long short week, but hopefully not a short long weekend!

I only had to work two days this week, thanks to a holiday and a day off, but those days were LONG. Lots of changes at work, and that can be stressful, and stress makes for long days. But they are through now, and I am 1/4 through a 4-day weekend – very nice!

Today we started cutting the wood for that bed A has been wanting to make for almost a year now!!! Of course, that involved a trip to the big orange box for a special saw blade. But at least it didn’t require a special saw… so that was good. We got the drawer pulls for the drawers that will be under the bed. I knew just what I wanted, and lo and behold, they had them! Since they will be right at shin level, I wanted something curved, not square and sharp. Martha Stewart had some that were close, but they had screws that showed after installation, and I just didn’t think they looked as nice as the ones with the screws hidden. Not often that I don’t like the looks of an MS product. Anyway, we got the ones I did like, and as always at big orange (or the Home Despot, as I like to call it) we managed to find a few other things as well.

While we were in Ellsworth, we stopped at the farmers market – it was a dreary day, and so some vendors didn’t show, but at least my favorite farmer was there, and so I have some Happy Town vegetables to eat now. No molasses cookies, though, but I guess we don’t need those in the house. And Paul said my bushel of tomatoes for canning will be in soon, which is super good for me – I love canning them, and I love having summer tasting tomatoes all year long. It’s like opening a jar of summer in the dark of winter.

Ran a lot of errands this morning, so hopefully tomorrow will be a quieter day – I know we will make a trip to Belfast to get a baby present, but other than that, I think we can hang out at home being creative. I think I have the patience for the next step in the roman shades, and I know A is looking forward to using her Kreg system to make the boxes for the bed. Someday soon there will be very exciting photos of finished products to show you all! And my sweater is coming along – I do love this pattern, it goes so fast. Another couple of inches on the sleeves, and then I knit from the arm holes down until it is finished. The yarn, from Good Karma Farm in Belfast, is really soft and delicious – I love how it feels sitting on my lap as the sweater grows. It is a wool alpaca blend, could not be softer!

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September? Already?

Wow, I can’t believe summer is almost gone. It seems like it just started. Sigh. But the good news is that the weatherman is totally wrong about our weather – we had a pretty nice weekend for one that was supposed to be a washout!

A and I both had to work a half day on Friday, but otherwise enjoyed a leisurely relaxed weekend. We went for a bike ride, went to the Blue Hill Fair – saw some great sheepdogs work at the trials, ate a little fair food, rode on the Scrambler – fun ride! and looked at lots of craft exhibits. It wasn’t crowded at all (was supposed to be pouring rain, after all!) so I enjoyed it more than I could ever have imagined.

Yesterday I spent some time in the craft room – how else could it be a perfect day??? and in the pool and reading in the sun. Another gorgeous rainy day! In the craft room, I worked on the roman shades I am making for that room. I figure if I work on them a little at a time, they will never make me cranky. πŸ™‚ I also worked on a little card I am making for Ma – it is slow going because I keep messing it up and have to start it over again. But I will get it right eventually.

I am reading three books right now – Mayflower, Deliver Us From Evil, and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Mayflower is very interesting – I am learning lots about that era – and am grateful I live in this one! That and Snow Flower are book group reads, and Snow Flower needs to be done by next week. I have read quite a bit of the latter – set in China sometime not too recent, I hope. The little girl just started her foot binding. What a cruel practice. Yikes.

Deliver us From Evil is just a good whodunit – David Baldacci writes some good books! I have mastered reading in the pool while lying on a float – but it seems to me it is getting to be a chillier endeavor as each week goes by. I expect it won’t be too long before I have to put the pool to bed for the winter. Ugh, I am not ready for that season yet.

A is on vacation this week, she is so ready for a rest. She hopes to do some work in the cellar on that bed of ours that she wants to make – I hope that she does – it will be great to have it done!

Other big news – since the cat went blind, mice have moved into the basement – we hear them scurrying around under the floor at night. I have set a little have-a-heart trap and caught and relocated eight of the little dears so far. Haven’t caught one in the last few days, but we still hear some activity, so I have to think about new bait or a new location for the trap. I have been using peanut butter. Anyone have any other ideas? After I catch them, I haul them off to lovely new locations. I have taken three to the woods behind the office, one to the parking area at Blue Hill Mountain, and four over to the field behind the Post Office. I hope they find lovely new homes and stay out of ours!

Only Wednesday?

Good grief, this is a long week. Tough one, too. My bestest boss ever, K, told us he has found a new job, a good one for him, ED of an agency in the next county. While I am really happy for him, I am going to miss him tremendously. And I have no idea what the succession plan is. Makes it stressful. I hope that the big boss is making a great plan and lets us know what it is soon.

Today I decided to make a little photo book for K to commemorate his 30 years at the agency – an incredibly long time. I went through a ton of photos today, and found some good ones, but it makes me so sad. Not sure I will finish it. Funny thing was, after I had gotten a whole lot of old photos (pre-digital) I went down the hall and found a co-worker putting together a PowerPoint slide show of the same things! Great minds.

