ahhh, Friday again

I have to say I love working 4 ten hour days. There is something sweet about not working on Fridays. It’s not like I sit and eat bonbons all day, quite the opposite. I do all sorts of errands and have appointments with plumbers and get the car serviced and go to the dump and get my hair cut. But it feels really good to be able to spend a day doing all that sort of junk (and nice that it can be done in a whole day, not crammed in before noon on Saturday when everything closes) and STILL have a weekend ahead! I am lucky.

Today, in addition to all those things I listed, I am going to stop at Joann’s and see if I can scare up a tie pattern. It turns out that I will have lots of extra fabric from Mom’s wedding outfit, and I thought I would surprise B with a tie or two. Perhaps an array of ties in different styles? I have never seen him in a tie, but it seems like it might be a fun thing to do…

Tomorrow, since the weather will be damp, I will work on that big pile of blue sewing I have to get done. And A and I will move Andy’s table saw upstairs, because brother N is going to come pick it up in the afternoon. And hopefully, while he is here, we will run to Castine to pick up the dining room table that a friend is giving us! I am so excited to start having real furniture. Never thought we would get a couch AND a dining room table in the same year. We must be almost grown up now.

Last weekend was beautiful – I spent Friday sewing, and missed some sunshine, but there are lots of windows in the craft room, so it was OK. I got the samples sewn up in time for Mom to come over and try them on – I have a photo, I will see if I can attach it here… hopefully I won’t forget! The skirt fit fine, top will need some adjustments, as you will see, but the best part is that I used fabric I had on hand that I thought I wouldn’t miss. So was NOT thinking about how it would look together. The result, as Mom said, is fetching. I hope B still wants to marry her now that he ahs seen her in this outfit!

Mom's fetching wedding outfit
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checked my lottery numbers

and think I will go to work today.   I am glad to have a job to go to, for sure.  But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to offer it up to someone else?  🙂

Rainy weather has settled in, it is hard to find energy to get things done. But we went for our little walk today, and plan to work on some overdue cards and sewing tonight, something to look forward to. Just gotta get through a 5 hour meeting today. Don’t I sound excited?

better go do it.

birthday weekend in St Andrews by the Sea

St Andrews is one of my favorite places to visit – but amazingly, I have never stayed there over night, just always made the mad dash up, shopped and driven home.

Well those days are OVER! A and I found the cutest little place to stay – Seaside Beach Resort – catchy name, right? (www.seaside.nb.ca) It is just outside of town, at the edge of the historic district.  The proprietor has restored a whole compound of houses and barns and built little cottages – all with pine interiors, very compact, but with all amenities.   If I had to guess, I would say there are boats in his background.  And yes, that is a guess.  But beyond really cute little cottagey apartments and cabins, there is a huge expanse of green lawn, new and mature plantings and trees, decks that go right down to the water (OK, at high tide.  To the beach the rest of the time) and the world’s most comfortable wooden chairs and tables along a short board walk.  And it is all in the prettiest seaside town with the nicest shops and restaurants.  By my reckoning, anyway.

Best part?  Cottage craft yarn store is still there, still unbelievably underpriced, AND there is a brand new scrapbooking store directly across the street from the cottages.  Yes, I was in heaven! I got yarn to make a sweater – 100% wool.  $35 american.  I don’t know if he did the exchange rate backwards or WHAT, but I paid the money and took the yarn. Scrapbooking store was totally a surprise, and thus, unfunded.  A gave me all the Canadian money we got back from an ice cream purchase, and I made that $13.50 go FAR.  The young woman running the place just opened it in December, and she already had a sale bin – yes! It is a nice bright room over her garage, not a huge selection, but good variety of items.  Lots I wanted.  Made me wish we had paid for the ice cream with a $50 or something. (http://hendersonscrapbookingcompany.blogspot.com/)

