Archive for the ‘how I spent my day’ Category

KABOOM!!   20 comments

After a nice peaceful weekend where we got lots done and felt like we also got to relax, we got THAT phone call Sunday evening. 

SIL L called to ask if we would meet her at the hospital and give her a ride home. She was waiting for the ambulance, but had no ride home. 
Um, what?

It seems she fell asleep in her chair, awoke in the dark and got up to turn on a light. She then fell over and knew “something bad” happened to her ankle. 

Naturally we said yes. We were dressed and out the door in a flash, on our way to Belfast. We got there ahead of the ambulance which was a bit disconcerting – were we at the right hospital?

We were and she arrived shortly, with the youngest looking EMTs I ever saw. (Turned out they really were toung. A high school senior and a college freshman.  They were cool and competent, apparently thrilled that they got to use a fancy chair to go down the front steps.)

After several hours and x-rays and back and forth between the ortho pa (put a boot on it and go home, return tomorrow for surgery) and the ER doc (if she can’t manage on the crutches she stays, and no way can she) they admitted her for the night, and put her on the surgical list.

The verdict? One badly sprained ankle, one broken and dislocated ankle. Yeah, just send her home. 

So we got home at about midnight, it was 1 before we got to bed. 

Monday morning we were up early. A was on the road, so I headed to SIL’s house to shut off lights, close windows, get a toothbrush, etc.  SIL Sand BIL  M went to the hospital, and I met them there. Where we sat ALL DAY.  A arrived, exhausted after a full day of work and 5 hours of driving. At 5 o’clock they finally took her in for the surgery. M and S headed home (S is recovering from knee replacement) and A and I sat a bit longer, before she sent me home to feed the cats and sleep. She stayed until the surgeon came out, about three hours later. It seemed when they got in there it was worse than expected. Hard to believe this is from standing up!

So A had two very short nights, and yesterday afternoon L came home to our house. It will be a couple of weeks of keeping all weight off the broken ankle and hoping the sprain heals soon. Then, as I recall from when A did this, several weeks of very limited weight bearing. And the broken ankle is the right one, so not sure when she can drive again, which will impact her return to her home. 

So A and I are suddenly back in the caregiving business, camping out in our guest room and living room, and juggling work schedules. 

Just when you get life figured out, it all blows up and then settles down again.

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Posted September 27, 2017 by salpal1 in how I spent my day

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One week later   2 comments

This post is old, but I found it in my drafts – didn’t get to post it on time – but it has some PHOTOS in it – always a good thing, right? So, sorry for the stale news, but the cat is cute.  🙂

 

I have been home a week now, and back at work four days.  In some ways, the vacation seems like a distant dream, yet in others, I can tell I am more relaxed, more efficient.  In other words, I got a good break and am fully rested!

I spent the first day home doing laundry and just relishing not being in the car.  Oh, and cleaning out said car.  Friday I did normal weekend chores – post office, groceries, etc.  Then A and I had the weekend to relax and spend time together, doing important meaningful things.  Like starting to load the 5 tons of pellets she ordered while I was gone!  We got one ton into the cellar and stacked, and will try to get two more tons loaded in this weekend.  I think if we do half a ton a day from now to Sunday, it is manageable. that leaves us two tons for next weekend.

I went to Whorls and Purls on Saturday.  Though I only missed one week, it felt like eons since I had seen the ladies!  So much to share.  🙂

This week at work has been pretty crazy – we are merging, effective 10/1, and so have to get all the marketing and different pieces ready.  That’s my job.  So I came back to press conferences and sign measuring, etc.  And some of that meant that there were long meetings and car rides to Washington County.  Which meant knitting happened!  I actually ran out of mobile knitting at one point, can you believe it?  I wasn’t thinking about how long things would take, or I would have brought along one of the shawls I am working on.  They both are straightforward enough to be mobile knitting if I am sure I will have time to finish a row.  Oh well.  I did get these done:

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The hat still needs a pompom, which will have both the blue lining yarn and the handspun main color in it.  The necklace and hat are for the craft fair in November.  The sock is the September sock, so it’s mate has to wait ten days or so to join the knitting lineup.  I started another necklace, different pattern, but with the same yarn and black beads.  It always amazes me how different they can look with a simple change. Also, please note, that necklace is WAY more sparkly than is showing, it has loads of Swarovski crystal in it.

