Odds and ends

Nothing much exciting happening here. This week is tax training, so the days are long and the off hours are short. But no chance of being bored! So many changes! Yikes. Plenty of jokes about the “postcard” which has a bzillion new pages attached to it.

I have been keeping up with spinning 15 minutes a day, which is good for that spin I started in October and only half finished by the end of the year!! It’s being plied now, should be done this week.

Knitting has been slower. Finished a sock in class Monday, started the second sock, but nothing else has budged much this week. I finished the knitting on the cowl for my sister, but haven’t grafted it together yet.

And nothing else has moved enough to warrant a photo.

That’s all the news from here – hoping that tomorrow’s storm closes Bangor Public Schools, our training follows the school closures… my brain needs a break!

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Merry Christmas Eve!

Sorry to be so quiet lately, we have been BUSY!

A is doing fine, physically almost back to normal. She is still being careful about what she eats, learning how things go, but so far so good.

We started the holiday visiting with a quick trip to Portland Friday afternoon. A’s nephew and his family rented an air bnb house for the weekend to visit his in-laws and we all drove down for a yankee swap and some games. We only see them a couple of times a year, so it was fun. Their kids are quite grown, there even was a girlfriend along. How time flies!

Saturday was busy, too. I ran to Belfast to do the last of the Christmas shopping. It was not terribly crowded, but this still happened

Yup. Someone parked his car behind a row of parked cars (including mine) and went shopping. I waited a while, then went into the closest shop looking for the owner. He was checking out, and wouldn’t come move his car until he finished. I was quite close to calling the police when he finally came out. For the record, there was plenty of parking on the street, just not directly in front of that store.

Once I could get going, I headed over to Whorls and Purls for a relaxing afternoon of knitting. 😊

Sunday I did nothing but weaving and knitting and making some ornaments, and as a result, I am in pretty good shape for tomorrow. One thing will be delivered as a WIP but that’s pretty good!

Today I had some sewing for A’s present and one thumb to knit on her mittens. The sewing is done but not the thumb. Day’s not over yet!

She and I completely disagree on prints for the bed linen so we have only plain sheets. Our compromise comes on pillowcases. She like creatures and cute prints, I like florals. So I made her a couple of pillow cases. Pretty exciting stuff!

Then I will wrap them and be done.

How are you doing today? All prepared for tomorrow?

Glad this week is over!

This was a long week! Tuesday was our annual meeting, and due to staffing changes it fell to me to plan and execute. That meant a couple of crazy days leading up to the afternoon meeting. One of my former helpers is still around, though in a different capacity; she organized the presentation, and did a beautiful job. Although it was a bitterly cold and windy day, we had a nice turnout, and I think everyone enjoyed it.

Wednesday morning when the alarm went off, A told me that she needed to go to the ER! She had been up all night in pain, and thought maybe it was a heart attack. That woke me up! We were dressed and at the ER by 4:30, we even remembered the health directive. There was a small bit of conversation about not waiting so long if this ever happened again. She didn’t want to wake me.

Sigh.

They fairly quickly determined it was likely not a heart attack… ekg and blood work normal. A bit of poking gave us the likely culprit, the gallbladder. Then we had to wait 6 hours to have an ultrasound to confirm. (That was because they had to wait until 8 hours after she ate, not due to hospital issues.) So there we sat. She got some lovely drugs for the pain, and went to sleep. I knit. And froze. It was really chilly there! They gave A nice warm blankets, but I wound up wearing all the outdoor clothes I had with me.

The drugs did the trick, and she felt much better when she woke up. Ultrasound confirmed the diagnosis, and we were sent home with a prescription and an appointment with a surgeon. That afternoon was all about naps and warm soup. She felt almost back to normal by evening.

So, back to work Thursday with a million things to do to catch up, and make up some of the hours from Wednesday. I had hoped that the long days Monday and Tuesday would mean a short day Friday, but no such luck. Friday was also a full day, with a trip to the Macias office thrown in for fun.

I am so glad that this week is finally over!!!

There was lots of knitting, a hat order is nearly complete, a sock is more than halfway done, another hat that really was giving me grief is sorted out, and Mom’s reknit sweater is almost to the arm divide. I don’t have pictures of any of it.

I do have photos of a test knit I did recently, though. The pattern was released this week so I can share it. This is Jenjoyce Designs’ Golden Fields Lace. She wrote it for three pieces, in four sizes each! A stole shape, a square shawl shape, and this cowl. It is lace weight yarn, and a pleasant lace pattern, easy to memorize. It only took me a week to knit, and it was not monogamous knitting. I used some of my early handspun, the first yarn I spun consistently thin, and I have enough for another, so this might be a Christmas gift.

I was hoping to finish warping the loom this week, but I think that will happen this morning. A helped me be holding the ends firmly while I wound it onto the back rail, very much easier than the last time without her!

Last week I told you we were heading to a little craft fair. It was quite small, but we found some nice things to buy. A even ASKED ME TO BUY YARN!! A woman she knows was selling some, and so we got three skeins, and A requested mittens.

I found this suncatcher, and am so glad I made the impulse purchase!

