Friday, May 28, 2010

Reading, 21st Century Style

So I recently acquired a B&N Nook. But I didn't get a cover, so to keep it from getting all scratched up and because I'm broke, I needed to come up with a cover for it. So last night I grabbed the two skeins of Red Heart closest to me and fortunately they matched, one Spring Green and one, a variegated, that no longer has a label but it's got a nice mix of blue and green and yellow. I found my N hook and did a chain of approximately 40 chains, holding both strands together and then half double crocheted each row. I somehow decreased or increased as it's a bit wonky at the bottom, I'm going to try to block out the wonky, but I'm very happy with the results until I can either purchase the cover I want or make a better cover, I have fabric to make one but this was much faster:
Missy's Nook Nook
Red Heart 100% Acrylic Yarn
My own pattern such that it is

Meet Nell, my Nook
I even remembered to leave a little hole in the bottom so I can charge Nell in her Nook Nook.

Charging Action Shot

Who is that in the background? Could it be the single funniest human being on the planet, Stephen Colbert? Why yes it is. My new favorite tote bag from B&N. Yes I am a dork.
I refuse to rant about oil today. The situation is what it is. I'm going to disappear into some escapist fiction courtesy of Nell and forget about BP, oil and just lose myself in the page, uh screen.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Very, Very Modest"

I am going to preface this post by saying that it will not all be a Gulf Coast in Oil Crisis rant. There is stitching and some thrifting so if you have been avoiding my blog due to my enviromental rants, well there's something for everyone here today.

First business:

A BP official, that British dude, stated to Sky news, that's a UK news channel, that the damage to the Gulf of Mexico due to the oil spill will be "very, very modest." Now does someone want to tell me what that means? I mean I understand that he's saying that the damage will be minimal but this is a from a man who will not allow accurate measurements to be taken of exactly how much oil is being gushed into the Gulf on a daily basis because "they(BP) are focusing on clean-up". So how in the hell does he have a clue what the damage will be and that it will be modest?

So we hear that that pipe thingie is working, well if going from 210,000 gallons of oil a day to 170,000 gallons of oil a day is working, well we are in a world of trouble. Do I need to point out this all started on April 20th? It's now May 19th, that means we are closing in on a month of astronomical amounts of oil being pumped into a body of water 618,000 miles in diameter not the 17 million miles of the Indian ocean.

Let me paint a bigger picture for all of you reading this sick and tired of the story as it's not glamourous and doesn't affect anyone but a bunch of beach bums who probably should live in the real world and vacations? Why I'll just go to the Caribbean. Well let me enlighten you folks. A lot of the sea life that lives in the Gulf migrates back and forth between the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Do you understand that everything is connected? That grouper caught in the Caribbean in a few months could possibly had been a grouper eating smaller fish who had consumed oil a few months before. Do you know how toxic that makes the fried grouper sandwich you are getting ready to consume sitting in front of the beach grill on St. Thomas? I hadn't even considered the whole migration thing until my friend Chelsea pointed out. Her mother has a dive business and they travel all over the Gulf and the Caribbean. All the focus is on the oil and the obviously affected sea life, we need to pay attention to this on a much larger,deeper scale.

It is being reported that oil has reached the loop, the Gulf Stream, that means oil could be in Key West by Sunday. Is anyone paying attention? Is anyone connecting the dots and most importantly are the people making the decisions doing the right thing or just sweeping all this under the rug because what's done is done?
This is a close up of my CHS A Haunting Mermaid. She's quite pissed off about the whole situation and I have been trying hard to focus on her being what any BP official sees when they close their eyes and if they don't fix this mess she will haunt them to their dying days.
Here's a pic of my progress. It's a horrible picture but hey, isn't that what you've come to expect here from the Ranch? Crappy camera, unskilled photographer and no freakin' lighting! Click to make bigger.

So I started my Jane Atkinson some time last year, above you see meager progress. Want to see the true awesomeness of Jane? Of course you do. Go check out Margaret's progress on her Jane, I think she just started stitching her last Friday, I kid, I kid. She's been working on a little longer than that but not by much: Days of a Sampler Lover: See Jane's leaves
On Monday I had planned to stop by the local thrift store but the neighbor I dislike was just walking in so I came on home. She makes me want to puke and the thrift store is small, so yesterday I popped in a for a quickie look around and found a few things.

What you see above is The Golden Rule by Lutterloh out of Germany. It's the 1969 edition. It's a book all about making your own sewing patterns from just the measurements of your bust and I think your hips. I had to have it and since it was just 25 cents well it was in my budget.

Need sometihng to wear to the beach? Lutterloh has you covered.

Going shopping? Well whip up one of these ensembles and be the Belle of the Mall.

Then I saw these placemats. They are not my style, there are eight of them and the set was $5 but I couldn't leave them there. It's so wrong that someone made these and someone passed them on to the thrift store. The embroidery is so delicate and the backs are so neat.

And then for $1 I ran across this table set:

Yep, kind of uh, well, funky? There are three napkins and three coasters all stitched with this boat.

Then there's the tablecloth, with a Dutch girl stitched on there and the other end of the tablecloth has a windmill and the person made a niftly little bread basket liner with the Dutch girl stitched on it too and for a $1 I had to give them a home.
I may not be able to single handedly save my beloved Gulf but I will declare myself the Protector of All Misfit Stitching! Think there's a pattern for a stitching superhero suit in the Lutterloh binder?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Yeah, I'm Really Pissed Off Now

For those of you that buy into BP's BS that the Gulf of Mexico is a "vast ocean" here are some facts: The Atlantic Ocean is approx. 41,105,000 square miles. The Pacific Ocean is 64 million square miles, the Indian Ocean is 17 million square miles, the Gulf of Mexico is 615,000 square miles.

