Not November yet!

So this will count as a second post this month, kind of amazing.

Nothing much is really new, we are just plodding along. I have managed to not help A remove deck boards yet and she is nearly done. 🙂 My step brother has helped a few times, they work well together. I have not yet dyed the yarn, I keep saying maybe tomorrow. It never happens. My SIL D and I did not meet to work on brioche, it was way to cold for outside knitting. We have a sort of plan to meet on 11/11, since I don’t have to work, so we can get started earlier in the day. But I know it will also be cold. Might have to bite the bullet and go inside for this.

I have been knitting hard on the sweater, moving down the body, and I am all up to date on the Estonian Lace MKAL. I have not done a lot on Ocean Currents. I pick up the brioche hat once in a while, but I don’t want to finish it before I meet with D, because then I would just have to start something else.

I did agree to knit a baby blanket for my cousin’s baby to be. My aunt called, and went through this whole long story about choosing this winter to learn to knit, and the neighbor lady is teaching her. The whole time she was talking I was thinking “please don’t ask me to teach you, please don’t ask me to teach you” because 1.) she is nearly 80 and I do not want to get that close to her and possibly give her covid, and 2.) I don’t hold anything properly, and I never like to teach people to knit. I would rather they learn how, and then I will teach them how to do various tricky things. Like brioche. 🙂 So by the time she wound through the long involved story of her neighbor, who now has a sick husband and visiting grandchildren, and the needles, and the yarn, and the deadline (February) I was HAPPY to say “Of course I will knit the blanket for you!” which normally I would dread doing. I was weakened by the build up. As intended, I think. However, it is really easy – Plymouth Galway held double, size 13 needles, 71 stitches. I started it Sunday night and I am 1/4 of the way through it. No photo yet, but I will get one for you.

My sewing has slowed, I have a jumper cut out and the seam binding cut out and sewed, ready for ironing, but I haven’t had time to get in the room to work on it. Work has been really busy, with three major projects/events happening this week and next. Late work hours and sewing don’t get along.

I did finish a Dumpster Fire 2020 ornament, though. Not loving the dumpster part of it, I think my yarn was a bit lighter weight than the yarn I used for the flames, so it is a bit wonky. I will do it again, though, with a better choice of yarn. And I will get you a picture of that, too. Look for it in November. It is a kind of fun pattern, and it is so appropriate! It is by Kino Knits, if you want to check it out.

That’s about it, I guess. Pretty much the same every day around here…

Oh, except later this week, we are having the remnants of Hurricane Zeta, which will bring – snow! Just showers, btu who ever heard of a hurricane bringing snow?

I tell you, 2020 is cursed.

Well, that was ambitious!

I took a look at my last post this morning, and it made me chuckle. Here’s how I did with it.

  • Sleep late! At least until sunup. Check! I call this a win, we slept past sun up every one of the three mornings!
  • Spin a bit. Fail! I did look at the wheel, and once or twice I intended to sit and spin, but got distracted and never came back to it. Thankfully, it isn’t going anywhere and it doesn’t spoil from lack of attention.
  • Knit on my sweater. Check! I actually knit on this a lot this weekend. I finished both sleeves, ripped out the trim on the neck and started redoing it with a larger needle.
  • Knit on the Estonian lace scarf . Check! I haven’t done a lot, but I did do a few rows on Friday.
  • Knit some on the Ocean Currents wrap. Fail on Friday, but I did knit a little bit on this over the weekend. It is lovely and oh so very boring. I need to power through it and get rid of it.
  • Go to the lumberyard with A to select the new decking. Check! We went, we talked to a guy who didn’t know much and wasn’t impressed at two older ladies doing their own decking; we took the books home, and OF COURSE we do not agree on a color. But we will get there eventually.
  • Help her remove more of the deck boards that we so securely screwed in place ten years ago that they are hard to remove! Fail! A was too sore and tired from her Thursday adventures with the deck to want to do more last weekend, but she is planning on doing some this weekend, so if we can’t con someone else into helping her, then I will do it.
  • If I have the energy, dye the rest of the Plymouth Galway. Fail! lol what was I thinking? That I would want to stand in front of a hot stove for hours? Yet, I really need to do it while I remember how I did the first batch. I want to knit it up this winter, so it gets moved to a list for this weekend.

