Good weekend   4 comments

Unlike last weekend which ended with me just feeling down, this weekend was busy and fun.

I made some good progress on the stitching, the knitting, and the crocheting – but I haven’t got my camera handy right now, so you will have to wait for photos.

A and I got chores done on Friday and Saturday morning, then headed into Ellsworth where we put a deposit on a new pellet stove. Technically, the old one still works, but it needs more and more service, and it is getting VERY noisy. The year we bought it was the year of the stove shortage, so we could not get the much nicer one we wanted. Well, we found out the stove place will let us do a lay-away with no interest or fees, so we went for it. If our plan works, we will have the new one installed in October. We also got nice confirmation that the kind of pellets we bought this year really are lots better than the kind we have used in previous years, and so we should be MUCH warmer this winter. Ahhh, I am glad to have that worry off my mind. 4 tons of pellets and one ton of bio-bricks all stowed away, just waiting for Mother Nature to play her icy games with us.

I made some gluten-free chocolate chip cookies to take to a family gathering at Mom’s on Sunday – they came out OK but were very crumbly. Actually, I think they must have tasted pretty good, because my brother N who is well-known in the family for not eating broken cookies as kid took home a plate full of broken cookies. :-)

It was so good to see everyone, it has been months since the last time we all got together. I had some trepidation about the gathering, but it went well. My brother C is the one who gave us Tigger when he didn’t want her any more. I really was afraid he would give me a raft of you-know-what about losing her, but he never said a word. Brother N, sister C and brother-in-law R all expressed condolences which were much appreciated. Brother C said nothing, which is FINE. You just never know what he will say. Example: My grandmother died on Thanksgiving day two years ago. I spent three days racing back and froth between her in CT and home, a six plus hour trip. One of the reasons for the extra trip was to take HIS daughter from college to home, as I had planned to do that week. Anyway, I came home for Thanksgiving, thinking I would head back that night. I walked into the home where we were all having our holiday gathering , and Bro C said “You didn’t stay long enough.” huh? I didn’t know what he was talking about. “You should have stayed one more day.” I looked exhausted and puzzled, and my sister broke in to ask if Dad had called me that morning. He hadn’t caught me to let me know my grandmother had died. I thought it took great strength to not say to my brother “You didn’t go at all, so back off.” I was ready for him this time, and so pleasantly surprised to have worried for naught.

So…

There was pool swimming, even though it was cloudy and cold, and the pool is cold because it just never got warm this summer – the good part was I could swim without a long-sleeved shirt and hat! Nephew B and Niece E and Mom and I stayed in quite a while. I stayed as long as I could stand with E, because I remember as a kid not getting to swim all I wanted when I needed an adult. This memory often causes me to stay in the water until I am chilled and shivering, and this was another time. But it was great to swim, and E and I had fun after everyone else got out. She is ALMOST swimming – the arms are good, the legs tend to sink after a stroke or two. She just can’t quite relax enough, but she is getting there.

Niece C (the elder) has recovered well from her jaw reconstruction ordeal, and looks great! She lost weight (2 months on liquids will do that, I guess) and seems happy with her progress. Allowed to eat anything, but still working on muscle rehab, so she doesn’t eat crunchy things yet. But she seems happy to have things lined up properly.

Nephew B is the same cheerful fellow he has been since birth, looking forward to going back to college this week. His twin N had to work, so we didn’t see her this time, but will in a couple of weeks when we go to their new house for a picnic.

My sister did tell us a very funny story while we were sitting around knitting in the afternoon yesterday. Niece E (the younger, age 7) has recently been paying some attention to the real Christmas story (the one with Jesus, not Santa Claus). She is one with a brain that turns over everything, puzzling and wondering, and she asks amazing questions. My sister wanted to a little fact checking with Mom as she works very hard to give accurate answers to her little one. So she was telling Mom all the questions and making sure she got the answers right (which she did) and then she said “but I just couldn’t answer this one. And we spit our tea.” It seems E is fascinated by the whole story about being nailed to the cross. “What’s a cross?” Explained, (demonstrated with knitting needles.) More questions on construction details.

Then.. wait for it…

“Mom, why did they nail him to the cross? Why didn’t they just nail him to the wall?”

I, too would have spit tea. :-)

Posted August 18, 2014 by salpal1 in how I spent my day, What I love

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WordPress, you are getting on my nerves. I will find a way to comment!   19 comments

First you won’t let me post. When I get around that (thanks, MaryAnne!) you decide not to let me comment on posts. I can reply to my comments but not start any original comments.