It sure brightens our dreary landscape! I love how it makes the candle glow even in the daytime.

Even in a hard week, there are little moments of peace and beauty if we take time to notice them.

Glad I looked at this before I scraped the windshield. Jack Frost is a brilliant artist.

How was your week?

Thanksgiving thoughts

We had 9 for dinner yesterday. Not our biggest crowd ever, but a good size party.

Lots of conversation and fun.

I also enjoyed the quiet visits I had while I was getting ready.

I thought of my friend Jeff who gave us the magical extending table that seats us all – it has 5 leaves! We used to work together, and we had so much fun! When he got a new table, he gave us his old one. We love it, and are so glad to have it.

The dishes we used were from my grandmother, “Ma”, and the glasses were from the other grandmother, “Gram”. They had such different ideas about how one should live a life and entertain. I think I learned a lot from each of them and blended it all with what Mom taught me until I came up with how I live my life and entertain.

“Pa” (married to Ma, of course) stands with me as I sharpen the carving knife. I remember him with his sharpening steel and the big carving knife every year, those long smooth strokes, then perfectly carving the big birds Ma cooked. I am pretty sure he would have cringed if he saw what I did with the knife I sharpened on my little knife sharpening gizmo! I can get the meat off the bird, but it isn’t pretty!

Then there is my ex SIL, L, mother of nieces B and C the younger. Potato peeling is what brings her to mind. I always make too many mashed potatoes (except the year I baked them, and the reaction was so bad that I won’t do that again!) but I can’t beat L in the too much department. One year, early in their marriage, she and brother C hosted Thanksgiving in a cold, drafty-but-beautiful farmhouse in the middle of nowhere that they were renting. There were 5 of us for dinner. She made 20 pounds of potatoes!! She wanted to have enough. She nailed that! She also wanted to keep the stove going because it kept the house warm. I don’t remember being cold, but only how much fun we had, and how we all laughed at those potatoes. And still do.

My 1st stepmother,P, helps me get the gravy right. Stir, stir, stir forever. Longer than you want. Longer than your arm can stand. Just stand by the stove and stir while people move about you, move you to this side and that, while the meal gets itself ready to be eaten. When the gravy is ready, it’s time to eat!

It got quite crowded in the kitchen at times with all the present people and the past people, but that’s what makes it a good holiday celebration, isn’t it?

Not so busy!

Yesterday went just as planned, and was lots of fun! A’s friend cancelled for today, though, due to the death of a close friend. 😢

So we have an off day. I plan to put my loom together, and A brought a ton of pellets in yesterday BY HER SELF while I was at whorls and purls, so today we stack them.

I did take a few photos for you of the finished objects:

So now I need to think of some new things to make!

Rolling back time

Well, this was not the weekend I expected! Or at least, the last 24 hours wasn’t.

I had Friday off (I know, I didn’t give you a list!) and mostly did chores. All the laundry (which turned out to be an incredibly good thing), the grocery shopping, got a hair cut, did some cleaning.

I did manage to make the bias tape I need for the dress. What a lot one gets from a fat quarter!

It’s kind of fun to make, but involves a lot of ironing. And sewing tiny little seams.

I also knit a little bit. Everything is moving along nicely.

Saturday was about puttering in the morning, then Whorls and Purls in the afternoon. That was rather fun, as one lady brought her new rigid heddle loom and Deb taught us how the warp it.

The weather was rather nasty, but I didn’t pay much attention. I did notice the wind was howling as I crossed the Penobscot River on my way home, but at least it was raining, not snowing!

A couple hours later, as we sat watching TV, the power went out. No warning flicker, just sudden darkness.

We did the only sensible thing – reported the outage and went to bed.

But we hadn’t really prepared for an outage, no water in pots on the counter, no flashlights at the ready, cellphones not fully charged. No cooler of ice ready on the porch for fridge contents, no easy stove top meals planned.

We did joke the it made turning the clocks back much easier, but it was no fun getting launched back 150 years so unexpectedly!

Sunday we got up to still no power, and phones nearly dead, so we got dressed and went out in search of breakfast, charging phones as we went.

When we got home, we brought in another ton of pellets, and I finally planted next year’s garlic.

And then we sort of hung out, feeling off kilter. I did quite a bit of knitting, A lit a fire in the wood stove in the cellar, and we tried to figure out how we would manage to get clean enough for work in the morning. Worst case, heat water from the pool for a sponge bath. Not a pleasant thing to look forward to.

Meanwhile, the house was pretty chilly, and darkness was looming. We weren’t looking forward to another dark cold night.

At about 2:30, suddenly the light beside my chair was on and the fridge was humming! Yeah! Less than 24 hours and the power was back!

We scrambled about putting things right, washing dishes, shutting off lights, plugging in phones, fixing clocks,etc. Checked fridge and freezer, all was well. Ice cream a little soft but everything else OK. Whew! That’s usually the worst of a storm outage, when it isn’t cold enough out to save the food in the freezer.

Then we settled in with hot supper before the TV like any other 21st century Sunday evening.

How was your weekend?