Long Weeks and Bargains

So much to get through before vacation next week, plus a board meeting last night, work is just CRAZY!  Already on my way to 40 hours and it is just Wednesday…

A and I make little deals and bargains all the time – things like “If you take the trash to the transfer station, I will make you french toast for breakfast”  or “I’ll vacuum if you will do the laundry”  Usually there is something in it for the person proposing the deal – something they usually do but just don’t feel like doing this week, or something they want to do that can’t happen without a little wheeling and dealing.

For the past few weekends, I have been puttering away at chores put off all summer, getting things ready for company next week.  A has done some larger and stranger chores than normal, because she knows it will save me stress. Like shoveling all the dirt off the tarp in the front yard so I could finish the pathway.

Imagine my surprise when on Sunday night (after she worked 12 hours at one of her jobs) she said to me “I’ll make a deal with you.” I was intrigued… what kind of deal was coming?

“I’ll clean the whole house.”

Say what?  This was going to require some really odious task on my part, I could see it coming.

“Not all the fussy stuff you want done, but all the floors, the bathrooms, the kitchen, the loft, and my office.”

WHAT is the other half of this deal??? I was getting nervous.

“if you are OK with me taking Thursday and Friday off.”

Seriously?  This is the deal?  I don’t see how I could lose on this one!  Sure, she won’t get paid for the days, so there is some opportunity cost, but she already worked half her hours at one job, so if she works two more days, she will actually get paid more than a regular week. And she has to work on Labor Day, which is a drag.

“OK… is that it?”

“No.  If you make the appointment, I will take your car in to be serviced.”

A deal was struck, and what a good thing, as my week then went to hell.  I will still be doing loads of chores – all the fussy things like dusting and window washing that she doesn’t think is part of cleaning the house, and the yard chores.  But I know that when we are done and the house looks bright and tidy, it will be because of this sweetheart of a deal she struck. And I will be able to go to knitting without feeling like I should be home cleaning.  🙂

ooh la la I am off on Friday!

At least, I think I am.  Worst case scenario is that I have to work for a couple of hours, if the big project doesn’t go as planned.  But if it does, I will use vacation time to cover those few hours and take the day.  Yes, that means I worked a ton of late and long days this week.  Sigh.

Only two more weekends until vacation and the visiting knitters!  So we have lots of chores lined up to do, hopefully getting enough done that Labor Day weekend isn’t spent scrubbing floors.

I have given up the thought that the book cases will be finished, but I do plan to have some of the shelves finished.  There are 5 that should be done tonight, so books can be put on them in a day or two, and there are 5 more that are nearly done getting their first coat of finish paint.  I figured out that each shelf gets worked on 6 times. I can’t do the whole thing in one sitting, so for the primer and two coats of paint, I touch them 6 times.  And then they have to dry thoroughly, get sanded between coats.  No wonder this is taking forever.  I can fit 8 on my painting table at a time. This could take all winter. And there is still the trim to do.

A had me make a list of all that needs doing so that she can help. I wasted no time! So there will be chores amongst the knitting and spinning this weekend. Hope you will be having more fun than this!

Time is racing!

Only posting once a week doesn’t feel right but it keeps happening. I do read all your comments and keep up with my reader, but don’t seem to find time to actually write. Tsk tsk.

This past week has been a blur. One night I said to A “I sure am glad THIS week is over!” Very sad does not begin to describe how I felt when she told me it was Wednesday!

Work had the crazy ramped up when a huge RFP came out with a deadline less than a month away, and smack in the middle of my vacation. Boss says we are going for it but he has some details to hammer out. Including possibly hiring someone to write it. Can we meet next week? That gives me an effective time line of 2 weeks. I can’t see it happening unless hammered out details are really good. Or he really does hire someone. Time will tell.

Last weekend we had a dry day, I started painting the shelves!! Of course then the humidity came back and so it wasn’t until last night that I could work on them again. Progress is being made, although the snails are leaving me in the dust.

I made lots of progress on the baby sweater, but then realized the baby would be three before it fit, so ripped it back and started over on smaller needles, down two sizes. It will likely be too small now, but heck, it’s quick, I can knit it again.

This weekend I really have to get out in the yard, and I think Sunday afternoon I will be able to. Tonight and Saturday I will paint, do some light housework, bake some treats for knitting. Sunday morning we go to my SIL to celebrate her birthday in the morning, I hope to have the afternoon clear for chores.

Getting excited about the vacation that seems so close yet so far! Three online knitting friends are coming to Maine and we will all go to Knit Maine (www.knittingandyoga.com), then they have an air bnb for a couple of days so I can show them all about, and take them yarn shopping. 😉 We are going to have a blast!