I did do a bunch of other things this weekend, it wasn’t all sitting and knitting! Saturday I had a meeting in the late morning, starting our tax prep planning already., We have to figure out how to offer the service while never being with the client for more than 15 minutes, and how to work with volunteers in a way that everyone feels safe, but we are still efficient and build a team. With everyone having different levels of discomfort and when the voice from on high has not yet spoken about what we will be allowed to do, the meeting was hard to keep on track. But we started the conversation, and I managed to escape by 11:30.

Which left me with just enough time to get to Belfast to meet up with A and her sister L for a picnic in the park. We haven’t seen L since late spring when we did a driveway visit with her. She works in a grocery store, and has been really careful to isolate herself when not at work. But we realized that the good outdoor weather is nearly gone, so we got together, and A picked up sandwiches for us all. We visited for a couple of hours, until we got really cold. It was so nice to see her! The Whorls and Purls zoom knitting group had to meet without me, but I expect that they managed OK.

On the way home I stopped to do the dreaded grocery shopping in the “big” store. I have been boycotting our smaller store because of their unwillingness to enforce the COVID-19 rules. They have them, arrows on the floor, signs up. But shoppers and staff alike ignore the one way arrows, no one is required to wear a mask, and after complaining to the manager and filling out countless surveys, I decided I just was not going back until the tourists leave. The manager actually told me that they could not force people to wear masks. I said he could, the governor gave him that authority. He said “we aren’t going to tell people that they can’t get groceries if they don’t wear a mask.” I gave up on him, but wish I had thought of this at the time – if I went in with no shoes or no shirt, they would tell me I could not get groceries. How, exactly, is it different? It’s all about public health. So anyway, I now go 20-30 miles away to go to a larger store, with more room to pass safely if someone can’t go the right way in an aisle. (I do wonder how all of these people drive, don’t you? Do they not see one way signs?) I notice that there are a lot more masks in the other stores – all part of the same chain, so I think my store is just a rebel store.

Anyway… Sunday was a pajama day, I think we did dishes and laundry and that is it. That is how I got so much done on the sweater.

This week I am meeting my SIL D (outside, after work, I think we might freeze!) to try to teach her brioche. She knits eastern European, holds her needles and yarn continental. I knit combo, and I throw my yarn, so it should be an adventure. She has taken a class, but she and the teacher could not figure out how to alter things to accommodate the eastern European bit. I hope I can. However, it meant I first had to learn how to knit brioche! I did that with the help of a couple of you tube videos (I like Sweet Georgia’s the best, as she explains what it is she is doing, instead of just treating the whole thing like one big mystery. Just yarn over and slip and K2together. Magic.)

So that is another bit of knitting I did on Sunday – taught myself Brioche and cast on a hat. I haven’t raced through it, but I am enjoying it now and then.

We have a three day weekend again this week, always nice! I work on Friday, so you don’t get a Friday list, but you can have a weekend list!

  • Plant the new mock orange I got two weeks ago. Mom helped me choose a good spot for it where it is out of the way, with room to grow, but we will be able to smell it on the porch and in our bedroom.
  • Plant the garlic for next year.
  • Help A with some decking removal.
  • Knit on all the things.
  • Dye that yarn!
  • Do the grocery shopping.
  • Do the laundry.
  • Clean something. Anything. 🙂

What are your plans for the rest of the week and this fine fall weekend?

Almost the end of September, but not quite!

I promised you a post a month, minimum, and here I am second month in, almost late! Yikes!

I just reread August’s post to see where I left off.

It was hot.

Well, it isn’t any more! I am sitting here in t shirt and shorts and sandals, feet freezing because, damn it, it is September, not winter! But it is fall, and I might have to yield and start wearing shoes.

I was still working our my COVID19 banishment from work.

We were good citizens and isolated as much as we could while remaining gainfully employed, and neither of us got sick. So now we are back to our normal pandemic schedule – I work from home two days a week, in the office three days. My office mate also works from home two days, so we are only in the office together one day a week. She isn’t into the whole mask thing, but I wear one whenever I step away from my desk. That is our company policy, but most people take that to mean when they step out of their office. Whatever.

