Now it all makes sense

I woke up in the night with that harbinger of doom – a horribly scratchy throat. I thought I would just get up, get a drink and sit in the living room and knit until A got up. But then I looked at the clock – 11:30. So I spent the night trying to sleep without swallowing. This does change the Friday list a bit – no game night tonight. No rushing about – I’ll get done what I get done.

That being said, I have already refilled all the bird feeders, including hummingbird. The chipmunk was noshing immediately, so I did a really mean thing.


I let Tigger out. She caught him immediately. He survived, but she let him and his brother know they are not welcome. I left her out for about an hour, until she started stalking birds, then I brought her in. She is eager to go out again, but I won’t be letting her out regularly, we really do want the cats to be indoor cats. Doesn’t she look sweet and innocent here? No, she is a fierce hunting cat.

screened porch and tigger

I already took the photos I wanted to get of works in progress and off the needles – here you go! Basic toe up socks with a lace panel on outside of ankle (well, maybe inside, if you switch feet. But I will try not to. πŸ™‚ )

sws #12 lace close up

sws #12 complete

Next pair is with this Tosh Sock in ginger colorway. I am doing the business casual pattern again – this time, one at a time – I hope it goes more easily! But I really do like the pattern, and I think it will look well with this nice golden yarn. I have already cast them on, check THAT off the list!

ginger 1

I also made a big decision – what to do with all the left over sock yarn! I am going to crochet up granny squares on a fairly small hook, and at the end of the year, when the sock making slows down, I will make an afghan. So in between socks, I will be working on the little squares.

Now I am off to sort the laundry and make the grocery list… then a nap.

Friday list

This week, writing the list on Thursday night for publication Friday is a bad idea. This has been a really long week (for a short one) and I am exhausted.

But, I will make a stab at it. And tomorrow morning, I might edit it or create a part two or something. As it is now, I am pretty low energy. It is not 7 pm and I am tucked up in bed already…

so on the Friday list this week –

laundry, always.
PO, as usual.
grocery store – and come up with something good and creative to take to game night, not just the regular things
dig in yard to set up pool. It is clear to me now that I will be working on this for many weeks. I thought of hiring some strong teenagers to help me, but I don’t know any. And I am basically cheap.
read some more of my book club book. I still have a few weeks, but it is going slowly, even though I really like it. Appropriate, as it is entitled “Slow Travel” great story of two ladies of a certain age who sell their house, invest the money and travel each winter off the proceeds. Author is a friend of a woman in book group, and will actually be attending our next meeting!
photos of the socks I finished tonight, and post them.
cast on a new pair – #13!
do some research about how to keep suet and squirrels separate – check out tip slipped stitches gave me….
make, write, and send card to coworker who has been out for months with serious health issues.
maybe take a nap so I am awake and lucid for game night?
go to game night and win!

Jeesh I had better not add anything much to this list tomorrow, I don’t see how I will get all this done.

Not really listable, but still likely to happen – morning coffee on screened porch with at least one cat. This might be when I cast on new socks. Or not. πŸ™‚

Yes, I really did this

Because my dear old blind cat Frankie was an indoor/outdoor cat in her prime, and an excellent, excellent hunter, I never fed the birds. It seemed cruel.

Now that Old Frankie is gone, and we have the new three, they are all indoor cats. So we have begun feeding the birds. It started a few years ago with humming-bird feeders. Then a suet feeder. Then, for Christmas, I got a “squirrel proof song bird feeder” by Audubon. I was sceptical, but I filled it up and sure enough, small song birds came to feed. But not many. My sister-in-law suggested filling it with black sunflower seeds. I did that, and mixed in a little thistle, because I had seen some goldfinches in the neighborhood.

Well, now we have lots and lots of birds around – chickadees and nut hatches and hummingbirds, mourning doves, three different sizes of woodpeckers (hairy, downy, and pileated) and some little birds that I think are tree swallows. We also have a gray squirrel who is determined to get into the suet, but I think I might have slowed him down on that score some by putting the post in a plant pot in the middle of the deck. I am sure he will figure it out, but it will take him a bit. And there are squirrel teeth marks in the top of the feeder, but so far, the lid clamps have held, and he can’t fit into the grid.

