If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Monday, May 30, 2016

This Is Apropos

This afghan covers the top of a queen sized bed.
 I told you I had made a lot of fun finds in my crafts while I was moving, right? Well, I found this in the same closet I found the Psychedelic Squares, and I thought it would be super appropriate to post a photo of it today.

This is a flag afghan I knit about 15 years ago for M. She had asked me specifically for an American flag with all 50 stars on it. That was the tough part, really. The stars. Not because they were especially hard to do. As I recall, they were pretty easy crochet.

It's just that there are 50 of them.

The afghan itself is also pretty easy. Basic stripes and color blocking. As I recall, this is Red Heart yarn. I got the pattern from the Lion Brand website. I checked all over the site, but it is apparently no longer available.

I think you could probably find it on the wayback machine. Or email Lion Brand. I bet they would send it to you. The pattern calls for Homespun yarn, I'm pretty sure, but I think I had trouble finding some of the colors at that time, so I just went with Super Saver.

Anyway, happy Memorial Day. Thank you to all the veterans and veterans' families for your service to our country.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

On Role Models, Responsibilities, And Other Misconceptions

Stand back, I'm about to do something I don't normally do. I'm going to say something that some people may take the wrong way. Usually, I steer clear of anything that would be even remotely controversial, due to my extreme hatred of internet trolling. (I don't understand how that is actually fun for anyone, by the way. Can it provide that much pleasure to a person to anonymously write shitty comments?)

Anyway, here's the back story. I recently found out that Prison Break is coming back, at least in a limited form. And you know I love me some Prison Break. So I've been watching the trailer on YouTube and some interviews about the show with Wentworth and Dominic (See? I love this show so much, I can call them by their first names.) about the show and all. And then, as most internet safaris go, I started watching some other videos about them.

There was a lot of crap about the weight Wentworth had gained during a depression. (Honestly, I don't think it looked bad on him. He was still pretty good looking, with or without the extra weight. I swear. Sometimes Hollywood standards are so far out of line...) And there was a video about how he fired back at the detractors and basically said, Shut up. We all deal with our shit in different ways. Mind your own business. 

Good for you, by the way, Wentworth. I think you're dead on there--people should mind their own business.

And then, I saw a speech he had made a couple of years ago, where he talked about coming out. It was very sincere and very moving to me because he seemed like he was sharing a lot of his thought process along the way to making the decision to publicly come out. He said at first, he was very conflicted. Why should he come out and jeopardize his career and the life he'd built? Because coming out publicly may or may not help someone for whom he is a role model? A person that may or may not even exist and that he doesn't even know? Ultimately, he made the choice to publicly be who he is.

Now, this is the part where I'm going to get controversial... 

The story I've read in other places is that W was basically forced to come out, kind of like Neil Patrick Harris was forced out. Someone took it upon themselves to out them--even though it was none of their business--on the principle that they are a role model for others and they need to be out publicly so other people can be encouraged and know they are not alone. You get that? Someone else made the choice for them.

That is so offensive to me. 

Let's break this down, piece by piece. First of all, actors should never be role models for young people. An actor's job is, basically, to pretend. It's all fake. When you watch Prison Break, you are not seeing Wentworth. You are seeing Wentworth pretending to be Michael Scofield. When you watch X-Men, you are not seeing Hugh Jackman. You are seeing Hugh Jackman pretending to be Wolverine. When you watch Game of Thrones, you are not seeing Lena Headley. You are seeing Lena Headley pretending to be Cersei Lannister. You get what I'm saying? Unless you personally know these people and interact with them personally, you don't know them and therefore should not be making them your role models. And neither should your children. If you are a parent and your child's role model is an actor instead of you, you are a shitty parent. (Unless, of course, you are an actor. Then, that's a horse of a different color.)

Secondly, I find it completely obnoxious that someone would take it upon themselves to broadcast someone else's business to the world. All those gossip blogs (including the one that claims  he no longer bullies people), all the paparazzi, all the gossipy little busybodies in your hometown or high school that spew out everything they hear or think of, regardless of its truth, its worth, or its power--all those people need to mind their own fucking business. 

