One more

oh yeah.  And what is this about “This weather is brought to you by Stanley Subaru”?

Of course it isn’t.  If this were true, then I would expect better weather.

It is the weather FORECAST that is brought to us by Stanley Subaru,  duh.

pet peeves

Influential people.  People that others listen to.  The ones who say “you can reduce your risk of dying by…”

I have heard this at least three times recently – well, heard it twice, read it once.  Dr Oz in AARP magazine.  Dr Besser on ABC News, and someone I can’t recall, on NPR.

Now, I understand that what they were talking about is if you do this step, you will reduce your risk of dying of this one thing.  But what they SAY is if you do this one step, you reduce your risk of dying.  Period.

Well pardon me, but I think that no matter what you do, your risk of dying is 100%.  Isn’t it? 

I wish they would pay attention to what they are saying.

Saturday in the park

or, in this case, it was Friday at the park, and it is Saturday at home, and maybe later at the Bucksport Bay festival.

Yesterday was our staff picnic, and I have to say it was one of the best we have had in many years, if ever.  The committee which organized it did a good job involving everyone, and having non-mandatory activities.  The weather wasn’t terrific, it rained early, so was muggy, and hot when the sun came out. But everyone seemed to be in a good mood and it was fun. The food was good, and no one did anything too foolish. And we got done early.  🙂

Today we are sort of puttering and slow, doing odds and ends.  One of the odds and ends I did was block to the lace shawl – now I can see how it really looks, and I have to say, I think it came out really well! I did take photos of it pinned,and I will take photos of it when it is dry and COMPLETE, and hopefully, I will remember to share them here!  Next project to finish is the roman shades for the craft room,  and it will be good to get them done, because it gets hot up there now in the afternoon.

But before that, we go to the festival, and see what crafts are out there, and maybe go on a boat or two. And eat fair food, of course!!!!!

Remembering

Funny thing as I get old… I miss things I took for granted when I was younger and that are gone now.

This time every year the sandy jungle we call a yard erupts in berries of all sorts – raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. I bemoan the lack of a yard most of the year, but this time of year finds me out with a bucket picking berries in the hot sun, enjoying the peacefulness of the process, and breathing deep the smell of the berries, the sweet fern that grows everywhere, listening to the hum of the bees and cicadas.  And thinking about being a kid on Block Island with Ma, picking blackberries in hotter sun, when all I wanted to do was go to the beach.  But first we had to go berrying with a bunch of “old” ladies who didn’t really appreciate other people’s grandchildren.  I did not enjoy it.  It was the price I had to pay to be on the island and to go to the beach after lunch.  But now I find I miss it.  I miss the days when all I had to worry about was someone saying I had certainly grown since last summer, or how soon we would fill the baskets and head home. I miss having my grandmother sharp and lively and able to hold a good conversation, and to take enjoyment out of life. While I still have her, I sort of don’t, and I miss her.

And all week, my other grandmother, Gram, has been on my mind. I wasn’t sure why, but I would think of her sort of randomly as I worked on an art project or put things away in the craft room.  Finally, I realized why she was coming to mind more and more.  Her 101st birthday was Thursday.  She isn’t here to celebrate it, but she was certainly on my mind all day. She was not lively or fun when I knew her.  She was steadfast and calm, with a sharp wit, very observant.  She was a skilled craftsperson, a wonderful seamstress, but not a teacher.  So my Ma taught me how to do the basics of things like sewing, and then Gram would demonstrate how to do things better, or give me a book that told me how. It is an interesting combination of skills these two ladies had. One could knit and cook to beat the band. The other could do any kind of handwork (except knitting!) and thought a day that didn’t involve meal prep was a gift of the gods.

Then there is my friend Kate.  She has been gone nearly three years now, she died on Ma’s 100th birthday.  When I called Ma to let her know Kate was gone, she cried.  She wondered why she should live to be so old and someone like Kate should die so young.  Good question that of course there are no answers to.  Kate was a friend who did all the heavy lifting in the relationship.  We met, we think, in kindergarten or first grade.  But we became friends in 6th grade.  When we went our separate ways, it was always Kate who would call on my birthday, or when she came back home. We would chat like we saw each other yesterday, and it was like that for the rest of her life.  We would see each other maybe once a year, for short visits, where we talked nonstop for however long we had.  We rarely talked about troubles or troubled times, but about fun and life  and the universe and friends and people we loved. She made me think about things differently, in a more positive way. Yet I knew that for Kate there were many troubles.  I would get worried when I didn’t hear from her for a long time, but I learned not to call her then, that if she was in a bad place, she could not be upbeat and she didn’t want to talk about the bad things.  She would call me when she could handle it.  A funny sort of friendship that way.

