almost there

What a long hard period this has been.  Bad news at work, related to funding, which means that over the next few months, everything could and probably will change, and at the end, I might not have a job.  Then dealing with Ma’s loss, which is very hard.  I feel like I am on an emotional roller coaster.  Littlest thing makes me cry.  I have a meeting today to go to, then we head out for the Berkshires and Ma’s graveside service.  Not looking forward to it, even though I will see my cousins, whom I rarely do.

Not feeling very creative, although I have begun working on the Christmas cards – I picked such a nice simple one for this year, and it is coming together fast.  Once they are in the mail, I will post photos and instructions.  I also have been knitting, have lots of Christmas projects to do, no matter how low energy I feel.  Luckily, I can do that sitting ont he couch or in the car, and A will be driving tonight.  And tomorrow night. Should get a lot done. We’ll see.  I’ll need to remember that it will be dark for most of the driving when I pick my mobile project.  Hmmmm….

That’s about it for this week – just slogging through it all.  There should be a light in this tunnel sometime soon.

Bad week

Dad called Sunday to say that my grandmother was receiving Hospice care and probably had just a few days left.  I threw a few things into a suitcase and hit the road.  6 hours later, I got to the hospital.  Ma was groggy but knew I was there.    For three days, we sat beside her bed, she had many very alert moments, and many groggy ones.  She seemed to be holding steady, and we knew this could go on for days.

Last night I came home, exhausted.  This morning at 5:30, she passed away.  Dad had gone home at 3:30, but my cousin had stayed with her.  I am glad she wasn’t alone, but I wish that I had stayed one more night.

woo hoo – vacation! So many plans…

I am off until Monday the 26! That is 10 days.  Heavenly! A has to work tomorrow, so I will do some chores while she is suffering through the longest day of work – the one before vacation.  🙂

Even though I am on vacation, of course I have work to do – budgets are due, and mine apparently needs tweaking.  Sigh. I hope that will be quick, though.

Then I have to get the snow tires on A’s car, and do some errands in Ellsworth before heading to Bangor to sister-in-law L’s house for supper.  Following that, we all head over to Orono for the great niece’s school play, Spamelot. 

Tomorrow I head to Owls Head to see Mom and go to a craft fair.  I might sneak into the yarn store in Rockland while I am there. Don’t tell A!

I think we have no plans for Sunday!  Maybe it will be a true day of rest. More likely, we will do housework.

Monday we rent a pickup truck to do all sorts of fun things – take some furniture to the ReStore, go to the dump, get wood for A’s next project (it didn’t take her long to move on to the next one – redoing her big storage closet) and who knows what else we will think of to do while we have the wheels! A does have a doctor appointment, so we will spend some time in Ellsworth that day, too.

Tuesday I am home during the day, but have to leave in the afternoon to pick up niece B at college and head to CT.  She gets out of class at 5, so we will be driving all night, I guess.  I’ll drop her at home, then stay the night in a hotel, in the morning, go see my grandmother and dad, and then head back up here in the worst traffic we ever get, so that I am home in time for Thanksgiving.  We are going to brother N’s, along with most of the family for the big feast – it should be lots of fun.  We will also be celebrating all the November birthdays, since the twins will be home from college to join us.

Friday is another day with no plans, can you believe – 2 of these in one week?

Saturday is the family carol sing at Mom’s – a few weeks early this year so that ALL the cousins can be there – pretty exciting, been a long time since we had all 9 of us and our parents, spouses and kids together for this tradition.

Sunday is our Thanksgiving celebration with A’s family – aren’t they sweet to put it off so that we could join them? I was really disappointed when my family decided not to have the feast at our house, as we have done it for several years, and invite both families, saving lots of scheduling angst. But A’s family was very understanding, and so we will gather on Sunday.

That’s it.  Ten days all gone.  All planned out, but with plenty of time to work on projects and visit family.  And maybe, just maybe, I will get a start on those holiday cards, because I haven’t done it yet.  And I know at least one friend will have hers in the mail on Friday.  I hope I will have made one by then!

how I did with my list

Here’s what I planned to get done:

  • clean the cat box
  • do the laundry
  • tidy up the living room (cat toys and structures everywhere right now!)
  • rearrange the living room just for fun
  • start making christmas cards – I have a few ideas for them this year, and so will make a couple and let A choose which one is “it”.
  • turn that heel

Before I tell you how I did, let me just say that A came home early from work.  That’s my story and I am sticking to it!

