Archive for December 2015

Happy New Year!   4 comments

I’ll post about reflections and opportunities later – for now, let me just wish you all a year that is happier and healthier than you can even imagine at this point.

2016, bring it on!

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Posted December 31, 2015 by salpal1 in Uncategorized, what I am thinking about

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TMI?   10 comments

Our sick-ation is almost over, and the only chore we will do today is laundry.  I could not help but notice that this is not NORMAL laundry.  Three loads of pajamas, socks, towels, and sheets. And one dress outfit for each of us.

That’s it.  It seems we only got dressed one day since Tuesday.

The good news is that I am pretty much better, just a lingering cough and occasional sniffle.  A is about 4 days behind, so she is still tired and coughing and stuffy. But we will manage to get ourselves up and dressed tomorrow and next week’s laundry will look more normal.  🙂

Another vacation where we got nothing done that we wanted to… but the projects will wait for us.

Posted December 27, 2015 by salpal1 in what I am thinking about

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Christmas bounty   10 comments

A thinks I don’t need any more yarn.

 

 

 

(hysterical laughter fills the air)

 

 

 

So you you can imagine how surprised and thrilled I was to get from her the following knitting related presents:

3 cones of the silk I use to knit jewelry. She actually went to Bath to Halcyon Yarn shop bearing a list. The wonderful people took pity on her immediately and found these for her.  I am not sure what would have happened otherwise. 🙂

silk

(colors didn’t photograph well this dark morning.  They are dark navy, blush pink and soft taupe.)

And she didn’t stop there!

I have been wanting a digital food scale for the longest time, to weigh yarn. So much easier to make socks knowing when I have used half the yarn. Also to figure out how much yardage all the bits really have before I get almost done with a project. So excited!

scale

Then there was this book, which I have also been eyeing for some time. Our local bookstore had it, and A nabbed it.

book

She did really well. I might even use up some stash yarn to make her think it is all worth while.

 

(More laughter, of the maniacal variety.)

 

Mom also came through with a pair of Addi turbos – nice and short, great for hats, and this lovely Quince and Co silk blend. She must have known I sold all my blue green shawls! Now I can make one for me, right?

from mom

Beyond presents, we had a good day- both managed to be healthy enough to spend several hours at Mom’s with all my siblings and most of their families.  Good food and good conversations abounded. Met the lone nephew’s girlfriend at last! She is very nice, I hope she is around for a long time. Got the whole story of my uncle who had a stroke this week. It was dramatic, and scary for his two adult children. He’s not out of the woods yet, but he is safe and being cared for.  Lots of travel plans canceled and postponed, traded in for days spent at the hospital. Made us all appreciate being able to be together even more.

And now we are home again, taking a slow easy day. All that driving and socializing wore us out. Not back to full steam yet, I guess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A month of news, with photos   12 comments

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I got you caught up on what we are up to!  It has been a rather crazy month – bookended by holidays, filled with family visits and parties, a crazy amount of knitting for the holiday pop-up shop, shopping, and finally, vacation this week, and we both have nasty colds.  It never fails that when we make plans to get through big chores during vacation, someone’s health suffers.  Still, we have managed to get things done that need to be done, and so have time to just lie about and enjoy ill health.

This month has included thanksgiving and gingerbread house decorating:

 

Followed by some major furniture moving the next day.  This buffet is an immense solid piece that was my great, great grandmother’s.  It holds the many many dishes that my grandmother gave me over the years.  We hardly ever use any of them, because A is nervous about using the “good” china, but every now and then I break it out.  Thanksgiving is one of those times.  But I have never had it all out at once, as we had to do to move the buffet. It is a little overwhelming, all these dishes for two people.

moving the buffet 2

Oh, and these were in there as well.  Not the pumpkin, but everything else.  The white and gold dishes were another great-great grandmother’s, the clear glass ones were given to me on my 40th birthday by my mother’s aunt – a wedding gift to her in the thirties.

moving the buffet 1

With the buffet out of the way, we can move the table to the wall, which opens up the dining area quite a bit.  The table comes out far enough that the light is not a hazard to navigation.  It is easy to pull out when we need to fit more people around it.

 

moving the buffet after

Where did we put the buffet?  We moved it to the living room section of the room, against the big wall, behind where all those people were sitting at Thanksgiving.  The couch used to live there, but now lives across the room.

I took this picture before the move was finished, because I loved the shadows on the wall. The sun is so low, it shines in at that angle at about 2 pm. No leaves on the trees, the lines are so pretty.

shadows1

image

Then it was time for the holiday pop-up shop in Bucksport, Creatively Maine to open.  The open house was the Sunday night after Thanksgiving – I too lots of photos, but that is because all of the crafts and arts were so amazing, but more than that – the fact that Sonja was able to take the work of 53 artists and in TWO days create this space from a plain white box.  So, here are some of the pictures I too that evening.  The neat thing is that every time I go in, it is different – as people buy things and stock gets replenished, she rearranges to fill gaps, and so it always looks fresh and amazing.  And in about two weeks it will all be gone, packed up and cleaned out.

open house 1open house 9open house 10open house 11

All of this jewelry is made with eggshells.  Yep, eggshells.  She raises chickens and one day got the idea of painting and dying the shells and making jewelry.  She does something to it so that it doesn’t break easily, and they are actually quite lovely.

open house 4open house 3

Here are some of my things – and some one else’s hats as well.  (The large black and white one did not stay on the little head very long, she switched it out the next day.  🙂 )

open house 2open house 6open house 5

You can see some of my shawls hanging on the rack in the background of this shot – I put three in the shop, including an Estonian lace one that had a (for me) high price tag on it. Funnily enough all were some shade of blue-green.  I kept all the other ones I knit this year, and parted sadly with these three.  🙂

open house 7open house 8want this

This window is on my “really want and don’t know what I would do with it” list.