Now Kate is gone, and even though I didn’t talk to her often, I realize that I always knew she was there, and that a bubbly fun conversation could come at any time.  But now it can’t, and the world feels very much emptier.  I have been thinking about Kate a lot this week, because her sister called the other day – she is in town and wanted to say hi. I thought what a powerful person for relationships Kate was, if her sister, who was grown and gone by the time Kate and I became friends, thinks to call me when she is in Maine.. Kate must have loved me very much.

I miss Kate, and both my grandmothers… but I need to learn from this missing.  Learn to appreciate what I have and who is here now, because there is no telling when they will go and I will only have memories.

DONE!!

Today I finished all the painting in the office that I can do.  I must say, that while it isn’t perfect, it does look FABULOUS!  I didn’t take photos yet, as the furniture and boxes of books are still piled up and the room isn’t pretty, but I will when it is done!  The only piece left to do is the skylight, which I have recruited nephew S to do sometime this summer.  He’s 6’5 with the appropriate wingspan, I think he will be able to do it from the floor, and I can’t reach it at all!

Anyway, I am thrilled to have that chore done, and one more room painted.  Someday, the whole house will be done.  Won’t that be something to celebrate? And I don’t want to hear that at this rate, we will need to start back at the beginning by then.  🙂

This morning A and I went down to the barber shop for haircuts.  She had to head to Bangor for a car appointment afterward, so we took my bike with us and I rode home.  I was amazed by the traffic on Rte 1.  Even though I had a good shoulder for the mile or so, it was not fun.  I won’t do it again, but I did get my morning exercise in.  And I got to coast down a huge hill that I didn’t have to ride up first!

Other than that and painting, I haven’t done much else today – except, of course, scoop the pool and float in it for a while after painting. Which was very nice.  The water is cool and refreshing – the cold nights have done a great job of keeping it from getting too warm. It is wonderfully refreshing. Well worth all the trouble I went to this summer. 

While I was painting, A was in the basement working on that bed that is taking forever!  She finished mking the boxes that will be the drawers.  She has to more boxes to make, and then we trim it and paint it and it is done!  That will be great, too.  More storage and one more piece of the interior decorating plan done…not too much longer now.

busy Friday

Today I actually caved in and went to work, even though it is Friday.  I try really hard not to do it, but sometimes a meeting I really have to be at really has to happen on a Friday.  Today was one of those days – so I spent an hour with the folks at the Ramada Inn in Ellsworth, and two other folks from the Hancock County Business Conference planning committee.  This event is going to be really great, and we are working hard now to make sure of it. It’s in November, so if you have ever wanted to start a small business, or you have one and want to learn more about what is available to you – plan to be in Ellsworth at the beginning of November!  Check it out at www.hancockbiz.org.

Then I headed over to Down East Aids Network for some training.  I am on their board, and the ED mentioned that they could really use some volunteers in the office on Friday – so I went over for a couple of hours of training.  Pretty easy duty, compared to going to work for the day.  I could learn to like this volunteering thing.  🙂

After that, I came home, where the kittens told me they wanted to go down cellar.  A has set up an obstacle course for them.  While they ran it, I worked on a craft project I  have been planning since vacation – the canvases with the floor grate stencil.  I hope they turn out like I imagine them, because if they do, it will be really cool!  Today I painted the 4 canvases with New York State of Mind (Pottery Barn color, basically a dark blue), and when they are dry, I will use the floor grate and spray paint them white.  If this works, I should have a blue grate design on the canvases. I’ll hang them in the guest room, which SOMEDAY will have an accent wall in the same color blue. And maybe I will remember to take  a photo of it…

 

 

whoa, baby!

I floated in the pool last night!  It was another hot muggy day, and we did yard work in the afternoon at work, so I was sweaty and grubby.  What better time to find that the pool is at last deep enough to make it worth while to struggle into a suit?  I spent sometime scooping, and then realized that the water is just over my knees…maybe… if I was lucky… yup!  I got all the way in, and was able to float without touching the bottom.  Life is good.

Is it me, or are weeks getting longer?

It seems like the weekends fly by, and then the week drags, even though I have so much to do.  Sometimes I think my heart is not in the work, and I need to fix that. Not sure how, exactly… but I know it is  not by grousing!

