Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Boy

I went hiking with my boy this weekend, just the two of us. Lilly wanted to stay and sun herself in the garden, and Clarence was off prowling the neighborhood somewhere. Of course, after we left, Lilly changed her mind and, I was told, meowed sadly at the mountain for quite awhile. But it was nice to have some one on one time. Instead of running all over and leaping out of bushes to scare the crap out of his sister, a game that never gets old, he kept almost tripping me up with his swirling around my legs.

At the ridge I found a nice spot with a view, and he impatiently climbed into my lap. We sat there and felt the perfect 75 degree breeze and listened to the leaves rustle. I swear, I need to bottle the essence of the forest. And Pheonix. Wait, no. Eeew. Anyway, maybe I could just package up the pinecones, sell 'em as zen bombs. Pheonix loves to play catch the pinecone, but we just sat and, well, catnapped. A half hour passed and I rousted myself to hike a little more, but Pheonix started demanding that we return home, probably missing his sister. They're best buddies :) ... except when they are hunter and prey. Lilly got Pheonix pretty good the other day, he floofed right up! Haha.
And THEN... I discovered... how to transefer my pictures from my old computer to my new one ("new"= the one I've had for a year and a half, Mom's super awesome gift of her Mac she didn't use). And it's about time I got all my kitties baby pics updated and photoshopped and stuff. IS PHEONIX CUTE OR WHAT???!!!???? Oh boy. Oh boy oh boy oh boy. Are you all in for it now. I have ten million, five hundred eighty six, nine hundred twenty three pictures. Of my cats. HAHAHAHAAAHAA. Whew. Can you imagine what it's gonna be like when I have HUMAN kids?!?? Run. Run in terror. Save yourself!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Garden Fever

Okay, of course roses are pretty. This one is special though. Now, I personally would never have chosen pink. Pink anything, for that matter. Pink clothes, bedspreads, curtains, paint... I'm feeling a little woozy here. It's just not my color. Actually I chose my favorite color, when I was a lil kid and these things were important defining features, by asking my Mom what her favorite color was. I woke her from her nap for this pressing matter, and sleepily she mumbled "green". Green?!? I thought to myself. I was a 6 year old girl.
My favorite colors were pink, purple, and pale blue. Anything rainbow was great, too. I mean, all my barbies and My Little Ponies were pretty in those colors. But I worshiped my Mom. Still do, actually. So green it was. Wow. So that's why I'm a tomboy. Kidding! LOL. Anyway, ending my digression, this rose is special. 'Cause it's a fighter. I was so certain that it was dead that I dragged it off to the side of the yard and left it in the shade. The 24 square feet of sun we get is prime real estate, and I wasn't going to waste it on a rose whose leaves were turning lacy and yellow. I guess that's what it needed, was to just be left alone. Hmmm, sounds like some kinda life lesson there. I'd take free food and fussing everyday, but this rose is independant. And dang purty. It shot up four feet for this flower, and there's two more on the way. I moved it back to the main part of the garden, but I pretend not to notice it... until I go crazy mountain paparazzi on it!!! Haha!
My cucumbers also seem to be on some kind of "go your own way" trip. This one seems to be planning to go straight to pickle without stopping in cucumberdom. And this other one can't make up it's mind which way to grow. Must be a Pisces. Luckily no slugs or deer have discovered them, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. I'm going to put some cayanne pepper on 'em, hope that works. My squash are putting out mad amounts of humungous blooms, but the flowers keep falling off :( so no veggies are growing. Little booger heads. I have a mind to just shove them off to the side of the garden and leave them to DIE. Wait... that might just work, huh. Heehee.
The vindictive gardener, haha. I'll show YOU, sweet pea!! And you there! Tomatoe! You didn't think I saw that, did ya! I have eyes in the back of my head you know! Maybe I'll bring out a cutting board, haha! Ooookay, stopping now. Who's for cocktails?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Secrets on the Mountain

I felt kinda down today, so I went for some self prescribed nature time. Trees are my spirit animal, heehee. Look at that beauty. Yowza. I knew there would be SOMETHING cool to see, there always is. And just breathing in the scents of leaves and dirt... aaaaaaaah. I can't go hiking and TRY to relax, I have to let nature distract me from my worries. And not only do I feel much better, darned if I didn't see all kinds of nifty stuff too. Like this garter snake. S/he was a fairly little one, maybe 18 inches.

My cats, powerful hunters, didn't even see it, haha. I am too skittish to pick one of these up, ever since the time an alligator lizard bit my finger... and wouldn't let go! Traumatizing! Maybe if I'd had gloves. I did pet it though, far from the head, 'cause I wanted it to move. It wouldn't. It probably hoped the crazy mountain paparazzi would just go away. Finally it moved though, zipping into a hole in a log. At which point Lilly was like, "OMG? What was that?? Sniffity sniff sniff. I pet her, and she jumped about five feet. Ooops heehee. Mean.

