Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Knitter's Day at the Biker Boneyard

Well you know you can make anything relate to anything if you are interested in both. LoL.

Yesterday we went to what we refer to as the Biker Boneyard in Morristown, TN. I have been there before. It looks from the outside to be some innocuous brick building. Inside, it is like nothing you have ever seen, or imagined. It goes back (and back, and back) into the bowels of some of the filthiest "rooms" you have ever seen. There are leaks in the roof (because it doesn't matter if there are), so there are puddles of greasy sludge everywhere.

The rooms are "arranged" into rough categories... Large Kawasakis, 3 wheelers, rims, pipes (above left) , Hondas, Suzukis, Yamahas, scooters. Bike skeletons everywhere, in various stages of decay or pilferage. And EVERYWHERE, hanging from the ceiling like so many bats, are tanks. Every size, color, make, year, and stage of damage you can think of. Some of them are burned. Some are so scarred, you shudder to wonder if that biker walked away or ended up in a pine box.

You wander around, searching skeletons for the parts you need, hoping to find ones that will actually fit or at least Frankenstein on to your bike. If you find parts you think will work, you go and find one of the Biker Wizards who works there, who will follow you into the lightless depths with a super flashlight and toolbox. Or, you can take the parts off yourself and save!

I took a picture of one of the Wizards' shirts. A guy (possibly a manager? hard to tell) asked if I wanted a shirt. I told him I was going to spend enough money in here today, he could probably part with one for me. Off he went, to some mysterious cleaner place, and returned with THREE shirts. Pay dirt. I passed a woman (obviously a Boneyard Virgin) vigorously hurrying her husband out of there. She had a white shirt on. I didn't offer her one of mine. LOL.

You can find art anywhere you want to. There was a hole in the roof, where the bright outside sun was shining in and down on a particular wreck like a beacon. My daughter Des and I both looked at it, held our hands up and sang, "Ahhhh!" like a choir. Turns out that wreck didn't have the parts I needed, but I had to go look. When God speaks... at least check it out. LoL. She named this picture, "Yes, Lord."

There was one piece of brick wall, next to a doorway to an even danker room (I didn't go in), with a grim reminder. Shame it isn't always true.

People in cars who have never ridden a motorcycle don't realize at all what it is like to have to ride like at any moment, someone may not see you... may cut you off or maim you or deprive your kids of a parent.

I wish every motorist took our sport seriously and every motorcyclist rode with prudence and enjoyment of the sport to last a lifetime, not just a few possibly fatal thrills.

While Tony took off the parts we needed, I was kind of like a second set of thumbs. So Des and I set up some silly art and took the pics.

This first one is a 4-cylinder engine head. I stuck Mountain Dew bottles in it (they fit perfectly). Sorry about the lousy quality, I took the pic with a cell phone. Fueled by Dew. Doesn't get any better than that.

This ONE purple rim in a pile 6 feet (almost 2 meters) high of all other rims was too good to pass up. Purple is my favorite color, and it felt just like me, being different in a pile of sameness.

We found a wreck where the headlamp had been duct-taped on... had to have been BEFORE the wreck. Notice the headlamp then lasted better than the rest of the bike. The funny thing about this is that about 4 years ago a cycle shop sold us the wrong size headlamp. It wouldn't fit in the ring that holds it in place, so my dh taped around and around it with clear packing tape, which held the light in place for over a year. ROFLOL.

One bike seems to have had one of its guages mysteriously and oddly replaced by a Pirates of the Caribbean compass. Hmmm....

And, we hung around long enough to begin hallucinating Super Heroes dwelling in the nearly silent, still atmosphere of the warehouses. In fact, we caught glimpses of Spidey himself wrestling an instrument cluster off a particularly reticent bike...

And at another point, performing the grueling task of moving a larger-than-life Yahama tank off what must have been a subway train full of suffering humanity...

And his Alter Ego, Swinging ominously through the warehouse.

When all was said and done, I got the front triple tree, front forks, an instrument cluster (both guages and indicator lights), a set of handlebars, a clutch assembly, 2 clutch connector screws, and 2 clutch handles, for $200 cash. Well worth the trip.