  •  I did clean the cat box.  Those little kittens, especially Zumba, are very clear in reminding us of that one.
  • Laundry is in process. One load washed and dried, one load washed, one load waiting it’s turn.  Note I didn’t say any were folded and put away.  But they will be, honest.  Before I go to sleep tonight.
  • Tidy up the living room.  Looking around, I would say that is not to be checked off, although I did pick up all the scraps of packing paper the kittens played with all weekend.
  • Rearrange the living room.  Nope. Not one chair.
  • Start making Christmas cards – nope.  Never got upstairs.  Did I mention A came home early?
  • turn that heel – well of course I got that done!  And I got the heel gusset done and am now working on the foot.  Should be done in no time.  🙂

Here’s some other stuff that I got done that wasn’t on the list –

  • vacuumed our bathroom and bedroom. This is major.  I HATE vacuuming.  Detest it. The vacuum cleaner sucks – literally and figuratively.  It is perfectly good at vacuuming, but it NEVER comes along when I pull on it, and then I tug, and then it either crashes into me or a wall or some other stupid thing and I have to swear at it.  Two rooms at a time is my max. A usually does all the vacuuming.  It is easier on both of us that way.
  • cleaned the laundry room and put the furniture back the way A likes it.  The way it was before I did that huge cleaning there a few weeks ago and rearranged when I was done. I liked the new arrangement, but A didn’t, so back it goes.  After all, I like her to do all sorts of laundry.  🙂
  • went for a walk to see the new house down the lane – visited the neighbors to see who would be moving in.  Turns out it is the mother of another neighbor, which we were glad to hear – if she is anything like her daughter, she will be a good neighbor.
  • read many days of my niece C’s blog – she is an amazing woman – don’t really care about her re-blogs, but the posts she writes herself are pretty good. She is struggling to find a job, live her own life with ideas and views that differ from her family’s, and she is doing a good job of it all. I love reading about it, and can’t wait to see her next week!
  • took the kittens out on the deck, what a lovely day it was!  A bit breezy, but that makes the leaves dance, which makes the kids happy.
  • opened windows all over the house to let the warm breeze blow through – and I remembered to turn the heat off before I did that!  Not too shabby for an old lady like myself.

So that is what a fourth day of the weekend looks like from here.  Three days to work this week, then we are on VACATION! Lots going on while we are off work, I’ll fill you in when ti gets closer – but I know right now it will include a trip to Mom’s for a craft fair!  Wait patiently for more details.  🙂

how I spent my weekend

subtitle – wow, we did NO regular chores and survived!

Well, if you read anything I post, you know the bed installation was a huge big deal.  It eclipsed all other chores and things on the to-do list. But it was NOT all we did this weekend!

Sunday we headed up to Bangor for the Maine Harvest fair – a whole civic center and auditorium FULL of fabulous, locally grown/processed food, like a giant farmers’ market.  It was heavenly.  Samples galore, lots of friends in the biz.  We bought a few yummy things, and had to pass others by because we are, after all, dieting… hahaha. So we bought some donuts, some goat cheese, some pasta sauce, a whoopie pie, some herb dip mixes.  We passed up the world’s most beautiful cranberries because we still have some Sugar Hill Cranberries in the freezer.  But if you get a chance to buy them anywhere, do it!  they are huge, beautiful, make grocery store ones look anemic.  And they taste heavenly. We also were able to find that cinnamon maple sugar we love and get a big jar of it, a card so we never run out again, and let them know our local source is apparently out of it.  Kinney Sugar House – yum!  We bought a few other treats there as well.  So you can see, the diets were far from our mind on Sunday.

Following this, we went for lunch to the Coach House Restaurant – comfort food place.  A had her Beano with her, so I was able to order one of my favorite winter treats – chili and cheese.  It was delicious.  I might have to make a batch for the freezer, since A doesn’t like it and I would get sick of it long before I finished a pot of it.

Then it was off to Brewer for a craft fair – saw another one of my business buddies – Susan Merrill of Weaving a Life  ( she had not only her amazing Journey Looms there but new woven earrings that are simply stunning.  I might have to get some next time I see Susan.  We didn’t have a lot of money left after the harvest fest, or I would be wearing a pair right now.

From this wonderful start of buying and eating local, we leaped into the consumerism world of the big boxes – a new PetSmart just opened up in Bangor, and we need cat food, so A dropped me and sister-in-law L off at AC Moore, and she and sister-in-law S headed over to Pet Smart.  I went as fast as I could through AC Moore, grabbed paper I wanted, searched hard for the jewelry findings I wanted (finally found them) and managed to get a bottle of tattered angels glimmer mist (been wanting to try this for the longest time), a stencil and an embossing folder.  A came in looking for us just as we were checking out.  I don’t know how else to entertain her while I shop at craft stores – I thought for sure a pet store would keep her busy for more than 20 minutes – and that it would take her time to park. But she is good – she got lots of kitten food wet and dry, and of course, a few new toys…

When we got home, it felt really late, was heading toward twilight, but it wasn’t even 4 o’clock!  So, A made some raspberry jam, as she was all out of it, and I worked on my sock – ready to turn the heel today.

