Sarah Jane Humke

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

My Hookers are FAMOUS! June 24, 2013

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Famous Hookers.

That is all.

 

Clearly on the “Naughty” list December 21, 2011

So yeah, not a lot coming from this corner for a bit.  I’ve been, you know, busy y’all!

So, where were we last?  Oh yeah!  I went to Florida to deal with house and storage unit and to catch up with my wonderful Florida peeps.  The damage to my house wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been but bad enough that it is going to be a P.I.T.A. to fix.  I think that the people who broke into the house weren’t of the same gang that has been going around to vacant houses and completely cleaning them out of everything including the wiring, appliances and fixtures for which I am glad.  I think that the people who took the A/C unit just needed an A/C.  I guess I can understand this but at the same time (and this is probably a tad on the mean-spirited side) I hope that you get it all installed and working and then it leaks all over your drywall causing many expensive repairs.  I mean, that would be pretty much perfect karma there!  So here are some pictures of the damage I was (and still am) dealing with.

This was the air intake vent where the air was recycled into the air handler.

They broke my damn sink!

Where my thermostat used to be...

And tried to step through my ceiling!

 

I drove my father’s monster van down there.  He gets irritated with me when I say that as he doesn’t think that it is all that big.  But when you are looking down at all the pickups and nearly all the other vans on the road and can look in at the truckers nearly on their level then I think it pretty safe to say that it’s a bloody big van!

The reason that I drove the beast down there (other than wanting to look like a bad-ass [not sure how much I succeeded on that front!]) was that there was a storage unit that we still had stuff in that needed to be cleaned-out.  We had left a lot of appliances and electronics behind as they don’t work over there and (if you’ve been reading the blog for a while you already know this) we were worried it wasn’t all going to fit in a 40′ container.  So I got to clean-out a 10’X10′ storage unit with over 2 years worth of dead black widows in it.  Yeah, there was a black widow spider infestation at some point (I’m told that this was normal for the entire area) and it was all sorts of fun figuring-out if any of them were still alive.  Now normally these spiders don’t bother me too much.  I mean really, they are truly a “live and let live” sort of creature.  But in this case there were just so many of them that I was afraid that I was going to just “bump” into a web a little too forcefully and piss-off it’s inhabitant.  Luckily, there only seemed to be one that was alive in the whole unit and I set it free in the great outdoors.  Anyway, by the time I left, the unit looked like this:

Clean and EMPTY!

Since I was down there I got to spend a goodly amount of time with the Hookers.  I made it to 2 meet-ups and the Christmas party.  I didn’t take a lot of photos at these as I never ever remember to take my camera out until it is too late.  But at the Christmas party we did a group shot which I had the presence of mind to throw my camera at one of the photographers to get a couple of shots.

My favorite Hookers in the whole wide world!

I was also well booked for lunches and dinners meeting with folks I’ve not seen in a couple of years.  It was great to get to hang out with friends and catch-up with what is going on in their lives.  We get such a fragmented picture of what is happening from things like Facebook and twitter that it really shows just how much live, in-person communication is still a needed and necessary thing.

Plus it’s still hard to get hugs over the internet.

I drove the same route back as I did down with the minor exception of taking the Atlanta bypass around the city rather than going straight through it as my lovely Georgiana instructed on the way down.  She was still quite insistent that downtown was the best way to go on the way back but I turned her off until she could come to her senses.

Welcome to Kentucky!

I just love this store. It is in the middle of the interstate!

The Florida state line and an ad for a retirement community. There are some things I really do not miss:-)

Luck or fate or Mother Nature or whatever you want to call it was on my side throughout this entire trip.  I didn’t have any severe weather going in either direction (for which I am extremely thankful) and really it was just a heck-of a lot of driving.