Then I wanted to explore somewhere new, so I found the least steep part of the cliff side of the ridge and cautiously headed down. And I found the most magical place, I knew it was my secret place, like in The Education of Little Tree, how every one needs their own quiet nook where time drifts and the zen flows and and you feel the Great Energy, or god, or whatever it is.
I felt like I could just sit there forever and become part of the mountain. Except then my kitties heard something. They're my indicators, right? Mostly when they hear something and get all attentive, it's a bird, or a leaf, or a fly. It's when all THREE look that my armpits dampen, the adrenaline surges, and the zen goes right out the window. My mouth dries up and I swallow roughly. I cup my hands to my ears in a feeble attempt to enhance my puny human hearing. No good. I remember the story of a woman who was attacked by a mountain lion when jogging alone, and she somehow fought it off with a lucky pocket knife shot to the eye. How rangers found it later, dead from the wound (I still think poor thing, BAD me). And I plan to stand up as ginormously threatening as I can and roar with beastial fury at any cougars that dare eyeball my meaty thighs. RARR! Then, there is movement in the leaves to my right. Just as my stomach drops and practically rolls down the cliff, Pheonix pounces!! Yes. It was a bug. A really gross looking inch long bug thing. Mmmm hmmm. I RULE! I figured it was time to head home.
On the way back, I found this log in the path. It had fallen sometime during my futile listening for boogeymen. I guess if a tree falls, Hermitgrrl doesn't hear it. I threw my foot in there for scale refrence. It WAS a log, sheesh! So I wear size ten, and my feet DWARF LOGS. I LIKE my feet... even if it's annoying finding shoes with which to clad them. And yes, sketchers are totally approved hiking footwear, you didn't know that? Okay, I have boots, sometimes I just can't be bothered :P. Anyway, to make a short story long, my chakras are now realigned. My boat is floating. Huzzah for nature! (Except if it wants to eat me. Scary-ass bug.)

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Pheonix and Lilly do NOT like the kittens. Clarence was not amused either, but he at least didn't hiss at them. Look at those babies. How could you not love them? I guess if they were daring to eat off MY food dish I'd be, mmm welll, okay I'd squeal at how cute they are. But I understand Lilly and Pheonix don't appreciate what they see as threats to their territory.
What's sad is that the kittens LOVE my cats. They want attention from the bigger kitties a LOT more than they want some nasty human loving them. Unless the human is offering a morsel of something tasty. Anyway, since Clarence doesn't make threatening noises at them, he's their favorite. Literally, they come running when he comes inside. And finally, an agreement was reached. Posterior regions were to be sniffed, at the same time, and everyone that was either a kitten or Clarence would get along. They proceeded to carry out the contract. And immediatly after, one kitten was nuzzling Clarence's belly looking for milk and he was licking her head. THE CUTENESS. I almost cried as she purred her little heart out and rubbed all over him and he licked her round lil head.
Now Mil and Mab, aka stinky terd and other terd (in the nicest possible way, of course- that's endearing... right?) meow at Clarence like he's their mom... dad... mommydad.
He eats with them, and they are happy. And I am just about to pop with the insane precious sweet adorableness of it all!!!!!! Now when I try to coax them out from under the bed, instead of offering tasty tidbits, I tell them if they come out I'll get Clarence for them. Uh, I did mention that cats understand me, right? We got past the you reaching for the strait jacket thing, I'm pretty sure. Really, we did. Shhhhhh. Just look at the kittens! They are cute!! I am not sneaking out the back door while you're distracted! Okay, I definitely gotta get more sleep. But isn't that the bestest fluffiest bunny thang ever? It makes my heart all big and stuff.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Egads I hate computers! But I love the internet. Hmmmm. Yes, I suddenly (4 days later) had this crazy idea: call my internet provider... GASP! The madness! The sponteneity (I'm not even going to look that word up). I'm like a LOOSE CANNON. Whew, sorry, giddy with internet access here. It seems my router is corrupting my modem. Offering cigarettes, and vodka in plastic bottles when I'm not looking. So much has happened in my tiny universe!! ( Obviously the computer problem getting solved is one thing heehee yay) Well, Saturday, I delivered a truckload of Harry Potter books... I swear, it was better than christmas!! The happiness! The smiles, the talk of a nation united in something good- I'm not kidding. One woman, mid forties-ish, I kid you not, could NOT stop giggling the entire time I was typing in the delivery confirmation number for her TWO copies. It made me feel pretty good, though. I wish all my days at work were so joy bringing.
I was pretty stressed about missing a delivery, though, cause you KNOW the ruckus woulda been raised if some one didn't get their book! LOL It was worth all the smiles. And then I decided the roof needed sweeping, see how littered it was? REAL exciting, I know. But I could only do the uphill side cuz the other side was too scary. And then I noticed that half of the roof is covered in such old shingles they're coated in moss, and I saw all the dust flying up and I thought, what if those are ASBESTOS shingles??!!?? And I got a huge adrenaline rush and broke out in sweat and got the heck down from there. So there's a big pile where I stopped. I'm such a hypochondriac. And scared of doctors. Great combo!
Then yesterday, there was a bird racket outside, and a baby learning to fly had been discovered by the kitties. I scooped it up, (sorry, didn't grab my camera) and tried to find it's nest, but I couldn't. So I strung an old hamster cage up, with the top open, and put it in there. I thought maybe it's parents could swoop down in... and... I donno. I didn't know what else to do. It died. :*( I was thinking how nature flows and predators cull the sick and weak and the herd is strengthened as a whole because of it. How this makes humans and their trophy hunting.. umm, WRONG. Hunt for food, ok, but taking the strongest/biggest ? Just to stick it's head on your wall? If we aren't going to reintroduce predators, it is human responsibilty to keep the herd strong, but that means doing it by nature's law ( I vote for wolves and cougars). But then I was wondering if trying to save a baby bird that made a mistake is wrong. Am I then saving the weak and weakening the flock? Hmmm.... Well, I can't not try to save a baby critter. Just can't turn my back. Nope. Sooo... Who's gonna rock me to sleep tonight?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

hermitgrrl needs a new computer

Oooo apparently on a PC you can make links in your post.. but I'll still get a mac if I ever can. Till then, I won't be around much. :*( I had no idea how much I enjoyed blogging ... until I couldn't. Stupid grass bein all green on the OTHER side of the hill lol. Baby needs a new comp! Wish me luck! :)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cuter than a...

