chocolate and a miracle or two 

Yawn. If I go to bed now I can get a full seven hours of sleep. Or I can play Candy Crush for a few minutes first and still get enough rest. Sweet! Delicious! Oh, Candy Crush, how do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways. Wait, is it how do I love thee? Sometimes. Maybe. Once in a while.
Who hasn’t heard of Candy Crush? Not many I’m sure. If you watch TV or have a computer you’re bound to have seen an advertisement. It’s one of the top games today. Remember when it was a big deal if a song would crossover from the country chart to the rock chart or vice-versa? This is the techno version I guess, but it’s the first ever to be number one on iOS, Android and Facebook, all at the same time! Candy Crush is available and a bit addictive.

There are a few flaws however. It’s obscene to think that I will pay to play their game. They have no idea the patience I have. After all, I’ve just spent a year on level 125, so I can endure any level they throw at me! Maybe not a full year, but if I thought of the things I could have been doing instead of playing this silly game, well, I’d be embarrassed. Thankfully, I only have five lives and they pass quickly. That’s the part that’s supposed to make you spend money. You can buy more lives. Not me. I look at it as a relief. That’s done so now I can go on to something productive.

I’m a Tetris fan from way back. Little falling pieces of color navigated into place to form a solid structure, all while being timed. It was mindless fun for me and I spent many hours, days probably, placing the pieces together to form a block. Maybe it’s hereditary.

My Grandmother played something called Hexed. It was a box of plastic pieces that formed a rectangle when they all went together. She would complete the puzzle, carefully take it out and trace around each piece and keep the recorded solution in a notebook. That’s probably why I like office supplies too!
Pre-historic Tetris!!

When I finally got past level 125 the other day I got to the challenges, completed two in a row and was getting to the third one when I ran out of lives. (“Challenges” is for cheapskates who won’t pay to play the game.) I was doing so well I didn’t want to wait the 24 hours before the next time I could attempt the third challenge so I decided to try a trick. Actually, I decided to cheat. I set the clock on my phone ahead so that it looked like 24 hours had passed. I played, didn’t win and felt guilty for cheating so I set the time back as it was. I went back to Candy Crush and what the heck? Is said something like I had to wait 1400 and some hours to play again. Really? Isn’t that like a couple of months? Desperate, I went to Google to see what I had done wrong. Apparently the CC gurus had figured out the cheat and ‘fixed’ it. The only thing I could do would be to delete and reinstall the game. If that happened it would take me back to, gasp, level one. Or, I could give them money.

I won’t pay. Delete and reinstall? I couldn’t do it! I had to figure out something else! I’d spent too much time to throw all my efforts away. More research said if you back it up to Facebook then you delete and reinstall it saved your history. I don’t play on FB because I never want some abstract random message popping up when I am at work. But I figured I could back it up, delete, reinstall and then delete from FB. It worked. My history was saved! I was still on the last challenge which I quickly conquered.

It’s been said that desperate times call for desperate measures. That’s what happened. There was a contest between me and the game. The game won. It doesn’t know but when I get tired of it I’ll delete it for good. But in the meantime I still have five lives. Gotta go.

Who can take a rainbow, wrap it in a sigh.
Soak it in the sun and make a groovy lemon pie...

A long time ago I had a pattern for a “Knitted Scarf” my friend Debbie gave me. It was a copy of a boutique scarf that was a hot item back then. I made many and even sold them. The yarn cost so much that I sold them at $20.00 each. And nobody batted an eye.

Of course I lost the pattern for years. It’s a simple triangle scarf, and I could figure it out but there were a couple of little things that made the drape better. Then I found it again! I have a bunch of thin novelty yarn that I thought might be perfect so I got out the needles to make some new ones. It’s quick and fun. I like these because they are versatile. They fold up or spread out. They are light and airy. Just right!
An old scarf, red with black fun fur.

A new one. Green rayon yarn.
Orange rayon and ribbon. Squishy!

Just ribbon.
Other than that I’ve been working on quick things. I wound yarn around this heart, just because and will hang it on my deck.

I finished the mohair cape. It’s cute. Even if I didn't like it what a pain it would be to rip out! I think it would be good over a tank top or in a chilly office.
Cowl, capelet/poncho, skirt??

I’d get a lot more done if I’d keep my hands on the needles and off Candy Crush!! Believe it or not there are some patterns for Candy Crush items out there. Hmmm....

The Candy Man can 'cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good!