When Knitters Protest

The upside to numerous medical appointment driving: I’ve been in four different towns in  three days. One of them was the infamous dog park town. Definitely breaks up the monotony, to drive all these places.

Knitters there have “tagged” a light post and a bicycle rack, by literally knitting around it.  I look at the yellow bicycle rack cozy, and the red striped lamp-post warmer.

I resist the urge to shove my fist in the air and shout “Solidarity!”

There is an underground guerilla knitting cell here.  I was a member.

We met secretly in each other’s homes, knitting our hearts out, without patterns. 

Now THIS was knitting on the edge. We were tough, reveling in the gritty front line of no-holds-barred, full-bore, all out knitting. I knit my first pair of gloves here, starting at the wrist, and knitting up the hand, trying on as I went, deciding to *offset the thumbs.

*Translation: making a right and a left glove, because, if you look at your hands, they aren’t interchangeable, and the thumbs sit down and more toward the palm.

Nice to remember my glory rebel days, when knitting wasn’t a granny occupation, but an act of defiance, refusing to be owned by the corporate pattern companies.

Hey, everyone has to have their own comfort level at defying the status quo.  Mine just happened to involve pointy sticks and string.

Odd. Yesterday, a different town had a public trash can “tagged” by a guerilla knitter. S/he presumably knitted around the can in the dark of night.  Huh. It was right outside my favorite bookstore.

Today, more waiting in yet another town.  I walked down to Starbucks to kill time, past the library, and was startled to see  more knitted “tagging”.

Well.  Who can argue with that sentiment?  Not me!

I’m not sure if this is a local movement, or there is a bigger, more focused grass-roots movement, to protest or call for support, via Rebel Knitters. As far as I can tell, it’s been focused around…books…?

I wonder how dangerous it would be to contact my former cell…

Update: thanks to our wonderful commentors, we learn knitting is being used all over the world as a powerful protest tool.  Some examples (click on photo for original site):

Tank Cozy:

Knitted House and Landscape:

Street signs:

A bus in the UK:

It’s called guerilla knitting or “yarn bombing”, as crochet is often an easier tool to wrap things in. In fact, here’s a great blog on the subject:

Yarn Bombing

Now pardon me, I have a knitted bus to catch before I miss the movement!


Jane Gives a Turtle a Shot, And We Find Out Stuff…

Rereading the last post, I realize how wonderful you are.  You read it, and there’s not one bad comment!  In my head, the last post was…cohesive…and…


I marvel at my capacity for wishful thinking.

So here’s the deal: I’ll keep posting, and it may or may not be readable interesting, and hopefully, my sense of humor will be tricked into returning.

Great inspiration for doing, not thinking, can be found at The Barb Wire. (Thank you, Tamara!)


Photo of a Florida Box Turtle (Terrapene carol...

Once upon a time, there was a woman named, oh I don’t know….Jane…who lived in a house with 32 front stairs, in a dust-scented, sun-dappled redwood forest. Her three horses lived a few miles away.

She was definitely not in danger of being a crazy cat-lady. She only had two cats.

And two dogs, and four parrots, and one bunny, and one large box turtle, Celeste.

One day, Jane noticed Celeste wasn’t feeling well.

Jane liked to watch Celeste eat. Celeste’s fast snatching, and slow, methodical chomping made her think of prehistoric things like raptors,  T-Rex’s,  tangly jungles, and plants that eat bugs.

Everyone knows these things are cool, and much nicer to think about than calculating wholesale output + shipping costs, X expected shelf foot-print, X expected turn over time, = potential markup.

Or having to ask the really big shirtless guy to please remove the expensive silk scarf he’s trying to shoplift out of his armpit.

Yes, watching Celeste poke her head out of her expandable neck, and snap up a piece of lettuce like a predator, then freeze, presumably to see if a bigger predator happened to notice her, is a lot more fun than looking up at a big smelly guy while both of you pretend it’s normal that he’s pulling an unpaid-for scarf out of …blech.


Celeste’s golden eyes were dull. She hadn’t moved all night. A normal person would kiss the box turtle goodbye.  Abnormal people cart their turtles to the reptile veterinarian for a check up.

The vet is surprised to see a common box turtle. He usually sees only very rare and expensive reptiles. He was probably thinking, “why doesn’t she just kiss the box turtle goodbye?”.

In what appears to be a miracle of divination, since Jane never left the exam room, the vet simply picks the turtle up, turns her this way and that, and determines that Celeste is suffering from an acute inner ear infection. (?!?)

She would need injections of antibiotics twice a day.  Clear that sucker right up.

We’re all horse people, and we know how to give injections.  How different can a turtle be?