A has been working straight out all summer, as she has done ever since going out on her own. But her busy season is now officially over, and she is on vacation today and most of next week. I am contemplating taking a day off, but haven’t sorted out yet which one it will be – likely Friday. Perhaps I will prepare you a Friday list, as in days of old when I had my wonderful 4 ten-hour day schedule. Please don’t hold your breath, though. She has a possibility list, which is ever so much more vague than a to do list. She might replace the front deck. Or maybe just remove the old one. Or maybe clean up the cellar. Or maybe build the planter boxes she promised my mom for Christmas last year. Or maybe make jam with all the berries filling the freezer. Or maybe read a book. Right now the book is winning.

What I have been working on is those four WIPs I had left on my needles the last time I wrote. A scarf, which is a year long KAL that I fell far behind on. I am now pretty well caught up, just finishing up September’s clue.

August clue complete!

A wrap, Ocean Currents from Purl Soho, which I work on a few rows here and there, but which I really need to focus on. I am not quite halfway through with it. I have at last memorized the pattern, and so am able to do less than 4 rows at a sitting and not lose my place. That is progress.

I have my sweater inching along. I joined the 2 Knit Lit Chicks sweater KAL to help motivate me to work on it. I think that is working, though it hasn’t improved my counting. I had to rip 3 inches of sleeve last night because I was decreasing in the 4th round, not after the 4th round. I am fussy, and do want my two sleeves to be as identical as possible.

Then the mittens – they are coming along, actually. I am near the decrease section for the color work half of the second mitten. Once that and the thumb are done, I start on the linings, and they should go faster. I won’t need the pattern in front of me the whole time, anyway.

An older photo… second mitten is near the top

That is all four WIPs, all being properly cared for. I also did a quick knit hat for charity, which gave me an FO this month. That felt really good!

But my big crafty news is that I did a HUGE pile of spinning at the end of the Two Ewes Podcast Summer Spin Along – I FINISHED all the spinning for the nightshift shawl!

Ready to spin!

now looks like this!

Ready to knit!

I squeaked that last one in on the last day, spinning the whole 4 ounces in one day. I had very sore legs at the end of it all, but I am so happy with the results. I haven’t swatched it yet to see if the colors really work well together, but I will get to that when I am closer to being ready to cast on. Just happy that I spun all that yarn in one month! As a treat, I allowed myself to purchase some fiber from Three Waters Farm to fill the void left in the basket by all those braids being gone. 🙂

I have also been sewing – I kind of can’t believe how much! I have made a pile of skirts this summer, most with matching masks, as I mentioned last time.

My matching masks get lots of comments at work. My boss likes to ask me where I bought them, though he knows perfectly well that I made them. My next project is jumpers – I have three of them planned. Just have to put the pattern together, then I am off. It is the York pinafore from Helen’s Closet. I have made 4 of her Donovan skirts, and love the fit, so I am hopeful that the jumper will work as well.

That is really it on the crafting front, it has been slow and steady progress on the knitting, and since the blaze of glory on the spinning, I have been procrastinating finishing up a WIP there. I have two ounces of Targhee left to spin as part of a combo spin I started a long time ago. I am making myself finish it before I start anything new. I am hopeful that the pretty Three Waters Farm fiber will motivate me. But I also have some sweater quantities of Purple Fleece fiber that I might need to spin soon. 🙂

Life goes on, day by day, very dull and boring with the pandemic keeping us at home or work. No travels! But at least I have some crafts to keep me busy, and work to keep me out of trouble. How are you doing?

August 2020 update

I think I can commit to at least one post a month. I hope for more, but it doesn’t seem to be realistic.

After niece E left us, we had a quiet few weeks of same old/same old. I finished up three projects – very happy to have the projects off my needles, because my needles are overburdened, and because I really like the garments.

Icy Shores is a pretty lace and bead scarf that took me longer than it should have, because… too many WIPS! It calls for some contrast nupps, but I didn’t have any stash yarn that looked good with the yarn I was using, so I did them all the same. I think the designer knew what she was talking about. Still, I love it.