They can regurgitate their lines about how people need to be honest so others will see. And that's a nice sentiment. I think it's a good thing when people do come out publicly. I think it does help others. But this is not something someone else should decide for you. Just because something is true, doesn't mean it has to be said. Listen, there are a lot of things I have done or thought in my life that, while they are completely true, I would not want posted for the world to see. Not bad things. Just things that are nobody else's business.

Even as a role model to my children, I don't feel the need to disclose all the things I've thought or done in my life to my kids. There are things that are not their business. I'm sure you have stuff like that, too. How would you feel if your neighbor took it upon themselves to tell your kids all of that, without your permission? Again, I'm not saying bad things. I'm saying just stuff that you chose not to tell your kids--that dream where you are in a flying car, for example. Not bad. It's just not your neighbor's place to tell your kids what you dream about. I find it amazing in this day and age that people will waste so much energy on other people's business.

Thirdly, why does a person have to come out at all? Why do they ever have to be in? Why does something like that even matter? Listen, if someone is not your sexual partner, then why does their sexuality even matter to you? I'm not talking about just actors--whose job, we've already established, it is to pretend--but about everybody. Your teacher, your sister, your neighbor, a senator, the CEO of a corporation, an artist, you. Everybody.

Why can't we just assume that everyone is who they are and who they are is fine? Let's judge people by their deeds and contributions and not by something that should never be judged in the first place.
And then, there's no reason for anyone to be out or in.

You feel me?

Saturday, May 28, 2016

12 Months Of Scarves: May

May's scarf is made from some yarn I picked up at Michael's. It's Isaac Mizrahi Craft University in Fordham, which is a purple yarn with a gold metallic yarn wrapped around it. It's pretty. I named this scarf Sparkling Grape Soda, because of the metallic gold and the grape color. Also, the bubble stitch texture brings to mind grape soda.

This bubble stitch pattern is a pretty easy one to remember. It's basically done over 12 rows, but 10 of those 12 are stockinette stitch. So, really, the pattern is created on only two rows, #6 and #12. The pattern is knit on a multiple of 4 stitches +1. I knit this on 21 stitches (pattern) and 3 edge stitches (on each side).

This is actually closer to the true color of
this scarf. 
I used 2 skeins of this yarn, 364 yards, to make this scarf. It's a decent length, of about 5', and about 7.5" wide.

These photos are not the best, I know. The actual color is a little more purple than either of these photos would indicate (although it's closer to the first color). And, as you can see, this needs to be blocked. It has a garter stitch border that I'd hoped would take care of the curling, but--as you can see--it's still a little curled under. I'm going to steam block these edges (not the bubbles) to make this look better.
You can see the bubble texture here. This is
a nice, squishy knit.

Also, the lighting in my living room is not the best today, so my choices were backlit or too dark. I guess I will try and move outside for my next photo shoot.

I'll be taking some better photos of this scarf and posting them along with the pattern on my sidebar soon. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bad News, Bats

Well, it just goes to show you, you need to do your research. I had bought my bat house and a 6 foot pole to put it on.

And then I learned the bat house has to be much, much higher. Like 20 feet in the air. I rent, so I can't put a 20 foot pole in my backyard and I can't attach it to the house. So it's not going to work for me.

Sad Patwoman. Guess I'm going to have to return this bat house and get some citronella plants instead.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Batman VS The Zika Virus

Well, not Batman. Bats. And not necessarily the Zika Virus. Just mosquitos. But like, 10,000 of them.

When I learned how many mosquitos a bat eats every night, I thought to myself, "Hm. How can I make that work for me?" And then I realized, I can make that work for me. I went straight over to the farm store and bought a bat house. And then I went to Home Depot and got a pole to put it on.

I'm not crazy about bats, really. But you know, they are out there, eating mosquitos in the dark. You just don't see them all the time. I thought, if I have a bat house, they will be eating mosquitos around my house, right?