The vet kinda can’t believe Jane’s onboard.

But he fills a syringe, grabs a leg, and shows her how to inject the antibiotic in between the scales of Celeste’s, uh, forearm.

When it’s time for antibiotics at home, Jane is pleasantly surprised: it’s easy to give a turtle a shot, and it seems pain-free.

The next morning, Celeste is bright-eyed. She glares at Jane for being late with breakfast.  Jane is so so happy Celeste is better!  Look, she’s totally grumpy!  Jane feeds her, and gets ready for work, thinking she’ll give shot #3 on her way out the door.

Jane fills the syringe within sight of Celeste, who appears to notice nothing. This time, when Jane reaches her hand out to pick up Celeste, the turtle snaps herself shut like a boulder, one eye glint barely visible in the darkest recess of her shell. Not even a toenail is poking out with which to try to pry her open.

Jane is surprised:

  • Turtles are smart?
  • Gee, it probably does sting.
  • Now what?

Jane calls the vet. “How do we give a shot to a rock?”

He says, “You’re going to laugh.”

Jane says, “Try me.  I’m late for work.”

The vet says “Put her on the carpet flat side down, and push her.  Like a kid would push a toy car.” he pauses, “I know this sounds  unbelievable, but she’ll think she’s walking, and she’ll begin to walk.  Then you can grab a leg.”

Jane is highly doubtful of this technique.  Celeste has used an ancient skill of self-protection perfected by her ancestors over millions of years. Pushing her like a toy car?

But Jane removes her high heels, kneels on the carpet, and plays “car” with Celeste.

After a few passes and a half-hearted Vroom, Vroom, Celeste pokes her head out to check her legs: am I walking?

A leg pokes out. In a very short amount of time, Celeste is scuttling on her own, as fast as possible, away from the crazy human gleefully shouting “VROOM VROOM”.

Got the leg. Got the injection.  Turtle made a full recovery.


How this relates to the blog:

There are hard things in our lives at the moment. We have two more surgeries scheduled for our still sick family member in April and May. We can’t exactly remember what it feels like not to be constantly worried and afraid. WE NEED TO LAUGH.

I’m thinking if I just tell you the clammed-up truth, pick up the blog, make car noises, and push it in silly ways, maybe my sense of humor will poke out its rusty, pre-historic scaled legs, make a break for it, and we can catch it while it’s fleeing?

Just thinking about sitting on the floor in my stockings, trying to grab the leg of a turtle determined to make it past the Himalaya of my handbag makes me laugh.

Want to help me give a turtle a shot?

My No Longer Top Secret Favorite Place to Shop

Must. Share. Laughter.

Archie McPhee

The catalog is enough to make you laugh through an entire Monday…even if you’re returning from a 3-day weekend. 

It’s that good.

I go when I need to cheer up. Just knowing this stuff is in a warehouse somewhere allows me to sleep at night.

Why it’s my #1:

  1. Bacon. Frosting.
  2. Horse Head Masks (watch the video!!)
  3. Bag O Gladiators
  4. Bling Bandaids
  5. Brain Pop (candy)
  6. Charles Dickens Action Figure (if the gladiators don’t work out.)
  7. Deluxe Rubber Chicken
  8. Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure (if Charles Dickens doesn’t work out.)
  9. Dashboard Monk (or Zombie, Jesus, Hula Girl)
  10. Great Ideas Napkin Sketchbook

Impatience is a Good Thing…

…when it allows you to drop the reins, film your horse, and claim he’s being gentlemanly.

Open, closed, if it’s in his way, it bugs him. He’ll close the arena gate as we pass by if it was left open, and is blocking the line on the rail.

Oh Hudson, how I love thee!

Ah, Spring.

So far, this has incited Hudson into two jail breaks.

#1: After getting shoes. He has a most excellent farrier, Dane, who offered to return him to his paddock (probably so I’d stop hanging around trying to look busy, neither of them need me to be present) when done being shod.

I go to the feed store.

An hour later, Laurie spots them surreptitiously grazing in an inconspicuous spot quite close to their paddock. They think we won’t notice the lack of fencing in front of them. Laurie said both their attitudes were something like this: “No no, we’re fine. We’re supposed to be here.  Just grazing.  Near our paddock.  See? There’s a fence.”

#2: Bella steps out her back door in time to see Hudson pick the lock on the main gate, setting himself and Woodrow free.  This gate is closed with a horse-proof carabiner type clip. We still don’t know how he managed this feat.

I generally have to fuss with it to get it open. It’s a clumsy operation.