We ate at Taco John's and by the time I came home, went to church, and got back home, I was nearly catatonic. But happy. We had a good time, a ROAD TRIP (always a thrill), and the bikes will BOTH ride again. Not to mention enjoyed some off-the-beaten-path art.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ok, So a Bunch More Pics

Today Beverly wanted her hair put up. Rare indeed. And she left it that way long enough for me to take a picture.

I had a monumental fail today, and the kids made me take a pic. See I am in the habit, if somebody drops food in the car, of rolling down the passenger window and PITCHING it quickly out at the vegetation on the side of the road. This is a triple benefit: it is completely biodegradable (so therefore not pollution), the local fauna (raccoons, opossums, and skunks) LOVE finding little sticky bits of banana or hot Doritos, and it completely unnerves the person in the passenger seat, for sudden bits of something to go whizzing past them out the window.

So when I dropped a chunk of Dorito down into my quart-size insulated mug of Mtn. Dew today, I hit the window button, FLUNG it toward the grass, MISSED the window by a good 6" and splattered Spicy Nacho Chip ala Mountain Dew all over the dashboard. FAIL!

Alright, I also enjoyed a modicum of success today. I got my CCW (Carry/Conceal Weapon) permit in the mail today. I am officially Legally Armed, until 2013. And don't THINK I wouldn't be serious to give an attacker a choice which nut to keep. I really AM a good shot.

I took pics of our chicks today, just because they are cute.

We lost 3 of them. It happens; they succumb to the Marek's vaccine if they were weak to begin with, and from past experience, we probably expect to lose about 1 chick per dozen. You can see they are beginning to get their wing feathers already. In 2 weeks they will be SO ugly, as the stems of their hackle (neck) feathers will start to come in, making them look something like porcupines. In a month, they will be feathered, little miniature chickens.

Alright, as promised, here are pics of Diantha's project that I got from UFO Administration. This was called Cuff Too Small. Someone had started, I think, a pair of socks. ONE sock. All they did was the cuff. First thing, Diantha claimed the yarn. Secondly, we divided it into 2 equal balls, for making a real pair of socks. Then she decided to make this tam. The pattern called for almost the whole lot of yarn (320 yards out of 400), but for some reason she got the entire tam out of one ball.

It was the first time Diantha ever followed a pattern of any kind, and it does have a few mistakes. But she likes it, and wants to make another one out of the other ball of yarn. Bravo, Diantha!

Here are flat pics (these are really NOT boobs, as one of my kids suggested):
I also got Etsy orders mailed today, from THREE shops (yippee!), got the kitchen cleaned, my room vacuumed (again), some laundry done and some folded, and a batt carded for Diantha's shop. She is feeling puny. I am going to card another batt like it, and hopefully in a day or two she will feel well enough to spin that one and sell the yarn ready-made. This will be White Wedding, for the Etsy Knitter's Street Team June challenge, "I Do 2009." We will list it in the morning, as soon as we can get some natural-light pictures.

Mostly Pics

Today I received the link to pictures taken 10 days ago at the Knoxville Creative Hands Street Team Spring Show and Sale. Stop by and browse through! There were many talented artists featured, with beautiful items offered up for sale. The gorgeous, focal-point pictures were provided by Many thanks for the beautiful pictorial!

Tonight we took a road trip out to Des' house while the older kids were at their year-end bashes at youth group. On the way, Veronica took pictures in the car. On the left is one of her, enjoying the ride.

And on the right, a picture of 2-yr.-old Beverly, enjoying the same ride. Gotta love the youthful enthusiasm.

When we got to Des' house, it wasn't raining. The rain had stopped there, and there was a rainbow off her balcony. Always love to see God's promise, that He will never again destroy the earth by water. With the storms we have had lately, gotta wonder at that one. But no, the sun always comes out. Thank the LORD!

The hospital sent home a CD with pics of Artemas' xrays on it (which I am sure was NOT free), which does not work in our state-of-the-art brand-new Dell. But I found a pic online like his broken clavicle. Not his but just like. The xray techs didn't even notice it; they were looking for spinal or rib fractures. I told them, and they had to go back through the slides to find it. DUH! Maybe I should tell the hospital to bill the diagnostic fee for that one to ME. ROFLOL, now I *AM* funny!