Plus, when the birds go to sleep at night, Cat TV doesn't have to end. Achilles and Miss Gracie can watch the Bat Channel. And my bats will be protecting my little corner of the neighborhood from the Zika Virus.

Just doing my part.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cast Iron Mayhem

Look at what happened! Damn it! 

I washed my large cast iron skillet, dried it with a towel, and then put it on the burner on low heat to fully dry it. No sooner had I put it on, when there was a loud bang. I seriously thought it was a gunshot and I dropped to the floor. (No one gets the drop on me.)

Turns out, my skillet cracked. It cracked! I know you can't see this well in this photo, but when it first happened, the crack was about 1/8 of an inch wide.

Damn it. This was not only my largest cast iron skillet, but it was one of my mom's and so it was about 50 years old. That sucks.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Yarn Class

This is the project from this month's yarn class. Embroidered canvases.
I had six students, and each of them were able to complete at least one of these canvases. The one below is the one I did in class, as instruction. I think I will hang it in my craft room.

...Which I will totally have, once I get all the boxes unpacked from the move we made six months ago!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Miss Gracie

We have received some really bad news about Miss Gracie. I think I told you... a few years ago, she had breast cancer and had to have some surgery. They removed all her milk glands and had her spayed. We were assured she would not ever get breast cancer again. However, we recently noticed a lump, just like it happened last time.

We took her to the vet and she said sometimes it's hard to tell if all the cancer is gone. Sometimes there is even just one cell left. It takes it a while to replicate, but it replicates. And a tumor grows. As bad as this is, the news gets worse.

Miss Gracie has gotten older since the last time. As cats tend to do. But now she is an old lady. She's almost 17 years old. The tumor grew so rapidly that the surgery is now deemed "radical." The vet does not think she would survive it. Ditto for any sort of chemotherapy treatment. She barely makes it through a vet visit. This cat gets so nervous just getting in the car that she pees on me every time. And not a little bit like "Oh I'm scared. Tinkle. Tinkle." More like "I'm terrified beyond any sort of bladder control. Whoosh." She gets so nervous that it takes her hours to calm down.

And I can't put her in a carrier. That totally freaks her out. People tell me "Oh, she'll calm down." But she doesn't. She gets more nervous. Holding her comforts her a little, at least.

If we do nothing, the tumor could grow slowly and give us some months with Miss Gracie. Or it could grow fast and we would have less time. She doesn't seem to have any pain, or really notice it at all--even though it has grown pretty rapidly just in this short time.

So our choices are all very bad ones.

  • Surgery (which the vet doesn't even want to do because she thinks Miss Gracie won't survive it) and probably lose Miss Gracie right away.
  • Chemo (which the vet doesn't think she will survive) which, if she survives, will make any time left miserable for her.
  • Do nothing and let nature take its course. Eventually, when she does have pain, we will have to decide how to deal with that.
I am so devasatated by this news. I know she is an old lady cat, but I am not ready to say goodbye to her. And maybe it's not fair to make this about me, but last year I lost Gengen and Gabby. It just really sucks.

Still, I am thankful that she doesn't seem to be bothered by it. She has a healthy appetite. She seems mentally alert. She does not seem to have any pain or even notice the lump. But I think she knows. I can tell.
Miss Gracie has never been a lap cat. In fact, after we got her, it took her months before she came into a room where people were. It took her a year to sit on the couch. She has always been so happy to be petted by anyone, but she has never liked being held.

These days, however, she is ready and willing to hop right up into your lap and sit there all night. That's a pretty telling clue that she understands what is happening.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

More Warm Up America

I made some more squares/rectangles. I just had so much of that blue yarn left. I thought about making another basket, but then I decided to just make some more squares/rectangles for Warm Up America.

