Twenty: 52





 the 52 project.
Portraits of my main squeezes, every week.


O, this week you…

…keep asking me when kitty will come home and all I can say is that I don’t know, that he may not, but we can still love him forever.

…took apart your old bike, just to do it. You broke it down completely, dividing up the parts into piles of what you might like to keep around for repairs and what you will repurpose for building projects, like that robot you keep talking about. Nothing is trash, and I think that’s pretty great.

…were really interested in the process of getting our bees situated this time around. We’ll enjoy watching them work this summer.

C, this week you…

…made it through, even though it was a tough one. We are stretched thin and feel a lot of pressure from many sources. We’re strong for each other, and I am grateful.

…felt disappointed when you didn’t get as far with the garden prep as you wanted to this weekend. Breaking new ground with only hand tools…it’s punishing, exhausting labor and, being the observer, I’m amazed at how much you were able to change the landscape. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

…set up the beeeeeees, and they seem happy in their new digs.

…kept yourself distracted and busy, as did I, so as not to constantly wonder if kitty will ever come home again.



Summer Things

Remember the skep?

C took a peek the other day to see what’s been happening inside of it…

You can see the clipped end of the branch that held the clump of bees…in a few short months they turned the empty space of the woven basket into a home. Some holes have been drilled in the top of the skep and a super placed above it so the bees can move up. We’ll leave them alone for a week or so and then check to see if they are using the drilled holes as a passageway or just filling them up.

In between the third and fourth attempts at getting the colors right on a custom order (and, by golly, the fourth time was a charm! Phew!), Nonna took The Boy and I to the Knowland Park Zoo. I have mixed feelings about the concept of the zoo, in general, but this particular zoo has made tremendous improvements since I used to visit it when I was a kid, for the animals as well as the visitors. The elephants were playing, the meerkats were wrestling and the male chimp was showing his bravado for the two new males who were introduced the same day we visited the park. It was all rather exciting and I didn’t leave with that awful feeling that the animals in captivity were miserable. Later, I read up on their conservation efforts, both globally and on the zoo property, and felt pretty decent about the whole experience.

The Boy had hoped the tiger would see him and want to be friends. I hadn’t thought to mention, when penciling up his face, that tigers don’t tend to run in social groups. Maybe he would have wanted a meerkat face instead. It was a moot point, anyway, as the tiger was resting in some shady grass and doing his best to ignore the humans.

Outside the zoo there’s a wee amusement park, where The Boy experienced his first roller coaster ride. It was painted up like a tiger, too. Anyway, now he says he wants to do more things that are “fun and scary at the same time.” So I invited him to accompany me to yesterday’s dental appointment, where all kinds of exciting things happened involving numbing needles and syringes full of goo and strange tools for taking things on and off the implant screw…it was fun and scary at the same time. In two weeks I will finally have a real fake tooth. Three years in the making, and just in time for corn on the cob to hit the farmer’s market.

Oh, and somebody please tell me how I could possibly have forgotten to tell you lovely people that you can now find The Spun Monkey handspun yarns and handmade felt at the shiny new Purl Jam yarn shop in Califon, NJ? I’m terrible at self-promotion, that’s how. But, there you have it…now GO and check it out!


Some Things

* The shelling peas are getting fat.

* The jarring of the latest batch of kimchi is on the schedule for tomorrow morning. I’ve been listening to it joyfully percolating in the crock. I love you, early cabbage.

* I came home this afternoon to find C tending the hives. He added another super and fiddled with frames, had the stirred up bees swarming around him…all sans suit. He’s feeling a great deal calmer about everything since injury forced him out of work last week. Without carrying all that stress around, he can exude the peaceful confidence required to handle bees without full-body protective gear. He still had his head net and gloves, of course…it’s not as if he’s asking for trouble. Working with the bees is becoming a meditation for him and he approaches them without fear. So far, he has not once been stung and, from what he can tell, the hive is quite happy. Yay bees!

* Road trip this weekend is canceled. The forecast for central Oregon is flippity-flopping back and forth about that “R” word…and I’m not really interested in waking up in a soggy sleeping bag. Hopefully, no rain for the Black Sheep Gathering because we’ll be heading up for that rain or shine.

* There is some Navajo-Churro fleece in my near future. Some for you and some for me. I cannot wait.

* I’m going to bed happy and tired, on account of I’m all “swimmy.” I spent a lot of time in VT in the water, but I realized today that I never actually swam. There was a lot of wading. A lot. With a toddler. Now I have a boy who doesn’t mind hanging out on a noodle with his auntie while I swim some laps. Wow. It sure did bring back some warm, fuzzy childhood memories to come home and feel so tuckered in that way only swimming makes you tuckered and HUNGRY. So hungry! Dinner tasted amazing.

* More yarn going up. I’m stalling on nuno photos…maybe C should start modeling them instead.


*Happy Thursday. xoxoxo

Blessed with Bees!

Yesterday, we had our third swarm in two weeks.

This time it was a bowling ball-sized clump up in the pear tree. I didn’t get a picture, as it would have involved getting up on the ladder without protective gear, but C was able to clip a branch with about one third of the bees attached. He placed it in his hand-built skep and while we ate our dinner, the rest of the clump moved right on in!

It was mid-afternoon when the swarm was noticed, and so there wasn’t any time to lose in hunting down another box. C whipped up this skep in less than thirty minutes from a woven basket we used to keep toys in. Since we didn’t have any cow manure on hand for a more traditional variety, C mixed up a little plaster to cover the outside of the basket, set it on a base that provided them with an entry/exit point and voila! Home Sweet Buzzy Home.

As of this morning, there is not a bee left in the pear tree, and only a few still lingering on the rose arbor.

The box and skep are now ocupado and we have a stack of books on beekeeping from the library.

In other news, I am likely to update the shop this weekend…there are tons of wool bits for crafters, perhaps a few yarns. I am hoarding for several reasons, however…MDSW is coming up, where Cloverhill Yarn Shop will have my wares, Purl Jam is opening up in Califon, NJ with a selection of Monkeyspun, and Bazaar Bizarre at Maker Faire is fast approaching. I will do my best, though, to keep the shop in order, and also to provide Urban Fauna Studio some fresh yarns. In the meantime, I will be teaching an art yarn workshop there this weekend and will be scheduling felting workshops as well as new installments of the SpinLab series of classes. Contact me to sign up for the newsletter if you are local to any these areas and would like a reminder! And please let me know if you have any special requests for workshops in the SF or East Bay Area.