Hudson and Jane are back on the ouchy-achey road to fitness. Six weeks off of Real Riding might as well be a year for me.  I don’t have even half an Ab left. My inner thighs are sore from posting for ten minutes.

(Oh, the SHAME…I mean, um, it’s so, uh, good to be reminded of what beginning riders have to go through…)

You may  have to put up with less than stellar blogging as my brain takes the ouchy-achey road back to thinking…

(FYI, I missed you guys a LOT!)

In Which We Ignore Armchair Psychology and Go For the Frosting

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall……does this horse make my butt look small…?

Our relative sizes fuels my denial, so I can continue to use frosting for comfort. Who wouldn’t look small next to that engine? I’m not sure if I am sabotaging my desire to fatten up, or sabotaging my desire to slim down: I’m hitting the gym, as well as the frosting.

Now, we will bore you with a simile or an allegory. I can’t remember which is which:

A number of years ago, Shaun wandered out into our verdant backyard with a glass of iced tea, where she found me kneeling  next to a flower border, trowel in hand, smeared with dirt, and laughing like a lunatic.

For most people, this would be a signal it’s time to hear their mother calling. But Shaun is braver than most people.

“Do I want to know why you’re laughing?”, she says, sipping her tea.

“Yup”, I say, trying to contain giggles, absolutely convinced I’m SO FUNNY.

Shaun makes a rolling motion with her hand: continue.

“I just planted Ajuga next to Lambs Ears, in front of the Japanese anemones!!”  I double over in a new fit of laughter.

Shaun considers this.  “And this is funny, because…?”

Continue reading “In Which We Ignore Armchair Psychology and Go For the Frosting”

Rebel With a Clause: The Dreaded New Year’s Resolution List

English: A cake.

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions.

Why? Because I, Jane, am a rebel. Unfortunately, I’m a practical rebel, who knows her limitations. My lists contain escape clauses.

This is how every New Year’s Resolution Lists turn out:

  •  I will not eat cake more than once a month.
  • I will not eat cake more than once a week.
  • I will not eat cake every day.
  • I will go to the gym every day: 30 minutes of cardio, 30 minutes of weights.
  • I will go to the gym every day: 30 minutes on the treadmill with the TV.
  • I will look at the gym every day, and consider going through the door.
  • I will randomly think about the gym. While eating cake.
  • I will enjoy long walks in the rain with my dog, and see it as quality time. (Instead of walking ten feet and saying “will you POOP already?”)
  • I will endure long walks in the rain with the dog, no complaining.
  • I will consider dashing out between sprinkles without yelling “POOP!” at the top of my lungs.
  • I will think before I speak.
  • I will pause as if I’m thinking before I speak.
  • I’m just going to blurt it out.
  • I will stop apologizing for everything.  (It’s kind of a tic)
  • I will stop apologizing for the dumb stuff.
  • I’m sorry: sorry sorry sorry
  • I will organize the file drawer and keep it updated.
  • I will organize the stuff to file, so it’s easy to file later.
  • I will shred anything that is not notarized.
  • I will blog better.
  • I will blog.
  • I will blather a lot on the internet.
  • I will rekindle my fashion sense, and update my style.
  • I will check my color wheel before shopping.
  • I’ll buy a new T-shirt.
  • I will keep the interior of my car vacuumed, and wash it once a week.
  • I will throw out the trash that accumulates in the car, daily.
  • I will shove all the crap under the seats.
  • I’ll make a reasonable budget, and stick to it.
  • I’ll make a budget, and look at it before spending.
  • I’ll spend and panic.
  • I will make it my mission to spread cheer and goodness in the world every day.
  • I’ll say something positive at least once during the day.
  • I’ll tell my mom she looks nice, some time this year.
  • I will stop procrastinating.
  • I will procrastinate less.
  • I’ll figure it out later.

I tried reverse psychology one year (one can hope that one is seriously stupid):

  • I will eat cake every day.
  • I will make a nest on the sofa so I only have to forage for food and fresh clicker batteries.
  • I’ll teach the dog how to flush the toilet to avoid winter walks
  • I’ll say really stupid stuff often: it will just be out there that I’m an imbecile. I won’t have to wonder if it shows.
  • I will pile all the paper up on my desk.
  • I’ll never write anything. Ever.
  • I’m not leaving my nest, so who cares about style? Bonus: nixes spending issues.  Can’t reach computer.
  • I’m going to be really negative, grouchy and cranky.  It’ll be fun!
  • I’ll turn procrastinating into the form of high art it deserves to be.

Oddly, this was the only year my resolutions worked.  After a week of perfect sloth, indifference, crankiness and an extremely disgruntled dog, I had to quit.