Again, garter stitch. I tried to get a little fancy and make a half and half square, but then I ran out of the lighter color and had to switch back to the dark. So, it's a little weird looking. But it's ok. I don't think anyone will mind.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Your Face Gives You Away

There is a new company called Faception. It's main product is a software designed to "read" you face. The software can tell, by looking at you, if you are a good poker player, a terrorist, an academic, an extrovert. I'm not sure of all the science, but from what I've seen, it's basically looking at body language and other nonverbal cues to determine your motives.

Who knows if that works? But if it does, think of all the really cool things we could do with that. I'm not just talking about the facial recognition cameras in public place like airports. I'm thinking this is a major step forward in creating a real, high-functioning android, capable of determining emotion in humans or other subtle changes in emotion and mood.

Think about it. An android that could tell when you were acting differently--no matter how slightly--and determine the significance of that change. Your aging grandma may display subtle signs of illness or depression or dementia that her robofriend picks up on before anyone else.

I think that's a fascinating idea. I wonder if anyone is working to include this kind of softwar into robotics?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Warm Up America Squares - May

I decided to use some of that yarn leftover from the last basket to make some Warm Up America squares/rectangles. These are just basic garter stitch, but I've decided garter stitch is going to be my go-to method for these squares. It's just squishy and comfy, and easy to match up and seam together.

Plus, it's something I can do without looking. So it's also what I do when I want my hands to be busy, but I need to pay attention to something else. (Like Game of Thrones.)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

I Love Balls

You've probably figured out that the
Rose Quartz is the one in front.
Well, spheres, really. I have just been collecting these mineral spheres for the last couple of years, because I really like them for some reason. I have several different types of minerals, of all sizes and colors.

T asked me about the reason I purchased one mineral over another--was it because of the clarity or the weight? Or maybe it was because of the type of rock it is, or the origin?

No. Not thinking it through that much. I buy them based on how they look and how they feel.

Yes. You're ashamed of me now, aren't you? You expected something more cerebral from your old friend Patwoman.

Here's my newest addition. It's a 40 mm Rose Quartz sphere. I think it's pretty.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday The 13th!!

Watch yourself. It's Friday the Thirteenth. 
A lot of people think the 13th is a bad luck day. It's always been a good one for me. We brought R home from the hospital as a baby on a Friday the 13th, as a matter of fact.

Usually the first of the month is bad for me. (All the bills due!) Ha!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Another Basket

Yes. I made another basket. I've been on a basket kick. This time, I used some acryllic yarn I've had for a while.

Honestly, I'm not even sure where this yarn came from. It was packed away in a closet for (?) I don't know how long. The box was labelled "Yarn," but not in my handwriting or in anyone's handwriting that I recognize. I don't remember where I got it. Maybe someone gave it to me or I got it at a garage sale? Who knows?

Anyway, I put 4 strands together--three blues and a white yarn that I'm pretty sure is a rug yarn.
I used my trusty Q hook.
I like the way the colors work together to give it a heathered look, don't you? I wanted this one to be a little bigger, so I made a few more rounds to the base than I did on the previous baskets.
So this turned out to be a pretty good sized basket. It fits nicely on the shelf, but it's still the biggest by far of the three I've made.
And, as you can see, there is still more of that yarn left, so I might have to think of something else to do with it.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Mom Jeans, Mom Butt

I have to admit something. I have never really been sure what "Mom Jeans" are. I have only empirical evidence to go on. Like, one time when I wore new jeans to work, someone commented that I shouldn't be self conscious about them because, hey, they have a pair of Mom Jeans, too. Or one time someone said I "rocked the Mom Jeans." Or that one time when that heinous bitch at work told me I should buy some more stylish clothes.

So, with all that in mind, I have just always assumed Mom Jeans were something horrible to be avoided. But, you know, it's a little hard to avoid them if you don't know what they are, right?

So I was interested to find a Pin on Pinterest about how to get the best jeans for your body and how to avoid Mom Jeans. This blogger had posited that everyone could look better in Non-Mom Jeans. She set about proving it by taking photos of herself in Mom Jeans and in Non-Mom Jeans and then showing how and why the Non-Mom Jeans looked better. Further, she took along her 50-something mom and did the same for her.