But first, I have to write a big grant, support our strategic plan consultants (ie take all their notes and schedule all their interviews), write the content for our new website, and make the program for a fundraising event that will happen before I return but for which the organizers don’t have all the sponsors’ ads yet. At least I remembered to order the paper and ask for the copier to be serviced.

So close and yet so far.

Friday? Again already?

I am not sure where time goes!  I do know that when it was so hot (as in all summer up to today) I had little interest in actually moving, and so sat and knit and spun a whole lot.  Last week I laid out such a nice chore list for myself on my Friday off.  I did OK with the list (it nearly killed me), but did nothing extra.  This week, I did not have the luxury of Friday off.  So, because we did very little this week as far as chores go, in spite of impending company – less than a month away! – I have lots to do this weekend.  I hope I really can get a chunk of work done tonight and Sunday.

Saturday we are going to Bangor in the morning for a car appointment and to visit A’s niece T, the one we moved a few weeks ago.  She wants some help deciding on furniture arrangements, and so we will head over there to see the new place while they work on the truck.  We will take both cars so we are not tied to the service departments’ schedule, and so I can zip down to knitting in the afternoon if we are still in Bangor.

Since the humidity has broken, and the weekend promises to be clear and dry, I am going to try to force myself to do a few things best done when the humidity is not 99%. Things like some yard work, and painting the shelves of the book cases.  I might even start tidying up the craft room.  But probably not.  Let’s not push things, OK? Naturally, there is laundry and kitchen and bathrooms to clean, as there is every week, and the grocery shopping.  Ugh.  I am already tired.

So here are a few things I worked on while it was so blooming hot and humid last week –

The spinning is 8 ounces of worsted weight, combining two colorways to make 4 different skeins that I spun last weekend.  That is drying now, so I will get final yardage later on today, and plan to knit it up as a baby sweater. there was another skein of yarn made last weekend, but I didn’t get a photo of it yet.  The Durrow square is coming along.  I have committed to at least two rows a day, and I hope to get this square finished by the end of the weekend.  Then in a silly fit of wanting to do something completely different, I cast on a scarf for my stepbrother J.  At least, I think it is for him.  I promised to knit him a scarf to thank him for all the work, and I always intended to knit him more than one.  So this might be one of them.  It is yarn I made from some BFL fiber I dyed quite a while ago.  I was learning and experimenting about color and spinning, so have four mini skeins.  I think they will make a cheerful soft scarf.

As you can see, it was too hot to move, so I basically just sat and played with fiber and yarn.

And that reminds me!  It is dry enough now that I can block the frieze cowl and show you how that came out.

 

By the way – A got through her test.  She is uncertain how she did on the morning section, she did not feel good about it, but she is more confident about the afternoon section.  If there are sections she passed, she doesn’t have to take them again to get her certification.  That is what she is hoping for now, to pass at least half of it.  I still hold out hope that she passed the whole thing, but she doesn’t think so.  To celebrate, we did nothing that night, but went out the next night with Mom and B to a local lobster pound for dinner.  We were singularly unimpressed with it, though the food was fine.  Won’t go there again.  I did have fun with A – she as a joke wrote on the grocery list “chips cookies chips cookies chips cookies” which is very unusual for her. So, I got lots of chips and cookies and piled them all at her place at the table.  It was quite a mountain, and she cracked up when she saw it.

Another thing I did for her  us  myself was get the air conditioner upstairs and almost set up.  Years ago, we got one of those units on wheels, thinking we could use it to cool off the bedroom.  It worked that year for the two days we needed it, and we stored it down cellar.  A couple of years later we needed it again, hooked it up, ran it for a few hours and it flooded the bathroom! So, it went back downstairs never to be thought of again.  But with this hot and humid weather, it was really bothering me that we couldn’t use it.  So I gave it lots of thought, and decided that if I set it up IN the bathtub (we have a separate shower), then if it flooded, so what?  That seemed good.  But then window by the tub is up quite high, and the hose is supposed to head to the window relatively levelly.  So I thought I could stack up two of the picnic benches A made us and that would do the trick.

I lugged that AC unit upstairs Friday, keeping it level, no easy task! and got it into the bathroom.  Got the benches stacked in the tub.  Then realized I could not lift the unit up onto the benches alone!  Bummer.  When A got home, she helped me get it all rigged, and we started it right up.  It did a great job, cooled off the bathroom and bedroom just fine. The cats hate it, the door is closed, it makes noise, bad bad bad.  I do not care.  The best part?  No leaking whatsoever!  I suspect that the drain plug in the back had not been in tight the second time we used it.  Now that the weather has cooled off again, we will dismantle the tower, but leave the unit upstairs in case the humidity comes back again. It was nice to be able to come home, get the room cooled off before we went to bed, and then get to sleep before the heat got in there again. Because you know, I live with the cat charmer. We were not allowed to leave the bedroom door shut at night, because the cats need to be able to come and go. I suggested we put a cat door in the bedroom door, but that was met with eye rolls.  If we ever build another house, it will have real air conditioning.  For those few summer days that we need it, it will be worth the expense.