So, let me just say this –

Kathryn Rubidoux – You stay safe – don’t rule out any option when it comes to lining up housing for yourself. Keep that blog open, and update it when you can, use the library or whatever resources you come across, but don’t give up on it, we do care about what happens to you and Liz. If the social worker doesn’t come up with anything, reach out to your local Domestic Violence prevention project, even if DV is not your issue, they will be able to point you toward other resources.

Some Daft Thoughts that is a powerful post, great response to a cad. glad you have unfriended him everywhere. I have not experienced that depression you experienced, but even without that, I knew enough to simply be sad that Robin Williams could not get the help he needed. To me, from out here, it seemed as if he never could align the love everyone had for his external self with the way he felt about his internal self. And as you say, if you get caught in that downward spiral soon, there is no option left. I am so glad that you did not go the same way he did, and you left me wondering – what helped you change things for yourself?

Now, on a happier note – Claire – I am loving the tales of your holiday – Malta looks intriguing – and that pool – ! I would have a hard time leaving it. Love the post to all the “serious” travelers!

And all of you who are posting about your knitting, crocheting, papercrafts and sewing – I love it all and think you are doing a great job. :-)

Now, WordPress, please fix it so I can click on comment and actually comment, instead of writing a ton and then having you say “Sorry, could not post this comment.” it’s just plain rude.

Posted August 16, 2014 by salpal1 in what I am thinking about

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Friday list   6 comments

This morning I have to take the car in to be serviced, in Bangor, so I will definitely be knitting. I also started a new book last night, a “whodunit” by Tess Gerritsen, Life Support, so I will bring that along too, in case it takes forever.

Normally, I would take advantage of being in “big city” to do a little shopping, but A and I are practicing some austerity this month, as we want to get a new pellet stove before winter, and the property taxes are due in September. If we behave ourselves, it is all do-able, but it does mean no wandering the craft and yarn stores in town. Bummer. Luckily I have a bit of recently improved stash to work with, right?

o after the car, it’s home to do a few chores and possibly some yard work, if things have dried out enough to work with. This weekend, I need to make three birthday cards for August, and I want to make a few batches of cookies to give away with them, so I’ll be busy with that over the next few days. Just not sure what will happen on Friday, and what will happen on Saturday. I’ll let you know how it comes out!

It gets easier with practice   10 comments

A couple of months ago I applied for a job for the first time in almost 20 years. It was filled before they got my application, which was a bummer, but it got me to get my resume updated.

So today when a different former coworker called to tell me of an opening at her place of business, I was ready. I tweaked the resume for this new opportunity and will send it off tomorrow.

It is much easier the second time!

Posted August 12, 2014 by salpal1 in what I am thinking about

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sunday last day of vacation   19 comments

Ever have one of those days where everything just feels overwhelming and hard?

That’s today.

No sign of Tigger. 8 days. Weekend warriors have opened sheds and garages, no cat.
Work tomorrow, and a load of overwhelming crap to deal with.
Slipped and fell in the bathroom this morning (that will teach me to clean the sink, right?) and though basically am fine, only a little bit of a sore knee, it just added on to the general feeling of crap.
Loading two tons of pellets into the basement this morning, caught a bag on the buckle on my shoe and tore it open. 40 pounds of pellets to sweep up.

Oh, and Zumba went out through a screen on the screened porch last night. While I was able to easily catch her and fix it, it means we have to figure out how to make the screens stronger, and we can’t leave the house opened up when we aren’t paying attention. She wasn’t even trying, she just is so big (15 pounds) that when she jumped up after a bug, she just went right on through. Pulled it out of its little screen track.

I am almost afraid to touch any of my needlework projects. Yet I also think I should just sit down on the couch and knit and stay there for the rest of my life.

On a good note, I love how this yarn is knitting up into these luscious little socks.

sws #19

Posted August 10, 2014 by salpal1 in how it came out, what I am thinking about

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bluer than blue   10 comments

singing the blues

I took the time today to wind the yarn in my queue and stow it on my little knitting cart. When I got done and saw it I had to laugh. I guess I’ll be knitting blue for a while – with a little dab of green!

Posted August 8, 2014 by salpal1 in What I love

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Friday list and lots of other things, too!   12 comments

First off – MANY thanks to Maryanne at slipped stitches who gave me a good tip when I asked why I can not get the “add a new post page” to load. In case you are experiencing similar difficuly, she suggested I try getting there from my dashboard, the menu on the left, not the cute little “add a new post icon” found on each page, not the “add a new post” button on the “manage my blog” page. IT WORKED! As perhaps you can see. So, now, there will be lots of reading and photos for you as I get you caught up on what I’ve been doing this week.

