Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Who wants a dog?? Or two..........

GAH!!!! Look what our evil little Daschund did!!!!!!

(Slim added for scale - yes it goes all the way across the picture)

Oh boy were we TICKED OFF!!! He's like 10 pounds and look at the destruction he is capable of. He has a serious "hunting nose" so I think he must have gotten a whiff of a mole or something and tried to dig it out - all over the yard! Ugh......%#$@#$@*&*"*&#$*@*#^"$!!

Here's the offender now. Don't you think Willow is looking at him like "Oh MAN!! You are in serious trouble and I'm just going to sit here and watch".

Here she is thinking about jumping.

Here she is thinking about driving.

Mr. Man is building out some of the closets upstairs so the Explorer has turned "shop" for a few hours.

Oh yeah and................

HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2008 was an amazing and wonderful year for me. I'm sure 2009 will be no different. At this time last year we had no clue what was in store for us. We started Knit Witch (whose success has far surpassed our wildest dreams), I quit my job as a nurse, we moved to our fabulous new home in the mountains, have encountered all kinds of wonderful people, our kids are doing well and we have just had a great time having fun and enjoying each others company. It's so fun to be married to your best friend!!!
My only resolution is to just "Keep on keepin' on". That means enjoying all the gifts around us and just taking a few moments to be grateful for that every single day.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pond Fertilizer??

Uhhh - did you know that a pond needs to be fertilized???? Me either. I have never heard of such a thing. But, they actually do make 'pond fertilizer'!! We took a water sample to a pond place in Ellijay (pretty darn handy to have them right down the street!) and the water was crazy acidic. Like off the chart. So, that certainly explains our massive fish extinction. The folks at the store said there is no way most fish can live in that.

I guess a combination of draining the pond, refilling it with clean creek water and then a massive deluge of rain water all contributed to a major acidity problem. Of course, we know now, that we should have been lyming the pond in order to prevent such an occurance. Who woulda thunk? So, we will be going to purchase about 500# of lyme for the pond to spread around and get the water back to where it should be before we embark on getting more fish.

Yesterday we went to Atlanta. The trip wasn't too bad but DARN people there are cranky!!!!! It's no wonder that place gets your blood pressure up so much. Everyone is always in such a hurry and wants to be FIRST and wants to cut in front of everyone else on the highway. I just don't get it. I never have understood people just being stressed out and in a hurry so much. It's bad for your health!! But, that is just the atmosphere there for the most part. When you live in it everyday you just don't see it as much as when you are only there occasionally. Needless to say - we are glad to be back.

We got a bunch of shopping done and I got a much needed eye exam. I'm trying a new brand of super-thin contacts AND I got a new, sporty pair of glasses - YAY! I can't wait to go pick them up. Of course, that means yet another trip to Atlanta next week. Blah.

Monday, December 29, 2008


So - here is the second moebius. I can show it to you now since the recipient has happily (I hope!) received it!

This was made from yarn spun from my dad's alpacas and the recipient was my dad's wife, Gail. I have been promising her something knitted with her alpacas and I FINALLY got around to giving her something!

That was really the only thing I knit for Christmas with the exception of a few washcloths. And, I mostly crocheted the washcloths since that goes a ton faster.

Well, we are probably off to Atlanta today to do some shopping. What fun. We need some clay and we are going to go pick out the tile for our upstairs shower. Pictures of the shower in progress should be entertaining.......we'll see.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Uh huh......That's what I'm talkin' about.......

A 70 degree Christmas!!!!! To heck with that white Christmas junk - a 70 degree Christmas makes me happy! Yay for living in the South. It was so nice to have such beautiful weather yesterday. I was roasting in the sweater I brought and had to change to t-shirt mode.

We started out at my mom's for Christmas Eve. It was a really nice small crowd and we really had a great time with my mom and her husband.

Me and Mr. Man (notice the hand knit socks on his feet. I really do finish projects occasionally!). And seriously, we didn't plan to dress alike like that..............cheezy I know.

My step-sister and her husband:

Then, on Christmas day we headed out to my dad's for a much larger crowd. It was fun though and since the weather was so nice the dogs had a great time playing around and we got to walk around on the farm and take some pictures of the latest creatures.
Petey (one of our dogs) and Gator.............
Petey, Gator and Aspen (my dad's new dog).................
Hot Dog...............
My dad got his wife a new present that we all had fun playing with............
A few of the horses..................
We had a REALLY nice time with our family. It was such a low-stress Christmas! We loved it. I hope all of you had a great day yesterday too and were able to spend some quality time with family and friends.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

For all the blog readers out there celebrating Christmas - I hope you have a great day that is full of family, friends and love (the important stuff!).