I love summer when it is just warm and soft, not brutally hot and humid.  Like this weekend will be! But climate change is real and it sucks.

 

 

 

It’s been a long time!

Sorry to be away so long, I have no excuse.  Just lazy!

Last week I wound up the TDF (tour de fleece, for you non-spinners).  I was pretty sure I was done on Friday, finished all the Three Waters Farm fiber I had, and as I was on their team, what we spun was to be at least 50% their fiber.  But I was having such fun spinning that I just kept going and spun one more braid, not TWF, so not in my official count, but still fun and pretty. I tried a traditional 4 ply.  Never did that before. It is an interesting yarn, quite firm and dense.

So here is all my spinning.  I figured up the yardage, and it is about .9 miles spun in just about three weeks.

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And the blue that I finished up on Sunday – sorry for the poorly lit photo – not sure what the phone was doing with colors…the blues are brighter than that, and the counter is gray. Go figure.

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I picked out a few more braids to spin up, but haven’t started them, time to get back to knitting.  Durrow has been sadly neglected, so I am plugging away at it.  I love how the medium purple is looking with the navy.  Can’t wait to link it to the squares done with the darker purple.

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That is really is for crafting since I have seen you last.  finished but haven’t blocked the frieze cowl.  I missed my window of dry days this week, we are back to the muggies now.

I have been trying to work in the yard a bit here and there, but the weather has been so awful to work with, I just do five minutes some times and can’t see for the sweat pouring off my head.  I did manage to get this to happen, with very little effort on my part – put the plant on the porch and water it now and then, and voila – a bright summery miracle!

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I planted sweet peas and morning glories beneath the trellis that you can see, and one on the other side of the porch.  On this side, that gets morning and mid day sun, they are literally 2 inches high and haven’t budged in weeks.  I water them, truly I do.

On the other side of the porch they did the same thing until about a week ago, now they are growing like mad, and have started climbing the trellis.  That side gets afternoon sun.  I am hopeful for some pretty, sweet smelling flowers there soon.

In front, I am working on clearing weeds and putting down soil and mulch along the outside of the new path.  I have literally gotten about 4 feet done. Many more feet to go.  Sigh.

The pool effort comes along.  I feel like I am finally making progress, though there is still al lot of sediment in the bottom that stirs up when ever it is touched, I think the amount is being reduced each time I get in and stir it up, them run the filter. I do that about twice a week, though with the weather so awful and hot again, I might do it more this week. It should be clean by September!  I am definitely getting the bigger, more powerful filter and vacuum for next year.

Other than that, I have been working. A lot again this week, enough that with only 2 hours of vacation time, I have Friday completely off.  I love when that happens, as you know! A is taking classes all week, culminating with a certification test Friday, so she is studying all of her waking hours.  We are not very exciting!

Last weekend we had a visit from nephew D and his wife A, they have recently relocated from Colorado to Vermont, and are taking advantage of the summer good weather to come to Maine fairly often to visit family while the traveling is easy. He is a teacher, so has been enjoying his summer vacation. It was great to see them and hear more about their lives and work.

This weekend looks to be a nice one – Whorls and Purls on Saturday, and then we are meeting Mom and B for supper on Saturday night.  We will go to a local seafood place and they will all have lobster.  I am not sure if I will have crabs or scallops, but I won’t have lobster, that is for sure.  🙂

And with Friday off, you know you get a bit of a list!

  • Laundry  – I will get it rolling, I am sure A will wind up finishing it Sunday.
  • Bathrooms – the darned things need cleaning every week and it is annoying.
  • Grocery shopping – I usually go on Saturday after knitting, but it has been really awful there the past few weeks, so I am hoping that Friday will be better. Maybe the morning?
  • Hair cut if there is no line.
  • Post office – while I am out, what is one more stop?
  • As much front yard gardening as I can get done before the sun is overhead and too hot.

That should be enough chores to get me hot and cranky, so I will jump in the pool to cool off, then come inside for knitting and spinning on the porch for the rest of the day. I want to make good progress on the Durrow square, and then start spinning the next thing. I should go upstairs and start cleaning and organizing in the craft room, but not sure I will have the energy.  Between work and the heat, I find that we are both just drained and don’t have a lot of energy for anything that doesn’t absolutely have to be done.  But maybe I will do as my friend Deb suggests and tackle one small section at a time.

Also, I have to think of something fun and celebratory to do for A after her test. She will be tired, it is 8 hours long, so the celebration can’t require expending energy.  Maybe I will bake her a cake or something.  Got any good ideas?

What are you guys doing to celebrate summer this weekend?