Sarah Jane Humke

The life of a traveling, reading, writing, spining and knitting shepherdess.

A Day January 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Jane Humke @ 5:54 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Moon over Iowa farmland

Meara says, "I'm cuter than that stinky goat!".

Mama Cat in full squirted milk action

Half the pictures don't show her tongue! It's amazing how little milk she usually gets on her face with this method of consumption!


Powerless August 17, 2009


Today, from 10:30 am until about a half an hour ago (4:30 pm) the power was out.  We had received a nice little letter from the electric company about a week ago telling us that this was going to happen, so it wasn’t a total surprise.  Still, it sucked.  Luckily, the battery for the Mac held-up until it was nearly over so I was able to listen to podcasts while I was casting on the lace stole that I have started.

Lace weight yarn takes forever to wind on the ball winder.  


It doesn’t look like much either before or after, but trust me, there is around 450 meters of yarn in one of these balls.



So I did a bunch of swatches of lace to decide how exactly I wanted to do this..


From Left: Pattern done in Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Lace Yarn with a 2.5mm needle.  Pattern done in alpaca single lace weight with same needles.  Pattern done in alpaca lace weight with 2mm needles.

From Left: Pattern done in Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Lace Yarn with a 2.5mm needle. Pattern done in alpaca single lace weight with same needles. Pattern done in alpaca lace weight with 2mm needles.

And today, while there was nothing to distract me, I cast-on.


For all of my non-knitting readers, it isn't beaded, those are stitch markers.

For all of my non-knitting readers, it isn't beaded, those are stitch markers.


Don't try to take a picture of lace knitting with a devil cat around....

Don't try to take a picture of lace knitting with a devil cat around....



My bags are more or less completely packed, weighed and ready to go.  I just have to put the contents of my purse into the carry-on bag and I am ready to go.


Honestly, at least one and a half of these is stuff for other folks...

Honestly, at least one and a half of these is stuff for other folks...

Only 2 more days until I leave!!!!!  


Extra cute ball winding photo for you!

Extra cute, action-packed ball winding photo for you!

P.S.  The new Twist Collective is out!!!!


I Wanna PACK!!!!!! August 10, 2009

I keep trying to pack only to find myself stymied by the fact that I am going to need to wear/use some of the items that are still on the list in the remaining 10 days that I am here.  I should be outside enjoying what little I have left of the lovely English summer except that the summer is now being so very English!  Today, much like the past few weeks, has alternated between overcast and drizzly and has been actually kind of windy and cold-ish.  I’m sort of at a loss as to what to do.  The Flower Power afghan has been finished for Cesar and Pam (I wove in the one end this morning), the Feza scarf is done and blocked (there will be a post about that as soon as I can take a picture of the finished scarf [the hubby forgot the data disk for the camera in his computer this morning so no photos today!]) and the other scrapghan is getting to the point where it is unwieldy to work on (also, quite hot).  

So, I have been trying to get my plants ready for my absence.  We did some rearranging in the conservatory to free-up some space.  The violets are now nicely arranged mostly on a couple of shelves which will hopefully make it easier to water them (also, to protect them from kitties who think that they make a nice bed!).  I plan on moving some of the more tender plants that I have outside into the conservatory before I leave and marking those that I want the hubby to move in prior to the first frost.  It’s sort of weird to be thinking about these kind of things in August, but if I don’t, I’ll probably get home to a bunch of plants outside that have been taken by the cold that I wanted to try to keep for next year.  It’s one of my weird superstitions that if I prepare for something to happen, it won’t, but if I don’t prepare, it will.  It is a good chunk of the reason that it is set-up so that if need be, we, the entire family, are able to evacuate at a moments notice.

Me, OCD?  Never….


Insulin Anyone? July 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Jane Humke @ 8:27 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

This has been a seriously rough weekend here at The Old Chapel.  Jiji, the cat that my husband had when I first met him, became quite ill on Thursday night.  She stopped eating and was quite lethargic so I stayed up all night with her trying to get her to eat and drink every half hour or so.  On Friday I took her into the vet where they put saline under her skin and gave me some more to take home to keep her hydrated while we awaited the results of the blood tests that they took while we were there.  That evening Tech Support stayed up with her, both of us thinking it was a death vigil as her condition had worsened despite the massive amounts of fluids injected into her.  On Saturday we got the results from the vet and they were really surprising to us.  Jiji seems to be diabetic, which accounted for all of the symptoms, even ones which we didn’t perceive as such like the fact that she had lost a lot of weight over the past year.  We had to take her straight to the local ER vet (I am NEVER bitching about how far the ER vet in Casselberry was every again!) where they put her on a drip IV and started trying to get her blood sugar back down into a safer range.  She spent Saturday night there and we were able to pick her up again Sunday afternoon and bring her home.

She’s getting better slowly.  We know that she has more energy as she’s been bitching about the diet food that they put her on and rambling about the house some more.  This disease means that she will get twice daily shots just under her skin for the rest of her life, which she is dealing with admirably.  

I’m just happy that this isn’t being written with tears streaming down my face…



Goodies in the Mail and Other Goings On July 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Jane Humke @ 6:27 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

So on Monday I got yet another package from my lovely friend Tini this time containing all of her leftover bits of sock yarn.  I am planning on knitting this blanket when, well, I don’t know what will have to happen to make it start…  But I am planning on it as it is totally up my alley.  You know, lots of colors virtually impossible numbers of stitches and monster amounts of time.  Y’all know how I roll!  Anyway, here are just some of the bits and bobs that Tini sent me:





So, I have been trying desperately to get off my butt and get the chapel cleaned-up for this weekend.  We are having our first ever 4th of July party.  We decided to have one after finding out that the flagpole across the road from us that usually sports either the flag of England or the British flag will probably be sporting the Stars and Stripes on that day.  You just gotta host a party then!