But the little chipmunk can.

Yep. I looked out today and he was noshing away on those sunflower seeds. I rapped on the window and he left, briefly. The next time, I picked up a protesting Zumba and we went out. She was wild to get down, and vocal. I didn’t put her down, but Mr. Chipmunk got the message – he should hide for a few minutes.

Next time, I went out with a squirt bottle. He looked right at me and dared me. So I squirted him. Not just until he left the feeder, but when he scurried on the ground. Nailed him a few times too. Then I sat quietly, and when he returned, I did it again. Three times before the black flies found me.

Meanwhile, A sat on the couch laughing at me.
But she won’t be laughing if it works.

Also, something got a mourning dove. I think a hawk or something because all that was left was feathers, sometime last evening or this morning. So maybe it is cruel to feed the birds even when I don’t have a mighty hunter of a cat on the prowl?

In spite of my work, the cats still love their live “theater” – they sit and watch all the activity for hours.

Come to think of it, so do we…

Another Liebster award!

I am amazed again – Craftmanic Mommy nominated me for a Liebster award. I have gotten them before, but still I feel a thrill when I read someone’s award post and see my blog there. It’s a huge compliment!

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who nominated you

2. Answer their questions

3. Nominate new blogs for the award

4. Ask them 10 new questions

5. Let the nominees know they have been nominated


My answers to Craftmanic Mommy:
1. What is something you would like to do other than what you do in your spare time?
I would like to learn to paint pictures. Ones that people can tell what it is I am painting. And ones that don’t look like a child painted them.
2. List maker or wing it? List maker! (I won’t even try to convince you I can wing it. I can, but it hurts.)
3. If you could do one thing perfectly, what would it be? Sing
4. What’s the theme song of your life? I have never thought of this at all…this is harder than it seems. πŸ™‚ but it should be something about being content and happy and working hard, and there should be a cat…
5. You can’t start your day without….? Coffee and a quick game on the Nintendo DS
6. Facebook? Myspace? LinkedIn? I am not strong on any of these, but I guess I do more on FB than LinkedIn and have never been on MySpace.
7. What’s one thing in the world would you want to improve? I would just love to be able to create real and lasting peace. Barring that, let’s eliminate poverty.
8. Apple or Android? I must confess to having neither. I have a plain old cell phone for work, and none of my own.
9. Favorite quote:”Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln.
10. Do you have any interesting collections? Probably. Several, but I guess yarn and fabric and paper aren’t really interesting. πŸ™‚ I do have a doll collection that is not of the crazy lady variety. I had a few dolls, and my grandmother had a good-sized collection. My cousin and I split it when Gram died, so I have two display cabinets of dolls. Most are pretty ordinary, except for the antique French fashion doll. She is a prize from Gram. My other collection is one I was unaware of having. I found out about it when my aunt gave me a thimble “for my collection” I thought it odd, but thanked her. Then I went to tuck it away, and found that I have a whole lot of thimbles… a collection in fact. I don’t know how she knew and I didn’t, but I have them out where they can be seen now. πŸ™‚

So… my nominees are
girl on the contrary
the Frugal crafter
Shetland hand knitter
and my perennial favorites
Slipped Stitches

My questions are:
1 why do you blog?
2 what is your favorite day-off activity?
3 what do you know now that you wish you knew then?
4 What do you do really well?
5 What’s your favorite food?
6 Would you rather cook or do dishes?
7 What are you reading these days?
8 If I were to give you a $500 gift card to a store, which store should it be?
9 Are you introverted or extraverted?
10 What are your favorite shoes (and why)?

Have at it – I am curious to learn more about you!

Saturday afternoon

I’ve been just puttering away at things – and at this rate, the pool won’t be ready until August!

I found I really do have to move at least one rock pile. I have moved a few barrows full already. Several more to go, and that is just so I can dig up more. This is what I get for being lazy when I prepped the ground for the smaller pool – I just piled the rocks out of the way, with no thought to maybe using the space for anything later. Sigh….