I also finished this hat, the second I have made with this pattern. I love it, and will hang onto this one. I might add a bright pink pompom. Or not.

Lastly, I finished up these socks (yes, I have woven in the ends!) which are a lovely bfl/nylon blend, dyed by a local dyer. They will match my Harriet’s Hap that I knit out of her yarn a few years ago.

This week I finished spinning the giant pile (15 ounces) of “festival” merino/silk. I love it and it was easy to spin, but it was TOO MUCH. I am grateful to the Two Ewes Fiber Podcast for hosting a summer spin in, or I might never have finished it.

I wound up with about 1640 yards of three ply, weight ranges between heavy fingering and sport, I think. I have not yet decided what to make with it, but it will likely be some type of sweater, since I got such good yardage.

Last week I was on vacation again, this time the niece visiting was C the younger. She lives in PA now, and so we seldom see her. I was so pleased when she texted last January to ask if she could come. Of course! Then there was a pandemic. Plans were iffy for a long time, but it worked out that she was able to come when she had originally planned to. She was a brave soul, and brought her boyfriend (K) to meet her Maine family, and they FLEW! Who knew you didn’t have to do a grueling 10 hour drive? Yes, she is one of the smart ones. Only her second time on a plane, K’s first, so it was quite an adventure for them. Their first foray into airline logic, where one goes to Charlotte, NC on the way from Scranton to Bangor. But they made it, and felt like everyone was as careful and socially distant as possible, wore masks the whole time, washed and sanitized at every opportunity.

They stayed with us a few days, then went to my brother’s for a few more, then returned to us for the last night of the trip. As is so often the case, it was a flying trip, and they saw the people they wanted to, mostly, but not a thing of what is around us, so I hope that they will come again, and stay a few more days. No Acadia National Park, nor day trips to Deer Isle or Stonington or Blue Hill, all of which are things C liked to do when she used to come for weeks each summer. But it was so good to see her, and get to know her as a grown up. She is very mature and focused about her career, and has goals for her life too. It was impressive to see.

Now that they are gone, I am back at work, but with a COVID19 twist. Because C is from PA, and that is not one of the “allowable” states under our governor’s rules, my workplace has a strict policy that I have to be out of the office for two weeks. I am just lucky that I can work from home. I am not lucky that it has been blazingly hot and extremely humid and we only have fans in most of the house; and that our bedroom, which has AC, is not ideal for working in. I would probably be napping. 🙂

A is still going to work, but being careful and wearing her mask until the two weeks are up and we can assume that if we have the virus we did not get it from C or K.

On the crafting front, since they left, I haven’t been knitting much, a row here and there on my 4 remaining WIPs. I did start spinning for one of my next knitting projects – I am spinning yarn that I hope will be for the shawl Nightshift. It needs a lot of different colors, but the good news is – heavier weight than I usually spin, so I think that it will go pretty fast. I am already halfway done with the first one, and I just started spinning Sunday. These are the braids I am going to spin, and hope that the yarns work as well together as I think that they will.

I have continued my sewing streak this summer, finished one skirt and most of another last week while I was on vacation, and will plug away at the second one in the evenings this week. Masks to match them , of course. What is the point of sewing clothes if not to make matching masks for each outfit? I have fabric for several more skirts all washed, ironed, and waiting to be cut out. I hope to do more sewing when the weather cools off, it is too hot to iron, really, and you can’t get very far before you have to press a seam open or something.

That is about all that is up so far since last I wrote. I will try to get some new project photos to share with you next time, so you can see how I am doing on my remaining WIPS – a scarf, a wrap, a sweater, and a pair of mittens. nothing too difficult, if one would knit on them. 🙂

We survived!

My niece and I had fun and no struggles! Yea! There was lots of cooking and dishes, but also, spinning (by E) and sewing (by E) and knitting (by me) and swimming (by both of us.) She made masks for seven dolls and one for me, and spun this yarn

She did really well for only her second time spinning, and her first time was last November.

I didn’t realize it, but this was the longest she had ever been away from her parents. All three of them did really well!

While she was here, I finished knitting my shawl, and yesterday after she left, I blocked it. I love it! It is so soft and drapes so nicely.