Now all I have on my needles are the two shawls – the chain mail from my beaded handspun, and the rainbow warrior with the Wisconsin yarn.  Chainmail was giving me fits because I could not wrap my head around the pattern, but I finally figured out what I wasn’t getting.  This is such a simple pattern, but I couldn’t “see” it.  Now I can and it should fly along. There were four stitches that were interfering with my vision, once I realized that, I now know I can easily memorize the pattern and I should be good to go. Rainbow Warrior is moving along, I am on the 6th section still, but expect to make headway this weekend. the ladies are starting to finish, I don’t want to be left in the dust! The pattern still annoys me that the line numbering is so far off from the stitch count chart, but I am to the point where I only need that once per section, so I will live. And there are only 8 sections, so I am getting close!

The cats have adjusted to me being home.  Allie was SO happy to see me, she followed me everywhere all weekend. Here we are doing some porch knitting.  🙂

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Zumba is glad I am back but clearly didn’t miss me.  She slept on the bed, I guess, because she gets annoyed with me for expecting her to move over and let me in at night. But I insist.  As I say to A “She’s a cat, I am human, and I pay half the mortgage. She either has to get a job or move over.”  🙂

This weekend we have no big plans – moving those pellets, getting haircuts, I’ll go to Whorls and Purls.  And it is supposed to be HOT on Sunday, so I might do a little gardening and then hop in the pool.  We MUST be near the end of that season. I don’t think I have swum later than this since I moved to Maine. But I am going to revel in that 80 degrees they predict for Sunday.

This is Common Ground Fair weekend, and for the first time in a long time, I am not going.  A few reasons – one is that I have no money, having just had my big trip.  Another is that I also just had a lot of time off, so asking for  Friday off didn’t seem the right thing to do.  And I refuse to go to the fair on Saturday.  I could go on Sunday, but it is supposed to be hot, and everything will be really picked over and I still have no money… so I will stay home.  But if you are around here, you should go, it is an amazing fair. And it has the BEST food and great fiber and so many other things!

I can’t believe September is nearing an end and fall arrived today. Sigh.  I do like fall but not what looms after it.  I will try not to think about that while swimming in my pool this one last time.  Maybe. Maybe it will stay warm for a few more weeks…

How I spent my summer vacation   24 comments

You had better get yourself a cup of coffee and settle in.  It’s going to be a long post.

On Labor Day, Mom and set out on our big adventure, driving to Wisconsin to meet a group of Ravelry friends and enjoy a weekend full of giggles and yarn and fiber games.  But before that could happen, we had a long drive.  We went a northern route to avoid holiday weekend traffic (which is killer on the one highway out of Maine) and later, Chicago.  I don’t love driving in strange cities.

We planned two long days of driving: the first to Kingston, Ontario, Canada; the second to Muskegon, Michigan, USA.

Everything went as planned, though the long days were made longer by lots of construction, beginning in Montreal and ending somewhere west of Toronto.  We stayed in a decent enough hotel in Kingston, and got a good tip from the desk clerk about the 407 – a toll road that goes around Toronto.  He said it would be empty and darned but he was right!  It was a welcome relief from solid slow traffic with loads of big rig trucks.  The truckers were all good drivers, but it is still not the most relaxing driving.

Border crossings were easy going in and out of Canada, the US Border guy was quite funny, thought we were crazy to drive to Wisconsin for a vacation. Maybe we were, but we weren’t turning back!

I haven’t been to Ontario since I was nine or ten, and I have never been to Quebec or Michigan, so even though we weren’t stopping anyplace except to sleep, it was interesting to see the countryside as we cruised through.  The rolling hills of rural Quebec are beautiful.  Ontario is much flatter, but still very pretty.  Michigan was so flat and green!  We laughed when we saw a sign for a ski resort off an exit.  There was not a mountain or hill in sight.  I wonder how far it was to that resort?

