What The Hay

Crafty Hayseed Goodness!

Dragonfly Cloth August 29, 2007

Filed under: Alabama,projects — clothespin @ 3:58 pm

Ah, Alabama. Yes indeed, I can profess great love of the state that claims heritage to both the first and third world. Much around Auburn has been a pleasant surprise. A lovely dog park, much lower traffic in the town, access to national forests a short drive away and a few other things that I can’t remember right now. These are the happy first world things.

The third world things though, well, they nearly take away all of the points earned by the first world. In fact, the drivers license folks very nearly take the cake for the most asinine system ever conceived in all of organized intelligent humanity. A process that in other states takes at most an hour, maybe two… took all day for me yesterday.

After arriving at 6:30am (yes, in the morning!) to get into line outside of the office, which, by the way, is no where near a government building and is in a strip mall of moldering outlet stores, I began knitting. I came prepared, knowing that I would be there a long time… a little project that would take my mind off of the long line and produce something I can use. Plus, it had a dragonfly on it…
After making it inside of the office at 8 am, the nice little girl at the desk said that hubby and I had mis-read the requirements and I would not be able to get a license with the papers that I had. Did I mention that I got up at 6am for this? So, loosing my place in line, I drive home, looked for the birth certificate still in a box, and decided that lines at neighboring counties couldn’t be as long. Right?

The neighboring county that had an office open yesterday said that indeed, their line was short, come on down. So, a 45 minute drive in the scenic Alabama hills later, I arrived at this tiny ratty mobile home in a huge lot behind something that resembled a government building. As soon as I entered, a lady in a blue uniform informed us that any new folks that had arrived (at 10am) would most likely not be seen today as there were too many other folks in line ahead of us. There were 6 people. It was 10am. So, I left.

I then went shopping and ate lunch, then went by hubby’s office to show him the pretty new purse that I had bought (still not sure about it) to replace my not as grown up purse… He then told me that the line at the place I started at in the morning was reportedly shrinking, so go back and see how it was.

I arrived, got my name on the list, and sat, knitting on the same cloth, for another 2 hours. Some of the folks in there had been there since 8am and were still there. There was no guarantee that I would get a new license that day, but my options were sit and hope or go home and get up again at 6 and sit for at least another 2 1/2 hours – AGAIN. So, I stayed and knit, and jokingly offered the dishcloth as a bribe to the cute girl at the desk… (though, I’m not sure that I was kidding…)


I did get the license and I still have my cloth. I found the pattern at the Purple Duckie. It’s made with hemp yarn, which made it a bit stiff to work up, but should hold up well to daily use. I like it pretty well, it was easy to make and didn’t take too long… I may even make another. Hmm… I wonder if my knitting needles fit into that new purse?


Delilah August 15, 2007

Filed under: Alabama,family — clothespin @ 6:58 pm

Hey there Delilah. Welcome home.


This is our newest family member! She came to us from the local animal shelter and totally won my heart the first day that I met her. I was crouching in her kennel door (A-10) and she slowly walked up towards me and put her head on my shoulder.

The entire time I was with her, and on every visit after the first day, I kept replaying in my head that blasted TV commercial where the very sad dogs are in the shelter and the announcer says something along the lines of “I don’t know why I am here, but I know that I am a good dog and I just want to go home.” That commercial has to be one of the best ones ever written for adopting a shelter dog. And, I kept thinking about it and her and…


I am feeling a bit sad… this is the only addition to our family that we’ve made since Carbon passed, and I can’t help but think of him. But, while I will always love him and there will never ever be a replacement, I have slowly come to realize that there is space in our family and that now is probably the right time.

Delilah is no Carbon (those will always be impossibly big paw prints to fill) but she is a true sweetie. Not to say that we aren’t having a few issues. She IS a shelter dog after all. The first little concern is that our sweet innocent girl isn’t so pure and pristine and one would think just by looking at her. Nope, she was 3 weeks pregnant when the vet spayed her. (There’s more information on the reason’s to spay or neuter your pet.) So, now her hormones are going all wacknoid and she’s no doubt pretty sore… but it is so much better than more puppies that would have to be found a home.

The other issues include being scared when someone walks up behind her and she didn’t see them coming – will have to work on her not growling at them when that happens. She also wants to chase the cat, who is less than pleased with the new addition to say the least. She also has this great desire to keep me to herself and growls at the Monster when he comes close. Well, she did that once and then was promptly educated as to why that is such a very bad idea. Basically, Delilah has entered Doggie Bootcamp. After learning that I am “Queen Goddess of the Universe and Bearer of all thing Food”, she’ll adjust and learn the new rules and will soon be a well behaved little pup. And, as hubby and a friend have reminded me – Monster was sooooo much worse than this when we took him from the shelter! He’s great now, so there’s no questions that the little girl will be fab, too.


The good side of this is – she seems to be house trained already! She also wanted to hang out in her crate. We are folks who have fostered countless dogs over the years, her willingly going into a crate is a true first for us. She loves people and doesn’t seem to mind the kiddos and is even walking on leash (in Petco, way too hot for jaunts in the park, especially for one recovering from surgery) fairly well. Plus, it’s really nice having a girl… and while I have no intention of putting her into clothes, I did get to buy a really pretty girly collar!



She’s also getting her own pretty bed… it’s in the sewing machine as we speak. I would have had it finished today, but the local power folks are not all that swift and the lights went out for 4 hours in the middle of a 100 degree day for no apparent reason. So, the bed is still in the sewing machine… I’ll post pictures of it when I get it finished – hopefully tomorrow.

Delilah is home and think that our Alabama girl is going to be a great fit.