Since I’ve been home it’s been all about getting ready for Christmas.  There was a tree to set-up and decorate and the presents to wrap (this has been a task delegated to me since early childhood) and dogs to wash.  Ok, so that last one isn’t strictly a Christmas thing, but you know, stinky dogs do bring down the holiday spirit:-)

I’ve been trying to get things ready for my new job which starts in January.  I’m not going to say much about it except that it will have me all over the state of Iowa so be ready for lots more of my photos from behind the wheel (don’t try that at home!).  I’ll also be traveling to South Carolina for a bout of training so there might be some more travel pictures too.

 

Random Thursday March 18, 2010

1.)These were the top search terms to find my blog this past week:

brenda dayne,  alpakka yarn tampon,  sarah mengel knitting,  london trafalgar square empty plinth,  woman knitting

I especially like the alpakka yarn tampon one.  Does make one think though.  I mean, if they now have cashmere toilet paper at Waitrose….

2.) I’m really diggin this new add for tampons (it must be a tampon kind of day!)  I like that it just totally spoofs on all those “fresh feeling” ads that we all know and love.

3.) Speaking of videos, I realize that I never posted a link to this lovely one by Pringle of Scotland.  Check it out, then watch it again.  I swear it gets funnier the more you watch it!

4.) This has been the longest that we have gone without precipitation here since last summer.  It is finally raining (it’s been at least a week) and I feel something akin to relief.  How sad is that?  At least part of it has to do with the plants needing water outside and me being lazy….

5.)  I have a new job that requires steel toe shoes.  Oh yeah, Sarah’s gonna rock the industrial look!

6.)  I am so done with spring cleaning.  However, that doesn’t mean that Spring cleaning is done with me! But at least my studio/office/playroom looks great!

My room as seen from the door.

7.) Cats and dogs sleeping in rare English Spring sunshine.

Weezy and Milo enjoying some afternoon sun.

8.) Tonight is fish and chips night at the pub.  Sort of helps to make up for the fact that I am missing hooking with the hookers…..

 

Book Review: Crazy Aunt Purl’s Home is Where the Wine Is January 1, 2010

This was one of the books that I got as a Christmas present this year and I am so glad that I did. (However, I do really wish that I could get onto whatever list it is that they send you free copies of books that are coming out soon [especially yarn/fiber related books!] for you to read and review.  Anybody have an idea on that? [I would be willing to do giveaways!])

Laurie Perry’s skills as a writer have gotten even stronger since her last book Crazy Aunt Purl’s Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair which was laugh out loud funny itself.  Actually, it was more like laugh-until-you-nearly-pee-your-pants funny and her newest book is even better.  I guess that you would call it laugh-until-you-pull-a-muscle-in-your-side-and-then-pee-your-pants funny.  The hubby looked in on me several times while I was reading it trying to discern if I was laughing really hard or crying.  Seriously folks, this woman takes all that is the worst about being a single woman (and sometimes just being a woman in general) and makes you look at it, and I mean really look at it, and realize just how ridiculous it all is sometimes.  Her story about getting ready for a vacation to Hawaii literally made me laugh until I cried and anyone who has ever tried to get in shape will recognize themselves in her descriptions of her forays to the gym.

I’ve been a fan of Laurie’s Blog Crazy Aunt Purl ever since I read her first book a few years ago.  Since then, I’ve told anyone who would listen to me prattle about something like this (read: Happy Hookers crochet group) how great of a blog it is and how everybody should go out and get her books.  Or at the very least, check them out from the library.  Laurie is sort of like a much less whiny Bridget Jones (the one aspect that I always disliked about Bridget was the whiny tone she gets into often) with the much more realistic issues of cat litter (an issue that I have cussed and discussed several times myself), Target shopping (ditto) and yoga farting (haven’t hit that one yet).  I love the fact that she too has been on a date where the other participant spent more of the time on their cell phone than on conversation with the person sitting right in front of them.  At the end of this book there are knitting and crochet patterns which are mostly small projects that a beginner (or the obsessive, in the case of the rug) could easily do.

All in all, this book gets five (yarn) balls up (get yer minds out of the gutter!).  Way to go Laurie and please, don’t make us wait as long for the next one!!!

