Sure Happy It’s Thursday   2 comments

or, as a coworker of mine used to call it, S.H. I. T. :-)

With A gone, this week has been somewhat different. It turns out I have only one cat, and that one only part-time.  Zumba has gone into a complete state of mourning, I have to call her for meals.  Today I tried playing with her before work, she just sat in her box of tissue paper and looked at me.  Allie, on the other hand has decided that she likes being the only cat of the only person, and is very lovey for about ten minutes at night and in the morning, then she, too disappears. They will be beside themselves when A rolls in tonight.

So, with no cats around and no A around, I have made a glorious mess in the kitchen dying yarn.  I have some teal, some aquamarine, and then some that was dyed with the end of the aquamarine bath, then when that ran clear, I put some royal blue in.  I’ll get some photos for you this weekend – I like how they came out! I will be doing more of this.  :-)

I also slept with the windows open. And left the bedroom windows open when I went to work. And stayed up until NINE O’CLOCK. And scooped the cat box everyday. And did some laundry. And all the dishes. And OF COURSE I miss her and can’t wait for her to come home.  One of our anniversaries was Tuesday – the second of legal marriage – and she wasn’t here.  :-( We will celebrate this weekend with a meal out, and I will be happy to cede back to her all her morning chores, I had a tough time getting out of the house each morning.

But I did, and it was always worth it, we have had such beautiful mornings this week!  Yesterday was misty down low, but a beautiful sunrise (I got a photo of it which I will share when I clean off the camera this weekend) so the clouds just glowed.  Today was equally pretty – a fine, clear morning.  All the leaves are growing fast, and the world looks much more hopeful than it did a few months ago!  The wild pears and cherries are blooming, I noticed many buds about to pop on my neighbor’s apple tree.  Things are late, but they are blooming. I doubt we will have lilacs this weekend, or lupines in a week, but they are trying.

And A comes home tonight.  Isn’t life good?

I never get done as much as I plan to   6 comments

But I DID get the cool weather seeds planted – two kinds of peas, lettuce, mesclun, carrots, radishes, and some experimental pumpkins (might be too early for them, only time will tell.) Got them all in their tidy raised bed and watered them so that it could rain today.  It is amazing to me just how dry the ground was – all that lovely snow melt is long gone.

I did cook up the first stalks of asparagus and they were delicious!  I can see that we will be eating a lot of that over the next few weeks, the plants are throwing up stalks every day!

I also finished the endless scarf!  I finally decided that when I block it, it will grow in length and enough is enough.  :-)  I have some of the beads and yarn left, so will likely make a small bracelet to match it.

To celebrate and avoid working on the blue linen monster I strung beads for a blue, yellow and green collar style necklace – a modification of Laura Nelkin’s Butin Collar.  Sounds hideous, no?  I think it will look prettier than it sounds when it is knit up – nice and summery.  I had three tubes of beads in those colors, in three different sizes, so I am adding many (like 130) size 11 beads to her pattern so I can put one between each cast on stitch.  I hope it will make a nice, sparkly outer edge. If it works, I may be sorry I didn’t add more so I could the same on the bind off edge, but I think that would be a bit much. And as I always do now with the pattern I added enough beads to do one more row.  I do this for the simple reason that I am LAZY.  If I do the pattern as written, both the starting and ending tail are on the same end of the necklace, and I have to anchor a thread on the other end with which to sew the clasp.  BUT if I add one more row, then I have a yarn tail at each end of the thing, and I can use them to sew on the clasp, which in turn means less end weaving. It took a bit of experimentation to string on the right number of beads in the right size, but I think I have it now. :-)

The kids had a mouse last night. No clue where it came from, but I know where it wound up!  They both were acting like something odd was going on when we went to bed, but they sometimes go gaga over a fly, and we hadn’t seen anything running around, so I ignored it.  Until 4:30 when the light was snapped on and A was moving books off the bookcase in our room.  “Whaaa?” “I think they have a mouse” Sure enough, they did, and she caught it in a margarine tub.  It is outside now, the cats are sleeping it off.  I guess they played with the poor thing ALL NIGHT.  I hate that they are so mean to a creature, I wish they would just go ahead and kill the thing.  But at least they have remembered that they should be hunting. Now if they would just get the giant creature that runs through the soffits and into the bathroom ceiling.

