Archive for August 2017

Another weekend!   16 comments

And only a few more weekends before I leave on my trip.  Time to start training A, lol.  I warned her she will be in charge of feeding the birds (daily for the sunflower seeds, every few days for the hummingbird feeder) and she didn’t seem impressed. Wait until I show her how to operate the pool filter.  ROTFL

But in the meantime – last night I was very busy, but it seems like there is nothing to show for it!  Well, not really.  I baked a cake for our summer intern who’s last day is today, I blocked the shawl (it looks AMAZING, can’t wait until it is dry and you can see it), I got in the pool and cleaned out all the bits and pieces – and, very sadly, the first leaves.  Oh, summer, how can you go so soon?  It has been so dry that I had to run the hose in the skimmer to keep the water level up enough for the filter.  It is supposed to rain this weekend – YEAH! – but I will run the hose again to try to get the water level up a little bit more. It is just BONE dry in the yard, I am surprised all the water hasn’t evaporated. I guess because while it hasn’t rained, it has been humid.

Then I sat down and worked on fixing a sweater mom made years ago, and that she gifted to me, but that she wants back.  No, I didn’t ruin it while I had it, but I did figure out why neither of us really wore it. The bind off was too tight, and so it didn’t ride well on the hips.  I took out the bind off and one row of the ribbing, and began redoing the bind off with a looser, more stretchy method. Which I will teach to Mom when I see her. I think she will like the sweater a lot more now.

Then it was bed time! yikes!

This morning I had to ice the cake before I go but thought I would start a quick post to you all.

Here’s my weekend plan this week.  So very exciting, as always.

A is picked up Subway sandwiches for dinner, so no cooking.  And it  started raining this afternoon, so no pool.  I want to get out in the yard and sow some pink poppy seeds before the rain really hits – easiest way to “keep moist” is for Ma Nature to do that for me. I didn’t get to it tonight, but hope to in the morning. I did settle down to some fiber work.  The shawl was dry so I wove in the ends, maybe tomorrow I will get a photo or two for you.  And I finished the sweater for mom, and then figured out where I am with the green and black striped sweater, so I can keep going on that, and get THAT finished.

Saturday we go to A’s sister L in the morning for a birthday celebration – we will bring pastries, sister S will bring donuts, it should be a sweet time!  I will head from there straight to Whorls and Purls, so I will have a few knitting projects with me.  🙂  I have a few necklaces and bracelets in mind, and the beads all strung on the silk, so I might bring some of those projects as well as the sweater and socks.  Because variety is the spice of life!  I also will bring over the secret fiber project to show off to the ladies there.  Can’t wait until I can show you all.  🙂

Sunday, A and I are planning a breakfast at the beach, but if it is really a rainy day, we likely will postpone that a week.  She came up with the idea to get breakfast sandwiches, and take them down to the ocean to enjoy a quiet peaceful morning at the beach before summer ends.  We haven’t been to the beach at all this summer!  I am not bugging her to go every day because I can swim in my pool.  And it hasn’t been hot enough for her to want to go, because it can’t get hot enough for that, she hates swimming so much. SHE DOESN’T EVEN OWN A BATHING SUIT.  How did we ever wind up together?  🙂

Exciting things are happening on her job front, so suddenly she is motivated to do things around the house and it is starting to show, projects are getting finished.  I hold out hope for the bookcases still.  🙂 Her energy levels are way up now. I knew she was tired, but not how it was affecting her energy and outlook about everything.  So who knows what else we will do on Sunday?  It could be anything.  🙂

What are you doing this weekend?

 

Per request: cats in rafters   25 comments

Turns out that when Allie is running about up there, she is tough to photograph!  And Zumba thinks it is all just too much work, she will sit on her new perch and stare down the oblivious chipmunks, thank you very much.

But here are some shots of them enjoying their expanded new platforms. A bit grainy as it was still dark and I used the phone with flash, but I think you get the idea.  🙂

Don’t you think the perches would look pretty with plants and candles on them? Me, too, but that’s not an option in this house!

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Camera shy Zumba, and A’s arm.  🙂

Allie loves climbing her post and running about up there, but not if anyone is actually looking.  🙂

Posted August 17, 2017 by salpal1 in What I love

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Weekend update, photo-free again   13 comments

It isn’t that I don’t want to share photos with you, it’s that I don’t have any to share! The knitting moves along steadily, especially since I went to Whorls and Purls on Saturday and did a couple of rows (I am over 400 stitches per row now) but is not photo-worthy.  It will be, soon, though!  Only 4 more rows to go, then the bind off, then the blocking and you will get to see the Moon and Sky shawl complete!  I should have that ready for camera by the weekend.