Also, I realized today that I forgot to wish a happy Hanukkah on Monday for all of those celebrating then. So sorry about that - please accept a belated Happy Hanukkah message from Knit Witch!

We have so much to be thankful for and this past year has brought us many wonderful changes. I hope everyone that is traveling has a safe trip - I'm looking forward to reading all of the holiday stories on upcoming blogs!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Stuff

I knit almost NOTHING for Christmas this year. Turns out - it's a lot less stressful that way! I also learned that crochet washcloths go A LOT faster than knitted washcloths. So, I did make a few of those to put in the baskets we made. I can't show you everything just yet (yeah, like my whole family reads this blog!) so I'll just give you a couple of snippets.

Here's one of the baskets we made. It has some homemade jams, tea, handmade soap from Rosi, crocheted washcloths and a bird nest material holder thingy (what in the world do you call those things?). I save all of my scrap yarn from cutting ends and such - which is A LOT around here from skeining and re-skeining the yarns. The birds love these little bits to put in their nests in the Spring. So, I crocheted this little holder (it's so easy it takes about 20 minutes to make one), stuffed it with a bunch of ends and then you put it in a tree in Spring for the birds to enjoy! I will write down the pattern soon and share it - just haven't gotten around to it just yet.

We had a little gift exchange with our neighbor. You saw one of the things we gave her yesterday, the coffee mug, and then she also got a little basket full of goodies from us. She gave us lots of little goodies too that I loved!!!

This is a book with a large pad of paper and a pencil in it. I love the book, it matches our guest room perfectly! And notepad paper is always handy to have around this place.

This is a handpainted berry bowl - so cute!!!

Handmade soap in fragrance "Winter Solstice" so very appropriate and SO WONDERFUL in the shower this morning! I love handmade soap.

This is a dragonfly pin (I love dragonflies!) and a little crocheted ditty that she picked up from a woman who is like 90 and just spends all of her time doing crochet. Please pardon the fact that these pictures were taken on my dye table!

I forgot to get a picture of the really nice birdwatching book she gave us also. I'll have to do a separate post on it so that I can show you lots of details about it - it is really neat!

Well, Knit Witch is officially closed for the holidays as of tomorrow. We will be spending time with family - having a great time no doubt. I'm sure there will be a few humorous stories after the holidays!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Medicine Wheel

Several of you yesterday wanted to know where to go to find your animal sign on the medicine wheel. If you are interested - you can go HERE.

Here is a picture of the wheel that we started. I need to do a little more research on it because I think you continue to add to it for different seasons and occasions and such. The flags around the outside mark N, S, E and W. The closest flag in the picture (the white one) is the North direction.

Ironically, the ceremony that we did for the wheel was strangely reminicient of the wedding ceremony that Wayne and I wrote for our wedding. It was very much about the importance of circles and elements and harmony with nature. We didn't want a traditional ceremony - we wanted something that reflected US a little more so we wrote our own. Perhaps on our anniversary (April 29th) we will have our ceremony again at the wheel!

On another note - we made a coffee mug for our neighbor, Liz. She was kind enough to take a picture of it for us since we forgot. I thought it was cute. Mr. Man is really a great illustrator!!

The second moebius is DONE but I can't post pictures until after Christmas. Someone is getting it for a gift!!! Shhhhhhhhhh...........................

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter Solstice

Yesterday we attended a Winter Solstice ceremony. A friend wanted to build a medicine wheel in her yard so we chose Winter Solstice as the date to get together and set it up. We really enjoyed it - it was nice to get together with some like-minded folks and take a few minutes to remind ourselves of all the amazing things that the universe and the earth gives us. It's simply a reminder of the importance of living in harmony with nature - something that I feel people in general are not that great in doing.

I think the Native Americans have it right. They have a way of life that completely incorporates living in tune with nature. I'm all for that. I think we tend to lose sight of how important it is to take care of this gift we have been given to exist on.
I didn't get any pictures of the medicine wheel - dudes, it was COLD out there last night - but I will take some and post them a little later in the week. In the meantime - here are some general pictures of medicine wheels. I fell under the "Otter" sign and Wayne fell under the "Beaver" sign.

Friday, December 19, 2008

OK.........the pond

Yes, yes. I know. I missed posting yesterday. That's because the last couple of days around here have been a bit nutty. Remember Mr. Bass?? Well, unfortunately the other Mr. Bass (or maybe Mrs. Bass) joined him in his untimely demise. Then, we started noticing a bunch of smaller dead fish in the pond. So, we started panicking and getting really pissed.