One last pic. A progress report on the items I got from the UFO Administration. I am not quite half done with the Fuzzy Yellow Thing. The 2nd half will be identical , but with the addition of a panel of matching smooth yarn in the center, then kitchener stitched to the first half. Keep in mind, it isn't blocked or anything in this photo. I would have made better progress if I had not been sick for nearly 10 days now with the flu. I also got a Cuff Too Small project in sock yarn, which I will post pics of tomorrow. I promise.

Meanwhile, Go get a free Knitting Heroes comic book!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cheep Peeps and Tackle-it Tuesday

First, the Internet Hall of Shame.

My daughter and one of her friends do what they call Tackle-it Tuesday. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Tell the truth, I really wasn't up to it today. I am still weak and coughing from a week of the flu. But my bedroom was TRASHED. This past week my kids brought laundry in here and sorted it into piles on the floor (helping mom, of course) and left them... bins of sweaters to recycle, Beverly clothes to sort into Winter/Summer and pack away. Bits of stuff (where does this stuff come from?), kleenex, wrappers (don't people know where the TRASH is?) etc. I couldn't stand it another minute!

So today I sorted, folded, cleaned, threw away, boxed up, binned. Put clothes in drawers and Space bags. One of the kids helped me cart stuff away, and one helped me vacuum. Had to stop in the middle of all the proceedings to run around for 2 hours dealing with the new chicks (more below). Note I did leave the rocking chair in the corner... mostly my dh's jeans and stuff (and ONE large purple sheet). And I have one box still to deal with, that is a couple quilt tops awaiting my attention, and a couple sweaters to recycle. But, not a bad day's accomplishment for someone who is still running on 3 of 8 cylinders. LoL.

Today our chicks came in. When my kids were in 4-H in another county, they could get 25 chicks for $25, and at the summer-end Livestock Show and Sale they had to turn in their best 5 hens for judging and auction. In this county, you get 12 chicks for $20 but at the end of summer, only have to turn in 3 of them, and you get $20 back just for entering the sale. I wish they had had Barred Rocks available, I love them. Fat chickens with black and white striped plumage who lay nice brown eggs. And I love Americaunas, which are variant colors but lay eggs in the olive-to-pale aqua range of greens.

Unfortunately, those weren't available. So Diantha got 12 Black Australorps... good, heavy-bodied meat and egg birds who lay brown eggs. Those are the little black chicks with yellow markings. Veronica got 12 Rhode Island Reds... tall, large chickens with dark auburn feathers and they lay reddish-brown eggs. And Josiah got 12 Red Stars. These have been bred for laying. They are pale auburn birds who religiously lay light brown eggs. They are the strawberry blonde chicks.

Hopefully, these will all be hens... roosters are loud and not good for much but helping the hens hatch out a clutch of eggs (which I don't want to do with these breeds anyway), or for dinner. In 20 weeks they will either lay little pullet eggs or start crowing... then we will know!

Some closing pics... Artemas is a good babysitter.

...and wound pics, which are healing incredibly well and quickly, and for which healing we are SO thankful!

We also want to say Thank You to all of you who have sent prayers and well-wishes in our direction. Artemas says they have helped him be encouraged and feel much better!

My dh, back to work this week after vacation, has come down with the flu and is spending all his non-work time asleep in bed with a fever.

Our water is still working. No floods under the house, that I know of.

No kidney stones this week. All our cars are running.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Sometimes one doesn't need many words.
Even if it isn't the "law"...


This is not some Avant-garde Art Of A Snail. It is the front fender from the bike. The front triple-tree (front forks and support for the front wheel and handlebars) is bent and will have to be replaced.

The tires, which are 30 (yes, read that, 30) years old, don't have a scratch on them. The bike starts and stays running. Probably will outlive me. Now on to something REALLY interesting!


Awww, I've done worse than that on Sonic Skates!


That wasn't all THAT bad, you say?

Find something to bite on...

I will leave you with a more peaceful pic. Notice the nice pretty face, that is still all there because of that "bothersome" helmet. Notice the nice teeth, that didn't get knocked out.