We crossed Michigan through Flint, Lansing, and Grand Rapids, and went north a bit to Muskegon.  We spent the night there, and got our first extra pleasant surprise.  We had a reservation for a room with two beds, nothing special.  But when we checked in they offered us an upgrade to a suite and we grabbed it.  It was a very nice room, with loads of space, big windows that open, a balcony, table and chairs, comfortable chairs and the required two beds. We joked that it was too bad we were only there one night.

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We had a great view over the marina to the harbor.

The next morning we got to sleep in a bit and have a nice breakfast, then went off to catch the ferry across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee.

It felt really good to be traveling and not driving, I have to say.  They warned us it would be a rough crossing, but to us it didn’t seem like anything much, just a bit of roll under foot. We were traveling in the business cabin, which meant that we got some free coffee while knitting in our comfortable chairs, and so we passed a pleasant morning getting to Milwaukee.

Once in Milwaukee, we were able to navigate our way through MORE construction to an old friend’s house.  She lived in Maine about 15 years ago, and Mom and I had lost track of her.  But when we knew we were going to be in Wisconsin, we used the power of the internet to find her and arranged to have lunch with her. It was so great to see her, and meet the special person in her life, see her home and do lots of catching up.

We left there in the afternoon, in time to find our way through the construction to the airport to meet the first of the Ravelry friends, Kendra from Houston.

So many people thought we were crazy to plan this big trip to spend time with people we had never met.  But we have all been chatting and sharing for years, and I knew we would be fine.  More than fine, that we would have a blast.

At the airport, Kendra found us easily, even having no idea what we looked like! Something about two ladies in matching gray fleece standing around the empty baggage carousel?

Our next adventure was about to begin.  All that construction?  Well, after two days of successfully navigating it, our brains and the GPS finally failed.  They moved a highway entrance from the left to the right and we completely missed it.  Got off the road, found the next entrance – it was closed due to the construction.  But we had Mom and a paper map, and we eventually found our way back to the highway in the correct direction, and were on our way again.

We got to our Airbnb in Hustisford without further delay.  It is a sweet little house right on the lake, and right next door to a pub/restaurant.  An amazingly quiet one with good food!

It is owned by two brothers who have recently remodeled the whole thing, and done a great job.  We did notice a few things that were missed, like bedside table and lamps, and we needed groceries, so after a delicious meal at the pub, we headed to Wal*Mart.  There we picked up groceries for the weekend and grabbed a couple of lamps so that Mom and I could read before sleep and not have to use the overhead light.  🙂 And for those of you who know me, I know you just passed out on learning where we shopped.  If we had known where there were any other stores, I would have pushed to go there.  But looking for groceries at ten o’clock at night in rural America means that you go to Wal*Mart, right? So we did, and got everything we needed.

Thursday was the first day of festivities.  We headed off to Beaver Dam, where we were to meet up with Deb and her knitting group, visit the local yarn store, then connect with Knitting Sarah for a tour of Nancy’s Notions before heading back to Deb’s for dinner.

We texted Deb as we got close and she agreed to meet us for lunch at a local restaurant.  While we were trying to follow the GPS directions to get there, I noticed a car behind me, following pretty closely.  Soon it was flashing its lights and blowing the horn.  I pulled over to let this impatient person go past.  Instead, the car pulled up beside us and the driver was waving madly at us.  It was Deb!  So, we followed her to the restaurant.  Meeting with her was just like meeting Kendra the night before – instant best friends.  Before too long, another woman joined us.  Sue is in Deb’s knitting group, and also the Ravelry friend of Knitting Sarah Group where we all hang out.  Another old friend we have known for years, not minutes!

After lunch, we gathered at Deb’s, and then headed out to do some shopping.  Firefly Fibers was our first stop, and it was pretty darned wonderful. It is not a HUGE store, but a well stocked one.  I managed to get a few things there before we headed out to go to Nancy’s Notions. (And started knitting with the pink and blue before I could get a photo, sorry!  The pink is Madeline Tosh Light in a discontinued color; the blue-purple variegated is Malabrigo sock in the Anniversario colorway.  The pattern is Rainbow Warrior – more on that later!)