And the sun was shining on Saturday, we did all the retail therapy we wanted, had a good lunch at the Gables restaurant on their wonderful shady deck,  checked in to the “resort” and sat on the board walk reading for a few hours.  There was a heavenly breeze, so not hot, no bugs.  Had a supper of snacks in our little cottage, and flaked out early.  But not before we walked on th beach, tried the water (too cold to swim in, even for me) found lots of sea glass, but only clam shells, and scoped out all the empty units. Some of the floor plans are strange, but clearly the place was designed to meet the needs of travelers with families who love the shore. Today we were going to sit and have breakfast on the board walk before heading out, but awoke to low clouds and the threat of rain, so after a walk around town early,  we ate a restaurant (the Chef’s Special) and then headed out.  No sweat returning to the US – new border crossing very smooth, easy to navigate, pleasant border patrol guy. He even let me keep the pumpkin seeds I forgot I had with me (bought in the US, never taken out of the package, but still not allowed!)

I have already warned A we are going back, and thought about how I would keep her entertained if we went for more than one day.  Of course, I think there is plenty to do, but we might have to bring a bike and a couple of kayaks!

The best part of all this?  Low season rates apply until 6/15 (they come back into effect after Labor Day, too!), so we got it all at a discount.  Exchange rate isn’t great, but even so, it wasn’t that expensive a trip.  Gotta love it!

oops!

Has it really been nearly two weeks?  I guess lots has been going on!  Much of it has to do with crafting, of course. And working. And reading.  Yup, I can see why I haven’t been writing!

 Crafting first – it is nearest to my heart.  Been working on the outfit for Mom’s wedding.  Funny story there.  I made a sample top for her to try on so we could alter it as necessary.  She tried it on, we made adjustments, it was ready for her to try again.  that’s when I discovered I made the wrong top.  Sigh.  We had been going between two patterns, and I didn’t realize that I had BOTH in the bag, so when I pulled one out, I figured it was “it”.  Good I figured this out before I made the real one!  Not sure why we didn’t figure it out sooner but there is plenty of time for this kind of thing to happen!  So I will start over again with another length of fabric from the overwhelming supply.  I knew I had all that fabric for a reason!  The skirt is almost ready for her to try on, just need to stitch the waist casing, and we can see how it flows.  This was fun, as I got to basically, make myself a skirt.  That one, I did use the right pattern.  🙂

Last Saturday Mom, sister C and niece E and I went to the Maine Fiber Frolic – wow, was it fun.  A gorgeous day, and loads of space, not loads of people, so E could run a bit free, which she loved.  So much fiber to look at and touch and BUY!  I got some great sock yarn and a bunch of lace weight yarn from a woman in Denmark – www.Pinestarstudio.com she does wonderful things with colors, I wanted the whole display.  🙂  Am working on the socks first, the yarn knits up really nicely.  I do love good  expensive yarn!

I also got some nice soft wool/alpaca blend to make myself a sweater after the socks.  Hats are going to have to wait!

And then there are the birthday cards.  I know half the family has their birthday today, tomorrow or next week, and I know I only mailed out one card so far, but I have brilliant ideas for the rest of them.  So hopefully, I will get some done tomorrow, so they won’t be TOO late being mailed.

I didn’t get so much done on cards because the sun finally came out, and I have been working away at the yard work.  The pool relocation project is as done as it can be – the pool is filling slowly – an hour or so a day, and it is already up to my knees.  I can’t wait!  It is fun to get in and wade around scooping out the leaves, but it will be more fun when I can really get wet!  And I have moved one raised bed, spread out the dirt from it and planted grass, which is just coming out – very nice, another patch of lawn to “mow” with my clippers! Got the tomatoes in the ground, and today I planted peas, lettuce and beans, I hope to put spinach and carrots and swiss chard in this weekend, but I might not make it – I have to set up a new raised bed to do that.  I did cover the strawberries with bird netting today, they have their berries set, it won’t be long now!  And I covered some raspberries as well – we will see if that does any good.  the bushes look pretty with their white flowers, but if they don’t produce berries, they are out of here.  They are WAY too invasive, and are everywhere in the yard.