Yes, this is the same pic as last night. We cleaned him up today and tonight he doesn't have a shirt on. But we thought you all might not be able to handle that, so just be happy. We are.

Thank you, Jesus.

Friday, May 22, 2009

It's Been a Week

or more since I posted. Wanna know what we have been doing?

Started off with the Knoxville Creative Hands Street Team show and sale, cost us $70 for the booth. Diantha sold ONE yarn, Des sold 1 bag. My dh sold enough soap to cover the booth. Here is a pic. I sold NOTHING.

Got my period (sorry if TMI) 4 days early, during the craft sale. Came down with the flu, during the craft sale.

While down this week with flu, we found out that the little girl next door who spent the night a few times recently, gave my kids lice. In 23 yrs. of homeschooling, none of my kids have ever had them. I don't know how people whose kids are in school can cope with this happening. I have had to drag my fevered butt out of bed every day this week to treat hair, bedding, etc.

I passed a kidney stone this week. And despite the weakness and flu and pain, did several new yarns.

My dh, while working under the house to put in a new drain for the washing machine, to move it to the new laundry area, broke a water main. I have never seen this before, but the main water supply coming in to this house, at least the only one we have found so far, is a rubber hose coming up out of the ground. Crazy. We have had the water shut off for 36 hours now. He filled buckets of water we could flush toilets with. Has bought the wrong parts twice now... once PVC instead of CPVC, and once the wrong size screw clamps.

Beverly took a new, 2-year-old's-eye-view pic, This one of Diantha.

Meanwhile my 11yod has oil in her hair for 8 hours today because the water isn't back on, to wash it out. And the water isn't yet back on because...

I sent my 17yos off to the PO today (3 miles away) with a package of yarn to mail. On the way, a car cut him off, sending him and the motorcycle (a classic 1973 250 Suzuki) off the pavement. The police called to notify us he was in the ER. Full chest/spine/cranial CAT scan AND xrays, hand xrays, road rash down his Left arm, stomach, legs (but not into muscle), broken Left collar bone. Spent 4 hours in the ER.

The Officer said he wasn't doing anything wrong, was riding slowly at the time (20mph), but cited my son for no motorcycle permit (I was supposed to take him this week but sick) and no insurance. Plus the cops had the bike towed, NOT by the company that honors my AAA. We don't know yet if the bike will recover. It has been an $8000 day w/no health insurance. We are glad our son is ok. Motorcycles are great, and we love them. You can't help the jerks out there. BUt they are, after all, only metal and rubber. They are fully replaceable. People are not. So we breathe a prayer of thanks tonight that our Artemas (Greek name means Safe and Sound), though hopped up on hydros, is truly Safe and Sound.

And I am really, really, tired.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

De-Tree-ing and Photo Ops

So Sunday, I got up and made 30 Banana Chocolate Chip muffins from scratch. My house was a smell-o-rama, but I didn't eat any of them. Des and Tony took me and Tony's mother (my friend and ex-boss Cheryl) out to brunch at Wild Wings. Nothing like starting your gastronomical day with HOT. LoL.

Des made me a GORGEOUS handbag, with "loose" pockets inside, large enough to hold a couple diapers stood on end (or a paperback book), and a bottle of water (or Mtn Dew), and a zipper pocket big enough to hold my reading glasses, a lipstick, and my DL/Debit card. Wonderful!

Then they came to my house and hung out. Tony got hold of the chain saw and started making short work of our deceased tree.

Understatement of the Weekend:
He grinned and said, "I like chainsaws."

We have thought of lots of things to make of the tree, now just have to get them done before the wood gets too dry or hard to work it.

The little girls spent time dancing in the living room, and bouncing on the "damp-een," as Beverly calls it. Des put pics of that one on her blog.

Beverly took camera in hand and snapped some pictures for us...
Des! And Tony! She was very excited to "help" in this manner. I love seeing the world from her 2 yo eye-view. Everyone seems very, very... tall. LOL!

Today (ooops, yesterday, sometimes being a night-owl can be SO confusing) two of the girls had 4-H sub-regional presentations in Crossville, TN, about an hour's drive away. Made me glad to live in our beautiful little town, close to beautiful Knoxville.

