Stasia's Place Of Grace


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Oh Happy Day

"On our twelfth anniversary, my true love gave to me..."

" new septic tank..."

"... and they chopped down my poor lit-tle tree."

We got a call yesterday that the trenchers would be here at 7 a.m. today. That gave me less than 24 hours to wash all the remaining raw fleece I had in the house, which didn't get finished until 3 a.m. today, as I had to do the 49 loads of laundry that were piled up (waiting for the new septic system to be installed) prior to putting greasy fleece in the washing machine. (We had just had the tank pumped again so there was enough room in there for laundry water for this last hurrah.)

Here's the last of Maplewood North's Sparx drying on the line in lingerie bags:

If it were any other fleece than Sparx's, I would've just said, "Forget it..." but there was no way I was letting this beauty go to waste, sitting for ages in a Rubbermaid tub, unwashed. And I wouldn't trust a processor with this gorgeous Shetland. So, there I was, filling and emptying my washer four times in the middle of the night. It was worth it. And how fitting that Sparx's should be the last fleece I ever wash at home... for what we're paying for this new septic tank and bed, I am not going to gunk it up with lanolin!

Getting a new septic system is a noisy process; they had to smash the old tank in order to bury it, and whatever they used to do it literally shook the house (I was keeping the dogs calm in the bedroom so didn't get to enjoy that particular piece of heavy equipment.) They will be here for a few more days, trenching the field and laying pipes and things, but we only had to be without water for four hours this morning. Nothing like being told you can't use the bathroom to make you really, really feel like you need to.

Do you think her name is Maryann?

The man in the hole has a laser on a long pole, which beeps to tell him how deep his trench is.
Welcome to Septic Systems in the 21st Century.

Not only did they have to chop down my silver maple, but they had to cut my hawthorn and honey locust in half (sob, sob).

If it means I can take a bath again after a month of having only two-minute showers every other day, I'll take some missing branches. Jeff did check for birds' nests prior to all the mauling.

But I'm in no mood to go out for an anniversary dinner... maybe next week.

In less stressful news (if you don't count the balance on my Visa card), we finally came into the 21st Century ourselves and got a new computer and high speed Internet access! I cannot believe all that I can now see and do in such short periods of time.

Jeff spent the weekend using the standard software on the iMac G5 20" (say it with me now... "It's worth the price because it'll last 10 years like the previous Mac!") to create DVDs of the digital photos from some of his trips. He made slideshows, complete with "Ken Burns" effects and soundtracks, and I think these will actually be watched by family members with interest rather than yawns.

Jeff and Tori on screensaver in background.
I know my mind is numb from septic stress because I frequently find myself
engrossed in watching our photo screensaver as entertainment.

I played with the Garage Band software and wrote a song and used iTunes to turn it into an AAC file, but for the life of me I can't figure out how to get it up here for you to listen to. That's probably a good thing as it involves jazz piano and jazz bass with accoustic guitar and tabla drums. (!)

I did it! Please visit my new Podcasting blog, Stasia's Place Podcast. You can hear my silly song (or not) and, in future, hear my audio blog. Point your podcatching software to for the direct feed.

What's a new Mac without an iPod, I ask you? When I found out that the thing could hold my scheduling calendar, shopping lists, and address book in addition to music, I had to have one. And what's an iPod without a PodPocket? I made one up while listening to the KnitCast podcast:

iPod Mini 6G all dressed up and ready to go.

      PodPocket Pattern: Kitchen Cotton (worsted; cotton to prevent electric shocks to electronic apparatus from wool in winter), size 5 flexible dpns. To fit iPod Mini. Cast on 10 and knit four or five rows in stockinette.

      Then start knitting in rounds - pick up 1 sts. on short side, 10 stitches on opposite long side, and 1 st. on second short side, so that you have 22 sts. total. Proceed in K1P1 ribbing until the pouch is to the top of your iPod Mini.

      BO one short side stitch, one long side of 10 sts, and the other short side st. - you have 10 sts. remaining to knit the flap. I did a 3 st. rib on the outside edges of the flap, with plain stockinette in the center four sts. After knitting this to a length of about 3", I bound off the center four stitches on the next row. On the following row, I cast on 4 sts. to replace them, and continued knitting the flap. This made a buttonhole.

      The ribbing keeps the iPod from falling out of the pocket. The thick cotton will protect it well in case I should drop it.

      The strap is a 5 st. i-cord sewn to the sides of the pocket. It is long enough for me to put it through a belt loop and then "lark's head" the pouch through it.

      I'm not thrilled with the design as the thing bounes against my leg when I walk, isn't long enough to wear around my neck (the band would be too thick for this, and would look dorky, anyway), and I can't see the screen or wheel to change settings while the iPod is in it.

      However, Apple says that you should play your music from a Playlist to conserve battery life, so I shouldn't be futzing with the buttons all the time anyway, right? And this will keep it clean, and safe in my bag or in the car... because I had to get the FM transmitter for it, too, for trips to the grocery store, dont'cha' know...

The progress on the Clapotis continues:

For Earth Day, my sister sent us an organic shitake kit (she doesn't send Christmas gifts but celebrates Earth Day instead. Are you surprised to learn she lives in Los Angeles?):

We had our first harvest in a stir-fry last night:

The first harvest.

Jeff's fingers for scale.

They were incredibly delicious. Apparently, you can get three or four harvests from this kit, drying it out for two weeks in-between each gardening session. For more info, go to

I'm off to knit and catch up on some podcasts (some favorites below). Hope your day is a good one!

Tartan Podcast - First music-based podcas hoted and produced in Scotland. I could listen to his accent forever...

EatFeed - The podcast that takes you back in time, across the country, around the world, and back to your own table.

KnitCast - Marie Irshad interviews Kate Gilbert, designer of the Clapotis!

Animal Breed Zip Code

Welcome To Stasia's Blog

Stasia is a knitter, spinner, weaver, writer, reader, and musician from Wisconsin, USA.

Join her here as she journals about beauty in nature, the joys of fibery pursuits, special people and pets, and great places to shop. It's her hope you'll leave spiritually inspired and creatively motivated. Thanks for visiting!

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