Aren’t they pretty?

I didn’t get photos nor buy anything at Nancy’s Notions, but I really enjoyed the tour with Sarah.  If you want to learn more about the business, do check it out online.  I get their catalogs, and they have EVERYTHING that a sewer or quilter needs. I was curious to see the quality – you know how it is with catalogs – everything looks good.  Turns out, it really is in this case.  Nice quality products and fabrics. If you sew, it is worth checking out.

That evening at Deb’s was SO MUCH FUN!  We sat around knitting and gabbing, we ate a delicious meal, did a yarn version of Yankee Swap, and it felt like Christmas with all the gifts that Sarah and Deb had put together for us.  Loads of goodies, some snacks, and some fiber treats.  Sarah gave me this fabulous fiber from Three Water Farms to thank me for helping out with the group this  spring while she packed up and moved.  And I don’t know if she or Deb put this beautiful project bag and stitch markers in the bag of goodies, but I love it!

This is the yarn that I wound up with after all the yarn swapping was done:

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Our friend Jude joined us at Deb’s, and so when the party was over, we were four at the house.

Friday morning we were off to breakfast in Johnson Creek on the way to Wisconsin Sheep and Wool festival, the centerpiece of our gathering.

I took no photos that day. We did have quite a group of us there – I have lost count, but at least 5 or 6 of us in one group, and then others from Deb’s knitting group and friends of Sarah wandering in and out of the crowds. It was an amazing event.  Like Maine Fiber frolic on steroids.  Two HUGE barns filled with fiber related vendors.  I never even got to them all!  I DID, however, find a few things to buy.  🙂  I know you are surprised by this.

The yarn:  Sock yarn from Knit City, unmatched skeins meant to go together.  And an amazing find – these two skeins equal a sweater quantity of yarn, and were only 28 dollars apiece.  Kendra spotted them in the bargain bin by my feet while I was perusing the full priced beauties at eye level. So a sweater for $56.  Not bad! And it isn’t blue-green, it’s just blue.  🙂

The fiber: the braid is super wash merino from Fiber Optic.  I have seen their ads on Ravelry and never clicked through, because I was afraid of the damage to my bank account.  So I was pleased to see them at the festival, where I could drool in person.  I can’t remember the vendor where I got the ball of merino/silk.  I was so tired I couldn’t do the math, so went on the conservative side with 10 ounces.  I wish I had gotten more, it is lovely.

It was a long day, but so much fun, seeing what all the ladies bought and all that they resisted.

That night Deb joined us at the house, and so did Adina.  Adina is moving to Maine and has hosted a few Ravelry gatherings here, and has come to Whorls and Purls at the Purple Fleece when she is not home in Illinois.  It was great to connect with her and to have her join us for dinner and the night.

So we were six sitting about knitting and chatting Friday night.

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(Mom is sitting out of range, but trust me, she was working on her endless sweater. And do check out that sunset!) Kendra and Jude shared yarn they had brought for us, so there was even MORE yarn added to my stash!

And Mom’s stash looked like this – she only bought one skein, the rest were gifts!  She was overwhelmed.

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While planning this event, someone, maybe Deb or Sue, came up with the idea that we should all cast on the same pattern.  Kendra found the pattern Rainbow Warrior shawl, and we all agreed it would be great.  Some folks cast on Thursday night, some Friday, and some both nights.  🙂 All the colors look so amazing, the finished shawls will be great fun.

Mom took this photo on Saturday, showing our progress.

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We were expecting one more visitor on Friday, but she wasn’t able to make it until after the festival on Saturday.

Saturday we had planned visiting several yarn stores in the Milwaukee area, but we were really fried, and had this beautiful spot, so we decided not to leave it.  I was glad as I felt exhausted, and we planned to leave Sunday morning, so a low key day felt really good.

We spent the day knitting, with Mom and me doing some intermittent packing as well.