This morning we awoke to a rather unusual sight.  A small bird had managed to get itself stuck between the 2 parts of our bathroom window.  I’m not even sure how the little thing got in there but you can imagine that the cats were dutifully interested in this odd sight.


As uncomfortable as this time “under glass” had to have been for this little one it did fly away when I finally managed to fish it out from between the two window parts.


To say the least, it was an interesting way to start the day….


Fully Caffeinated April 28, 2009

I am fully caffeinated for the first time in about 2 months.  Yesterday, I went out and filled big blue (my trusty 52 ounce insulated mug) up with flourecent yellow Mountain Dew goodness and ice and drank deeply.  It was oh so good.  I think that I finally understand serious drug addiction.  So, I was slurping on this as I went, well, shopping and errand running.  First I went here,  then I spent a great deal of time just breathing in the crafty fumes here.   A lot of time and a fair amount of money here, and I finished with meandering around here.  I then went back to the house and worked on a few things and then went over to Cesar and Pam’s house for dinner and to meet the newest member of their family.  His name is Sydney and he is a greyhound that they just adopted a few weeks ago.  He’s such a doll that I totally forgot to take a picture of him even though I had my camera right beside me the entire night.  

Today has been more errand running.  In fact, I think that a LOT of what I am going to be doing here until my graduation is just that, running errands.  Today I took Willma the cat to the vet for her health certificate.  I then went to Mt. Dora to finalize the plans for the graduation party.  Then I just was sort of all over Orlando getting this and checking that out.  Nothing all that exciting to tell you the truth, though it is the first time I’ve actually been hot without walking at least a mile in a while, so that was sort of exciting.  Currently I’m sitting in Infusion Tea waiting for Yarn Therapy night to start.  There is no internet at the house so it was easier for me to come here to do the blog than it was to, well, do it anywhere else.

It’s good to be, but sort of confusing at the same time.  I keep turning on the windshield wipers rather than the turn signal as they are on different sides on the different sides of the Atlantic.  I’m home, but I’m not.  Only Willma is in the house to greet me and she’s sort of manic from 2 months of infrequent visitors.  I am probably going to get some crap for this, but I think that I prefer the weather in the UK to that of Florida.  Yes, you read that right, I like the weather in England better than here in Florida.  It’s just so oppressively hot here.  It makes it difficult to do anything outside besides shuttling from your car to the building and back.  

I promise that I will take some pictures for y’all tonight and tomorrow.  Oh, and hopefully have something more interesting to say than “I went shopping”.


Casa la Puppy and the American Curiosity April 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Jane Humke @ 1:16 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Today I found the local boarding kennel.  I say the as there is only one that is, what I would call, nearby.  It’s in a small village (about the same size as Ivinghoe Aston) called Horton.  Every time we drive through it I think or say, “Horton hears a what!!!?!?!“.  It’s an illness, I really can’t help it.  I am however really glad to have found a reasonably priced place that seems nicer than some hotels I’ve stayed in in the past.  One in Washington DC stands out in particular.  It was a Days Inn and the carpets were sticky!  Sticky carpets!  And that was just the beginning, but I’m not going to go into it.  I wouldn’t make my dogs stay in a place like that hotel room.  Anyway, this kennel is great and I hope that the girls are as pleased being there as I am to have found it.

Today we also had a visit from the electrician.  He fixed a few small issues that we had quickly and in a professional manner.  However, the curiosity in the house was not the dogs trying to nip at his ankles rather, well, me.  He had never met an American and had several questions for me.  One of them was, “Are you really scared of gun violence like they say on the TV?”  It was sort of a hard question to answer honestly.  Here you so very seldom hear of people getting shot that it is a big, huge deal when someone does.  I had to answer him with a qualified, “Sometimes.”  I mean, there are areas of the little town of Apopka that I wouldn’t drive down after dark if I could avoid it.  There are parts of Orlando that I was nervous traveling through even at noon on a Tuesday.  He then asked if guns were as common as they seemed and I had to answer yes once again.  Here, most farmers have a gun for killing varmints and possibly livestock if they are needing to be put down.  There are some people that have guns for hunting but there are very few guns that fall into the “self security” or “people hunting” guns.  It is so non-gun here that they are actually trying to make it so that no-one under 18 can buy a knife (as that is how thugs here try to kill each other).  Coming from a place where 12 year-olds have guns, the idea that knives were restricted sort of blew my mind.  

I’m really starting to look forward to coming back to Florida.  The list of things that I want to pick-up is both long and eccentric.  Just a sampling of the list: Magic Erasers, Squeegee from Target, Fabric from JoAnn’s, Chocolate Chip (seriously, there aren’t fraking chocolate chips here!), Good Ice Cube trays, a pounder bag of M&M’s (they only sell them in little bags here), snack sized plastic baggies (the plastic baggy culture is about as developed as their yarn store culture) and cardboard cat scratchers from IKEA for the cats (as the IKEA here doesn’t carry them!).  Another thing that I would add to that list if it wasn’t so damn heavy is Tidy Cats cat litter for multiple cats.  I would never have imagined the dearth of affordable cat litter options here.  Had I, the whole damn back-end of that container would’ve been a big yellow wall of cat litter buckets!