Today we are doing fun things like going to the dump and grocery store – but we also are going out to breakfast, and then I hope, to the hardware store.  I need some dirt, tomato plants, and they had a nice little trellis that might be just the thing for some sweet peas, and they carry fabric dyes which I want to check too.  See if I can make a nice fuchsia that doesn’t smell like root vegetables.  :-) But I bet when I get there and start reading labels I change my mind and come home and see what I can do with Kool Aid and food coloring.

Since A is going golfing (it is supposed to stop raining shortly) I might just stink up the house with dyes and wet wool.  then I will go outside and work in the yard so I don’t have to smell it either.  :-)

It’s a weekend!   6 comments

Thank GOD!

It was a long week at work. This whole 5 day thing is taking some getting used to.

But I got a few odds and ends done in the evenings when I got home.  I repaired the giant sieve I am using to prep for the pool (really, I swear there will be a pool someday) so I can begin work on that project.  I cleaned up the raised beds ready for planting should it ever get warm enough.  We had frost a few nights this week, so I will only be planting peas and lettuce any time soon.  Good news is the asparagus is up and we have had a small harvest!  Enough for supper tonight.  Much more coming.

I finished knitting my purple lace leaf KAL shawl – and I learned how to compress photos on this new computer – let me know how these work on your monitors as there are many options for me to choose from, and I have no idea what they all mean.

So here it is, unblocked still –

purple-shawl-unblocked

I have washed (several times) the beet-dyed yarn.  It still smells like beets.  This might be a bust.  The color is a deep peach, not bad, if you weren’t expecting fuchsia/magenta.  But if it smells like beets, I can’t really use it.

On the technology front – the IPhone is interesting.  Every day at work I got a young person to teach me more about it, so I think I can answer the phone and get my email.  :-)

The computer – it is great of course, EXCEPT I can’t get it onto our Wi-Fi.  I have entered and re-entered that connection, checked spelling, settings etc. Just doesn’t see it and won’t connect. I brought my laptop (Windows 7)home from work to see the settings, made them the same.  A brought hers home (Windows 8) last night, so I will check that this weekend.  Meantime, I read some blogs (natch) about it and got nothing new except that it might be Windows 8.  If I don’t resolve it this weekend, I will call Dell Help (pity me) and if they can’t help, then I will just use the wire to the wall and wait for Windows 10 to come out, see if that helps. It is interesting to me that A’s computer can find it but mine can’t.  Sigh. I am just glad we still have the old-fashioned LAN I can hook into.

Let’s see,  what else? A has had a bad cold all week, so we have been laying low, going to bed early.

But now it is the weekend – full speed ahead!

I went out reasonably early and got a hair cut, while A started the laundry going.  I finished up knitting an I-cord bracelet – I hope to get some photos of it that are decent.  It is three strands of beaded I-cord – actually relatively simple to do and pretty.  And generic enough that I can sell it online without worrying about someone screaming that I am using their pattern.  But not this ne – the clasp is pretty but hard to manage in a bracelet, so I will use a different one on ones for sale.

Sister-in-law L is coming over this afternoon to work in her raised bed, so I plan to work out there with her.  A has a bookcase nearly finished and ready for me to paint!  It is the prototype of the loft library ones, and will go in the craft room, where it is much needed.  I am so glad she is moving ahead with these, they are coming out nicely. I hope she will finish it this weekend, I can paint it during the week.

She is playing golf tomorrow afternoon, so I will have time to work in the yard some more, and on my endless scarf knitting projects (different from an infinity scarf, an endless scarf just never seems to get done!)

A good weekend!

Posted May 16, 2015 by salpal1 in Uncategorized

Big technology week!   9 comments

At work my plain old cell phone got traded in for an iPhone 6.  I hope no one calls, I am not sure I know how to answer it.  I did learn how to turn off all the beeps so I could sleep while Facebook updates, the auto emails come in, etc.  :-)

Tonight my brand new laptop arrived.  I had been using the work one for so long that I almost forgot I didn’t own it. Now that it is back on my desk, I was without internet at home, so I used my tax travel $$ to get a new one.

It is Windows 8.  Someday I will figure out how to get the wireless working.  Meanwhile, we are back to the tripping cord of death.  Actually, I will take it to work tomorrow and get my IT buddy to help me figure out why it doesn’t recognize our wi-fi (but it finds the neighbor’s?!?)