open house 12

From my frame of reference, the shop has done really well.  I sold several hats, and two of the three shawls, including the Estonian lace one!  I also had a custom hat order from a guy who saw the TV coverage of the opening, spotted my hats in the background and came in to buy one.  He was disappointed to find that the one he wanted he had only seen from the back, and it was a woman’s hat.  So I knit him up one without the button flap and button.  🙂  There is still about ten days to go, but I expect the big sales will be done tonight when the shop closes. My yarn stash now has a bit of cash in it, which is good.  And I have a nice sized bag of yarn for making hats and shawls, which I will work on this year so that I have a bigger inventory ready to go and won’t have to spend every waking minute in October and November making hats.  🙂 Having the shawls sell well also feels really good – vindication – they are beautiful AND practical and people will buy them.  I’ll make more, and try to brace myself to part with them.

Onward….

We got our tree last week, and decorated it this week. A declared that anything we don’t put out for Christmas decorations this year is going out the door, so I kind of overdid the ornaments, lol.  I also decided she is wrong.  Anything that doesn’t get put out this year gets reviewed and possibly given away next year.  But not definitely.  I like to mix things up a bit.

 

image

So that brings us up to date – the house is decorated, the presents are bought and wrapped, the Christmas cards were mailed Tuesday (just a BIT late!) and we are sitting around this Christmas Eve wondering if we will be well enough to go to Mom’s tomorrow for the big festivities… I think I will be, but not sure about A  which will mean my day there is abbreviated, as hers was last week for her family gathering.  That was different – I participated in the Yankee Swap by cell phone pix and text.  It was fun, but not the same.

But while we wait , sniffle, and hack, I can work on some deadline-free knitting –  I’ll finish this up, make a hat to match, then list it on Etsy.  THEN I will get back to the things I was making last September… 🙂

image

And a post from me would not be complete without a few cat photos – Zumba has been particularly cute this month.  🙂 She loved checking out the bags that came in on Thanksgiving, they all smelled so good!

image

She is finally growing hair on her belly – guess we solved her food allergies at last. She loves to stretch out and show it off in front of the fire.

cover girl

Happy Christmas to all!

Thank you, Wednesday!!!   2 comments

Tonight

Lingering rain/snow showers ending early then becoming partly cloudy. Lows between 23°-30°. North/northwest wind 8-15 MPH.

Wednesday

Partly to mostly sunny. Highs between 33°-43°. North wind 5-10 MPH.

Thursday

Mostly cloudy with rain and mixed precipitation developing during the afternoon. Highs in the mid-30s to mid-40s.

Friday

Morning showers then variably cloudy. Highs in the 40s.

Saturday

Mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers possible. Cooler with highs in the 30s.

 

You call this a weather forecast?  I call it a dreary mess. Monday and Tuesday have been rainy and gray. So that means that 5 out of 6 days – NO SUN.

I know it is balmy and nice, temperature-wise, but all this gloom is ridiculous.

I am going to take your advice, dear friends: park myself in front of the fire with the Christmas candles and lights  lit and lose myself in my knitting.

Maybe next week there will be sun.

 

Posted December 15, 2015 by salpal1 in what I am thinking about

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Dear Sun, we miss you.   12 comments

Was it something we did or said that has made you leave, seemingly never to return?

Or has someone else needed your attention more?

Whatever it is, I hope you can find your way back to us soon. The clouds you left behind are trying their best to be cheerful, but they miss you, too. Gone is their fluffy white joy, leaving soft gray leaden skies with fog filling the void between sky and earth.

Ya know, like for days.

 

Enough already!  I am sorry! I didn’t mean it! I will never do it again!(Although it would be helpful if you told me what “it” is as I have no idea.)

Just please come back soon.

Posted December 11, 2015 by salpal1 in what I am thinking about

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Holidays at work   18 comments

I work for a non-profit with little cash for things like employee moral.  We work with people who face really hard times, and so at times our work can be quite draining.  Thus, we have to make our own fun.

Each year we have a door decorating contest – prize is bragging rights only.  Last year I was housed in the Finance Division, and we created this masterpiece:

Finance door

It was great fun to do and we did win the grand prize.

This year I am in a smaller office, along a hall of similar spaces.  This is what my next door neighbor created this year.  She is a wonderfully up-beat person who always has a smile and a kind word.  The photos of tots being not so good are very funny, and I wish you could see them more clearly in this photo.  I know her clients will enjoy seeing that door.

 

image

I currently share a small over-crowded office with a big-hearted but curmudgeonly fellow who has the job of making sure we all have funding – a job that requires him to smile and be genial all day and evening long.  It is a job filled with highs and lows, frustration and moments of glory.  He and I share a dark humor that helps him smile when he really wants to say  “WTF are you thinking?” many times a day.  He is NOT into door decorating and stuff like that. He isn’t against it but has no time or energy for it.  He would give you the shirt off his back if he thought it would help, but don’t even talk to him about where to hang the tinsel.

So it was left up to me to put together a door that properly represented the two of us and our unique outlook.  Yesterday I sketched a plan, showed it to him and got a guffaw and a “go for it!”

This morning I arrived early and implemented my design.  Here it is – we won’t win any awards, but we have people who know us laughing, given that the door is a foot away from the cheerful welcoming one of our neighbor.

image

Happy holidays to you!

Posted December 9, 2015 by salpal1 in how it came out

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