I was begging Lilly to pose in the dig where the rock wall is going, to give an idea of scale, and she more than obliged. I forgot to take "chronicling" photos and just snapped away at this beauty instead.

I have a journal, somewhere, that I wrote in sporadically from age 15 to 21, and I wanted to share something I remember from it, but I can't find it! ARG! It was something like this: "Note to my future self- Be nice to the Frosh!" I was about to become a sophmore. Wise words, eh? I did however find my age 12 - 14 diary, and chose this stunning passage for you. Enjoy.

The Gray Scribble is about T and Sister being mean to me. Sigh. I can't wait till tomorrow. S and I are getting together for the first time in 4 months and I'm going to try some guM (ha ha). Sister and I just traded diary's to read. and I'm hungry. Sister, T, T, and I have the raddest fort in the backyard. We have a club, too, called AFC (adventure, fire, and carving). By the way, I'm NOT addicted to incense anymore.

Riveting. I bet you will be sleepless until the next installation. Mwuah ha ha. Good thing I kicked that incense habbit, eh? Imagine, ending up sleeping under bridges and bumming spare change for just one more powdery scented stick to light up. Whew. Also, the cover name for AFC was Arts, Fun, and Crafts. Because, you know, our parents surely wouldn't want us having adventures and carving sticks and well, for sure not the unsupervised campfire part. And the guM (as I kept the trancription pure), tune in next time!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

hillbilly wine pt 3

There I was, driving to work, completely on auto pilot. You know, when you suddenly realize you just went a mile yet remember nothing? It's not just me, is it? Could be a driving-for-a-living hazard. And suddenly the sky went purple. Moving, roiling purple, with shades of lavender illuminating the clouds, and hints of brilliant fuschia. The air was hot and thick, and very still. Just when I realized it was dead silent the calm dissipated and primal screams lashed the air. 24 feet of pteranadon swooped down low across the road, triggering my foot on the brakes, albeit delayed with disbelief....
Well, it woulda been cool, anyway. Cooler than, I went to work. Worked. Went home. Although, I supose my kitchen DOES look like some sort of midievil alchemist is at work. NO, I did not sample the wares, thus producing the above escapeism. Maybe I was just stalling, nervous about the unveiling of step three in the hillbilly wine chronicles. I mean, EEW, did you see that color? Yuck! Ah, and my cheescloth/colander... not exactly the precribed method, I'm sure. (google is a great lazyman's dictionary, I just noticed [colander]) But I am forging ahead! I am determined to follow every step of the process, success or no. So I strained the stuff up, and dumped the left over goo in the compost. Lilly was strangely enjoying the smell of the leftovers- I think she even licked them.
Then I attached the air lock, busted out one of our emergency candles- don't worry, I have more- I didn't want to use the scented one from the bathroom, and atempted the "seal with wax" thing. Way harder than the author made it sound! I was trying to drip the wax close enough to where the tube goes in the lid, but to not melt the plastic tube... I may have caught a faint whiff of plastic burning, but I hope I managed successfully. At this point only time will tell. Oh, I DID add duct tape as well, heehee. A lil' extra insurance. I didn't feel very hopeful through most of this endeavor, but now an' then I get a wee nip o' hope. Again, NOT sampling! Haha. Oh, do you love my uber retro 70's towel? It's super fly.
Anyway, those pictures weren't very pretty, so here's a nice flower I threw in for ya. I grew it myself :)
P.S. Retaining wall comming along quite nicely, CL digging and hauling and moving the earth, Lilly rolling in the freshly dug stuff, and me chronicling it. That's the hardest part ya know, the chronicling. I kid :P I moved heap big rocks. Yesterday.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

nuthin' like a pick mattock

Pheonix and Clarence shout for joy at the return of the young maiden! Okay not really, they were yawning. That's more realistic of their veiw about the whole "kitten under the house meowing" thing. We didn't get her until after 10pm, and by we I mean CommonLaw. He climbed under there and grabbed her with reflexes recalling the days when free range really was. He said he had to fight back an urge to roar in triumph (it WAS pretty amazing, I still can't believe he got her) lest he scare the darling more so.
The clawing and being peed upon was reserved for me, when he passed her over so he could climg out. Poor little angel. She and her sister had quite the rousing reunion, though. All.. dang... night.
Today after a long day at work, I thought it would be fun to do a little manual labor on my landlords property, since I don't have my own land to invest time, sweat, blood, and tears into.
Sometimes a hike just isn't the workout I'm lookin' for. So I'm putting in a small retaining wall, which will actually give me morer gardening space, so I guess it's selfish after all. :P I'm so not bitter! I swear! There's still hope! ...I should really ban myself from posting on weekdays.
Anyhoo, I'll share some "before and after" pictures, umm... when I get to the after part. An hour and a half swinging a mattock will certainly remind a person how long it's been. I can't believe I used to do that 8 hours a day. For $4.00 an hour!!!! Ten years makes a difference in minimum wage, round here anyway. I think it's at least up to $7.50. Totally enough for a person to live on! Yeah! I think ALL politicians should have to live on minimum wage for one year, no gifts, gratuities, or previous holdings allowed. Vote Hermitgrrl for president! I also will ban ALL income tax on people making less than $50,000 a year! Tax hikes not cuts for corporations! More campaign promises to come! :D