Diantha did a tabletop exhibit on Fiber Processing and Spinning. She won 1st place in the Clothing and Textiles category for Jr. High. Veronica did an oral demonstration/explanation of Spinning and Knitting, also. She took a high-score 1st place in Clothing and Textiles for 5th grade. I am proud of the girls and their efforts! They will go on to the Regionals. Don't know the date or place yet. Here they are with their blue ribbons!

By the time we were done there, drove back, drove 40 minutes the OTHER way to drop Diantha off at Des' to help her (since she is still feeling lousy), and got home tonight, we had been gone more than 12 hours. I have some new yarns done, but too tired to list them. Tomorrow is another day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sad Tree Day, and Mom, You're So WEIRD

This morning about 8 AM we started to have a lightning storm. For the first little while, maybe half an hour, it was "dry" lightning. It wasn't raining, but the lightning was fierce and very close, as there was no delay to the thunderclap, and you could hear the thunder echoing through the hills and valleys around here.

Then the rains came. I grew up just 22 miles from Xenia, Ohio, and stayed 2 days in the basement when the tornadoes went through that leveled that town (in what, 1972?). Then lived 22 years in FL, just above Tampa, the lightning capital of the country. So I have lived through some storms! But this was seriously the worst wind I have ever heard. When it was over, I started to leave the house... and this sight greeted me from the front porch.

Our front yard has (had) three large Bradford Pear trees. They don't bear fruit, but are gorgeous in Spring, totally covered in white blossoms... great shade in summer, and fiery red in Fall. The center tree (in front of the porch), is ailing... the crown is spreading and we are probably going to have to take that tree out. The one nearest the driveway (pictured) was our favorite. We sit under that tree often. We park motorcycles and cars under its shade to work on them. And the storm killed it.

Three little bright spots: one, I can make a LOT of pearwood, handmade, chunky, double-pointed knitting needles like these in my My7kids Recycled Yarn Shop if I cut and peel the branches while they are still wick. The second is, the tree missed our 450 Suzuki that was parked under it, by like 3 feet. And the last is, the kids didn't know what to get me for Mother's day, and I have been wanting an apple or peach tree. So today we went out, found one of each cheap, and they got them for me.
Oh and a Basil plant for my garden.

Still, it is a shame such a beautiful tree bit the dust. I have been a little sad about that. It isn't a big sadness thing like the loss of a spouse, marriage, child, or house. But sad still. And, those new little trees won't give good shade for quite a few years! ~~ sigh ~~

OK! A couple more pics! One is Veronica's feet, happily nestled in her mom-knit sox. Now that the cuff is fixed, she likes them. In fact, she had to have new sneakers to wear them with. (Just kidding, she was overdue for new sneakers. LOL)

Here is a little sneak peek at the Fuzzy Yellow Thing that I got from UFO Project Administration Service. This is the re-make that people voted for on my blog last week. I had a few people say they didn't think the lace pattern would show in that fuzzy yellow yarn, but it looks so far, so good. Yes, my carpet is purple.

Today Des said she thinks I might be on the cutting-edge of weird. What in the world might prompt a good daughter to say something like that to her mother?

Last night I was counting stitches in a knitting project that Diantha is doing. I needed a marker in the middle of a dpn, and instead of slipping the stitches off the needle to the marker point, I took out my left earring (a handmade sterling and garnet with a hook on the back for the wire) and slipped it on the needle and hooked it. I might add that I have my left ear pierced twice, and in the extra hole I had a long, turquoise and sterling earring that I lost the mate of last week.

Later on, Veronica was sweeping the floor in the kitchen and found my other turquoise earring. Without thinking, I stuck it in the only empty hole.

I promptly forgot about it and went out today, looking like this:

Des said, "You know, Mom, most people would have switched that top turquoise earring to the other side, so they had a pair and an extra." So I told her I never much cared for doing things the way Most People do them. LOL!

I got a special order yarn done after our errands today, and made homemade pizzas for dinner. But I did NOT get more knitting done, or the carding done that I needed to do, or folding laundry. On the other hand, I am not asleep yet!