Today she has to work, but I get this holiday off, so I will do some of the chores we neglected so much the past couple of days.  I plan to:

  • clean the cat box
  • do the laundry
  • tidy up the living room (cat toys and structures everywhere right now!)
  • rearrange the living room just for fun
  • start making christmas cards – I have a few ideas for them this year, and so will make a couple and let A choose which one is “it”.
  • turn that heel

I’ll check back in and let those of you who care know how I did with today’s list!

biggest loser update

A gained a bit of weight this week, and I lost only .2 pounds, so we are NOT the winners this week.  But our previous weeks losses keep us at number 1 nad 2 overall.  Of course, coworker Dave is gaining ground all the time, don;t know how he does it.  A is annoyed, as she ate the same and exercised almost the same this past week.  We are hoping for a fluid retention weight loss this week.  Beats a plateau any day. I just need to get up and walk more to lose my usual pound or so a week.  I guess we will see how that goes this week!

new cards

I remembered to take photos of today’s birthday cards.  They never come out quite like I think they will, but they are finished! Sorry about the counter top being so distracting – if they weren’t already in their envelopes ready to go, I would retake the photos, but they are so I won’t.

Happy birthday, little brother!

Another birthday card, for an old friend

Off the needles

Last weekend I finished up a project, long-term one, another Estonian lace scarf, and I made a knit/beaded necklace and earrings I have been wanting to try for a long time.  I paid a lot of money for the pattern/kit for the jewelry.  I think I could have figured out the pattern from the picture, but I feel strongly that I should pay the creator of such things (as I want to be paid when I finally get around to publishing something.) Anyway…

They were easy and fast to make, and I think they came out nicely – now that I have paid for the pattern, I will definitely be making more of these going forward – after all, I have lots of lace weight scraps!  And it turns out I have lots of beads as well – from other craft projects and because I can’t resist pretty, shiny things for craft projects. Would it be over the top to create necklaces and earrings to match all the Estonian lace projects I am giving away this Christmas? I think maybe….

This is what the lace looks like fresh off the needles.

Finished another birthday card this weekend as well, and I have two more to make for November birthdays. I’ll try to get photos of those before I mail them!

Right now my knitting project is pretty low-key – worsted weight yarn, a hat of course.  I am making the second one using this “pattern” in my head, if it works out as well as the last one did, I will write it up, because it is a stash buster – lets me use different weights of yarn and still get an end product  that looks great and is warm.  I MIGHT be able to modify it for that pony tail hat I keep thinking about and not making.

I do plan to go upstairs soon and see what I have in the stash for larger projects – I feel like I need more bright wool socks.  Been looking at blogs of amazing knitters, and some of them have wonderful socks.  It’s been a few months since I did my sock binge for the nieces and nephew last winter. Might be time. I also have one more lace scarf in my future, a woman at work who loves my knitting and is good to me deserves a wonderful present. But we will see what i have that excites me when I get into that amazingly organized closet.  🙂


One year later than we had hoped, but today we brought it upstairs and put it together, and it is amazing.  Storage, comfort, good looks.  And WAY cheaper than the Pottery Barn one that started us thinking in this direction. The plans are from Ana White, although we modified the trim to the beadboard, it is very much her plan. You can get plans from her website at
Our next project is a new headboard, of our own design.  It will be cool, and all the progress on it will be posted here, as you might imagine.

I can not wait to fill all these drawers!


Kittens’ first snowfall

Well, after a tropical storm last week, we are getting the season’s first nor’easter now.  For us at this time of year, it usually means a lovely mix of precipitation.  Later in the season, it will mean inches/feet of snowfall.

But yesterday morning, we awoke to a few inches (4?) of snow that fell overnight, and although it was raining by then, it was too good an opportunity to miss. I opened the door to the deck off our bedroom, and called the kittens.  Zumba came flying around the bed and launched herself out the door.  Allie came along more slowly and stopped at the doorsill.

Zumba stopped mid-deck, about three feet from the door, up above her knees in snow.   She was mystified, spun around and around putting out her paw and drawing it back in.  She created a lovely design in the snow.  We called her and called her from the doorway, but she wouldn’t come to us.  Allie sat there, watching and absorbing this major change in her world, with no intention of setting foot outside. 

Zumba finally realized that maybe she should hop up on the bench, because it clearly had a nice soft cushion.  The look on her face when she realized that the cushion was more of that cold stuff was priceless.  I finally went and got some shoes on and carried her in, she had no inclination to leap off that bench to come in the house.

I shut the door, put her on the bed to wipe off her feet, and we went on our way, getting ready for work.  Before too long, we noticed that Zumba was going from door to door, window to window, just staring out.  Allie was disgusted with the change and went off to play her normal morning games.

Before I left for work, I checked the door.  Zumba once again came flying around the bed. She wanted to go out again!  I am not sure why, if she was looking for more data to figure out what happened, or if she just decided it was an anomaly and it was all gone, or if she loved it and wanted to play more.  Whatever the reason, I didn’t let her out.

A took Allie Cat out on the porch with her when she went to shovel – let her put her feet in it.  Allie knew enough to pull her feet back and snuggle into A’s arms to be carried back in the house.

This snow is a wet and heavy snow – we are looking forward to the first light fluffy foot of snow to see what the kids do then.  A says they need to learn something new every day. Today they got their first lesson on winter weather.

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