P.S. ...the wine... it's scaring me...
P.P.S. Yes, that is a spittoon by Pheonix, UNUSED! Yeeek.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Double Update

I have found the kitten. Mabel, the more shy one, of course. Hard to tell them apart when I don't have them side by side for comparison. Found, but not got. I have been trying since I got up this morning, bribes, sneaking, jingley toys, begging and pleading. I took today off because last week I was about ready to quit after determining that I deseve and am not getting a work environment where I can feel safe and not threatened. I felt a three day weekend would stop me from quitting and then being unable to pay the rent.
Turns out I needed today off for more important reasons such as failing to rescue kitten. I even considered calling the fire department, HA! But they're more for treed cats, right Dad? With the ladders and all? I have not yet crawled under the house, because 1. I wouldn't even fit under the part where she's crying and 2. I think I'd need more than one other person to head her off and/or snatch her up. Truly my lack of crawling has nothing to do with, well you see the picture. What IS that unique dirt that is found only under houses? It's like super fine dust concentrate/ dirt powder. With cobwebs, and black widows, and brown recluses. Oh jeez now I'm even more worried for the kitten. Lilly is only pretending to be worried, she is actually chortling madly to herself and trying to hide it.
She has no love for throne usurpers; after two years she still barely tolerates our red headed stepchild, Clarence. Funny thing, though, the closest I got Mabel to come to the edge of the house was when Pheonix and Clarence were swarming around me, fascinated by my laying in the dirt making love calls. The kittens trust cats who hiss at them more than humans who feed them. Humph. Well, I left water and food for her, though CommonLaw thinks maybe we should not leave food, so that she'll be so hungry she'll come eat regardless of humans standing at the ready. Mildred has needed much comforting, as they can hear each other and wail and wail. Occasionally, though, food and string are more important and things are quiet.
Oh. And the wine. You know it can't be good when your partner walks by, looks, and says, "EEEEEW, what IS THAT??" "Um, it's the yeast, making bubbles". I totally made that up on the spur of the moment heh heh. It DID look pretty scary, but I stirred it gently, just the top few inches, as per instructions. It is supposed to smell "yeasty" (???) which, actually, it did! But it looks way too gross to share with you all. Hmm, and I still have no cheesecloth... can I just use, um, a t-shirt? A thin one maybe? Well, I have at least a day to figure that out.
The crying has recommenced. This is much harder with a feral kitten. Where is Cesar Millan? For cats?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Operation Hillbilly Wine Pt. 2

Multiple choice:
A. I got up at 7 am on my day off, read for three hours.
B. I stayed up until 2am last night playing WoW, slept in until 2pm.
C. I went to bed before midnight and got up before nine, so as not to throw off my work sleep schedule too much, Responsible Adult that I am.
D. I just confused myself and should not make multiple choice quizes, A and B both being true.
Hah. If you answered D, have a cookie. Yes, after reading and a rousing breakfast of chips and salsa and 1 piece buttered toast I went back to sleep, uh, napped? until 2pm. At some point during "nap", there was snoring involved (me? me! me?!?!?) and I half awoke to something kind of wet and tickley on my nose. I cracked an eyelid and waved an arm, scaring off mostly still feral kittens who had come to investigate strange sounds. I went back to LaLa land, waking to smells of coffee and lunch. Then, it being almost 4pm, figured I had darn well get to work on me wine. I left the plums out to ripen, see, thinking they would need a few more days, but they were almost overdue when I checked them today. Plus I was stalling, because I go back and forth between "ah, what the heck, just give it a whirl", and "omg, this is way too hard". The latter being from reading too much online about yeast starters and sulfites and tablets, oh my. So I tightened my belt- wait, no, it's the weekend, I can be slobby if I want. Tank tops and flip flops will do. Yes, so I jumped in and measured the sugar, mashed them suckers, and poured boiling water over the whole affair.

I did not weigh plums. I sort if measured sugar, and I eyeballed the water, and hopefully all was in the vicinity called for by the recipe: 5 lbs. plums, 3lbs. (cups?) sugar, 1 gallon water. Now it has to cool to room temp, when I will scatter 5 grams yeast (5 tbsp?) over surface, not stirring. Next it sits 2-6 days before I put it in the air lock contraption thingy. Do you just love the specifics here or what?

Hey, at least it gives me something to blog about. :P

Oh man. Update. Nothing with the wine project. Pheonix, my little houdini, opened the screen door and took either Mildred or Mabel on a field trip. I KNOW I wasn't supposed to name them. It was just better than calling them she and her. And I KNOW I still theoretically must find them a home (not this one). But I've been looking for an hour and the one that stayed inside has been crying for her sister and I'm almost going to cry myself and DAMN the little booger and my bleeding stupid heart. :*(

Sunday, July 15, 2007

150 years ago...