Now, I have to figure out how to crop and save my photos on this new thing. then you can see what I have been up to lately, not just read words.  :-)

Posted May 13, 2015 by salpal1 in how it came out, what I am thinking about

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My week in review   14 comments

Hello!  It feel so strange not to have been here all week.  Lots has been going on, and none of it involved having a computer on in the evening, sooooo there is a lot of catch up for you.

I started work bright and early Monday morning.  I have to say it felt good to be back and see all my buds, sit at my desk and dig into work I like.  With in a day, it also felt like I never left, which is good and bad.

Monday is the first nice sunny day we had had in ages, and it stayed that way all week, so when I got home in the evening, I was able to do a bit of work here and there around house and yard.  I did not do much, though.  I have to say, getting used to going to work, and to getting home on time, takes time. I did have to set a calendar reminder at 3:30 to go home every day. , lol.

Wednesday I took half a day off (prearranged, no worries, I didn’t start slacking off yet!) to spend the day with niece B at her dorm.  We spent a couple of hours getting her sorted and packed up, and then played a bit of Phase 10.  She beat me.  Twice.  Unheard of!

Thursday evening was spent getting the guest room ready for her mom who was due to roll in Friday evening from PA, with niece C the younger. The plan was for the two of them to spend the night, get B early Saturday morning and head back to PA.

Friday, I stopped in to J and B Atlantic to see how things were going there – nothing has sold yet, but the first tourists aren’t here yet, so I am keeping up hope.  I may do the display a bit differently but I haven’t quite figured out how I want it to go. I’ll think about that this week.

While I was heading home, the phone rang.  Niece B.  Would I please call her mom?  Ut-oh.  I did, and discovered that niece B was getting free from RA duties a day early, so she could be picked up and packed up Friday night, if all three of them could sleep at our house.  Of course!  Did they want my help packing?  Of course!  So, I raced home, fed the cats, changed my clothes and drove to Bangor.  Spent the next two hours packing up the last of the things, and hauling bags and boxes out until we had stuffed one car and the back seats of two others.  Niece B is on the ninth floor of her dorm.  While the floors are counted weirdly, it is likely only 4 stories up (the dorms are built out from a central section, and the stairs spiral around, with floors going off in three directions)but  there is no elevator.  That is a lot of stairs.  I am thankful those two girls are stronger and tougher than I am.  Of course, B has been climbing up there all year, so she is used to it. By the time we grabbed sandwiches and got home, it was almost 9 o’clock.  That is when the Phase 10 re-challenge began.  By midnight, I had redeemed myself and we went off to bed.  Now, normally, I don’t mind staying up late with the kids when they are here, we all love playing board and card games.  But I had a special day planned for Saturday, so had to get up and out the door by 6:15.  I did it somehow, although it meant not seeing the kids in the morning.

Saturday I spent at Haystack Mountain Crafts center.  This fantastic place is perched on a granite hillside above the ocean, and offers the most amazing arts and crafts adventures.  Normally, I can barely afford to look at the catalog, but they have several events in the early and late season for local people.  Even those events are often out of my budget – and I have always gotten the impression that they are for people who are serious about their craft, and very artistic.   I have seen the finished products – they are amazing!  Anyway… last winter, one of my tax volunteers asked me if I was going to sign up for Island day.  I hadn’t heard of that one, so she made me a copy of her letter, and it was intriguing!  There were several workshops offered, covering writing, blacksmithing, quilting, paper jewelry, pottery, wooden box building, glass bead making.  Wait a minute, glass bead making?  I backed up and read the details.  $35 got you an all-day workshop and two meals.  A beginners class on making lampwork glass beads. Open to residents of Deer Isle and the Blue Hill peninsula – which they NICELY defined as including my town!  Entry was by lottery, but they had spaces reserved for people who had never been, so I signed up, way back in March. Not like me to get something in so promptly.  I was selected, and I got my first choice class, bead making.  So I spent the whole day on the island making glass beads, or as I was calling them by the end of the day, glass blobs.  I won’t know how they came out until the teacher finished processing them, as they were not cool enough when we finished.  But I think they will be very blobby in nature.  We worked from about 9 until noon, had a fabulous lunch, then worked until 5.  By 3:30, I was done (remember, I only got about 4 hours of sleep) so I wandered around looking at what everyone else was making, and the teacher, Sihaya Hopkins,  did some demos, so I got to see what it looks like when you aren’t making blobs, but creations. Then we had studio walk-through, where we could go see what everyone else made, and they could come see ours.  Only ours were in the kiln!  So we painted water colors of what we thought we had created, and called it a day.  Of course, I never was any good at painting and drawing, so I painted colorful blobs.  Which, now that I think about it, might be accurate renditions of my beads.