As you know, we recently had a bunch of work done to restore our pond and get it all cleaned out. Taking care of the environment around us is a huge issue for Wayne and I and one that we try to work on all the time. So, to see all of our fish dying was more than a little concerning to us. Especially since we have herons, kingfishers, ducks, geese, etc drinking and eating fish out of our pond all the time. Not to mention that our pets drink from the pond and play in it quite regularly (even the cats!).

Anyhow, this story is a little involved so don't let me bore you. Feel free to come back for more fun and perky stuff next week. But here's what happened:

We had a HUGE amount of rain on Sunday - I think we ended up with about 3 inches in under 6 hours or something crazy like that. And then it just kept raining for days. Our pond is fed by a creek that comes down the mountain in the back of our house. Of course, when it rains the creek picks up just about all the run-off water from this side of the mountain and the first place it dumps is - you guessed it - our pond. Then more water goes to our neighbors pond, then to the pond across the street then down the street to more ponds down there (maybe I should draw a picture like the Yarn Harlot?).

So, we were extreemly concerned that some toxic substance was in the run-off water that had washed into our pond. We thought maybe someone had a septic tank leak or had a lot of fertilizer on their lawn or was draining their gray water directly into their yard or something. We called everyone we knew on the mountain, the public health department, the EPA, EPD, US fish and wildlife, the UGA extension office, the local newspaper, the tv station - basically everyone we could think of. And of course, they were all pointing us to each other and no one seemed to be able to help us - which was REALLY ticking us off.

Not only was our pond in trouble, but of course our pond is not the only house, pond or groudwater affected by this creek. We ended up doing our own investigation. We went up the mountain, pulled off the road, followed the creek, took a bunch of pictures, drove around and looked at houses to see if we could see anything out of place and just were generally nosey. Sometimes that master's degree that I have in Environmental Health actually does pay off - see dad!!!!!!!

Anyway, we took some pictures and finally did get someone from the EPD to come out and look at our pond and go up on the mountain to also poke around. We got some of the residents up on the mountain concerned, which was good, so hopefully this will be on the topic of their next homeowner's association meeting - just reminders about getting septic tanks checked, be conscious of what you put on your yard, chemicals, fertilizers, soaps, etc.

But, in the end we really came up with zilch. I talked to the guy at the UGA extension office today and this was his theory - which is plausible and actually makes me feel much better than the possibility of a toxin - even though it is still a sucky situation.

He said that sometimes when there is a huge amount of rain all funneled into a pond at the same time (which there definitely was) it can cause a pond to "turnover" which literally means that all of the water that is pouring into the pond is colder, sinks to the bottom and pushes the water at the bottom of the pond up to the top. This causes problems with water temperatures and with dissolved oxygen in the water. He says this is really the most likely scenario in our situation because the big fish died first (they have the highest oxygen requirements due to their size). He said if it was due to a toxin in the water you would usually see the small fish die first. Add to that the fact that our pond was CRYSTAL clear before the rain, which was because we had just finished filling it up. So, the pond hadn't had time to go back to it's "normal" state of normal microbes, bacteria, etc. So all of that together created an extreme stress environment for the fish and an oxygen depletion problem.

Whew! That's a mouthful. But, I honestly think it is the most plausible explanation for what happened. Especially since there are still plenty of healthy fish in the pond. I would think if it was something toxic - they would have all been dead. I spent today netting a bunch of dead fish out of our pond - very sad...........

The lesson we have learned from all of this is to cut off the inflow for our pond during a lot of rain. We are very fortunate that our pond is set up to allow us to do this since it is fed from the creek to the pond by a 6" PVC pipe. Our neighbor, unfortunately, does not have this option as the creek flows directly into her pond.

Also, the other thing that has happened is that Wayne and I have decided to start an environmental organization here in Blue Ridge - SEE DAD!!! Again, I'm going to use the degree! But, we have named it Blue Ridge Area Environmental Action (BRAEA) and Wayne has already started the website -

We started a civic club in our neighborhood in Tucker (complete with website and all the fixin's) and it was a really great venue for sharing information, getting stuff sold/bought, promoting our neighbors businesses, crime alerts and just generally bringing us together and getting to know each other (I reccomend doing it!). We want to do the same thing here with a focus on environmental education and alerts. Also, we will get involved in local legislation as it relates to the environment. But, more about that later. You can check out the rudimentary site though if ya like.

I know - a long story. Thanks for reading if you are still here.

BTW - I started another moebius! Shhhhhhhhh - it's a gift - think I can finish it by Christmas????? We'll see.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Now on to a Happier Post

Check out this picture I got of Slim the other day on Mr. Man's lap. Now, keep in mind that this cat was completely ferrel about 2 years ago. We couldn't look at him, feed him, get anywhere near him - nothing. I think he has gotten used to us - what do you think????