I got up off my bum today, and dragged my hermit self kicking and screaming out into The World. Usually the only thing my car does on a weekend is collect dust, but I had to get those plums. Also, I looked up wine making online, which was mostly disheartening with its various ingrediant suggestions and expensive equipment, but I did glean one useful tidbit. Umm, apparently yeast for, say bread, like the kind I was gonna use.... hmmm, not the right kind.
Good to know! And then I found a website that said, hey, people have been making wine for centuries. With a lot more primitive tools. And I was reminded of my own favorite argument, the "150 rule". Example: why do I need my wisdom teeth pulled for $1,200? Did your average person have it done 150 years ago? 'Cause I'm pretty sure wisdom teeth have been around A LOT longer than dentists. And I was dreading that particular rite of passage for, oh, about twenty years. Finally bit the bullet and did it (OW) and I'm still not sure if it was worth it. Good diet though, if you want to lose 13 pounds in two weeks.
Anyway now I have completely forgotten where I was going. Oh yeah. So if knights in white satin, um, I mean, peseants in times of knights and queens could make wine, I can make wine. I keep thinking of my Mom's hubby, PotterMan, who is a SERIOUS wine connoisseur, in a good way, and wondering what he would think about this whole endeavor. (He is a REALLY cool guy. Both my parents seem to have scored the third time around, in my opinion anyway.) Actually, my Dad has good taste in wine, too. Anyhoo, so I got the plums. And some actual brewers yeast. And some tubes. I wasn't sure what size to get, so I got 2, and CommonLaw found the PERFECT size drill bit, and now I have my setup. I'm going to let the plums ripen a little bit more though.
So far I've spent about $4.50, including the sugar, which you could maybe get a bottle of wine for, I don't know about a gallon, unless you like wine that comes in a box ( guilty!). My next batches will only cost about a dollar fifty a gallon. As long as there's free fruit abounding. Sweet! Homesteader guy says that even if the end product is a little ... strange... it's still totally comsummable. As long as it "works", right? Wink wink nudge nudge. Unless you make vinegar :O ... But check out my "air lock". No way am I making vinegar! Isn't that cool? The gasses from fermentation will be forced out the tube and through the water, and no air can go the other way. It's really hard to take this slow, I want to do it all right now and have wine tomorrow! But even if I'm doing it mountain hermit style, I'm going to at least try to do it right. Not the kind of right that costs a hundred dollars, the kind us humans have been doing for ages. But a little wish for luck wouldn't hurt!
P.S. I totally practiced my zombie proof skills today. There was a woman handing out fliers and asking for donations outside the grocery store, and not being in a position to give at the moment, I really didn't want to say no. So when it was time to get by her, I practically ran, cutting off CL and ruining HIS escape ROFL and guess who got stuck with a flier? Not me! I feel like such a jerk saying no to charities, and I've donated when I could, but this time, my zombie avoidance skills were way more important. I'm tellin' ya.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Spiky green, er... and wine!

There's a little spiky green turd on my cucumber plant!! Terd... turd? Who woulda ever guessed it's not in the dictionary?!? Ok, I just used up my quota on that word for a few... but I find that description less eeek than caterpillar, which it also looks like. But wait! That's not the point! There are cucumbers growing!! Woohoo! And my squash are flowering so prettily. I had no idea the flowers would be so big! So cool.
Oh yeah, and the tomatoes just sprouted yesterday! I wasn't sure (still not) how they'll do here, so I wanted to make sure we were dead into summer, since they don't like it cool. It was a random mix of seeds, all small "salad" varieties, like light bulb (no idea what they're really called) and cherry.

Jeez, and if I thought this was too hard on the patience, I took the first step towards the wine making. That is months minimum. I got the containers, though, and tubing. Tomorrow I'm going to make a "air lock" thingy. I'm just using plastic containers -sounds so wrong! won't the plastic "flavor" leach?- but that's what the guy whose recipe I'm following uses. He uses old milk containers! Weird! But he's a homesteader type, and it's all about being frugal. So I'm going to drill a hole in the lid, and stick a tube in it- was thinking of melting the plastic a little bit to perfect the seal, but ug! Sounds toxic. The homesteader dude uses candle wax to seal the tube to the lid, plus the lid to the container. I guess that way it's not permanant.
'Cause then, after two weeks, there's some kind of, uh, siphoning. Or something. I read it several times, but it was only a couple pages. Do I need something more in-depth? NAAAAAAH! It's all about experimenting and experiencing! Heehee. Tomorrow I'm gonna also go pick a bunch of plums and blackberries- I'm gonna try two kinds of wine. Oh, and I need a loincloth- er, cheesecloth or muslin to strain it. Or I could do the loincloth dance and squish the fruit with my toes! Then it would really taste authentic! Or like feet! :D
I'll take lotsa pictures so I can chronicle my trials... except for the loincloth ones.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I love people

Is that the most beautiful feather you have ever seen or what??? I could not believe it. I saw it fluttering on the side of the road and hesitated for a split second before I stopped and got it. I am so glad I did. It's just fantastic. Amazing. A gift. And of course, being me, bird mites and avian flu crossed my mind, but that wasn't until later, and anyway those things don't worry me. I just think them for some reason, and then move on.
I also thought about how legally you're not supposed to keep feathers you find. But it's my religion!! I practice nature reverence! I thought the law only applied topredator bird feathers, because it's illegal to kill hawks and eagles and stuff, and having a feather might mean you had done such an evil thing. But it turns out that ANY feather, blue jay, sparrow, crow, hawk... something to do with not messing up the ecosystem's natural habbits. Feathers should lie where they would have if not for humans, I guess. Drive a hummer, use paper plates, styrofoam cups, plastic single use bags... but for god's sake don't pick up a pretty feather because you might harm the environment!!!!! You could be fined and have it confiscated! I didn't... I swear...
Anyway, so today one of my customers yelled at my coworker because I wasn't there for the honor, and I guess who really cares WHO you yell at. I just wonder when it became socially acceptable that if you have a problem OF COURSE the solution is to start screaming at random strangers. Why exactly do people feel that that is their right? That they are entitled to special treatment and yet can treat every one else like crap? When ANYONE has a problem, this should be the approach: spoken calmy, " Hi, I have a problem. Could you help me?" Response: "Absolutely. Let's work this out." WTH happened to politeness and courtesy???

