Friday list – so short it is spooky!

Here’s what I am committed to doing on this Halloween Friday:

get the snow tires put on A’s car

knit some on my socks.

Yep, that is it.  All that I have to do.  Now, I *might* also do some laundry, get the mail, clean the bathroom and some yard work.  But I might not, too.  Certainly, I will be puttering, and I love puttering.  It seems so laid back and comfortable, yet at the end of the day, lots is done.  My kind of day.

Oh yeah – work on the puzzle.  I might do that, too.

Blog Hop

Thank you, Claire, for all the kind words you said about me when you wrote your blog hop post at Mollie and Claire and passed the baton to me.

It seems a blog hop is simple – I answer a few questions and nominate two blogs that I enjoy. Here goes!

What are you working on?
Right now, I am working on a pair of socks. Surprise! I joined the sock Knit Along with the Knitting Sarah last January (which I learned about from Claire, I believe). It came along just as I was realizing that my feet were freezing without wool socks, and my wool socks were scratchy, boring, store-bought ones. So I joined with gusto, and now am on my 24th pair. I have given away, or plan to give away, 4 pairs. Yep, that means my sock bin overfloweth with luscious hand knit socks. My only concern is this – will I be able to turn off the sock machine when the year is up and go back to knitting other things?

I am also working on an Estonian lace shawl-scarf that probably will be for me. I try to knit a pattern repeat a day, and at that rate, it will be another month or so until it is done.

There is a cross stitch piece lurking in the bin beside the sofa that I should work on more than I do as it is a gift.

I also got a request for a pair of fingerless mitts. After I said sure, the person chose fine BLACK yarn. They will take forever, but I have to get them done over the next few weeks, so they will get started this weekend.

Lurking in my mind but not started yet are several Christmas presents and of course, the annual Christmas card. Not to mention a couple of shawls…

I try really hard to only have two projects going at a time, but this time of year, that is tough. My usually rule is one mobile project I can pick up and drop at a moment’s notice (like socks!) and one other project, which is often one that requires concentration – like lace or a larger project like a sweater. This rule keeps me finishing things, as I have a million things in my mind that I want to make.

How does your writing process work?

LOL – my process. Hmmm…

Usually I just start writing, dump it all out on the screen, then I go back over it and move things around, delete, try to fix errors,delete, and delete some more to put together a post that flows, with any luck. My Friday list post usually starts on Wednesday or Thursday, as I think about what I need to get done that day (I have Fridays off and am usually home alone, so either I get lots or nothing done. 🙂 )

How does your blog differ from others of its genre?

Does it? I try to mix humor and sharing of process and progress on things, and just put myself out there. It has brought great rewards, I feel like I have made some friends in the webosphere. And learned lots from everyone – bloggers are so generous with their knowledge. Plus, I have 20.5 new pairs of socks. lol.

nominate 2 blogs I follow

Slipped stitches Weblog I love this blog for the amazingly hysterical stories of the Yarn Rascal, and for the really good information she shares about knitting and pattern design. Maryanne has designed some simply lovely things. And Yarn Rascal would destroy them if he could break into the yarn vault. 🙂

Cobweborium emporium Oh the cards you will see! Really creative use of materials and beautiful designs. Plus, she leaves the most wonderful comments here on my blog, how could I not love that?

It was hard to choose just two, there are so many creative people out here who can really write. But these two are two of my favorites.

That’s it – how simple? Slipped Stitches and Cobweborium, I can’t wait to read what you write!

quick knitting update – with photos!

Morning appointment got moved to the afternoon, so here I am, alone in my house for the first time in weeks – so of course, out come camera, knitting and computer.  🙂

Here is the Malabrigo blue Estonian lace scarf/shawl thing coming along – about a third done with the center section.

malabrigio triinu 1 third done

And here are the blue socks for Cousin P’s birthday complete – in time, I might add, in spite of having to rip out the whole foot of the second one due to non-attention on the part of the knitter.

sws 23 two done

Now, off to dress and get that long overdue haircut.

Friday list – Nor’Easter!

We have been having a storm that just won’t quit – three days of wind and rain.  I am just glad it isn’t snow. 🙂

My Friday list got a sudden change Thursday morning when I answered the phone.  Job Interview!  One of the jobs I applied for a few months ago.  They got 38 applications and are interviewing 6, so I feel lucky to have made it this far.

So, I will get up and dressed (professionally, of course) and head off to Ellsworth for a ten o’clock appointment.  On the way back, I will see about getting a haircut (sort of wish I did it last week!) and stop at the PO.

Then it is home to make lunch for the rapidly improving patient, and await the stove man.  The new pellet stove gets installed tomorrow – I can’t wait.  It will be so much more quiet, and efficient – and it will have a thermostat – none of this on or off nonsense.  Ooh la la.  I’ll just be hanging about waiting for them to do their thing, so will likely do some knitting.