After that, they gave us dinner, also delicious, before sending us on our way.  I was home by 8:30, absolutely exhausted. But what a fun day!  I saw a couple of people I know (and met a few more whom I really liked.  The energy that was in that cafeteria when all the groups were together, eating family style at nice sized tables was amazing.  They were filled to capacity, so you HAD to sit with strangers and talk to them, but it was good anyway.  :-)

I bet you can guess what I am doing today – NOT MUCH!  Some laundry, a bit of yard work, some knitting, napping.  That should cover it and get me ready for another week at work. I’ll try to post more often this week so I don’t bury you under words when I finally get to a keyboard.

Posted May 10, 2015 by salpal1 in Uncategorized

So did you see?   7 comments

Great Britain has a new princess. Isn’t she adorable?  DID YOU SEE HER BONNET?  And blanket?  Those look lovingly handmade to me! I’ll have to go searching the webs to find clear close-ups of them.

And I hope when Kate got home she got to lie down for a while. Public appearance ten hours after giving birth?  I would NOT be into that part of having princes and princesses for children.

On another topic – sort of –

Ever since my sister made a delicious root salad using beets and other vegetables I didn’t think I liked, I have been thinking about using beets to dye yarn.  So last night I went at it.

I started with about 3 ounces of worsted weight natural colored wool, inherited from Cousin Nancy (I have a HUGE spool of it – pounds, in fact) that I wound into a cake.

Nancy yarn cone

This is the spool. It is great for experimenting, and I think I might use it to make myself a garment.  Someday.

I chopped up one smallish beet (about the size of a small apple) and a small portion of stems, and cooked them in the crock pot with water and vinegar for about half an hour.  Then I plopped in the yarn and let it cook until the beets were white.  Really!  Chemistry is amazing.

beet dying 1

But what I got was yellow yarn.  I think it was the stems. I was sad.  This was not the amazing pink I was expecting.

beet dying 2

So this morning, I am at it again with two beets this time, no stems.  So far, I have the pink I was hoping for.  Not magenta as I might expect, but as I am starting with yellow yarn, I am just pleased to see pink.  Beets still have color, and the water is still violently pink, so I will keep on cooking.

beet dying 3

beet dying 5

beet dying 4

See the beet bits are getting lighter? And the yarn darker?  I am getting there!

A is just so pleased that the house smells like beets and vinegar and wet wool.  :-)

Since she went off to play golf with my step dad, I am airing out the house so she will never know how bad it really got.

I’ll let you know how the yarn comes out!

Posted May 3, 2015 by salpal1 in what I am making

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Friday list – last one for a while   4 comments

It’s my last Friday free for a while, and I don’t have anything fabulous on it!  I feel like I should at least buy a skein of yarn or a tube of beads, lol.

But no, the things on the list are things I have been hoping to get to for a long time – yard work!  It might not rain, so I can get to some raking and mulching.  We have driveway sand and rocks everywhere, and I need to clear them out and put down compost and mulch where I don’t want weeds.  Which is foolish.  If only you could see the mess we call a yard… :-)

Maybe I will even work on clearing that huge endless circle for the pool. I don’t actually have that much more to do, and I am so determined to get the pool set up this summer.  If I can do it before we get those drenching rains of early summer, it will be that much easier to fill.  Yard work is one of the things I wanted to get done before I went back to work, but when the snows stopped, the rains began, and I simply have not been able to get motivated to sieve mud and rake wet leaves.  Now I have to, since I will only have weekends and evenings.  The good news is that the flies and mosquitoes still are not out.

There is a bathroom that could use a swipe, and I have been meaning to clean the ceiling fans.  Maybe I will get to that before A vacuums this weekend…

See – not very exciting.  I will knit on shawls and scarves and necklaces, and I will maybe get some GOOD photos of things I am working on and cards that I want to put on Etsy, so that I can show you it all, and then sell the cards.  I’ll have to do some laundry, too, or wear flannel pajama pants to work on Monday.

Oh no, I will have to wear shoes.  My feet are crying for one more week with birks already.

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