Friday list rebooted and a swap!

Mom called. J has the flu and she isn’t feeling just right – again! She has been well for two days in 5 weeks. She is quite unhappy about it.

So they aren’t coming today, but a week from Sunday. Can we keep the house tidy for that long? Not sure.

So my amended list includes:

Hardware store for twine and bird seed

PO for swap package

(These two are already done!)

Put up trellises and string to guide plants

Tie up weigela that wants to lean due to snow.

Hop off deck to get those little trees. This is still on the list. But I was looking out there today, and I think I can get around the deck where Mom cleared last summer. No hopping needed.

Scrub the pool.

Knit! I am on the bottom border of the sweater. Two long rows to purl, then bind off. Then pick up and knit the front borders, then lengthen sleeves. That’s it! Can she do it by the time Tour de Fleece starts? It will be close but I think so.

Other odd housekeeping things like laundry. If I must.

So. The swap!!! I participated in a swap run by Kathy of the Compassionate knitter blog. I knew my package was waiting at the po yesterday, but I couldn’t get there in time. As soon as they opened, I was there this morning.

We were to send a skein of sock yarn not from stash, one button, and something red white and blue. Vera from the Threaded Lane blog was my swap partner.

So excited!

A fun bag, a pretty red button, and some new to me sock yarn that is so soft! And has such a nice color range, it will match everything! Diamond Luxury, Soxy Lady. It is superwash wool and alpaca with some nylon.

What a lovely package of squishy mail, thank you, Vera!

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Friday list!

That’s right!  Another hellish week of meetings and long days means that I have Friday off again.  So you get a list to wear you out and I get it to keep me organized and on track.

The list is going to be all outdoorsy, as J is coming back for his second day of working.  He is bringing Mom and B with him – Mom is feeling much better, she says, so that will be fun.

While he works on the pathway, and I make sure he has everything he needs, I have a few other chores I want to get done.

I need to put up the trellises for the sweet peas and morning glories to climb – they sprouted and are growing fast.

I need to climb off the deck into the rugosa roses and cut down the little volunteer trees that are growing there.

There is a bench that needs a new wooden brace, which is pretty easy in theory, I might ask B to do it.  We have to have things to keep him occupied. 🙂

Not sure I will do it, but there is weed whacking in the back yard (we don’t mow, we just chop down the weeds when they grow more than a couple of feet tall.  They are sparse in the sand.)

The pool water is looking nice and clear which means I need to get in and stir it all up. 😦 That is a good thing to do on a hot day.  We have had a lot of rain this week, and I think that it helps to clear out the pollen and junk from the water, somehow.  Anyway, it is all on the bottom and I can SEE the bottom, so progress is clearly being made.

I’ll fix them all some lunch in the late morning, and when they finish working, we will get delicious local take out for an early supper to thank them for all their hard work.

I fully intend to take a nice cool shower and a long nap when they leave, just as A did last week.

A has to work, so she will be missing all the fun.

By this time tomorrow, we might have a nice new garden path and a few more chores done around the place.

 

Sunday reward

Today was so different from yesterday! First off, I slept hard, until after 8!! Then A made french toast, yummy! I knit for a bit on my socks, until my friend Crimson Crow came over, and we went off to a wonderful gathering at Fernwood Nursery and Shade Garden. Denise put out an open invitation on her blog to come sit and knit or spin or read a book this afternoon, and so we went over. It was a lovely afternoon with a dozen or more ladies sitting around crafting and chatting and munching on delicious things. I saw all kinds of spinning wheels and drafting styles. One woman was spinning flax she grew, on an antique wheel that was a family heirloom. (She owns, and regularly uses, TWENTY THREE wheels! I want to hear no more about two wheels being an issue. 😜)

Crimson Crow neither spins nor knits, but she brought along some crafting supplies and created her index card of the day. And as we were sitting, the birds were singing their hearts out. She was able to identify them as they sang, so that was fun.

Denise invited everyone back next week, but we won’t be able to go then. However, we both had fun and would gladly go again. It is so beautiful there, and Denise is so warm and welcoming.

On the way home this time we went the other way and found the good ice cream place, John’s, and had a little ice cream to top off the day!

It was a very nice, calm day, very restful. Just the thing for a Sunday in June.

How I did with that list

It nearly killed me, but I got it all, I think.

The hardest one was the pool. I really didn’t want to get in it and stir up all the muck, but it had to be done. The water was quite warm, which was pleasant. That was the only pleasant part.

The only thing I didn’t get back to was the shelf painting. But I can start that evenings this week. Then A can install them next weekend.

So. What J did. We talked about several things, but what he wanted most to do was keep working in the front. So his dad did some more edging, and he cleared and leveled for a walk way. It was a lot of work, but he was right, clearing that out and fixing it up really does make a difference. We are going to keep the loose stone edging the rest of the way around, as it gets mangled by the plow every winter.

His dad also cut down some small trees to open up the front, and to make it easier for me to clear the side by the cars. Hard for you to see a difference, but the maple tree is thrilled that the cherries are out of its way. We left the big cherries near the deck to shade it.