So, I learned a couple of things. First, apparently Mom Jeans are primarily defined by the 1) length of the zipper (should be less than 4") and 2) position of the back pockets (Mom Jeans' back pockets end above the bottom of your buns and Non-Mom Jeans' back pockets end below the bottom of your buns). Just FYI, checking out the jeans I wear... 2 pairs have the low back pockets; one has higher pockets. All three pairs have zippers about 4.5 inches long.

Honestly, how can this be comfortable?
Secondly, as I use what I've learned to look at how other jeans are worn by other women, I don't necessarily think the Non-Mom Jeans are best. Most of the women I see wearing Non-Mom Jeans end up with a pretty severe muffin top. Like bakery-style muffins. I don't know if that's because the jeans are so low, or because the women are wearing them too small. But only a small percentage are wearing jeans that don't give them a pretty significant muffin top. (For the record, two of my jeans also give me a muffin top, but not nearly as bad as I've seen--maybe because my jeans are not too tight?)

So imagine this in a pair of jeans. That's what
I mean by "Potato Butt."
Most of the women I see wearing Non-Mom Jeans also have what I call "Potato Butt." That's when your jeans are so tight and so low that your buns are the shape of a potato on its side. It's really unattractive. Again, I think this is because of too-small pants. My pants do not give me Potato Butt.

On the other hand, most of the Mom Jeans-wearers have flattish, squarish butts. One pair of mine does that. My butt is not flat and square, so I guess that's the jeans.

What's my takeaway from all this? I guess it's what I knew all along--buy the jeans that make your butt look good, but make sure they fit. 

I suppose I have just gotten a little complacent in my age, just getting jeans without really thinking much about them. If I look at my jeans in terms of the strict definition of Mom Jeans, they are all three Mom Jeans, just by the length of the zipper alone. But if I go by which fit and look good on me, without potato butt, without muffin top, and with low pockets, I have one pair that really work for me.

And yes, technically, they are Mom Jeans. But I have a Mom Butt. So it works.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms. I hope your day was as good as mine.

Both sets of kids were over, so right there, it was a good time. I'm finding, as I get older and my kids get older, that the time together is so much more rare and so much more appreciated.

R and Bre brought flowers.

Beautiful tulips that look fantastic!

And they all got together and replaced my poor woobie, which has been dead for over a year now. How I have missed reading books on my Kindle. All my books are still there on my account, so it was all ready to go, straight out of the box (with a few minor sign ins and such).

This was a really fantastic gift! I think it was probably the best thing I could have gotten.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Cinco de Mayo Dinner

A while back, M asked me "You're doing taco salad for Cinco de Mayo dinner, right?"

Honestly, I hadn't thought about it. We always did something special for holidays like that when they were growing up... Corned beef on St. Patrick's Day, red food on Valentine's Day, Mexican food on the 5th of May... but I guess, with being an empty nester, I kind of forgot all about it.

So naturally I said "Yes, of course."

Anyway, we all got together and had tacos and taco salad and had a good time and nobody knew Mom had not planned the whole thing all along.

And that, my friends, is the trick to being a good mom.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

You Never Know What You Will Find In An Old Project Bag

The fun thing about moving is when you find stuff you haven't seen in a long time. Like this project bag. It was the one that had all my psychedelic squares in it. I found it in the closet with another project I will show you later.

A couple of things about this bag. Look at it. My mom made this bag for me I don't know how long ago. (But my mom's been gone for almost 30 years, so a long time ago.) It's made from this denim material that she got on sale somewhere. She used it to make some denim jeans for me.

About those jeans... First of all, we were pretty poor, so just purchasing the material was probably an extravagance. But I didn't realize it at the time. Everyone at school was wearing Calvin Kleins and Gloria Vanderbilts and, at the very least, Jordaches. So having handmade jeans was (to me, at the time) like wearing a neon sign that said "Outcast."