Second – I continue to worry about niece B who landed back in the hospital again this week, and still no conclusive results. One issue may be Crohn’s disease, and she had to swallow a blue-tooth pill camera to determine just how serious that is, but the pancreas is still not functioning properly, and no one seems to know why. She comes back to Maine for school in a couple of weeks, I told her and her mom not to forget that we are here if she needs ANYTHING or winds up back in the hospital, she needs to let us know. She has to keep intensive food journals and learn her triggers, which will be an adjustment to her, but not impossible, and she has to get on a med regime and tweak it until it works, which all is doable, but somewhat disconcerting when you are 19. I think the Crohn’s bothers me less than the pancreas at this point, but for her it is the other way around. Constant nagging worry.

Third – more nagging worry – still no sign of Tigger. It is clear to me she is NOT just out enjoying hunting in a neighbor’s field or the acres of woods around us. She is either locked up in someone’s shed or garage, and so we hope will come home again this weekend; been kidnapped by a neighbor with no thought of our heartbreak (more on that); or she has helped some wild animal survive by being a meal. Obviously, our preference is not the last, although the first two aren’t great as time goes on. If she is locked up someplace without water, that isn’t good. And if the long shot, the thoughtless neighbor has her, then all we can hope is that someday she will let her out and Tigger will come home.

It turns out our neighbor across the street has boundary issues with pets. She loves animals and is very focused on their welfare. As a result, she once took in a neighbor’s dog that had gotten loose. She took it with her to a family picnic half an hour’s drive away. When the family was going crazy looking for their dog, another neighbor suggested they call her, that she probably had the dog. Sure enough, she did. But then she told them if they wanted it back, they would drive over to get it! They did, but have not really gotten over it.

I spoke to this same neighbor about Tigger, and she told me she had seen a cat hunting mice in her field on Monday. I spent hours in her field, calling and calling, sitting quietly with a can of tuna fish, never saw a cat, Tigger or otherwise.

So we still call Tig when we get up in the morning and before we go to bed, and we still try to catch neighbors when they are home to ask about her, but if she doesn’t come home this weekend when the sheds and garages get opened up again, I doubt she ever will.

Less important but still a big part of my day has been knitting and stitching. This week it has been very hot and humid, so I do yard work early, then come inside out of the sun, then go out for a short bit in the afternoon before the thunderstorms and downpours roll through. So, lots of progress!

I took these photos Wednesday evening, so had to use the flash – which means sock colors are a bit distorted, but otherwise, they show how things are going along.

sws #18 and book

The book, Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, is a book group read. Set in NYC in the late 1930s, it is the story of the haves and the have-nots and trying to fit where you weren’t raised to be. It is very good, and while some bits are predictable, there is enough of the unexpected to make it interesting reading. It also was a reasonably quick read, taking about a week of monogamous reading to get through.

The socks are based on the Poseidon pattern, found on Ravelry, designed by Elinor Brown. I definitely modified the pattern a bit – if you care how/why, you can read about it on my Ravelry page. If you don’t – well then, don’t! They are knitting up very nicely, I like the pattern. It took me quite a while to memorize it and be able to read what row I am on, but now that is easy, and so they are flying off the needles. Yesterday I had to go to a meeting a couple of hours away, and it is a meeting during which I knit , so I got LOTS done. I am on the leg of the second sock.

The cross stitching moves more slowly, but I did focus on it Wednesday, and so am DONE with the sand, sky and water. Now onto the surrounding shells. (Actually, I have one more stitch to make in the sky area, it is part of a gull, and I haven’t used that color yet, so the one stitch remains undone so far.) I’ll focus on it again this weekend, I really want to complete this by the end of the month so I can give it away. Otherwise, it will hang around with no deadlines.

cross stitch 4

Wednesday was a fun day – I met Mom in Camden at the Cashmere Goat. It is a VERY nice yarn store that has been open 4 years and I never knew it existed! I love that it is spacious and not jammed with product, and yet it has a huge selection of high end yarns. The store layout is airy and open, the ladies are nice and helpful but not in your face annoying. Because we went early, we even got street parking nearby, which is VERY DIFFICULT in Camden in the summer. When we left we told them we would be back after Labor Day. :-) We love to see the tourists come in the summer, but we love to see them go in the fall even more.

I bought a couple of patterns for shawls, one that I keep seeing all over the internet on needles and think looks interesting to make and wear is Leftie by Marina Behm. They had a sample knit up in the shop, and I knew I would have to try it. If I wasn’t committed to the sock scrap crocheted blanket, I would probably use some of my sock scraps for this. But I have another idea for it as well, which I will share if it ever seems like it will happen.

While I was getting that, I figured I would get Hitchhiker by the same designer as well – after all, Claire at Mollie&Claire is making one that looks so pretty (see hers here), and they had the pattern right there for me to just pick up.