I did some spinning!  A few hours total, about half a bobbin full.  It looks just like the bobbins I bored you with in July as it is still that same spin.  I think when I finish filling these three bobbins I will be more than half way done with the spin.

I did the last big step of the secret fiber project, just one small step left, and it is done.  I have taken loads of photos of this project, so will be able to share with you later in all its glory.

I moved three wagon loads of dirt, and that finished filling the raised bed garden box that will house the garlic for next year.  I pulled this year’s garlic – the bulbs are smaller this year than last, not sure why, but I hope that fresh dirt will help.  It’s drying now.  Some will be saved for fall planting, the rest will be eaten.  Yum. I also ripped out the strawberry plants.  They likely will be back as I doubt very much I got all the roots, but I did enough that I could add some dirt to that box and plant the rhubarb mom gave me.  I think I will call that the pie box.  🙂

And I cleaned up the box that housed the garlic this year, got it ready to plant some seeds.  I am going to scatter some poppy seeds and wildflower seeds.  This is when Ma Nature would plant them, so this is when I will plant them.

I planted my newest heirloom primrose in the front yard near the rock.  I hope it will be happy there, it will get a lot of sun morning and midday, but then it will get nice shade.  So it likely will go dormant in the summer, but I am hopeful that it will love being by that warm rock in the spring.  The last one Mom gave me did not survive in the back yard, I don’t think ( unless it went dormant in May!) so I hope this one likes this spot.  Glad Mom is able to keep hers growing and thriving so that it constantly needs dividing.  I have to check with her whether it was her grandmother or great grandmother who brought the original plant over from England, but I know it was a LONG time ago, and the women of our family have been cultivating and dividing and sharing the plant ever since.  I would hate to be the one who can’t grow it.  🙂

I have less than half the dirt pile left to move, but now I have filled all the boxes, I have to figure out what to do with it all!  I know I want some to go on the lilacs out back, that might be two more loads.  Then what?  I could have A build me another box or two, and expand my gardening out into the back yard, but that would have to happen pretty fast or the crabgrass will win the war for the dirt.  I also could build the garden I know I want along the west side of the house, but that would be another major undertaking like the front was. And it would mean relocating a kayak, which I guess I could do if I had to.  🙂  I should start collecting newspapers again, I guess. If nothing else, I could move the dirt out back, cover it with newspapers, weight them down and leave it until spring.  That might be it.

This is the really big event of the weekend, though – I VACUMMED the screened porch.  A made some new cat perches so the cats can hop up and down to the rafters from almost anywhere in the room.  Then she asked me if I would vacuum when she was done.  She knows that this was a major request.  I foolishly sweetly agreed and it was down right awful.  I think this is partly because I don’t just vacuum the floors, I vacuum all the nooks and crannies where cat hair gathers, and I vacuum the furniture.  It was sunny, hot, and humid out there.  It took two sessions, with lemonade and knitting in between, but I got it done, got the furniture back where it goes and it looks lovely.  I rewarded myself with a nice swim.

The cats love their new perches.  Now they can more easily traverse the room at ceiling height.  They always could go from one end to the other, but crossing was tricky due to the way the rafters and supports are constructed.  They have some boards A put up there to help, but the sillies hop along next to those.  These perches are staggered throughout the porch, and so they can be anywhere, look out any window.  I told them if they don’t use them, I am putting plants and candles on them, so Allie immediately hopped her way up and around, rubbing every corner she came to.  that meant Zumba had to do the same.  No plants and candles there!

And A said that while I am away, she will work on her storage closet shelving upstairs, and THE BOOKCASE in the loft!  It will have been worth it to vacuum the porch if those things happen. She is doing it to get her office FINALLY cleaned up and sorted out so she can use it.  That might inspire me to really work on the craft room when I return.  Or it might not.  🙂

It was a busy weekend, but I still feel rested and like I had enough down time.