There was porch knitting, for sure. And when it got too hot, we moved back to the living room, never stopping knitting, talking, and laughing.

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Saturday evening Teryn and her fiancee Peter finally found their way to us in time to show off her festival purchases, and join us for dinner at the pub next door. We had a fun time, and we are pretty sure Peter did not know what he had gotten into.  He also might have been worried that he was looking at what Teryn will be like in 40 years.  🙂

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Sunday came all too soon. Mom and I were up early, finished packing the car, stripped the beds, and said good bye.

We were sad to leave, but still had more vacation ahead.  First stop, Chicago.  I avoided it once, but we headed for it on purpose this time.  Mom has two old high school classmates who live there, and we were meeting them for lunch.  It was a pretty wonderful time.  These two people, and the wife of one of them, are amazing people with such interesting stories, I could have stayed listening all afternoon.  In fact, we did for a few hours before finally heading out to continue on our way.

I was disappointed at the amount of traffic on a Sunday, but knew it was better than a weekday.  We were heading east now, and had a day and a half to get to Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada.  We stopped driving at about 7, which got us to the Toledo area.  We were lucky that the first hotel we tried was neat, clean, had a room, and served us breakfast, too!

Monday morning we set a leisurely pace, but still made it to Niagara Falls by about 2 o’clock.  We decided to skip lunch until we got there, because I really needed to be done with driving.  So when we got to our hotel, we checked in to what turned out to be ANOTHER huge water view suite! (The mist to the right is spray from the Horseshoe falls.) This time it was two rooms, and we got to stay more than one night!

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We got some “lupper” (lunch-supper) and went for a walk down to the falls.  It was advertised as three blocks.  The last one was a huge long one down a steep hill, but we did survive that trip!

I had never seen the falls before, they are incredibly beautiful.

Tuesday we booked a tour that took us behind the falls, a boat ride into the mist, and to a few other attractions in the area. It was great to not have to drive or figure out where everything was.  After we got back from that, we took the advice of our breakfast waiter and headed down the river to Niagara on the Lake for supper, and a view of where the river meets the lake.  This was a beautiful area, quite different in nature from Niagara Falls.  Mom and I agreed that if we ever come again, we will make sure to allow more time to explore this town.

 

 

Our original plan had been to take two days to get home from here, but when we thought about it, we thought we could get up super early and make it in one day,  we knew if that really turned out to be dumb, we could always stop part way.  So 3 am found us in the car and heading back to USA and home. The trip was uneventful and long.  We toughed it out and after a breakfast stop, we only stopped for bathroom and refueling breaks.  We were at Mom’s house by 4:30 pm.  We were able to convince A that she wanted to bring Mom’s car over after work and drive me home in my car, so I was done driving when we pulled into Mom’s driveway.  More than 2500 miles! It was long and so much fun, I know I would do it again.  But maybe not for a while.

So, that’s what I did on my summer vacation.  I should have enough yarn to keep me busy for a few months.  🙂

Thought I would wrap up with a few sunsets we saw along the way.  And one dawn.

 

Edited to add – here’s a link to the knitting Sarah’s blog post about the weekend in case you want to read about it from a different perspective.

 

 

Dyeing yarn, aka the secret fiber project   28 comments

I wanted to bring some presents to Wisconsin to share with my fellow Ravellers when we met in September, but most everything I could think of was a budget buster when multiplied by the expected number of attendees.

Eventually I decided that the best thing to do was to buy undyed yarn and dye it myself.

I scoped out their Ravelry profiles and projects and stashes for inspiration as to colors.

I sourced the yarn (many thanks to Debbie at the Purple Fleece for being willing to sell me undyed yarn!)

I loaded up on a few new colors of dye from the Purple Fleece.

I went online to look for different ways to dye, and then I got started.

It was a little nerve wracking because I wanted this yarn to be perfect (which I knew it would not be) and be something these ladies would enjoy using (which I could only guess at), but I also knew it could be lots of fun.

So one nice Sunday in July, I got started with two skeins.  No point going overboard, right?

