A bit of an update

I haven’t written in a while, I see. I was busy reading and commenting and deleting old or redundant photos. So I have room for a few more.

First news, Mom loved the sweater and it fit as is – yea! No photos as it still needs buttons, etc. I will try to get one someday.

Last weekend was spent with Mom and her two sisters and all of their daughters. That made 8 of us. My aunt found an air bnb that was midway between her house and mine, so it was way down in southern Maine, in Biddeford Pool. The house was perfect for what we wanted, enough beds and bathrooms, good gathering space, and a great kitchen. And near the beach, so we went for walks, and sat around gabbing and knitting a lot, too. And eating. There was plenty of food on hand, I will be eating leftovers for a month!

I started my Alaska hat as a reward for finishing big brown. 😉

And I finished a pair of socks

So it was a very good weekend!

Seriously though, it was nice to spend enough time with my family to get to talk to people and hear how they are. It’s been ages since we had time like that.

What did you do last weekend?

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My least favorite weekend is over

Or:

WHY do we keep changing time?  It accomplishes nothing and creates havoc with mind and spirit.

I hate this weekend, the shortest of the year.  It was made shorter still by a complete change to my regular schedule – I missed knitting group on Saturday, because as yet I haven’t been able to figure out how to be in more than one place at a time.  There were three places I should have been on Saturday at 3.  I decided (and thankfully my boss agreed) that the most important one was at a memorial “reception” for one of my wonderful tax volunteers.  He had been sick a long time, and finally passed away in February.  His personality was SO big and kind and funny that it feels like an empty world without him in it.  The place was packed with people eating and drinking and telling stories, which is just exactly how he would have liked it.  He loved food and people and stories, and he dedicated his life to service in one form or another.

And I will admit that going to that event got me out of one of my least favorite things, attending a town meeting to ask for money.  Technically, I ask for lots of money from towns, it is my job, but that final appearance at the meeting, not knowing WHAT is going to be asked is the toughest part. There were two meetings on Saturday at three that needed coverage, and my boss kindly took one, and recruited someone else to take the other so I could be free to attend the reception.

In other words, no matter what, there was no way I would have been able to go to knitting on Saturday.

So instead, I spent the morning doing a few chores around the house, and I also managed to get my hair cut.  What a chore!  My normal place shut down unexpectedly a couple of weeks ago and me over due for a cut!  I knew there was another shop in town, so I headed there a week ago.  It was mobbed, and I had a time crunch.  He said he was open until 6 Monday and Thursday, so I did other things, and went there Monday.

He was closed. Something about a snow storm?  I don’t blame him but I was still disappointed.

I went there Thursday after work.  He was full up and not taking any more clients that day.

I was there by 8:45 on Saturday, and I was the first one in the door.  He cut my hair.  I realized it has been close to 15 years since I had to tell someone how I like to wear my hair.  By the time I sat in that chair, it was so shaggy that there was no way he could tell by looking. Together we worked it out, and though it is quite a bit shorter than I prefer, I know it will grow, and it is a very good haircut.  There was some sticker shock, though.  No more $8 haircuts, I guess.

While I was waiting for him I discovered that there is a salon down the hall from him.  She doesn’t take walk ins, but I got her card.  I think my next haircut will be an appointment with her.  She said it would be a little bit cheaper than what he will charge.  That is great, especially if she is good.

That event over with, I went home and did some spinning and watched Victoria.  Do you watch it? No spoilers from me, but I have been waiting for the event that happened at the end to happen, knowing it was coming eventually.  Now what will the show be like?  I can’t wait for next season! 🙂

Sunday morning saw us up at a fairly late hour, thanks to the above mentioned stupid time change, and I headed off to the grocery store before the predicted snow storm started.  See?  Messed up schedule – the groceries are fetched on the way home from knitting.  Always.  I don’t go to knitting, there is no food in the house.  Actually, the store was nice and quiet – if I didn’t hate leaving home so much, I might shift my regular shopping day to Sunday.

When I got home, A was almost done doing the last of the laundry, and we both headed upstairs – she to work in her office and me to work in the craft room.  I finally finished untangling the threads and warping the loom. A helped me wind the warp onto the loom, and I actually got settled in and did some weaving!  At this point, it is all experimental, I am not sure if this will work out as planned, but I think I am weaving placemats and perhaps napkins, too.  They might be plaid.  They definitely are royal blue, white, periwinkle, and teal cotton.

After having such a nightmare with the warp this time, I decided not to do anything fancy with my pickup sticks.  I will practice with those on a smaller project. I am not enjoying being a novice at this, but know I have to put in my time to get the results I dream of.

When I had done all that my back could stand, I worked on a jigsaw puzzle until supper time.  Which seemed to come in mid-afternoon!  Have I mentioned I hate the time change?

Bed time arrived too early as well, and so did the alarm this morning.  I am so glad that this weekend is behind us.

And yes, it snowed, it did not rain as originally predicted, though it might have rained on top of the snow.  Certainly, it is a heavy wet snow.  And we got enough that the driveway got plowed. Again.  Just a few more weeks…

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!

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?