 

Bad Blogger, No Cookie! October 11, 2009

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Yeah yeah, I know I haven’t been up here very much in the past couple of weeks.  I have a few very good reasons for this actually.  A.) I was tired of posting all the time.  B.) Internets were iffy a lot of the time C.) Iowa was pretty boring and D.) I have been really busy since I got Florida.

Good excuses huh?

Anyway, since I have gotten to Florida, as I said, I have been busy.  I’ve been booked for dinner or something almost every night since I got here.  Of course I went to the Happy Hookers on Thursday night and it was as great as usual.  However, they decided  it wasn’t enough “Sarah time” and a plan for dinner on Friday night was hatched!  We went to Nonna on Edgewater and it was EXCELLENT!  I would highly suggest it to anyone wanting a great place to eat in the area.  Anyway, afterward a few of the hookers still hadn’t had enough “Sarah time” and kidnapped me (that’s my story at least and I’m sticking to it!) to the Drunken Monkey, a great indie coffee place near Bumby and Colonial.   We hung out until nearly midnight!!  Yesterday I went with Cesar and Pam to IKEA and the millenia mall.  Not a whole lot of time to hang-out and write blogs posts…

So, Florida weather has been intent on reminding me why exactly I’m kinda glad not to be living here anymore.  It’s been extremely freaking hot the entire time that I have been here.  It’s been so hot that even the people who like it hot are complaining.  Hot and muggy have been the words of the day around here.  I feel like I need to grow gills in order to take a walk outside!

There are so many things that I miss about Florida, but the weather is soooooo not one of them.  I miss my friends here all the time.  I miss the ease of, well, everything here.  Want to go out to eat?  Hop in the car and run to what ever kind of food you have a hankering for.  Need some yarn for a project on a Sunday night?  Run to Jo-Anns before it closes.  In England everything has to be planned and plotted before you can really do anything anywhere.  Admittedly, it has made us better at conserving the car and resources but it is a pain-in-the-ass at times.  I don’t miss the aggressive traffic that seems to follow you with the nose of their cars up your tailpipe.  And I don’t miss the HEAT!!!

Honestly, I now know that this trip has been just about 10 days too long.  So, for future reference, if I am ever planning a 60 day trip again would someone remind me of this before I leave?  I’m really happy to see everyone but I’m kinda done.  I want to be home in my own bed with my own pets.

Yes, I’ll take some cheese with that whine.

However, I get to go to Rhinebeck in less than a week.

I know, I suck.

 

Travel Plans August 8, 2009

So, it is now really real.  My travel plans are pretty much in carved in soap stone at this point.  This means that they are booked but could change due to the varagancies of the Travel Gods.  Or weather.  I mean, it is autumn in the Midwest not exactly an area known for it’s weather consistancy.  Still, I don’t think that I should have too many problems the time of year that I will be there.  So, here is the plan as it stands today:

August 21st London to Chicago via Dusseldorf

August 26th Chicago to Iowa

August 28th to October 4th  Iowa to Alaska back to Iowa

October 5th Iowa to Orlando

October 10th-ish Orlando to Key West with the hookers

October 15th Orlando to White Plains, NY

October 16-18 RHINEBECK!!!

October 18th White Plains, NY to London via Dusseldorf

 

I should start calling this the “Traveling Insanity Tour ’09”.

 Anybody who wants to meet-up with me on the way just give me a holler in the blog comments!

 

Almost fraking done! August 1, 2009

So, the Flower Power blanket, otherwise known as the blanket for Cesar and Pam, is very nearly done.  I finished sewing it together this week (thank the Gods) and am working on putting the edging on it.  I’m so happy that this project is done I could (and have) done a little dance.  It’s not that I didn’t like making it.  I really liked crocheting this one up.  Well, except for that whole unexpectedly ran out of the yarn that I needed for the center of the flowers when I’m several thousand miles away from a place that sells it thing.  That kinda sucked (thanks again Lily!).  Honestly, it wasn’t even the sewing.  It was the headaches that I got from the sewing.  I know that I should go see an eye doctor but I just can’t bring myself to go through all of that until I am back from my big trip to the states.