First I soaked the yarn in water with white vinegar added, for at least an hour, maybe longer. (Afterward, Debbie told me I just needed to use some dish soap with these dyes, so I did that ever more.)

Then I kettle-dyed each skein a reasonably light base color, using the crock pot.

I let it simmer away until the water was clear ( I left it over night, but it might not have needed that long).

Then I cooled it, wrung it out and spread it out on plastic.  I then sprinkled dry dye powder sort of everywhere I wanted color specks to be, spritzed it with water in a spray bottle, wrapped it up in plastic wrap and microwaved it in a casserole dish used only for dyes (never food again.)  I did this for ten minutes of heat – 2 minutes heat, 2 minutes resting, 5 times.  Then I rinsed it and so much color came out!  This worried me at first, I bundled it back up and heated it for four more minutes, then washed it some more.  Then I realized that of course lots of color will wash out, I sprinkled dye onto small areas!  So I rinsed it with some more vinegar, and kept rinsing until the water ran very clear.  Then I soaked it in a tiny bit of Euclan. I like to finish my yarns off with the lavender scented Euclan in the hopes it will stave off moths, etc. I have noticed that Euclan will cause bleeding the first time it is used, and sure enough, it did again. I would rather have that happen now than after it is knit up.

Eventually we had all clear water, and I hung it out to dry.

Soon I had two skeins dripping in the back yard, and I was eager for more.  But work intervened, so it had to get put away for a few days.

Meanwhile I kept reading about different techniques. Next up I did some simple painting, or, actually, squirting.

Again, I kettle dyed two more skeins with a pale color, and then I mixed up some dark dyes.  I used a turkey baster to put pools of the dye on one skein. I left lots of the light color, and let the color bleed a bit.

For the other skein, I tried mixing small jars of the dark dye with some water, and then putting some of the yarn in the little jars, kind of spacing around the skein.  That worked pretty well, but there were a few light areas, so I used the turkey baster again to add more dye.

Each of these skeins had five two-minute sessions in the microwave, each separated by a two minute rest period.

But I really wanted something that would read as red.

I knew that when I dyed my red sock yarn, I was able to get a really vibrant red in the crock pot.  But that seemed like it would be a boring gift to give someone.  I wondered about sprinkling other colors on the red to change the tone and depth of red.  So that is what I tried next.

I dyed it as dark a red as I could get it, and then rinsed it until the water ran clear.  Then I got to sprinkling dye powder. I used some navy blue and some black.  Now, Debbie warned me that the black is very powerful, so I wasn’t sure what would happen.  But I really like how it toned down the bright red to a pretty, shaded skein.

 

Next up – blues.  You knew they would show up eventually, right?  I love how the aqua speckles turned out, but I wanted one with some different colors in it.  So I did another aqua base, but this time, I sprinkled some yellow and pink, as well as the turquoise powder on it.

And then I did some that were just plain blues, because in my world, you can never have too much blue.  🙂

Since things were going so well (too well!) I got creative. I made such big messes while trying to layer colors to get green and orange that I finally over-dyed those two skeins – one to a bright mostly solid green, the other to a dark blue. Into every life some solids will come, right?

I tried one more time, with no better results, to make an orange with over dying.  Since it didn’t work, I just kept on cooking it in Bermuda Sand, and actually, I wish I knew how I did this one, because I really like how it came out!  It has tiny flecks of pink and blue, and loads of shading and life.

Giving up on fanciness, I dyed the last two skeins in purple that I mixed up BEFORE I added the yarn.  I did use the turkey baster to add some pops of the blue and red while it was in the pot, but for the most part, these were just plain kettle dyed.

And that’s it – a month’s worth of messing up the kitchen and having fun with colors.  I hope the ladies like them and make some fun things with them!

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And if you are an indie dyer, you have earned my utmost admiration and respect – this is NOT easy!  Colors don’t always do what I think they will do, and while that is OK sometimes, other times, not so much!  Kudos to you all for making the gorgeous yarns and rovings that you do!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted September 15, 2017 by salpal1 in how I spent my day, how it came out

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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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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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