L is doing really well, and so is thinking of going home soon.  A and I are worried about her stairs (her bathroom is upstairs), but it is up to her to decide when she is strong enough.  PT on Wednesday went well, with the therapist telling her a few more things she could do, and a few things she had to stop doing.  Good for her to hear it from someone other than the two of us. Anyway, if she goes home, we prefer that it happen Saturday, so that if it is too soon, she can move back in on Sunday (as opposed to us figuring out how to do it mid-week.) But we will see what she thinks.

Saturday, I will be out and about taking some photos for work, and in the process, pick up our locally grown cranberries for spiced cranberry jelly for the holidays.  Yum…

Sunday, I hope to lay low and just relax, work on projects, get the rest of the Halloween cards made and mailed.  then the week starts, and the hamster wheel will be racing again.  Sigh.

But first, we get through Friday.  🙂

Edit – just found this in the draft file – sorry to be a week late, I thought it posted last week! So here is an old Friday list. 🙂 A new one will follow tomorrow.

A day in the life of Zumba

Zumba would spend all day out on the little deck off of our bedroom, if we would let her.  She loves waiting for the birds and squirrels.  They will never notice this big cat, right?

Zumba ever hopeful

Today, for the first time, Zumba leaped off the railing to the ground.  When she is out there, we check on her regularly.  A went out to see how she was doing and saw her on the ground, 8 feet below, looking around.  We got shoes on in record time, and went out to catch her.  It wasn’t too hard, she sniffed a bit, staying out of reach, then we threw some leaves.  She can’t resist chasing leaves, so she came right to me.  I snatched her up and in she came for the rest of her life. Since we didn’t see it happen we aren’t sure if she jumped or fell, but either way, no more unattended time out.  Luckily, we have a nice screened porch she can sit in and watch birds and squirrels.

In  the evening, Zumba likes to sleep in front of the stove. When we had Tigger, she claimed the spot, but now that she is gone, Zumba has moved right in and obviously, feels right at home.

Zumba stove 3

Zumba stove 2

Zumba stove 1

Yup, that is our crazy cat – look, she has hair on her belly again!  Just a little bit longer than peach fuzz, but it is growing in for real.

Sunday evening already?

this weekend sure flew by.  It was pretty good, too.  Did some knitting, some paper crafting, got the chores done, and cleaned up some of the garden work (although, i might be the only one who can tell.)

Anyway – I also took photos – not great ones, but they are photos.  🙂

Last year’s Halloween cards were quite elaborate to make, this year, I went a different route – found some nice pre-made plain cards at JoAnn’s (even on sale, cheaper than the paper would have been!  Then with a bit of ribbon, stamps, glitter and stickers, I made them fit the season. the colors on these are really bad, the cards are cream and dark brown, in case you can’t tell.  🙂

halloween cards

They started plain, and this is how some of them came out.  I should have taken these outside, but the wind was howling today.  So interior lighting and some flash makes these a bit odd, color-wise.

spooky house card

crow card

happy halloween card

pumpkin card

Oh, and I did some knitting on my socks – pair number 23 this year.  This is String Theory Hand Dyed yarn from Blue Hill, in Cobalt.  My first time using this locally hand-dyed yarn, but not my last, I  love it!  The pattern is business casual (third time making this, I really like the argyle effect) and it moves right along quickly.  Ravelry pattern page is here for more info.

.sws 23 one done

I also worked on the Estonian lace scarf, but haven’t got photos of that to show just yet.  I’ll try to get some of them next weekend for you.

The care giving grows easier as the patient is much more mobile.  She actually drove her car 1/2 a mile today to visit a friend,and has been going along with us on nearby quick errands.  She has to learn how to get about in public, and this is the first time she has had the energy for it.

Girls night out got postponed as one of the “girls” had to unexpectedly babysit her grandson.  So we had cookies and more time home together this weekend than we expected.

Appointment at the dermatologist went really well – there are (of course) a few spots she wants to treat with the topical chemo this winter, but nothing as drastic as it was last year – for one thing, I can cover these up, they aren’t on my face!  She thinks I did really well with sun this summer, so it was worth it, I guess.

I stopped at JoAnn’s on the way home, got all kinds of goodies on sale – they will be showing up in more than the Halloween cards above, I promise.

Last thing I can report on is reading.  Book group meets here on Monday evening, and will be discussing “Unbroken” which I have finally dug into this weekend.  I won’t get it done in time, but I have gotten through the war and out the other side.  Probably have 50-100 pages left.  I’ll read some at lunch tomorrow and fake the rest.  It won’t be the first time one or more of us have not finished the book.  🙂  However – I can say this – while it took me a long time to get into this book, and I don’t really like the protagonist, it is an amazing, disturbing tale.  It was tough whenever I really realized that this was non-fiction. really well researched and written, it reads as easily as a novel.  I look forward to hearing what the rest of the group thinks of it.