And there was ridicule. You know, that shit doesn't change with the times. There were mean girls back in my day, too. The popular kids who always had the latest styles and the name brands, they were not kind to people who didn't. There were some girls who had handmade clothes (which, looking back on it, were pretty nice) and the popular girls ridiculed them mercilessly. And so did other, less popular people. Maybe, I guess, so they could be on the same side as those popular girls?

But--and this is the interesting thing to me--even though you could count on the popular girls to mock you for doing anything different, you could very well also get mocked by your own friends. Seriously. I remember a pair of red pants that I loved so much--the way they looked, the way they fit, the fact that they were bought in a regular store and not a discount store. One day I was changing in gym class and my friend Kelly said "You're wearing red pants to hide your period!" and that got a big laugh. So she started calling them "Period Pants" and so did everyone else. It totally ruined those pants for me and I stopped wearing them.

And this was my friend.

Anyway, my point is, even though the jeans my mom made me were nice--they were the trouser-style jeans with the high waist and wide cuffed bottoms that were in style at the time--I really didn't want to wear them to school and make myself a target. So, Mom had all this denim leftover that she had planned to make me a jacket out of, but that there was no way I was going to wear a handmade denim jacket (I know. I'm a shit person.) so she decided to make me a bag, instead.

Actually, she made a couple of bags. One for me and one for her. And this one has my name in iron on letters (an extra expense). I can't remember using it for anything except putting stuff in it for the car trip we took to California to see my grandma one year, and maybe I put my swimsuit in it a couple of times to go to the lake. I do remember that I left it at home on purpose when I went to college.

Jeez. Now that I'm thinking this over, I really feel terrible. My mom really did something nice for me--a lot of nice things--and I was a total bag of dicks about it.

Later, after I was married and got all my stuff from my mom and dad's house, I used this bag as a project bag for my knitting and crocheting. And so, now we're finally getting to the point of this blog post, after all of that.

The point is, I found this bag and, after emptying out the psychedelic squares, I noticed there were things in the bag that I had not seen in a long time. Like a package of stitch markers, an old shopping list (that I threw away), a pen, a stitch guage, some needle threaders, plus a couple of patterns--one cut from a magazine and one from a ball band of yarn--and all these little crochet rounds.

Not sure what I was doing with these. Maybe they were the center rounds for a granny square afghan, who knows? But it was interesting to see them again.

I'm not sure what I will do with them. Seems a shame to throw them away, but they're kind of awful. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Cut The Shit Out of My Hand

So you know how when you're at work they always say "Safety first!"? And you know how when you cut a box you're always supposed to cut away from yourself? And do you also know how when you are doing something stupid, you always tell yourself it's stupid (and then tell yourself "but it will be ok") right before something bad (that you knew would happen) happens?

Yeah. So that's what happened. I was so mortified by my own fucktardedness that I just wrapped it in a Kleenex and applied pressure to it without telling anyone.

Monday, May 02, 2016

R & Bre's One Year Anniversary

R & Bre have been married for a year. How about that? We got them a restaurant gift certificate, even though I am philosophically opposed to gift certificates. They usually mean there's no thought behind them.

In this case, however, the thought was there. I thought about how when you get married and start having to deal real life crap like having to figure out what to eat every night, and whether you really need to fold the towels or if you're okay with using them straight out of the dryer for two days. I thought it would be nice for them to have a "date" together.

It also made me think a little, about when T and I had been married a year. We lived in a little one bedroom appartment that was all in a straight line--walk from the front door to the bedroom and pass through all the rooms on the way. We had very little money. We ate a lot of spaghetti because it was cheap. One time, my mom gave us a 5 lb hunk of cheese and it was like gold to us.

We had one car, which T used to go to work. I walked wherever I had to go. We sometimes didn't have the cash for the laundromat and I would wash the clothes in the bathtub and hang them over the radiators to dry. We had no money for entertainment, either. Our tv only got the four channels that could be picked up with the rabbit ear antennae. And I would write stories that I would read to Tim when he got home at night.