TWICE this week I was on a one lane road, and the car in front of me stopped. And proceeded to talk to a person on the side of the road. When there was a pullout available, that I couldn't reach to go around, and they did not use. For several minutes, not just a "I'm lost" thing, a "Hey! I haven't seen you in years! How's the wife? Kids?" And one person proceeded to PARK their vehicle WHERE it was and walk over to say hi to their friend's dog. I waited patiently. They gave me a dirty look. And I did not honk, or start screaming. They finally moved. And after work, when I stopped for groceries and some books, (five for $2.50 at the thrift store :D yay) I was nice and friendly to every one I spoke to, and smiled at every pedestrian in the parking lots as I waited patiently to pull out. I am not a saint. What I have learned is that 1. jerks WANT you to be unhappy like they are and they won't get that satisfaction from me, (or at least, I won't let then KNOW how much they affected my day) and 2. you never know who is going to beat the crap out of you for sticking up for yourself. This didn't happen to me personally, but more than once to various people I know. You can't choose your beliefs, and I will always believe in treating others how I want to be treated. Not that I would put others IN these situations in the FIRST place. I'm not living in fear, I'm putting safety before temper, and courtesy above all. Too much, probably, but I can't change that any more than I could start drinking gin and tonic instead of beer heeeheeeeehahaaha.

And don't worry, I let out a steady stream of expletive laden sentences for at least 5 minutes nonstop when I got home. At high volume. :P Hope I didn't just wipe my yucky experiences right in your lap. Just think about the feather, gift from a bird that lives wild and free, and all the reading I get to do now. That's what I'm gonna think about. Thanks fer lettin' me share.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Shout out to my Bffl

Got high with Pheonix today. In the sun. In my garden. Yeah, sunlight makes you euphoric. I heard it on NPR so it has to be true. They also said that's why people get literally addicted to tanning boothes. It's the euphoria, man. I have noticed that a half hour or more will pass by while I'm doing nothing but sit on me arse in the sun, when it seems more like five minutes.
Also, sitting in the sun makes vitamin D. I think it's so cool that there's one thing we need that we make like plants. Speaking of plants, my squash is lookin rather rockin'. I heard that even if you grow just one squash, you'll have so may veggies that you'll be slipping them into strangers' bags 'cause you can't give 'em away or eat any more. Which is great because I plan to put my squash eating capabillities to the test. Fried in butter. MMMM. I have been thinking of my Bffl all day, and there he is again! He grew some squash, and gave me some. YUM. I wish I'd planted more food, actually, now that we are so broke. I had aproached it as a hobby/ learning experience, like your typical spoiled American. Well, live and learn. Right now I'm cooking some Chicken Helper... with a can of tuna instead of chicken, and some peas to flesh it out. Also, not having refridgeration, I have been keeping soy milk on hand, so substituting that for the milk. Another nod to my Bffl... it was he that pointed out how awesome it is that soymilk needs no fridge until you open it. So far though, my cooking smells sorta... gross... lol. Mmmm, boiled soymilk. I kinda miss the days when I was a vegetarian and so was my Bffl and we lived in walking distance. Drove by the old 'hood today and reminisced. And who put The Police on??? Jeez, make a hermit all maudlin. If you're out there, Bffl, I miss ya.

Oh yeah, and I had to leave my high inducing sun and garden because the teen next door decided blasting The Offspring and practicing skateboard manuevers was a great way to spend his summer vacation... Now, I love a man who skates, and I grooved to The Offspring when they came out and I was in highschool... I think it was headbanged, actually, not "grooved", but it was a long day and I wanted nature's quiet... And then I felt REALLY OLD. So I came in and bumped some Sean Paul, 36Mafia, 50cent, and Genesis. WTH?!!?? How did that get in there?? Simon and Garfunkle?? Must be a misprint.

PS The, ah, "food" is.. not good. But not horrible, and I am very hungry, so I am scarfing it. Actually, it smells worse than it tastes. And that's a good thing lol.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Monday... well for me

After a ten and a half hour workday there are only three things 110% guaranteed or double your money back to make me smile. That's one of them in the bag there. Although the kittens are pretty darn cute. They are still hiding, but when I was at my desk I looked down and saw one on my footstool, just inches from my knees, staring up at me with it's big kitten eyes. I was really careful to not make any sudden moves, but I did say hello. It didn't move, just stared at me for a good two or three minutes. Then it hopped down under my chair and scurried off to some nook or cranny. Leaving behind a STANKY TERD right on my pllow on my footstool! The whole time I thought it was perched there checking me out, it was POOING. THE NERVE.

Betty at work just got a beautiful new toyota prius (me=jealous). Ted asked her, "Did you get the SRV model?"
Betty: "Uh... I don't know...?"
Ted: "The Self Righteous Vehicle".
Me and Betty: Much Laughing.