I think I need to figure out a way to get paid for the stuff I do on the weekends… hmm, how?  Etsy shop?  Ravelry shop?  I never feel that my knitting patterns are unique enough to sell.. but then how many hat patterns are there, really?  Cast on a bunch of stitches, do something unique with them for 8-10 inches, decrease and bind off.  I need to just make sure the unique something really is that… then sell it, right? I don’t think I could knit enough to make a living selling actual knitted items, but I could design patterns and sell those, I bet.  Don’t have to sell them for a lot if I can sell them over and over….. maybe this is it? Certainly I don’t want to try to knit things and then sell them… how would I know what size to make that color?  I would always get it wrong… I suppose I could make things to order, but that feels like I might not like it – knitting the same things over and over…

Certainly I don’t think I could get what I would need to on my cards … I see what folks are getting on Etsy and it is criminal for wonderful handmade cards, when mass-produced cost so much.  Plus I don’t think I could make them over and over and over.  Christmas nearly kills me, and I rarely make them all exactly the same!  So I guess what I mean is that production work might not be for me.  🙂 And there is no money in making one of a thing – for crying out loud, the R and D time for each card could be two hours!  Anyone want to buy a one of a kind birthday card for $50 bucks?

Argh.  So I sit here, and I make cards for my family, and I knit millions of hats from my yarn stash to give away, and I even buy new yarn to make hats and scarves for the family, and then the weekend is over, and here I am again. 

Time for some goals.

#1 write down a hat pattern as if I didn’t know how to make it.

#2 research to see if it is, in fact something not yet published.

#3 explore pattern sales venues.

#4 don’t be afraid to ask for help.

HELP!  If you know anything about any of these things, please give your sage advice, share your wisdom!

Don’t worry, I am not yet quitting the day job.  Most days I really do like it. I just need to learn to love it again.

 PS  Hey – did I just finally make my New Year’s resolutions?????

 

I have a new follower!

My first stranger follower!  How very fun.  Of course, now I will have to post more regularly,and remember photos and try to have a more scintillating life.  Not sure how that will work…. anyway, welcome to my silly little blog about what I am up to. I welcome you, and can easily handle the pressure you bring to my life.

the muggies are back…

The aunt of a friend of mine wrote on the friend’s Facebook page “Al Gore warned us!”  yes he did, and I wonder why we don’t listen???

Anyway, I think the best way to beat the heat is to go swimming! I even got A to go to Craig Pond with me last evening , I went swimming, she went wading.  Then we went out for ice cream and down to the Bucksport river front.  I was hoping we could hear some of the music from the Scottish Tattoo at Fort Knox.  We could see some people, but not hear a thing. I thought those bagpipes were supposed to be heard from afar to instill fear in the opposing army?  The army would have to be pretty close I guess.  I was bummed about it.  Someday I will remember that darned thing on the right day at the right time and actually go to it.

Anyway… because of the muggy weather, I didn’t do much of my planned chores –  I did the laundry and the grocery shopping.  And at the grocery store, I found a cool 1000 piece puzzle of Yankee magazine covers.  I came home and did nearly the whole thing yesterday, it was too hot to move.  The kittens helped a little, but mostly they slept sprawled out on a cool sheet.

Friday was knitting day in Portland – A dropped me at Mom’s on her way to work, and then the two of us drove down together.  E had had her swimming lesson, and was eating her lunch before art camp.  C is keeping her very busy this summer – and I could see why – she was well-behaved and pretty focused.  A few funny things – Mom asked her what she did in swimming that morning.  E responded by opening her mouth and pointing to a chewed up peanut butter sandwich contained therein.  Apparently she i s too polite to talk with her mouthful!  Later she was telling me exactly how she would like her hat to be, and I said “I hope I remember all of that when it is time to knit you a hat!”  to which she repled”You had better write it down, because you are a very old lady.”  C told us about one day when E asked “Mummy, why are your legs getting puffier and puffier?”  Good thing she is cute.  🙂

I finished the hat I made with the yarn from Heavenly Socks – I think it will be a christmas present for a big niece, not sure which one, but it is cute and young, and I think came out well – I made a tassel with I cord and beads instead of a pompom, so it is dramatic, too.  Did some knitting on the Estonian lace shawl – got the set up row done on the border, and am thrilled to find that every other row is a knit row!  Much easier than I expected!  After this come some lacy shawl things with yarn from Fiber Frolic and free patterns from Ravelry.

After knitting, I went for a swim in Mom’s pool – so nice!  A came by after work, and we all had supper together before heading home.  It was a good day.

Today I have to paint… A got me another gallon of the paint we are using for her office, and so I have no more excuses… I went for a bike ride early today, but it is still too hot, so I am cooling down now, just waiting to go upstairs where I know the air will be fresh and cool, I am sure.  🙂

Status update on our pool – Mom and B came over on Sunday, and we got it all set up!  Now I am filling it slowly.  I think I have a very small leak somewhere – when I get it full enough that it is upright, I will see if I can locate that.  It is slow enough that I can keep up with the loss, I think. A little rain would help with that endeavor, though.  Should this mugginess ever amount to a shower or thunderstorm, that is.