And yes, I know this was a yarn store. You didn’t think I would leave it without a bit of lusciousness did you? Sock yarn – a whole section of it. Tosh Sock. A complete wall. It took me a very long time to choose one skein. And here is the amazing thing – with all the Tosh Sock I have knit this year, and a whole wall full of colors, they only had ONE color I had already used. That made it very difficult for me, I really was hoping they would only have one I hadn’t used. :-) I finally chose white wash, which has lovely soft faded teal tones with a creamy natural color.

I also got a couple of skeins of Malabrigo Lace to make myself a lace scarf/shawl thing. I just loved the soft blue-teal color, and the price was right.

cashmere goat haul

The yarn all looks pretty together, it is clear to me that when I wear the shawl, I will pair it with these socks.

Mom and I were commenting that we can look at a whole wall of every color imaginable, and really love them all, but when it comes time to actually pick one out to buy, we almost always choose blue, and if we don’t, it is because we chose red. We have to really force ourselves away from those two colors. Mom did better at that than I did, getting herself a soft white/gray.black variegated to make a scarf. She loves making scarves for us all, but this one is for herself, to go with her black dress coat.

By the time we finished there, it was lunch time, so we found a little place with three restaurants to choose from and two parking spaces. Our first choice of restaurant, Peter Ott’s said it opened at 11, but it was way past 11 and the door was lovked, so we went to the seafood place across the parking lot. they didn;t serve lunch. Glad there were three choices! The last place we tried, Fresh! Was interesting – it was a bit pricey, but that clearly was because they used locally sourced exceptional ingredients, and the menu was unusual. The good news? Lots of gluten-free choices. It just was hard to wrap our heads around what these things would all taste like together because we don’t usually run to gourmet eating. However, Mom located the burger, and I tried a gluten-free chicken pot pie with root vegetables (apparently, peas are root vegetables?) Both were delicious, but we decided we would not head back there soon – it was just too pricey for lunch, and we both knew our better halves would NOT appreciate the place.

Then it was off to Rockland for an ice cream, then back home to Mom’s for a short time before we headed over to her summer commitment at the historical society. She does a couple of Wednesdays a summer sitting at the “Homestead” and telling visitors about the place. So far this summer she has only seen two visitors and me, so I guess some Wednesdays are slow. The house is an old one, built no later than 1777, and needs major repairs, but they have stopped the decay and done a bit of restoration on it. It looks like a sad version of my little house in Cherryfield, same layout, which was pretty standard for a cape in those days. But the ladies clearly love the place and always are working to get the next repair done.

Wednesday evening, A and I went into Blue Hill to meet sister-in-law L at a presentation by a couple who traveled to Madagascar last fall. It was a couple of hours long, slde show and talk, and it was very interesting. They were birding, but had a lot of other things included in the photos and talk. Since nephew D and his wife A are living there just now, it was very interesting to us to learn more about it. It didn’t take too many photos of snakes, spiders, millipedes and lizardy things for me to decide I would NOT be going there anytime soon. The culture bits with the people, and the stories they shared about the towns they were in were much more interesting than the creepy bits, to me. And the last place they stayed, quite a nice resort with fabulous beaches did tempt me… but then I remembered I can’t go out in the sun. So, I’ll choose a less exotic place for a vacation, I guess. :-) The Lemurs were very cute, and the birds were lovely, though.

So finally, we get to Friday, and the list. :-)

I have to run and pick up the drycleaning, and get gas in the car, check the mail, all good exciting Friday things, right? I also want to get outside, once the trees stop dripping to do more yard work. The tomatoes are starting to come along, especially the cherry tomatoes, and I want to make shish kabobs tonight, so I need to pick some of them. Peas are still coming along, how cool our summer has really been! And the sweet peas are just starting. Squash does it’s usual thing – bloooms nicely, all male blossoms, no female, so no squash. I simply do not get it and may someday give up.

When the sand dries out a bit, I will do some more clearing for the pool, it comes along, I hit a slow tough spot, but am alost through it, and HOPE that the next section goes a bit more quickly. This patch was so full of small stones that I used them to replenish the small area at the bottom of the back steps, so we won’t track so much muck in the house. Beats hauling them all off to the rock pile in the woods.

I also need to contact Dish and get them to give us the national CBS feed, I tried email, they gave me a credit for the lack of the local station, but no national feed. I expressed my dissatisfaction, and they simply said “use our online chat.” Big help. Zero for customer service.

That’s it, besides stitching and knitting breaks, it will be a day of work. I had better get a wiggle on!

A Note From Abroad

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sailaway from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

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