So I have not been in the craft room much this week. But I did finish a funny purple hat, and picked up the lace shawl I have been working on, on and off, for over a year. It is from Nancy Bush’s Estonian knitting and it is beautiful but not something easy to pick up and put down. I haven’t got much to go on it, so I decided I need to work on it and just finish it. Now I just have to figure out where I left off. πŸ™‚ Friday is a “knitting day” at Mom’s, I think I will have to bring a different project to work on there, because I won’t be able to focus on the shawl. I can’t do ANYTHING but knit when I work on that – no chatting or watching TV. So I work on it evenings, and in the morning before work. But I can’t even finish a row in the morning, so it is slow going.

Wow – the time is flying! Lots going on and lots went on…

it’s been a while – I’ve started a few posts but never finished them. But now I am determined!

Vacation was great – decent weather, two weeks of swimming most days, playing games with two of my favorite nieces, what could be better? Got to also spend time with my sister and brother and their families, and go on a boat ride, go to a lobster fest. Had a blast!

A and I drove a round trip to CT last Saturday to return the girls and have a quick visit with Ma – she seemed well, but her hearing aids weren’t working – so I doubt she heard a word we said. Luckily, K was there to let us know how things are going, and I am sure she will tell Ma what we said when Ma can hear her. It was a long day of driving, but we were glad to do that so we could see the girls for such a long time. We rented a big fancy car to make the trip, so we were all comfortable, although the gas mileage – 22 mpg – nearly killed me, I am so used to 45! Love our little cars, but they aren’t the best vehicle for 4 grown ups on a long trip like that. Still, it was hard to not think of all the gas we burned. I was really careful to get good gas mileage all week to make up for it – coasted down many hills.

Back to work last week – after about ten minutes, it felt like I had never left. Good thing I like it there. πŸ™‚

We had a “wellness lunch” at work Thursday – with a hula hoop demonstration – what fun! The woman who gave us the demo is in her 70’s, and looks like she’s 50. She lost 25 pounds when she started hula hooping every day. So you know I bought one and have been trying to use it every day since. It is harder work than it used to be, that is for sure! But I am getting better at it. Maybe someday I will be able to walk around while hula-ing, like she is able to! I figure it is a good way to get exercise when I can’t walk or ride my bike. Just mixing it up, right? When I have a svelte tummy, I will post a photo of me and my hoop. Watch for it!

A and I are hosting her family tomorrow – nephew DJ is in town, and his mom wants to have a big lobster feed. Our deck is perfect for that, and so we are getting ready today – lots of cleaning and laundry. Some cooking, as it will involve a whoopie pie extravaganza – not sure how many flavors of cake and frosting there will be, but it promises to be a sweet time! We have made oatmeal/cinnamon/chocolate chip cake, classic white frosting, and maple frosting. Who knows what else there will be to mix and match them with? Looking forward to that. And a good steak, since I don’t eat lobster.

Meanwhile, what have I been making? I finished the St Andrews sweater – just need to block it. Made a few birthday cards today, as well as the beginnings of a thinking of you card. The birthday cards came out better than I had thought – especially one I made for DJ’s A – it is made with a water-color paper base, a shell that I stamped and heat embossed with glitter embossing powder, overstamped with french script in black, and water-colored with pale pink. It is matted on pink, then put on a shell print paper, with a pink organza ribbon twisted around the pink mat. Sounds pink and girly but it looks pretty. The shell paper base is mostly white and gray, so it grounds it a bit.

Now that the green sweater is done, I have to make something for the Nest project, to follow my own rules… and then I will get started on the sweater I plan to make with some of my Fiber Frolic yarn… can’t wait!

But first…I cut out the fabric to make curtains for the craft room. It gets really hot up there on summer afternoons, so I dug out an old Laura Ashley decorating book and figured out how to make the roman shades I want in there. I happened to have a large amount of Waverly fabric that was going to be curtains in the house in Cherryfield – it matches the wallpaper I used in the front room – and amazingly, it matches the colors of the walls in the craft room, 15 years later. Sort of like a miracle! Or, I keep choosing the same colors? Either way, it is a blessing. And so I am working on another sewing project. This one does involve my own carpentry world, as I need a wood bar to hang them from. A is thrilled to be able to help with my decorating projects (well, maybe not!) But when she sees the finished product, I think she will be impressed. πŸ™‚

Anyway, it’s been a busy month, but a good one. Lots of swimming, creativity, family, sun and fun. It has been a good summer. And there is another month of it, right? Then glorious fall.. Sigh. I wish summer could be as long as winter… or even longer. But then, I would not need so many sweaters, and Nest would not need so many hats. So what would I knit?

Sunny day – yahoo!

Tuesday we did spend the afternoon shopping – scored some good deals on binders for the girls for school, at good will. Got C a few things she loved there, but nothing for B. Sigh. I hate that clothes are not made to fit real bodies. Or they are ugly.