Monday, July 9, 2007

No 'Hood is Complete Without One

I just finished reading Earth Abides, again. 20th time, easily. My first copy literally fell apart. I found my current one at a thrift store, 25 cents. Score! I am fascinated by the idea: what would happen if the human population were suddenly and drastically lowered? The book was written in the late 40's, by a proffessor, and it is so well crafted that it's still in print.
There is an abandoned house just one house away from where I live. I love exploring abondoned houses, schools, closed roads.. they all are "Earth Abides" in action. CommonLaw showed me this place last weekend ( a year and a half here and I didn't know it existed... you can tell my constitutionals take place NOT on the streets). Our neighbor had just showed him, along with telling the obligatory story of meth labs and murder. I tried to research the place, but no luck. It actually looks like it could have been a sweet summer cottage long ago, one tiny bedroom, beautiful gabled roof, bricked area with bbq, now all but burried in leaves. I so want to know how long it's been sitting there, are there cabon dating type tests for these things? heehee.
If I were to go by the funiture I would have to say early eighties, but I find it hard to believe that a place could sit forgotten that long in an area where an undeveloped lot goes for a quarter million, easy, and this place has probably two acres. And, my family had a wood frame Zenith tv into the 2000's, at least until the late 90's. And while there has been obvious vandalism, why has no one stolen at least the tv? Too akward? Or has the place really not been empty that long?
I forgot my camera last time, so I went back with it today. First I had to make sure no kitties saw me leave, or they'd follow me, and there's a lot of broken glass there. As I approached the structure, I suddenly saw it as.. a scary place. Not just a harmless disintegrating house. Dang my imagination! I had no such feelings when I was there with CL. I found myself wishing my cats might have come after all. The thick coat of leaves would protect their paws from glass, yes? Bad Mom! And as if I'd summoned her, there was a mew from Lilly, halfway down the long crumbling driveway. "Lilly!", I called, a bit more high pitched than I usually speak to my kitties. My mouth was a little dry. She continued conversing with me, but would NOT come any closer. Yeah, that helped my suddenly flaring thoughts of ghosts, or maybe just homeless druggees.
I almost left, but then, gentle reader, with what would I illustrate my adventure? So I neared the door. I thought of movies where the DUMB pretty girl goes exactly where you are screaming at the screen for her NOT to go. And I stepped closer. I had to get some pictures. It's like roadkill. I always inspect the poor deceased creature. I don't know why. Anyway, I steeled myself, swallowed hard, and went in. There were no monsters or bums. Just a stale dark silence. The hole in the floor did not reveal a zombie hand groping for my ankle. I snapped some quick shots and got the holy heck outta there. When I stepped into the forest that has grown around the place, I saw that Clarence had also found me. And like Lilly, he was mewing at me and would not come any closer. I didn't quite run from there, but I walked quickly. My cats DID run. The abandoned house has become the haunted house. And yet... I still want to know if it's for sale.

P.S. My camera so schools that one! heehee

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Operation Kitten Lift

I got up early today, weekend-wise, because my body didn't get the memo to sleep in. Which is probably a good thing anyway because I was dreaming about zombie armaggedon. Yeah, according to the test, see my lil thingy over there, I'm only 50% zombie proof. Which is lame because in my dreams I'm always at least 75%. But that test... it ruined my zombie slayer prowess! Crap!
Now I need to learn to make explosives and leave the weak behind so I can have my nightmares with some triumph. Anyway... taking advantage of the early hour, I went hiking in the cool- wait. Strike that, I went following Pheonix on a wild goose chase, my primary duty being to clear the cobwebs in advance.. with my face. Still, we found some breathtaking veiws and some fascinating smells. I didn't get what was so great about the stick, but Clarence was practically drooling on it. Smelled like a piece of tree to me. Oh, and we went by the place where the Gammorc lives (no idea how you spell that, you know, the left hand of The Nothing, Neverending Story? My sister's personal nightmare demon from hell for a large part of her childhood, and it turns out, fairly traumatizing for CommonLaw as well.) That "den-ish" clump of debris is pitch black in the center, and it gives me the willies just standing near it. Yeek!
Then it was time for Operation Kitty Lift. I went to work, which is closed on sunday, completely prepared.. or so I thought. Turns out the entire parking lot had just been paved, and my access was hindered. Cleared that hurtle, I then had to shoo one cat that was scaring the kittens, without scaring the kittens, which, well, big sweeping arm movements don't do it. That just freaks out everybody. Still, I managed, and finally had the kittens eating, with mama cat. I knew I had to get them both at the EXACT same time, or the secong one would be too traumatized to ever let me near it again. This was a no glich allowed procedure. Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible has nothing on me. I managed to grab both kittens at once, drop them in the carrier, and close it up tight before they bolted like mad tazmanian devils up into my face and then out and gone forever. And not a scratch on me. Poor little things.
They were terrified, which I hadn't realized would make me feel so bad. I felt like the worst kind of baby snatcher, stealing them from their mother's love forever :( But I know I had to do it. Previous litters have grown big, been trapped, and then killed because they are totally not adoptable, feral as they are. So these two will learn that humans can give love AND food, and in the long run they will be incredibly better off. Still felt sad. And then I was running through Razorfen Downs and I got the ultimate swank pally helm and I whooped with joy, briefly forgetting that we have KITTENS that we are trying to put at EASE here. Whoops. Is there a special place in hell just for me? Naaaaaah.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