He laid like that for a while. I sure hope he was comfortable..........................maybe we could bring him a cocktail or something??? Sheesh.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I guess with all of the wildlife highs there are bound to be some lows. We found one of our big bass dead in the pond on Monday. We were so sad. We had two huge bass and now I guess we are just down to one. We need to find a place to buy a couple more. Anyway, we fished him out because we wanted to see if anything was obviously wrong with him and we wanted to see how big he really was - we never really got to see them up close as they always hung around near the bottom of the pond. We didn't see anything obviously wrong with him - so I don't know what the cause of death was - poor guy...............he will definitely be missed!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wild Weekend!

Well, wildlife that is. We caught some pretty cool pictures of wild fowl hangining around our pond this weekend. First up - the Kingfisher. He found a tasty morsel in the pond. Count one less pond fish for us! We hear this little guy all the time.

Then later that day we saw this Pileated Woodpecker. These are one of the largest woodpeckers and they have a huge range of loud, distinctive calls. They seem to love hanging around our property. We hear them pretty often.

And last but not least - the regal Blue Heron. I think this guy likes to hang around our pond because the water is so clear. It makes his fishing chores that much easier I suppose!

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Corner of the World

This version is "My Snowy Corner of the World". These were taken in our little town back when it snowed last week.

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More Light Up Blue Ridge

Here are a few more Light Up Blue Ridge pictures for you. These were some of the ones taken after the tree was lit up. We left shortly afterwards because it was COLD and rainy out there!

And if THAT does not make you feel cold and Christmasy (sp?) check out this picture I took of our pond on Monday morning.

Oh yeah, that's a solid sheet of ice over the entire top of our pond! I tell ya though, I don't know if the cold weather has anything to do with it or not but our pond is crystal clear. It's really amazing. We can walk over to it and easily see the bottom (around 10-12 feet deep) and see the big bass hanging out on the bottom. I'll try and get a picture - we'll see.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Exciting Washcloth Ahead

That's right folks. I have a VERY exciting washcloth to show you today. I did this last night while we were watching tv. The yarn is sooooooooooooooo soft. It's organic bamboo but I shreaded the label so I can't tell you the exact specifics unfortunately. I know I got it from Webs though sometime back.

Yeah, I know. It's crochet. Don't send me hate mail ok?? (ETA: That's just a JOKE - obviously I do both, encourage both and teach both)

In other news..............

We are supposed to go to a friend's to spend the night later in the week. Is it REALLY that hard to cook for a vegetarian??? We manage to do it everyday. I mean really. She emails me that she wants to cook calzones so she wants to know if I eat pepperoni. Uh - NO. So she says she can't make them ...........ummmmmm...........leave off the pepperoni on mine maybe??? Spinach and mushrooms works great for me. You have to make them all individually anyway, yes?

Then she emails me back complaining that she wants to make a pasta dish for us but it has bacon in it and do I eat bacon?? Ummmm............NO - how about just leave off the bacon or add it in at the end after you take mine out. Oh no, no - can't do that - the bacon is what MAKES the dish. Uhhh.........right. I have been eating pasta for a LONG time (trust me, as most of you know I'm a professional at this) and have managed to eat pasta with no bacon in it for a long, long time. Don't gimmie that crap.

So, she suggests we just have cereal. I'm thinking about writing her back and telling her that I'm actually vegan so I don't use milk and ask her if she has any soy milk. Think I should?? Haha!!! Don't people eat vegetables anymore? I mean really, even if you do eat meat you don't eat meat with EVERYTHING, do you?????

Luckily, she is a good friend so I can really give her a bunch of crap. This should be fun. Stay tuned.

Oh and BTW - Mr. Man and I are getting ready to set up a really cool aquaponics garden! I am so excited! Totally organic veggies grown at lightening speeds using nothing but recycled water from a pond! Truly an amazing process. We have the space and the time to invest more in green living so we are really trying to do so. We are also looking to see if maybe we could get a small solar system to power the pumps so we don't have to use additional electricity. We'll see -need to sell a few more yarn bowls for that!! Ha!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Have you ever kitchenered 60 (120 total) together? Holy cow it takes forever. But, luckily I went on youtube and found this GREAT VIDEO about how to do it!!!! Yes folks, I had to watch my own video on youtube to remember how to properly kitchener.

But LOOK at this grafting job! SEE IT?? No, of course you don't because it is perfectly grafted!!! I'm pretty happy with how the whole thing turned out.

The recipient wanted a sort of smallish one. I hope she likes it! It is actually bigger than it looks in the picture. It isn't blocked yet.

This was a great knit but I think the next moebius I do will be with a moebius cast on. I just don't see the point of doing it flat and then grafting it together when you can just use a moebius cast on.