 

 

 

 

Posted August 14, 2017 by salpal1 in how I spent my day, how it came out, What I love

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I feel like it has been a long time since I wrote anything interesting   25 comments

I hope you aren’t feeling that way and getting bored…

Things are moving slowly everywhere – large projects having steady movement but at times it is imperceptible.  Garden wagon is fixed, but I haven’t begun moving dirt – because IT RAINED! And while I am so pleased about that, the pile of dirt is now heavy and wet.  But I will start getting the area it is going prepped tonight, and maybe move a wagon load or two.

The secret fiber project moves on, I am more than half way finished now.  🙂 It kind of is a time suck right now, but I hope it will be winding down soon.  I have no spinning time and not much knitting time!

The shawl moves on as well – I am on the last lace section, about 15 rows to go, but they are LONG rows, and some have beads, which slows me right down.  Worth it in the end, though, right?? I should have something to show you in a few weeks. Maybe sooner.

And I did cast on and knit a plain old beanie this week.  The exciting part of that?  I finally used my very first skeins of handspun!  I used half of my first spin of natural for the ribbed cuff, and then about half (maybe a bit more) of my very first colored spin for the body of the hat.  I want to add a pompom, then that will be done.  It is kind of cute – the yarn looks like it was supposed to be lumpy, lol.

But what is occupying my brain at this point is VACATION!  My big road trip to Wisconsin is less than a month away, I can’t believe it!  Mom and I leave on Labor Day, and travel through Quebec and Ontario to Michigan, then take a ferry across the lake to Wisconsin on Wednesday. We will stay there until Sunday, when we leave and head for Chicago to visit with some school friends of hers, then head for Niagara Falls by Monday night.  We leave there on Wednesday to head home.  Not sure yet if we will attempt that last leg all in one day, or stop part way to sleep.

I am SO looking forward to this trip, the purpose of which is to meet some long time on-line friends and attend the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool festival.  You had better believe I will be buying some lovely yarn and fiber on this trip!  Not only are we going to the festival, but we also will be visiting loads of local yarn stores while we are there.  I can’t wait to see what I find.  🙂

And I am looking forward to seeing all of the live people who are the online friends I have been chatting with for years.  I am quite excited about the whole adventure. And very glad I have the little Prius to make the driving part fun and affordable. We will get to whizz through parts of the continent I have never seen before – always a fun prospect. I have been wanting to go to Niagara Falls for a long time, I am glad Mom is willing to spend a day or two there with me. And I haven’t been to Ontario since I was ten.  All I remember is trees.  It will be interesting to see it now, nearly 50 years later.  Probably still some trees, lol.

When we get home, I will have a few days off from work to get unpacked and laundry done.  But we won’t think about that now. Now I need to make my list of things to pack to take with me. Top of the list – passport, followed by knitting.  And money.  Nothing else is important, right? It is going to be a long month.  🙂

But to bring it back to this week!  I want to really work on moving that dirt pile, which means relocating some raised bed boxes and filling them.  And Mom gave me some rhubarb, so I need to locate it’s permanent home and put dirt there. So I will work on that in the evenings, and then go for a swim, weather permitting.

The blackberries are slowly ripening, I have picked and frozen a few handfuls of those, but I hope that by the weekend there will be a lot more ripe, so I can pick some volume of berries. Eventually would like enough to make a batch of blackberry jelly, which I just love. So I keep picking and freezing, until I have enough.

Friday afternoon I have to go to a memorial service  and so won’t get home until late, but A has Friday off, and might go to her sister’s or she might stay home and putter.  Either way, Friday evening we will sort out what chores still need doing and who will do them.  And Saturday is Whorls and Purls, so I will get a solid chunk of knitting time then. Sunday – Sunday I HOPE we are staying home and relaxing.  Which in my case, likely means rotating between moving dirt, swimming, picking berries and working on fiber projects, secret and not secret.

That’s all that is going on around here – I’ll let you know how the projects progress.

Summer weekends – they are so good and there are so few of them.  🙂

 

Monday morning blues   13 comments

We had such a nice weekend, it seems a shame it has to end.

Not only did I get to see cousins on Saturday, but it actually rained Saturday night!  The last time I remember it raining was back at the end of June.  It might have rained since, but it sure hasn’t in weeks.  Pool and plants and trees seem very happy. And I haven’t seen the cousins since last winter, so that was very nice!

Sunday was a quiet day – breakfast and some Home Depot shopping in the morning, then puttering about in the afternoon.  It was cool and dry and lovely.