However – I have gotten a few other things done over the last few days –

Planted the lilac that I ordered to go outside the screened porch… but it’s not planted outside the screened porch, because they aren’t done with the siding yet. I planted it around back near our bedroom deck, so we will still be able to smell it. I guess I’ll order another one for that space next year.

I also potted the mountain laurel that WILL go outside that porch, because it needs shade. It is smaller than the lilac, so could go in a pot for a few weeks… I hope…

Did a bunch of errands yesterday, and took a spill in the driveway – nothing really damaged but my pride, but a few muscles are sore today. It gave me a good reason to lie on the couch and nap and knit, though. πŸ™‚ Here are some of the things I have been working on lately – finished a pair of rainbow-colored socks, and started a pretty blue/purple pair. Finished another pair of earrings, and started another ribband. This one in pale gold beads with creamy white silk – it looks very sunny. πŸ™‚
sws #11 finished

sws #12 yarn

echo 3

gold ribband

We also have stowed a ton of pellets for next winter, and have another ton out in the dooryard. We load half a ton a day, so it isn’t a huge deal. Then we need two more tons before the end of the summer. Glad we have a big, dry cellar fr storing them all!

Had breakfast this morning in Bangor with two of A’s sisters, and will have it tomorrow with mom and B – I love going out for breakfast, and since we have 4 days off, we are both willing to get up and get going to see family – and we will sleep as late as Tigger will let us on Monday. πŸ™‚

Got the groceries while we were in Bangor – love going to the big supermarket! And I reserved a big Toyota Highlander for my trip to CT next month to niece C’s graduation – Mom and I are going down, and we will head to IKEA before we come home – hoping to get our dining room chairs, and they should fit into the big car.

Still have flowers to get into the planters, and laundry, and someone should clean this house… and of course, the pool set up…. Maybe I should take next week off from work? lol

Now, back to knitting….

Friday List

We BOTH have 4 days off this weekend!  Such a rarity.  πŸ™‚  It means, however, that my Friday list is not my own.

This Friday is the opening day for one of my favorite local farmers’ markets – Stonington.  It is supposed to be rainy and dull, and local is a euphemism for “in my County, but an hour away” and A doesn’t really enjoy farmers’ markets, so I will hold off on going to that for another week or two.

I desperately need to pot the pansies I bought.  As pretty as they look in the 6 packs on the doorstep, I know they will look prettier in the pots. I can do that in the rain…

I can knit in the rain…

I can start laundry in the rain…

I can begin prepping for the pool in the rain (although, I would rather do it on a cool cloudy day than a rainy one).  Last week we bought a new pool for me, a replacement for the one that met its demise last fall. This one is deeper – 4 feet! and wider – 20 feet! so I need to expand my circle of rock-less sand in the yard.  I hope it won’t be too terrible a job. Like the expanded circle will be over the only bit that has no giant boulders under it.  I can dream….  I would love to have the new pool set up and commence filling it before the weekend is over.  It is killing me that I am missing all this rain for help filling it.

This might be the whole list, as we have 4 days in which to get the usual chores done, and A will be there to help with them.

But I might also find time to get up into the craft room/disaster area to get ready for when dear friend Crimson Crow comes over to play “Clean Sweep” with me, and help me sort out, clean up, and TOSS until it is neat and organized up there. If I am brave enough, I will post before and after photos. But it might be weeks before there is an “after”. And photos of “before” might be too scary for me.

Home again

Yeah! It feels good to be home. Cats aren’t admitting they noticed I was gone or care. They are cats. A was happy to see me.

Yesterday was one of our anniversaries, the 5th anniversary of our commitment ceremony. Amazing! Monday is our first wedding anniversary – even MORE amazing. And we have been together 12 years. How time flies.

And she still is happy when I come home. πŸ™‚

While I was gone, the cherry trees filled out with some leaves and blossoms, and a bunch of tulips started blooming. I’ll get some photos of the little bulb patch, it is very colorful! One daffodil, 9 red tulips, and a bunch of purple muscari.