Today I was pretty tired! I lay low, did a bit of spinning and knitting. Just got back in the rhythm of being home.

Tomorrow will be busier, I have to take the truck in for servicing, do the grocery shopping, and get home in time for knitting by zoom at 1. Back to normal activities! Vacation toon is almost over. 😢 The week just flew!

No apologies or excuses

Who knows why I haven’t been on WordPress lately? I intend to, and then don’t. But I am here now.

Life is going on – we seem to keep ourselves occupied. We are both still fully employed, which is lovely. Except for the occasional bout of what I call pandemic envy, wondering what it is like to have endless hours at home with no outside demands, I am pretty satisfied with things as they have evolved. We do the errands that need doing, occasionally have a socially distant family gathering (one coming up on Sunday), and the crazy hours spent zooming are also spent knitting.

I have decided to focus on spinning this summer. It doesn’t mean I am spinning tons or every day, but that I am making sure that I spin at least once a week. There are some projects I want to spin the yarn for, and it won’t happen if I don’t sit at the wheel. So far I am more than halfway through 15 ounces of merino silk blend, and I love the yarn it is making! I hope to get enough for a sweater – maybe a short sleeved one? but am sure there will be enough for a vest.

That doesn’t mean I am not knitting – I am – holy cow, I am knitting all the time! I have 7 WIPs, which is about 4 too many, but I am rotating through them, and I know that suddenly I will have a bunch of finishes. My job will be to resist casting on 1:1 for finishes… 🙂

I have only one cast on that I am dreaming about, so that is good. If When I finish three things, then I think I will allow myself to cast on Steel Creek, with the yarn from my frogged Volition. I really do want a red pullover, so I am motivated to make it work.

The yard is looking as straggly as usual, given that we have no lawn and never mow, I should not be surprised, right? The pool is in really good shape, so much better than last year, thankfully. I will be needing it later this week when suddenly it will be summer. I have planted more veggies than normal, and have some seeds I really need to get in this weekend. And a few flowers to make it pretty. But I have not really been motivated to do a lot of yard work this spring. This is when I have the pandemic envy. If I was home all day, I could spend a few minutes here and there, and it would look amazing, right? But spending half an hour once a week does not have the same affect.

We intended to rip off the front deck and redo it in a smaller foot print, with a terrace at the foot of it, but that is a job where I am the yeoman, and the foreman isn’t in to it, it seems. I will keep bringing it up gently as in “Do you want to start on deck demo this weekend?” and eventually it will happen.

We have been spending time each weekend dealing with next winter’s pellets. We got 5 tons, and put one ton a weekend into the cellar. It has been lovely weather for this, cool and clear, unlike our usual MO which is to get the darned things in August and September and have to stow them in the hottest days of the year. We have one ton to go, and it is supposed to be hot this weekend, so we might not do it until the following weekend. We have time, thankfully.

Other than that, life is pretty boring around here – no bread baking or fancy cooking, just spending time with sticks and string and wheel and fluff. With the occasional few minutes at the sewing machine (that is all I can stand) working on a skirt and some masks.

Now I will go and read to see what you all have been up to.

End of vacation…and how I did on that list!

  • The weekend is over, and it went pretty much as planned. My knitting group meets via Zoom every Saturday for a couple of hours… and every few weeks my mom, sister, cousins, and aunts meet on Zoom. That was this week, too, so lots of time sitting in front of the computer!
  • And it took two days to wrap up that Friday list…

    • hook up the pool filter so the rain we get stays in the pool.

    Well, I worked at it but clearly something isn’t tight enough, because the water level is unchanged, and it rained! Hard! I will double check it all again on later today.

      Also, call the pool store, hoping that we can figure out how to get the water tested and chemicals bought.

    I did this, they were open, so I masked up and got it done.

    • If that means I have to go out, I will do the week’s shopping while I am out.

    It did, and I did. Wondering why so many people think that they don’t need masks, and the one way aisles aren’t for them?

    • And drive through Dunkin for a free donut.

    And it was a good treat!

    • And go to the PO.

    No squishy packages this week. 🥴

    • Spin for half an hour.

    I spun for at least that long every day this weekend, and my bobbin is getting full. Soon I will be plying!