A and I are going off to St Andrews by the Sea for a few days, that will also slow down paper crafts and gardening, but I will get lots of knitting done in the car.

reading – I promised to tell you about the Post American World, and This Life is in Your Hands…  the first was very good, very thoroughly researched, well written, a little scary, but not too. Just kind of things to be aware of.  I think I will reread it.  I enjoyed all the world history – it seems that I never took world history in school, I got American history for 4 years – I guess going to three high schools had something to do with it!  Anyway, I enjoyed reading that part of it, and learning all sorts of things everyone else probably already knew.

This Life is interesting to me as it is about this area, and people I have heard of, and it was also well researched (or she has an incredible memory for details from her childhood) by Coleman.  I was fascinated to read the story “behind the scenes” so to speak of the good life  and homesteading movement of the late 60s and 70s.  While it may have been wholesome, it wasn’t great or easy. I guess pioneering isn’t, it just sounds glamorous. Great fun to find out that the Nearings weren’t perfect – whew! Anyway, I raced through it much faster than Post American – not as dense material.  But both were good, and worth reading.

There – all caught up – now I am going to go to sleep – big day tomorrow visiting R and family at the cottage.  Maybe a swim in the ocean???

halfway through 4 days “off”

We have been looking forward to this weekend for a long time.  A has been on the road a lot the last few weeks, and she was ready to stay home and relax for 4 days.  I am always ready to stay home and relax for 4 days!

So what are we doing to relax?  Well, not much!  I had a sleep study Thursday night, followed by an early morning mammogram and bone density test.  I’m not saying middle age is a nuisance, but there sure are lots of “baseline” tests to get through! I had a few odds and ends to get for the big birthday bash Sunday, and still was home by 9 am. A was just getting going for the day.  I had grabbed the mail, which held wonderful large checks.  So we hopped in the car and drove back to Ellsworth to go to the bank.  Since we were there, we went to the “big” grocery store, two banks, a quick stop at the office, and the hardware store on the way home.  THEN I spent a hot hour sifting sand for that pool relocation project you know I have been working on FOREVER. Then we went to EBS for the stuff that wouldn’t fit in the car on the first trip, and then the little grocery store for all the things we had forgotten (starting with the list!) at the big store.

Friday was not relaxing.

Today had promise, I woke up at 4:30 but stayed in bed until 7. WOW, this could be a vacation… then I did some wash, headed upstairs and cleaned off the craft room table.  I have finally gotten the room so it functions, although I still have boxes of stuff to go through, they are neatly stowed.  Anyway, I cut out the test top half of Mom’s wedding outfit – got it all ready to go, and decided to keep going.  I was doing great, until I tried to pin in the sleeves.  Nothing lined up right.  I double checked the pattern, I did cut it out right and mark it where indicated.  The sleeves simply don’t fit the armholes.  Argh!  So I packed it up to take to Mom’s tomorrow, and see if my brilliant sister can help figure this out.

Then I went out and HOPEFULLY FINISHED sifting dirt and tamping it down for the pool.  I say hopefully because I am heartily sick of the project, and it is buggy out and I want to return the tamper tomorrow when we go to the party…and because I want to put that pool up – it is getting hotter and hotter. I am ready for it!  And the sieve is falling apart. I changed the bed and made a roasted potatoes and asparagus for supper.

While I was doing all of this, A was doing more laundry, dishes, working on a table she is building, and grilling the meat for supper.

Neither of us did much relaxing today.  And I still have raised beds to move so I can plant my veggies sometime before there is no point… so I am guessing Monday will be full of work, too.

The thing is, I find all of this work relaxing.  I love having time home to work on my projects. I think A does, too. I love having my craft room organized so I can just go sew for a while, or find some yarn to make more hats for Nest Maine (http://nestmaine.blogspot.com/) and I love being able to go outside and work until the bugs chase me in and being able to a million little puttering things. I think even the cat loves is too – she comes out with me and wanders off, looking relieved when I go looking for her and carry her back to where I am working. She also loves when I sit on the couch typing.  She is curled up next to me, snoozing, relaxing safely on the gray blanket.  The one that is supposed to be cat free…  🙂

drip drip drip

Here I am at Sunday River for a conference, and all there is to do here is go to workshops.  Sigh.  It just keeps RAINING!  I tried going out for a walk the other day – lord, everything is down hill!  My old knees don’t like down hill.  Of course, it is followed by uphill, which is a lot of work!  Anyway, it was raining, so it really was no fun to walk.  Today I tried the fitness room.  It was dry, but boring. I did swim in the outdoor heated pool – one activity that is OK to do in the rain.  I was the only one in the pool – it seems CAP employees would rather sit in the bar and drink than swim in the rain and get all wet.  🙂