The Gulf of Mexico is basically a lake compared to the oceans that cover the earth. So please people, pay attention to the news, what BP is saying and what they aren't saying. They are now telling us that the oil is magically evaporating thanks to the dispersants, chances are the oil and dispersants are just sinking to the floor of the Gulf. How many mutant fish, turtles, dolphins and sharks will we see in the not so distant future? How many of us will have children born with disabilities because we consumed fish that was reported to be safe but in fact was contaminated by the dispersants that the Gulf is being filled with? No one knows the long term effects of these chemicals, it's all about the Benjamins.

I beg everyone to please thoughtfully consider every petroleum related purchase you make in the future and I'm not saying that I can walk away from gas and oil, especially since my husband drives for a living, but we can all make minor changes to reduce our need for oil. I'm not suggesting anything radical, I can't make major big time changes but I can make small ones and any thoughtful change can make a difference.

Please when you watch the news, take a minute to fact check what the oil industry is reporting.

Monday, May 03, 2010


Today I wish I was writing of frivilous wonderful stitching things but I can't. Today I am writing to tell you all about my place. If you've read this blog for anything length of time I'm sure you know how much I love where I live. I can't imagine anyone not wanting to live here in North West Florida. It's a special place. It's a beautiful place. And where I live isn't as developed as most and I don't ever want it to be. If you vacation in my town you are here for one reason and one reason only, you love the beach. Why is that? Because Dude, it's all we have. We don't have any water parks, we have only a few restaurants and only a handfull of chain restaurants. There's one or two touristy type shops. We have two groceries and a Walmart. We have two hotels and they aren't even on the beach. One is on the sound and one is across the highway from that, snuggled in between the Taco Bell and the KFC. When we moved here I had almost as many books as the local library and even had way more books on tape than they did.

Over the last few days I've thought a lot about how tired I was of this place over the winter. I was deeply jealous of those that had snow and short dark days, and the perfect excuse to cook something slow in the oven, build a fire, and hunker down with a pile of stitching. You see, where I live, when the sun is out as it tends to be the better part of the year, there is this need to be outside, soaking up that vitamin D that so much of the country is lacking come the dark days of February. There is this deep guilt, at least for me, at sacrificing any beautiful day to the indoors. Mother Nature calls me out constantly, begging me to drink in her beauty, not hide inside. Sometimes I found her calls so very annoying when I wanted to be indoors getting a good solid case of stitch ass. But it's not who I am. I am that girl sitting on the porch with a book or some stitching, do I need to admit how dirty my stitching gets from stitching outside? It's one of the reasons I don't find it too hard to stay with good old DMC, I can wash my needlework without a second thought. I am also that girl that wants to be on the beach every single minute of a gorgeous day. Not so much tanning but just sitting on the beach hoping for that random dolphin appearance. They don't swim by as often as you'd think. There's that excitement when walking on the beach in the early morning and you find turtle eggs. There's the thrill of finding an in perfect condition sand dollar. There are pelicans and herons and sea gulls that can spot a potato chip a mile away and then before you know it you are swarmed like a scene out of Hitchcock's The Birds. There is white sand. There's the scent of Coppertone and Hawaiian Tropic. There are the screams of kids getting knocked down by waves and the full throttled scream of that kid whose feet have never touched sand, never seen a wave, and it won't happen this day. These are the sites and sounds of my place. But now that view has changed. Not from a hurricane but a situation created by man.
This is Boom, it's stretched across many, many miles of the Gulf coast right now.

This boom is protecting a bird sanctuary in Pensacola Bay or maybe it's the sound, I get them confused. Should I share with you that after taking these pictures I slipped in some gunk on the sidewalk and fell right on my big old butt, right in front of Sunday traffic on Bayfront Parkway? I am so freakin' graceful it's not even funny.
This morning it was reported that 20 sea turtles were found dead on the beach in Pass Christian, Mississippi. This is only the beginning.
The oil is still gushing from under the Gulf at 210,000 gallons a day, and some experts are saying that it could be more, there's just no way of knowing.
I am not a property owner, I don't live on the beach. We don't own a boat. I don't own a business, but this place, this place is mine. I spent most of my childhood planning my move to Pensacola Beach. I'm not there but I'm close. My dad talked for years about moving down here, after every family vacation, I didn't talk, I did it. I was lucky enough to marry someone willing to go where ever I wanted and it was here. The beaches are so much more than sand to me. They are my church, my cathedral, my holy place. They are where I go to connect with that Higher Power. These beaches, the Gulf, it's where I find strength, it's where I find my peace. The connection is deep and solid and real.
What is happening right now is beyond my comprehension. I am heartbroken and I'm pissed off.
I do not support off shore drilling and I don't vote for politicians who do. There are people much smarter than me who said this kind of tragedy could never happen but I always thought it was a possibility. It only makes sense.
There is so much I want to say and I can't find the words. For many people across the country what is happening down here is nothing more than a phone call or two to change vacation plans, for those of us living and working and raising families down here the oil slick will change our lives for many years to come. Some small fishing businesses and restaurants may never bounce back.
I ask all of you reading this to please pay attention to the news stories, check out my local papers online:
And our local tv station:
Let's hope BP's Dome Plan works because Plan B will take a minimum of 60 days to put into action. As it is Plan A will take at least a week to get in place and it's truly a crapshoot as to whether or not it will work.