The mountain laurel and lilac I ordered last winter arrived, I will have to figure out where to put them until the siding gets put on the porch. When I ordered them, I thought construction would be done by now hahahahahahahaha. I’ll probably pot the laurel and wait, but find a different home for the lilac and get another next year.

The cushion I ordered for the porch swing also arrived, so I will now be able to make the swing. I am making it out of pallets, and wanted to have it and the cushion match. Seemed easier than finding a cushion to fit, later. Maybe I will get to work on that in the next few weeks.

Since yesterday was a road trip day, today I have many household chores to do, and a work bowling thing to go to this afternoon, followed by a trip to the grocery store in Ellsworth and a dinner out to celebrate all of these anniversaries. Kind of an eclectic day! And yes, there will be knitting. Since I finished those challenging challenge socks Thursday night, I have knit almost a complete sock in my old standby pattern. Photos of all to come later on this weekend. πŸ™‚

Friday list – Nashua

Short list today, gang!

Breakfast, the last workshop and then the conference wrap up where I hope to win a basket. Then it is in the car and head for home.

I’ll knit until it is my turn to drive, then I won’t. πŸ™‚

Home in time for supper with my love and the kits. My own house and bed will feel good.

The only troubling question on my mind is “What things got turned into cat toys and exercise equipment while I was gone?” I’ll let you know if it was something big. πŸ™‚

another unsolicited review – TWILL and a report on my day

Conference is OK. Some good workshops, some necessary workshops and adequate food.

I went for a walk early, trying to find some “paved paths through the woods” that I never did find, but got my walk in looking for them. It is chilly here, but it feels good after the over heated hotel.

Did a little research last night – after the Charleston yarn store bust, I hoped Nashua would have something for me to look at.

It did – I found a shop named “Twill” online, and when I checked Map Quest, it looked like I could find it pretty easily. And it is open until 8 pm tonight!

So right after supper, I headed out and followed the directions. It was very easy to find on Main street in Nashua. Parking was not as easy, I circled the area few times before I found a metered spot. then I only had 35 cents in change, which bought me roughly half an hour of time.

The store is very open and has lots of space for knitters and sewers to gather and work, in fact there were several people doing some sewing while I was there. The yarn is spread through most of the store, interspersed with nice cotton fabric and some very nice notions and knitting supplies. And for the most part, the yarn was very nice, but it felt to me like there wasn’t much selection – a few companies were represented, and all of it pretty expensive. And lots and lots of rusty reds and beiges and greens. Some blues, very few other colors. Little bits of luxury yarn and some gorgeous project bags. I couldn’t linger to look at the books because of the parking meter, but I was hard pressed to buy a skein, and finally settled on a pale gray Cascade Heritage silk, the most affordable yarn there.

If I lived around here, I would ask her to carry some different brands, but as a visitor with limited time, I was disappointed. I wanted to see locally grown, or at least locally dyed things (and I know they exist, because the NH wool weekend just happened and I am pretty sure there were some producers there, weren’t there?) and failing that, I want to see a wide variety of good quality yarn. There is so much out there, and space was not the issue here, she could have fit a lot more in the store. The woman who waited on me admitted to knowing how to knit but not really liking it, she preferred to sew. If she owns the store, then I really don’t get it as the fabric was very good quality but a small selection….


May Challenge socks are just that. This is a bad pattern to knit two at a time, as in Row 17 you have to move a stitch from one needle to the next, which is a darned chore if the other sock is in the way. But I persevere because a challenge isn’t supposed to be easy, right? πŸ™‚ Hope to finish these tomorrow….three more workshops, I should do OK.

Travel day

Today I traveled with a couple of my coworkers to Nashua NH for a conference.

We are at the Radisson, which is nice enough. But…. Why are hotels always so BROWN and dark inside? Otherwise it is fine.

Sharing a room with a coworker. She’s nice, so we should have fun.

Brought lots of knitting: half done May Challenge socks, and two skeins for more when I finish these. πŸ™‚ I’ll be going back to one at a time simple socks after this, at least for one pair!

Tired. Did I mention we had a three-hour staff meeting before we left and I had a grant to submit today, too? It has been a long day.

Good night.

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