This afternoon I played hookie from workshops and explored the state of microenterprise in Bethel.  It is interesting.  Lots of lodging and eating places.  Not too much retail that doesn’t involve skis or golf. I managed to buy A a little giftie, and a few cards to send to a friend. All of the beautiful old houses are wonderfully maintained – all painted and pretty. I wonder if all the money comes from skiing?  What does everyone do all summer?

I have been knitting a hat while here, made from scraps.  It is interesting ow it is coming out, I will try to remember to take a photo on if for the site when it is done.  I call it my Sunday River hat.  Original huh?  It is generating lots of interest and comments.  I guess no one else thought to bring their knitting.  I would go MAD if I had to sit here all day every day listening to people talk and I couldn’t do anything with my hands! MAD, I say!

Oh, and in case anyone cares, it is May 19 and  there is still patchy snow on the trails.  I know it is probably manmade, but this is ridiculous.  Shouldn’t it all have washed away by now?  It has been raining steadily for months now, hasn’t it?  That also would drive me nuts. Seeing snow every day would drive me nuts.  It is supposed to be spring with FLOWERS and SUNSHINE not snow and rain.

It’s good I can knit. Scary to think what I would be like if I couldn’t.

procrastination

Not my favorite word, but certainly my favorite activity.  I should be upstairs working on getting that craft room sorted and organized – I have a wedding outfit to make!  I have worked pretty hard to avoid doing that this weekend, with some success. However, shortly I will have to make my way up there.  Truly, I will.  Friday, I did a few chores around the house and laundry; I worked out on the relocation of the pool project for about 15 minutes before the black flies found me; I took the blind kitty for a walk;  I met my cousin P and had lunch and window shopped in some flea markets and antique shops in Searsport – we stopped in the Pumpkin Patch Antique store – I had been by a million times and never stopped.  They have some beautiful pieces in there, not junk. and prices to match. We did spot the funniest thing on the book shelves there.  A book by Kate Douglas Wiggin titled “Penelope Prevails” or something similar, leaning up against a book named “Uncle Terry”.  P snapped a photo of it, we will do something creative with it eventually.

Friday evening A and I watched some TV and I crocheted a hat for the coats project at work. Saturday was even less productive – I dropped A off for a haircut, ran to the dump, stopped at the bookstore for my book club books (Post American Economy and This Life is in Your Hands – I’ll let you know about them when I actually read them.  One needs to be done by 5/25… we will see), dropped food off at the PO, and DID remember to pick A up again.  We walked along the Bucksport River walk for our daily exercise, and then had lunch at one of my favorite take out places around here – Wo’s Barbecue, which opened Friday.  It was so yummy – if you are on Verona Island, plan to stop, and don’t be afraid to try their specialty ice cream flavor, Wo’s Sweet Heat!  They are great folks there, it is all family run, and they are good to me – making me tiny portion sizes and letting me just have a sample bite of the ice cream instead of buying a whole dish.  Then we came home and totally vegged on the couch.  What was going to be one episode of Gray’s Anatomy turned into a DVR afternoon.  The good news is I made three more hats, but I did not get upstairs at all.  Except to get more yarn.

So.  this morning, I am determined to make it up there and spend at least half an hour on the project.  For that reason I have taken a shower and dressed, emptied the dishwasher, started laundry, eaten breakfast, done some research on low potassium foods, and decided that writing a blog post is very important.

Yup, I do love to procrastinate! At least I make hats while I do it, so it is not totally wasted time.

Right?

Oh, come on.

OK, I am going.  Just as soon as I strip the bed.