Green to Craft July 25, 2007

Filed under: Alabama,house stuf,projects — clothespin @ 11:13 am

So, I’ve been in Alabama for a few weeks now… and been busy unpacking.  Things have finally settled down and  the unpacking is nearing an end.  The Monster dog has a fenced yard, I have a new washing machine and soon will put up a clothesline!


The other great thing was the addition of a queen sized bed to our lives… both hubby and I are tall people and have needed a bigger bed for years.  Sleep is so much better on this!


 My favorite part about this house has to be the kitchen.  Aren’t the curly bits above the window just great?  Why do remodeling shows always demolish this?  The cabinets go all the way to the ceiling and while you short folks out there may not appreciate this – us tall folks love the space!

It is true that the kitchen wall color is not the greatest.  Auburn University does have the orange school color going on… though maybe not this shade of orange.  I had temporarily thought of repainting it – it would look so much better in a color like light green… And the floor would be so CUTE in the old black and white square linoleum… But, this IS a rental and who knows how long we’ll be here?


 Plus, after hubby realized that these quaint old circuit breakers aren’t just remnants but truly do work (!) he decided that we’re definitely not staying here longer than our lease.


The other deciding factor in not painting the kitchen is that I have decided that I don’t like painting.  You see, I painted the craft room.  The only room in the house with real hard wood floors, it also has real fake wood paneling!  This room is definitely an add on – you can tell by the number of plug-ins in the walls… and is my favorite room.  It has windows on 3 sides!  Great light, away from the rest of the house and a cute little closet (not in the picture) to hide craft stuff.


As I am a child of the 70’s and my parents still have the paneling up on their walls… I tend to not like paneling much.  So – I got the brilliant idea of painting the walls!  The landlady lets us take the cost for improvements off of the rent, which is really great – and she gets free labor out of it.  I really like the color of the walls now and will soon be filling in the rest of the space with the rest of my crafty stuff.


For now, I just wanted to let you see what it all looks like before it’s all cluttered.

So far, hubby is working like a fiend but does like his job.  I’m starting to look for work which stresses me out – I so hate job hunting.  The area around here is pretty enough and we have met some great people.  Change is good… and I hope to be sharing more of our new home town soon!


Farm House June 20, 2007

Filed under: Alabama,house stuf — clothespin @ 8:08 am

So, the most wonderful and amazing friend that I haven’t yet met, who lives in Auburn AL, sent me pictures of my new house!  The most I had been able to see prior to this morning were pictures off of Google Earth…

house picture from google earth

Ms. Julie sent real pictures, and did it without my even asking.  She has to win the award for person going above and beyond the call of duty for a complete stranger…

It’s a farm house, about 6 miles away from town, and it is MUCH bigger than the house that I currently live in.  I don’t know how much bigger, but it is bigger.  (It is possible, though difficult, to find a house smaller than my current house, though not one with 3 bedrooms.)


I am excited!   I can feel myself stretching out into all of the wondrous SPACE!  I can be alone in a room and still have the hubby be in the house at the same time!  More importantly, the litter box will not be in the bedroom and we will have laundry machines!  Hmm… wonder where I’m going to put the clothesline?


We will have to build a dog fence still, and who knows where that will go, hopefully including one of the trees near the barn but also connected to the house some way.


Now, at least, I am able to dream more accurately about my future, which is  a mere 9 days away…  I will stay positive and happy about this all… even while I miss all of you here…  But, think of it this way, now I have enough space for a sleepover with my Texas friends!


Home Sweet Home Alabama June 8, 2007

Filed under: Alabama — clothespin @ 7:45 am

I have a small confession to make. I do not love Texas. I know, it is a shock to many of you, but it is true.

I have found love and loved others in Texas, married in Texas and love my in-laws who will forever reside in Texas. I love many parts of Texas, but I am not in love with Texas. It’s a love worthy state, but doesn’t quite fit who I am or who I want to become.

To many Texans, this is blasphemy – and I think it is hard for a person who does love something to understand those of us who only tolerate the same thing. Many people that I’ve met while living here have never left the state. Admittedly, it is a very large state and is diverse in its landscape and people to where one might think that all they truly need or want resides within its borders. But still, to me, it is hard to definitively state true love if one has nothing to compare it to.


My sister once felt this way about a small cow town she used to live in right out of college. It was a nice town, she had a good job, it was close to family – why leave? After a while of bugging her, I told her that if she moved away to a new state, any state, for at least a year, and after that year could honestly say that she loved the cow town enough to move back, then I would believe her. It’s been seven years in the mountains and she will never go back to the cow town.

Ultimately, everyone has a place where they “fit” – that matches their personality and lifestyle. Some are lucky enough to be born in the place that is right for them, while there are those of us who must wander a while to other areas to find the right match. I think it is a bit like dating – there are many nice guys out there, but the girl has to find the “right” nice guy for her. I’m still looking for the right nice state….

So, I am once again taking my own medicine and leaving the state that I’ve called home for so many years. After the ginormous disappointment of not getting the job a couple of weeks ago, hubby was offered a different job last week. We are so excited! It is a good job and fits with our ethics and standards and is in the field that he loves. Our new home will be in Alabama and for hubby, other than his time spent in the military, will be the first time he’s ever lived out of the state of Texas.


Alabama is a good compromise for us, though in reality, his new company picked the location and we had no input on the decision. Still, Alabama is good in that it has topography and trees and hiking for me, occasional bits of snow (oh how I miss the seasons!) but not so much snow for hubby that he is miserable. It’s not a place that I’d ever considered moving to before (… the great dreams of Colorado and Maine!) but I think that it will be a place that I am happy in.

Hopefully, Alabama will be a state that I “fit” in. That it will be the “right” nice state and that we’ll get to be there for a while. It is a risk, but with great risk comes great rewards. Who knows, maybe Alabama has been the state of my dreams all along.