DSC_2727

Speaking of the trip.  I realized that I haven’t yet put up an itinerary for where all I am going and roughly when (I don’t even know all of it yet!).  So, here it goes:

I start off flying from London, Heathrow to Chicago on the 21st of August.  I will be staying in Chicago from the 21st until the 26th when I take the California Zephyr (Amtrak train) to Osceola, IA where my mother is going to be picking me up.  I will then be staying in Iowa until the 28th or the 29th when my parents and I are leaving by car for Alaska.  We will be gone on this part of the trip for anywhere from 4-6 weeks, not really sure yet.  So when we get back, sometime in the end of September or beginning of October, I will then make my way down to Florida for a few weeks.  There is a trip in the planning for Key West with a bunch of hookers the weekend of the 10-11th of October.  The next Friday, the 16th, I’ll be making my way up to Rhinebeck for the NY Sheep and Wool festival.  On the 18th, I fly from White Plains to DC and then back to London, Heathrow.  I will have been gone approximately 60 days.  I will also be spending a LOT of time on United Airlines (gag).  I wish that I could take Amtrak a little more (luggage restrictions and all of that are easier) but it really wasn’t feasible at all.  Now, a few things in this itinerary…  I plan on being at the Ravelry party on Saturday night so if anybody wanted to meet me this would be a good place to do it.  I may or may not make it to the Ravelry meet-ups at Rhinebeck as I always mean to and then get too excited about everything going on and totally forget.  Maybe I’ll have more control this year (snort!).  I’m also thinking about taking a class at Rhinebeck if I get in early enough on Friday.  Annie Modesitt is teaching several classes this year and, shockingly, they aren’t sold out yet.  (I think that this is sort of a Sock Summit “shadow”.  It will be interesting to see if the crowds at Rhinebeck are thinner this year because of it as well since so many people only have enough money to do either one or the other…)

I have at least finished one thing this week.  The traveling baby blanket that I made out of leftover Cottontots is completely finished, even the ends are woven in.  I plan in taking it over to my neighbor sometime next week for her church to use as a fundraising tool.  Here it is:

DSC_2720

Today has been…rough.  I couldn’t sleep last night at all.  I was still perky and awake when the birds started singing this morning.  At around 7am I took the dogs out for a good walk.  I wasn’t tired for any of it and the Hubby got up and joined me.  I then abruptly became really tired and more or less passed-out for about 4 or 5 hours.  Ugh.  Then I got up and made banana bars and managed to overbake them.  I won’t say burnt as they are really only just a tad too brown.  Still, it was annoying.  Then I made banana bread (are you seeing a theme here?) where half of the batter went into a normal sized loaf pan and the other half went into 4 tiny little pans.  The little ones turned out ok, the big one, not quite so.  I’m not sure what happened there but I guess I’ll just have to try again!

Last night while I wasn’t sleeping, I designed and ordered some mini “business” cards with Moo.  I saw a lot of these at Woolfest and thought that they seemed much cooler than traditional business cards.  I decided to get some for myself as I noticed that at gatherings of fibery folks I was always asking what folks Ravelry names were and then forgetting it before I had even gotten home.  I put my electronic contacts on these cards and then an assortment of photographs on the other side of them.  I figured that I will probably be meeting a lot of folks on my trip and pulling out one of these cute little cards was way easier than trying to record things on napkins or scraps of paper that always get lost.  I totally suggest checking out the site as you can order 10 normal business sized cards for free.

One cool thing that happened today was that I finally got my actual paper degree from UF.  It looks quite official and fancy.  I was surprised that they put a little thing on the actual degree that said “Cum Laude”.  How cool is that?!!?  Now I just need to find a frame for it!