    • Pick up the last weekly clue for the Romi Hill MKAL shawl.

    It came out around 1, and I worked on it steadily all weekend. Finished the bind off Sunday night at bedtime. I will block it this week and share FO photos eventually.

    • Give all my other knitting WIPs some love…
  • I managed this! Icy Shores got lots of love while I zoomed, I passed the halfway mark.
  • The mittens got some love, the thumb gusset is on waste yarn, and it all fits back on my tiniest circs (8 inches).
  • The sweater got a few rows of neck edging done, and the Estonian Lace MKAL got a few rows done. Even the Ocean Current wrap for my customer got some attention between Romi MKAL rows.
    • Lastly on this list is sewing masks for us.

    I did make half a dozen on Saturday morning while A was out of the house getting her remote starter installed in her new truck. Did I mention we bought a new truck this week? She loves her truck, but pounds on the miles. So when the stars aligned, that Toyota is offering 0 percent financing, and the trade in value was about double what we owed, we went for it. The “old” truck had under 100,000 miles but wouldn’t for long, so it was now or never. Payments are the same, truck had only 25 miles, interest rate is now zero. Her birthday was last week, she is quite pleased with her present!

    So that is pretty much how the weekend went… lots and lots of shawl knitting and a few other crafty things.

    Now I am headed upstairs to go back to work. How was your weekend? And what are you doing today?

    Some finishes and other activity

    There have been loads of finishes since I last posted!

    The long picot row is done and the shawl is blocked. It’s been worn, even, and goes well the intended skirt.

    Also finished, some interminable black fingerless gloves, and a couple of hats.

    Another finish I didn’t get a photo of is a pair of knitted knockers, plus another hat.

    All the hats and the knockers are for A’s niece who is in for a wild ride. She has been diagnosed with Stage IIIB cancer, has had a mastectomy, and is now undergoing a zillion scans to determine if the cancer has spread, and what the treatment will be.

    So while we wait, I knit. She said the knitted knockers are better than anything else she has tried, so I will keep knitting those. And soft washable hats.

    Meanwhile, Mom recovered amazingly fast from her attempt to give us all heart attacks emergency surgery, even to the point of being able to attend Pies On Parade, which benefits her local food pantry. She is on their board, and is one of the organizers of the big, complicated event. Normally she is tearing about town checking on volunteers at all the venues for the afternoon. This year, she was boss and I was her driver and her legs. We both were tired at the end of the day, but it was a great event again this year. Mom says it is her last one of organizing it. Next year, we will go and eat pie, instead. That will be more fun.

    And all the tax training is done, it is time to start preparing returns. Today is the first day, and I will be in a new venue, working with a different volunteer from my normal crew. But we all know what we are doing, so I am pretty sure it will feel familiar in about two minutes. I will be doing this every other Saturday. It will really cut into my knitting time! Also, it means I will miss Whorls and Purls every other week, which is a drag. But spring will come, and things will return to normal!

    I have to run and get ready, but I will be back…

    There has been knitting, around the edges

    Lots of it, in fact, but no finished objects, sad to say.  There will be some within a week or so, but that’s another post. Meanwhile I am plugging away on my Volition sweater, and my Japanese MKAL scarf.  Fingerless mitts  for a friend are my traveling project.

    Do you notice the small number of WIPS?  Once that craft fair was over, I settled down to normal.  I did knit a bracelet for a special order yesterday – once the closure is on and the ends woven in, that will also be an FO. But as  it is already off the needles, I don’t really count it as a WIP any more.

    I do have a scarf on the loom, and I have to say, I am loving that – it is from some hand spun, and it is a polwarth silk blend – so soft! –   in blues and greens with a bit of brown – kind of moody.  I have just over a foot done, so it is also just a WIP.

    And I have a skirt that is just a WIP as well, it needs ironing, then the elastic waist band made, and then the hem.  Not too much work, just need to do it.