This planet is painfully beautiful. And this beer is really cool. I can't speak specifically for the beer on the right, because I haven't tasted it, but I like other beer by the Stone brewing company. The flagship is the Arrogant Bastard, a 10% alc. by vol. that says, right on the bottle, " It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory- maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it's made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beer will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make a beer taste better". Author's note: I have drunk (drank? drinken? lol) a lot of Red Dog in my day. It is like Budweiser, except not as well known.
Anyway, this one pictured is the Stone Vertical Epic (I threw the Gordon in there for size refrence). The Epic Ale is "bottle conditioned", desined to be opened after 2012. A beer that ages, how awesome is that? The brewer is releasing one batch every 13 months and 1 day, and today is batch 07.07.07. The bottle pictured is from may 5th, 2005, and I have one from the 04.04.04. release. I was too busy playing video games last summer to get the 06 one. D'oh! So this year I was going to be on top of it. I went to FIVE different stores and it was NOT IN STOCK!!! Finally, at the last store, the guy told me that since the Stone Brewery has no representatives that come to this area anymore, no one gets it! Gaspeth! I have hopes of purchasing some online, and I'm really just glad they didn't go out of business.
I have this curse, you see. I'm not talking about that damnable woman one. It's a curse that specifies, "whatever hermitgrrl determines to be her favorite, will stop being made". It's messed up. The perfect pair of jeans, that look good AND are comfortable... discontinued. Rasberry Cliff Bars? No more. White Rain shampoo and conditioner? Buh bye. The fajita wrap at taco bell???!!!???? Just stop, cruel world. So no Stone Brewery beer for 20 square miles, I can handle that, just let it EXIST.
Ok, random subject change. So I wanted to link this personality test, but being a tech noob... check out http://www.personaldna.com, thanks to Monkling, http://monkling.com/blog. Anyway, I love all the ridiculous tests out there, rating one's self. Even ones like, "How big do your girlfriends really think you rear is?" Usually they don't tell me much I didn't already know, but this one surprised me quite a bit and that made it more interesting than most. Plus, I'm a giant egomaniac, so there ya go. One thing I found really weird is that out of 30,000 people, 94% ( I love numbers, heehee) have less belief than me in their power over their own lives. They belief in luck, chance, fate and/or a higher power having some large or small effect on the outcome of their lives. Interestin'. This was a long test, too, and intricate. And it rated me a "considerate idealist", which is probably the oposite of what I might have guessed. I mean, if I'M an idealist, that doesn't seem very hopeful for the world at large. Although, as Charlie Utter said, people rarely see us the same way we see ourselves.
So, if you wanna get all introspective and deep thoughty, check it out. And if you wanna toss a few back and enjoy Saturday, grab yourself an Arrogant Bastard. And when you pour a lil sip out for your homies, think of me ;)
P.S Whoah I did it! I rule! (the pictured link thingy)

Friday, July 6, 2007

The Day is Saved!

Passing times of melancholy, the woe aflicts us all. Witness Pheonix, turning his tail to the mean mean world to seek solace in his own secret hideaway. Which my Honey promptly descended upon like a mountain hermit paparazzi, capturing the angst in this timeless photo. I should have made it black and white. Oh, the woe, the woe. Now that word sounds weird.
And what is it about Pheonix's rear that inspires one to grab for the camera? A question for the ages. Meanwhile, unaware of Pheonix's despondency, I was practically cheating on him. Yes, my day started the best way a day can: with kittens!!!! A coworker and I feed the feral cats out behind the office, and we've managed to catch and nueter/ spay all but one. She had kittens, several which have been adopted and tamed, but there are two left. I've been trying to get them used to me, sitting by the food bowl when they eat, but they are darn skittish. Today, however, when I called my with my kitty noises, they came tearing down the alley DUN DA DUN so fast that one crashed right into me and the other over shot the food bowl by about 4 feet and had to turn around and come back. If that wasn't cute enough, one let me pet it while it was eating, though the other was all, "WTH?!? Don't touch me!" I think I can get the first one in a home soon. :)
Pheonix had cheered up by the time I got home, and came out to nibble some nasturtiums. I think he read the seed packet, where it says you can put the leaves and flowers in salads. Little booger. But what's a chewed leaf or three when the VERY FIRST flower bloomed? THE JOY! It looks like there's going to be many more soon, but this one is special. I only took about twelve or thirteen pictures of it. Heehee!! Clarence offered up some poses, not wanting me to forget who my real lil beauties are. And Lilly chewed on on my camera strap while I was shooting, leaving her slobber to show her love. Could I be any more lucky? CommonLaw is trying to convince me that WE should take in the feral kittens, but I'm pretty sure we have the perfect family. Someday we'll probably add some furless kids to the mix, and a dog (interviewed by the cats first, of course), and while I'm hoping here, don't forget the cabin on 20 acres.
Oh, and today, at work, a high up exec came to our office to take care of some of the important stuff only BossLady does, since she's out. Like paychecks- unlike one guy who swears he's in it for the glory, I'm there for the cold hard cash. And Ignoramus from yesterday had apparently filed a formal complaint against me- did I mention that Ignoramus did my same job for 44 years? which is why he thought he could tell me why I was wrong and a little moron etc (at least I'm not a BIG one, sheesh! plus you think he might have a lil compassion having been on the inside) and so exec lady comes to talk to me. Then she checks out the whole thing. And then she calls back Ignoramus, as per a formal complaint requires.
And then she comes to tell me she wouldn't have let him off as easy as I did. WOOT! I win!! Heeheehaahaahaaaa mwaaahaaahaaaa! Ahem. S'cuse the outburst. Nice day, huh? ;)
P.S. Thanks my peeps for totally awesomeness and caring. Thank you thank you, you made me get a lil pudly :*)
P.P.S I wrote this before I checked my comments so pardon my playing on the word woe, dad, lol