Fine. I’m lying.  I lasted two days.

You can get pizza delivered easily.  Why is there no cake delivery service? Isn’t that a no-brainer? When more than half the population of the world is women?

1-800-dial-a-slice. I think I’ll start a company.


Jane’s Hiring: Must Be Good With Convolution, One-Trackness, and Brain Routing

My friends are  professionally accomplished, and have big important jobs.  Using classic Under-Achiever logic, I feel I don’t need to do more with my life, because they are doing so much. It’s kind of like I’m achieving by association. (Keep up the good work, guys! I like feeling important.)

The big important jobs happen in the big important city. Super Achieving friends have major commute. Months-without-sleep kind of commutes.

They never whine. I never hear about freezing at the bus stop at 3 am or the four hours a day some friends spend driving back and forth to their jobs.

I’m only on day three of driving back and forth to San Francisco. (I do not get to call it a commute: by the time I hit the freeway, everyone is finally up to the speed limit, I have an “ish” arrival time, and I do not have to apply mascara at an ungodly hour.) Annoyingly, I still want to whine.

I don’t have to be functional when Tokyo comes online. I just have to stay in my lane.

The Under-Achiever in me feels super important about how well I stay in my lane.

Re-wiring issue #1: No Whining.  I think we all understand why it’s imperative to keep Jane from whining about the drive. She’d like to keep her friendships.

Re-wiring issue #2: Because my usual commute involves a short hallway and bunny slippers, my brain believes driving to San Francisco is a Road Trip.  If you regularly follow this blog, you immediately know why this is a bad thing.  If my brain continues to send out Mayday “Road Trip” signals, I will never fit into my skinny jeans again.

Yesterday I needed more caffeine to keep up my excellent lane-management skills.  I stopped at a gas station for a diet Coke. Twenty-seven seconds of aisle-frenzy later, I was sitting in my car staring at a candy bar (love),  vinegar potato chips (hate), a pack of gum (?) and a diet Coke. All for the low, low gas station price of fifteen bucks.

Amend the above: if I don’t stop the Road Trip mentality, I will be fat and broke. I yell at my brain.

Jane: This is not a Road Trip!

Brain: I know. Sheesh. What was THAT all about?

Jane: Um. Shouldn’t you know what that was all about?

Brain: Nope. Sorry. Take it to a shrink. Not my job.

Jane: C’mon! You’re the brain, you’re in charge!

Brain: Hello. Obviously I am not in charge.  Look down.  Vinegar chips.  9:30 am.  I rest my case.

I have to concede the point. It knows I don’t like vinegar potato chips. In fact, I can’t remember my brain ever suggesting I buy them.


IT Position: Laid back company with “ish” mentality, welcomes driven, proven, IT managers with systems routing experience. Must have current psychotherapy license, sense of humor, patience, and strong “Mother says NO” attitude capabilities. Fast reflexes a must: light duty cellophane bag snatching is required.  Salary commensurate with results.

Any takers…?

Hudson on Happiness…

Dear Jane,

I’m totally onboard with our fitness plan.  I love to be super fit, love to go, love to show off my stamina.  Please do not take this as a “back off” letter.

I’m thrilled – and astonished – that we continued to workout through the Celebration of Carrots holiday. (I know humans call this season by a bunch of other names, but trust me, all equines know ’tis Season of Carrots.)

I heard you announce you were ‘going to get a photo of me looking happy, if it killed you’. Let me spell it out. Happiness is not all, “ears forward”.

Behold: I Am Happy…

Notice my muzzle is not visible.  The submerged muzzle is a key indicator to happiness in horses.

This IS my happy face. I can’t help it you know exactly what I’m thinking.

Where was I? Oh, right. Workouts.

You’re going to have to clip me.  Whole body. I know it’s not supposed to be 65 degrees at the end of December. Repeat after me: Climate. Change. I’m dying here.

I’d like a manly, flashy tattoo.  Motorcycle flames would rock.  (I need compensation for the ‘Dressage Horse’ thing.)

BTW, Shaun sent  me the photo of you wearing your new hat. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Now THIS is a donkey I can live with.

You kill me.  I thought DQ’s had no sense of humor…

Please send me Dinero’s email and chat ID.  I’m going to Skype on Bella’s computer. I heard Dinero is officially retired from roping (man oh man, I know how he feels).  I want to stay in touch. Plus, no one does innocent sarcasm like Dinero.  I need to have a buddy to help me rag on Woodward.

Please pass on to…Santa: a Mrs. Pasture’s Easy Bake Oven is a vital gift,  a life-altering gift.

A new turn out blanket? Superfluous. I don’t mind the drafty old one.