    We have been busy with other things, though.  My youngest niece, E the younger, came to stay for 24 hours over Thanksgiving weekend, and we had such fun!  She wanted to learn to spin and weave and I thought dye yarn, but she tells me no, I imagined that.  Just as well, since we had to eat and sleep, too.  We did get her spinning – not drafting, but she did make some lovely two ply art yarn.  It’s a bit twisty, as she is better at treadling than drafting and feeding the yarn through the orifice. Sadly, she hasn’t got access to a wheel at home, so she won’t get to improve until next time she comes to visit.  I think she did like her yarn, though, because she has on her Christmas list “yarn with different colors that isn’t twisty”

    We also tried some weaving, and she was much better than that – her selvages were better than mine, but she found it very boring.  So, she went back to spinning, and finished off the 4 ounces of corriedale that she had started the day before.

    She also discovered the books (hard not to, as she was sleeping in the loft where all the books are kept) so she spent a lot of time reading.

    On the whole, it was a very nice visit, she said we were “good people” and she wants to come back, maybe for two or three nights. that would be fine with us!

    We then had  a couple of weeks of normal business – working a lot, some Christmas shopping, errands, etc.  We got our tree and put it up a week or so ago, but as yet it has no lights nor ornaments.  It will happen soon, I think.  Or not at all!

    This past Saturday was my family carol sing, which, if you have been around here very long, you know happens every year.  My mom and her two sisters, and as many of their offspring as can come, do.  this year we were missing two cousins and a whole host of the next generation, but we still had a nice crowd. It’s at my sister’s in Portland, which is as close to the middle as we can get.  She has a lovely house for entertaining – and a music room, so the non-singers can enjoy conversation elsewhere and not interrupt the singers.  We go through the whole carol book (assembled by my sister many years ago) and just have fun reveling in the sound of the season.  We also get to visit people we see too seldom, which is nice. A had to work, so I rode down with Mom and B and my aunt G.  That was nice as I had lots of car knitting time.  You know me, I can knit better than I can sing, so my Volition sweater got lots of love that day.

    Yesterday we were going to do the  tree, but had so many other chores to do that we pooped out before it got done. I did do a bit of weaving and a lot of knitting, though.  I also got out my American Girl dolls and all of their things.  Niece E the Younger read all of the many of those books I have while she was here, so I decided to give her a doll and all of her clothes for Christmas.  I asked her which girl she would like if she could have one, and she said Molly, so Molly it is.  I need to replace some elastic in a few outfits – I realized that these dolls are probably 30 years old, so no wonder the drawers are droopy!

    It was kind of fun to have them out, and get them dressed in their Christmas finery.  After Molly leaves, I will still have 5, just waiting for the other nieces to get settled and have kids, I guess.  None of them are interested in having the dolls now, I don’t think.

    Other stuff going on – A’s niece T was diagnosed with breast cancer, and has a mastectomy coming up very shortly.  We are so hopeful that it will take care of the problem. Not a great way to spend Christmas, though.  A did her usual thing, and we got enough toys, books, chocolate, and other goodies to wrap up so she has a package to open every day while she is home recovering.  They say 14 days.  I can’t imagine that would be long enough, but I guess “they” know these things.  We will postpone Christmas with A’s family until she is well enough to participate.  She doesn’t want to do it ahead of time because she is too nervous and stressed with everything she has to do ahead of the surgery.  Luckily, her children are grown, and her daughter still lives at home, so she doesn’t have to worry about small kids nor being home alone with no one to care for her.

    And that is what I have been up to the past few weeks.  What have you been up to?

     

    You can cook a frozen turkey

    Or: I still learn something new every day.

    Yesterday went as planned, we had a delicious meal, everyone seemed happy to be there and together.

    I planned to cook two turkeys and I did. The first one went like clockwork, in the oven at 4:30 am, out a little after 8.

    The second one was still frozen solid! Both had been in the fridge since Friday. I guess I should have checked them the night before.

    A quick check of the internet said it was OK to cook, just would take a lot longer, which it did. All day. Didn’t come out until after everyone had left!

    So, we have leftovers!

    But truthfully, it was better than the first, so tender it almost fell off the bones. Maybe next year I will get one large turkey instead of 2 small ones, and cook it from frozen… but maybe not, too.

    And the first turkey provided plenty for the meal and some leftovers to send home with the family, too. Just not as much going out the door as we had hoped.

    Happy Thanksgiving!