Now it is Monday and I have to go to work.  Seems like we should get longer weekend in the summer.

What I accomplished this weekend:

  • Fixed the wheel of the garden wagon.
  • Finished the last details of the hand knit vest, and soaked and blocked it.
  • Cast on a hat with my very first handspun.  I think it will be a “for sale” hat, but we will see.

And of course, we did all the household chores that needed doing, and none that could wait.  It was that sort of weekend.

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There’s the vest.  If you are very good, when it is dry I will put it on and let A take my photo to share with you.  I did have to modify the pattern a bit in the shoulders – they were way to wide, so I took up some pleats, and made a note to adjust that measurement when I knit it again, which I think is likely, though not any time soon.

Did you have a good weekend?  Are you finding it hard to get going this beautiful Monday morning?

Posted August 7, 2017 by salpal1 in how I spent my day, how it came out, What I love

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Why I am glad I live where I live… and how pretty it is!   22 comments

Here’s what the dashboard said when I got into my car after work yesterday.  Granted, it is on the west side of the building, no shade, and pavement.  But still!

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101 degrees.  Just not right!

I drove 18 miles and stopped at the Post Office on the way home.

Here’s what it said there:

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86.  Better!

Then I went home (after getting gas, don’t worry, I won’t be stranded) and walked into the house.  No AC, didn’t even shut the curtains in the morning, just left the sliders cracked open, and the back (northside) windows open.

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Now THAT is more like it!  I opened all the windows, and it only went up to 76 a couple of hours later.  (Sorry about the very low light photo, I was in a hurry.  🙂 )  That was very good news, because I needed a cool house after this.

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Why, look at that!  The front garden is done at last!  I was just in a mood to power through it last night, I am so sick of the project.

I couldn’t fix the flat tire on the wagon, it won’t hold air.  I didn’t have the truck, and the hardware store is closed anyway.  I’ll get it fixed in the next few weeks.  I took the old wagon with 4 flats and used that instead, only filling it about half full, and just muscling it to where I needed it.  That meant more trips, but it worked.

I ran out of newspaper and so the area around the stepping stones will need more weeding than the rest, but I can live with that – or take the mulch off next week and put down paper.  Yeah, that won’t happen.

There was a mouse trying to build a house under the pile of bags of mulch.  Every time I took a bag, he took off.  The first time we were both terrified.  After that I just waited for him to run away, then continued on. Not sure where he will live now as I used all the mulch.

I gave up on the edging (stepdad did a good job starting it.)  I set one block, poorly, and then said forget it for this year.  Put my loose stones back where the edge will be someday.

So, it isn’t perfect, but boy, it is SO much better!  And next year there will be real flowers in there, I can’t wait!

Now.  I do have to get the cart fixed, because I have half of a dirt pile in the front of the house that I need to move to the back of the house.  I sure hope the weather cools off before that has to happen.

I finished all of this at about 6:30 last night, and there was no distant rumbling, so I got into the pool, cleaned out all the bits of trees and bugs, and then actually got to swim about and enjoy the cool water! By the time A got home from work, I was cool, clean, and relaxed. And don’t feel too badly for her having a twelve hour day – she was out on an island all day training the town office staff. That meant two nice long boat rides and a gorgeous view for her.  And a not very long drive home afterwards.  Plus she stopped for a root beer float along the way, so she actually had a decent day, for a work day.  🙂

Oh, and in case you forget where I started just a month ago on this garden project, here you go – a reminder.  🙂 (That pile of 6 bags of mulch – what was I thinking?  We used probably 30 or 40 bags before we were done.) You can barely see the rock!

After one long hard day or work from 4 people:

Only one of whom is crazy enough to let me put his picture on this blog, but as he is the one who first said he was willing to work hard to get it all going, I am thrilled to share it here again!

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They got me started, but left to my own devices, I slowed right down. Working alone when it is hot is just not my thing, apparently.  But a vision of how it would look all done kept me going.  For a month!  It should not have taken so long but I am a wimp about the heat.

However, there were little things motivating me… a flower that bloomed in spite of crazy activity all around… a dream of how pretty the bushes are when they bloom, and how much prettier they will be now that they are pruned, and have dirt and are happy!

 

And now I can move on to the next project.

 

After I knit a few rows.

 

Posted August 2, 2017 by salpal1 in how I spent my day, how it came out, What I love

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