R and Bre are definitely better off than we were at a year. They are both employed in good jobs. Both have cars. A house. Savings. M and her husband Ryan are in a similar situation. So I am very proud that our kids both seem to be smarter about things than we were.

As a parent, I think that's what you hope for.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

The One Where Patwoman Takes A Much Needed Break

Found this squirrel S&P set
in an antique shop. It's nuts!

Bill Monroe was a relative of mine, actually.
We decided to take the day and go down to Brown County. R and Bre were able to join us. Unfortunately, M and Ryan were both working. Still, it was a nice day to be walking around and looking at the shops. Good weather.

Took some doing to get down there, though. Apparently a bridge had washed out on the main north/south route, so we really had to travel some backroads to get there. I think a lot of people must have been put off by that (or else they just couldn't figure out how to get there) because the town was pretty empty of tourists. It was actually kind of nice for us. Though, I'm very sure the business owners weren't happy.

But, for us, there was no waiting anywhere and plenty of stuff to do. Of course, we visited some art galleries and antique shops. There are a lot of those down there. And no trip to Brown County is complete without a trip to one or more lapidaries.

This carved stone T-Rex was pretty cool.
I have been slightly obsessed with mineral spheres since the beginning of this depression. I'm pretty sure that must be significant in some way, but I don't have a clue what it means. I just like the weight and the smoothness and the shape. I don't have a thing for other shapes, just spheres. Weird.

Anyway, we stopped in and I looked around a bit at the minerals. I didn't buy any, though, because I already have a Rose Quartz sphere ordered from eBay and I feel like that's treat enough for now.

But one of the shops did have some carved mineral statuettes that were pretty cool. Bre bought a little goldstone cat statue (I would have bought a black and white cat in honor of Achilles, but alas, they didn't have one.) There were all kinds of carved animals and a lot of fossils, too. It was very interesting to see some of the ancient Indiana fossils.

Brown County is kind of an artist community, so I was surprised that we only found one yarn shop. Seems like it would be a natural thing to have a bunch of shops for hand-dyed wool and artisan fibers, right? Oh sure, there are a couple of shops that sell some hand-knit shawls or blankets, and one that sells some pretty sweet yarn bowls. But that was not their main focus.

We did find one yarn store, but it had closed half an hour prior to us finding it. Shame, too. I would have loved to have gone inside. There were some really cool knits in the window and the whole store was yarn bombed, from the railing outside, to the window, to the knit and crochet bunting draped across the front.

I will definitely stop back at this shop next time so I can spend some time inside.

One little shop, almost in the alley, really, had a bunch of chainsaw-cut statues. Like, really big statues. I was a little amazed by it.

Seriously. Look how big this thing is.
Fear it!
There's always a little goofing around with our family. I was trying to get R to cringe in front of the dragon. This is me, saying "Fear it! Fear it! Like this!"

I didn't really notice T taking my photo while I was doing this. Imagine what onlookers were thinking, though. Some crazy lady, cringing in fear at a wooden dragon, yelling "Fear it!"

No one looked twice, though. That's disappointing, in a way.

I dunno. Maybe the locals are just used to that kind of behavior. Or, you know, maybe they thought it they acknowledged it, they would have to deal with it.


We rounded off our trip with a visit to one of the wine shops, where I tasted a few different wines and finally settled on a bottle of sweet red, and then a trip to the candy shop.

Candy named "whore"!
I didn't actually buy horehound candy. I think it tastes too much like Ricola Cough Drops. But I took this photo because I like the name horehound. Because I'm immature and think it would be a great burn on someone. "You take your paws off my boyfriend, Brittany, you horehound!"

For the record, I ended up buying some caramel apple suckers for M, some nonpariels (my fave), and some rum and amaretto cordials. The cordials were a nice surprise, by the way. I will definitely get those again.

I would like to do some hiking in the state forest next time we go down. Then, with all that exercise done, I won't have to feel guilty about eating so much candy, right?

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