Yesterday was spent at Craig Pond – almost no one there, the water was crystal clear. It was one of those gorgeous days with the big puffy clouds that might shower on you, (and they did) with bright sun in between. Both girls spent the afternoon in the pond, catching tad poles, newts and really disgusting creatures I prefer not to think about when swimming. Needless to say, I floated on a raft reading a book, then stayed on dry land reading a book while they wore themselves out.

Today is a BIG BIRTHDAY! We are celebrating it by hanging at home getting things done that need doing, then heading over to their dad’s house tonight for cake and ice cream. Then they will stay there for the weekend, and I will do my normal Friday things.

C and I went for a short bike ride this morning while B hung at home enjoying peaceful time. It was hot, so we didn’t go far. But A and I are planning a longer bike ride on Saturday, maybe with L in the Bangor City Forest.

Meanwhile I found some quiet crafting time to start planning my Christmas cards. I think that I have an idea for one that I can make that will be easy to put together, but that I can use different papers and things for so each one will be unique. but I can’t post a picture of them here, because then you will know what you are getting. I would hate to spoil the surprise! πŸ™‚ Also have done a little knitting – finished the front and back of my St Andrews by the Sea/ Adrienne Vittadini sweater, and am casting on for the sleeves today. I think it is going to be beautiful, I just hope it will fit like I plan.

meanwhile… here are those photos I promised of the bride and groom. I can’t believe I didn’t get a full front shot of the bride… oh well, trust me, her skirt matched her top and fit beautifully!

M and B after the ceremony

B in his new tie... so it's a little short, he's a good sport!

M and B during the ceremony

on vacation for more than TWO weeks!

It’s only been 4 days, but it has been FULL! Drove round trip to CT on Friday to get the girls – it was HOT, and long. Seems like everyone in Massachusetts was on 495. We finally got off and took back roads through NH and got back on the highway in Gray – peaceful sailing after that. But it was 16 hour day for me, in that hideous heat – I was wiped out. Thank Goodness for the AC and GPS!

Needless to say, Saturday we spent chilling, getting settled, swimming in the pool. And I of course was finishing the ties. I didn’t get to the bow tie, but I did finish the regular one and the ascot. B was impressed. πŸ™‚

Sunday was the big wedding, and it was great – the air totally changed, it was much cooler and drier, and just gorgeous. The outfit fit and looked fabulous, and B actually wore a tie from his new selection for part of the ceremony! I’ll get my pictures here later. (yes, I am lazy, the camera is downstairs and I am not.) C and N did a great job with the music, and little E helped everyone – musicians, minister, photographers. She did not sit still for more than a moment. She did hold the bouquet at one point, but didn’t stick around to give it back. Luckily her dad had saved it.

It was great to have most of the family there, and to get to know B’s kids and grandkids a little bit more.

Nieces B and C and I stayed over night, slept in the RV, which was fun, and had breakfast with the bride and groom and my new brother before heading home to spend the afternoon with A.

Today is rainy, so we will have a quiet morning at home, then head to Ellsworth for some school and Grasshopper shopping. The girls always look forward to that!

The grownups are now in negotiations with the teenagers about getting together for a sleep over. the teenagers prefer to do it next week when no parents will be there. The grownups are thinking it would be better done a different way. D is talking to N to see if tomorrow night will work instead of a night next week. I haven’t broken the news to the teens on my end of the phone yet, but I will when they wake up for lunch. πŸ™‚

Now that was HOT

Yesterday was the kind of summer day I don’t normally appreciate. Too hot. Too humid. The Maine AC (ie fresh cool breeze off the water) was not working. Ugh.

But yesterday I went on a road trip down to York Beach. Never been there before, it’s a pretty busy place! Visited with an old friend for a few hours, and that was very special to see her and her family. Swam in the ocean for longer than I ever have in Maine – the water was chilly enough that we took our time getting in, but it was fabulous, given the temperature out of the water! Felt good to be in salt water again, after pools and lakes for the last few years. It has to be really hot for me to go into the Atlantic Ocean these days. Is it because I am old and getting wimpy? Lordy, I hope not! It’s definitely partly because A doesn’t like swimming, and she sure doesn’t ike swimming in salt water. If I can get her into a lake once a year, it is amazing. I bet if I had been home, yesterday would have been that day. But I wasn’t so she stayed home and catered to the cat and cleaned the house. Can you believe THAT? Vacuuming and mopping would NOT have happened if I was left home alone yesterday.

Anyway, it was a long hot day, and a short not very cool night, and here it is Monday morning again. What’s the great thing about Monday?

Why, it’s that I get to go to work on another sticky hot humid day and sit in blessed real AC, where the temp stays relatively cool (if we shut the blinds when the sun comes around) and it is definitely dry.

I do love summer… except when it is too HOT. I am so lucky to live here where we maybe get three or four days like this all summer. I know that before too long, this will break and we will need those blankets at night again. Like we did last week. πŸ™‚