Friday list and weekend plans

I only worked two days this week, but they were busy enough to have been the whole 4.  Yikes!  Glad it is Friday.  My list includes a wide array of things this week.  🙂

I have a doctor’s appointment in the morning in Bangor – the dermatologist for my annual skin check.  She hinted that she would have some lovely treatments in store for me this year when last I saw her.  I can hardly wait. 🙂  I hope though, that she is able to tell that I eschewed the sun all summer long – never out without hat and long sleeves, and it was tough, so I hope it did some good.

Then a few quick stops, like at the Post Office.  Not as critical now that they have brilliantly decided to leave the door unlocked for 24 hour access to the box, I have been able to get the mail before or after work.  So the box won’t be stuffed to overflowing. But still, it is a Friday ritual.  And who knows, there may be a package or two, right?

Home for lunch and to spend time with L.  Probably do some knitting, some dishes, and get the laundry started for the weekend. SHOULD vacuum or something, but might not get to it.  🙂

The work IT guy went over our laptop, so I hope it is able to connect to our wifi at home now, if it works as I hope, maybe I will check the camera for fab photos to share with you as well.  L usually naps after lunch, so finding quiet, productive things to do is good.

Then late  in the afternoon, I am off to spend “girls night out” with two coworkers. We have never done any real socializing together, but we three have been through the wringer lately, and decided we needed some down time to relax together.  We will gather at B’s house (she of the pink socks) and gab and eat and watch movies.  I am the designated driver, so J can have a glass of wine or two.  I am really looking forward to it, even though it meant making cookies after work (so sad!) And driving an hour there and back (which means driving, not knitting while A drives.)

That’s it – rough day, huh?

Saturday and Sunday are up in the air.  Our caregiving duties are growing somewhat lighter since L went to the doctor and found out it is OK to do more. Not so light as to go off for the day without her, and she is not well enough to really go off for the day with us, so I imagine we will hang around at home a bit, puttering away at the weekend chores.  Book group comes on Monday, so some cleaning and shopping is in order.  🙂  Maybe I should read the book, too? I have started it but not gotten engrossed. Maybe that will happen over the weekend. Or while L naps?

I’ll let you know how it goes.

few quick notes

Caregiving takes some getting used to, even when the patient is a delightful person. I forgot, it isn’t something you can putter at.  You have to do it right and completely the first time.

Unlike blue business casual socks, which you can rip out and redo if they are coming out too big.  I did that last night after the patient went to bed.  🙂  I am already making the smallest size, so I think I will redo the pattern for a slightly smaller size, and see what happens.  The yarn is one I haven’t used before, it is very soft and supple, and apparently knits up a tiny bit more loosely than the Tosh Sock I have used for this pattern before. I’ll get the graph paper out and figure it out this afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Estonian lace scarf grows slowly, and the crocheted squares are piling up – you can drop crochet a lot faster and with less trauma than you can Estonian lace.  🙂

A has been a trooper, cooking all kinds of “experimental” food to keep the patient happy.  L loves different foods and watches a lot of the food channel and other cooking shows. Last night we had mini lasagna things made with wonton wrappers in a muffin tin.  But as A doesn’t like red sauce, these were made with Alfredo sauce, and turkey meatballs (which A made and slow cooked in a pan of Alfredo sauce all afternoon.)  We added chopped artichokes and cheese to them, and I must say, they were delicious!  This morning was baguette French toast.  Not just any French toast, this soaked in the egg all night and then was baked in the over.  I think in theory it is good, but in practice, our slices of bread were too thick, the egg didn’t soak in all the way.  But the flavor was good, and we will likely work on this until we get it right.

A is off to the office for a few hours, Mom and B will be over shortly to help entertain, and L is tucked up on the couch reading for a bit.  I, of course, immediately turned on the computer.  🙂 After all, I need to keep up with what you all are doing, and let you know that I survived the first few days of this phase of life.

I think we will have peanut butter  and jelly sandwiches for lunch. Can’t get more experimental than that, can you?  🙂

Friday list with help

We finally have a definite plan (we think) and L is coming home to us today from rehab.  That means getting her here and settled and comfortable is our number one focus today.

A has the day off – her last day of a chopped up vacation.  I am glad she will be able to help with the work of getting L settled – although L will try hard not to be a lot of work, the first day will be a busy one.  And you know I will want time to sit and knit.  🙂

For Claire, who sent me the pattern

and anyone else who would like to see the amazing lacy leave shawl which knits up fast and beautiful.

lady edith shawl finished

lady edith shawl close up

The yarn is CloudLover’s merino/silk blend sock yarn in the Lady Edith colorway.

lady edith shawl finished 1

It’s a great size  – small enough to wear as a scarf, but large enough to drape over my shoulders.  I’ll be making more of these. But not taking more photos of myself – ugh!

Thanks, again, Claire, for sending it and “encouraging” me to post some photos.

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