While they were doing that, I planted this birch tree. For our commitment ceremony back in 2009, we gave out tree seed starter kits as favors. At some point after that, we asked Mom, who has a very green thumb, to start us a white birch. She did, and it has been living in its container in the backyard for a few years. We weren’t sure in the grand scheme of things where we wanted it. But the roots were growing out the drainage hole, so I had to take action.

It turned out to be a major project. Digging a hole is hard in our yard with all the rocks. But cutting the pot away from around the root was the hardest part. By the time I did that, hauling dirt from the pile in the front yard was easy!

Other than that, I put a few things in the raised beds, planted the third planting of mom’s pink poppy seeds in the raised bed (third time is a charm, right?) and did some watering of everything (thus ensuring monsoon rains overnight). I did not put up the trellises.

One of the things I put in the raised bed was this volunteer that was growing in the dirt pile. I am not sure what it is, I hope it survives and then thrives, it is so pretty!

Lest you think she was a slacker, A vacuumed the whole house before they arrived, then made a couple of trips to the dump with truckloads of junk from the yard and her workshop.

They wouldn’t let us take them out to supper, so after they left we showered off and settled in for naps. A slept until morning! I slept until supper time, ate, watched one show and knit a row before going back to bed. No doubt we were exhausted!

And he is coming back next weekend to finish the walkway and a swathe of garden on the other side of it. At least the house is pretty clean…

And there WILL be knitting today.

Friday list partway done

This week had some hellishly long days and meetings, and as a result, by using 2 hours of vacation time, I get the whole day off today!

Off is a relative term. I have LOADS of chore like things to do.

I finished priming the shelves this morning. I should be able to start the pretty color painting tonight.

Laundry is in process.

Have to stop at the PO to mail of a swap package today, as well as some yarn bits to a friend.

Then it’s a haircut, the grocery store, the pop up veggie stand for some strawberries.

Home again to clean bathrooms and bake a cake.

If I am up to it and feeling brave enough I need to get into the pool and scrub it. While it is looking much better, it isn’t swimmable yet. This is the only time I hate getting into the pool – when all the sides and bottom need scrubbing and then the water will be murky and nasty. But it’s the only way to get that stuff into the filter and out of the water.

Tomorrow J comes to do his back breaking magic on the yard. So much work to be done out there, just to keep up with what we did last year.

But this did happen yesterday!

Not a great photo, taken from the porch, but it is in the bed I made last year while J cleared in front. I planted two oriental poppies last fall. They both survived but only this one will bloom this year. That is OK, I can be patient. I did plant some sweet pea and morning glories in the bed to climb up and shade the porch a bit. They popped up, so I meed to add a trellis…

Anyway…

Tomorrow will be taken up with yard work and keeping him busy until it is time to clean up and take him out for supper to thank him.

Sunday Crimson Crow and I are off on another adventure… I will share more about that later.

In case you are just here for the knitting, a hellish lot of meetings means that socks get worked on.

These look nearly finished but one isn’t. I need to redo the cuff, but that won’t take long. Trouble is I right away started another pair, so the needle isn’t free. Duh.

The sweater continues and doesn’t seem to change, but I do think it is almost long enough. A few more weeks?

No spinning yet this week. Perhaps Sunday…

Weekend plans in June

This weekend has far fewer plans than the last two did, and that’s a good thing. A has been working on finishing the bookcases for my birthday. The last one is ready to be painted, so I will work on that. It will take longer than the weekend for me to prime and put two coats of paint on.

Tomorrow I get out of work a bit early, and have to run to Bangor in the afternoon. A has to be there too, so we will connect and go to the “big” grocery store before heading home.

I have a plant I need to get in the ground, and I haven’t been sure where I want it, but I think I know now, so will try to get it planted in the afternoon.

I also need to get the pool water tested and the chemicals to put in, so I can get it really clean. If I don’t get that done tomorrow, I will do it on Saturday.

Saturday is Whorls and Purls in the afternoon, that is my only commitment for the whole weekend! Not bad.

Sunday is Dad’s birthday AND Father’s Day so I will try to reach Dad to say hello. That is more difficult than it used to be. But I’ll give it a shot!

I think step brother J arrives in Maine tomorrow for his summer holiday. Not sure when he will be able to help garden, but I need to get ready for lots to happen! I am a little bit anxious about it this year, the projects I really want to focus on are big and maybe nasty…

I hope to find a little spinning time, almost done with bobbin one of tree bark. And knitting! Plugging away on the sweater, but I can’t just knit at W and P, I need to knit on it other times or it will never happen.

I did finish a hat this week

Not sure what I will do with it (sell or gift) but it is ready to go.

That’s about all she wrote. Just anticipating a weekend filled with meaningful chores and fun crafting and DIY.

In which I tell you all the fun things I did for my birthday

This year my birthday fell on a Saturday, hurrah!

And of course I managed to start the celebration early. A little spending money last week at Fiber Frolic, then Friday evening A took me to see Book Club at Reel Pizza in Bar Harbor. Even though I have lived here for more than 20 years, I have never been to this quaint little movie theater/pizza place before. A definite bucket list item. The pizza was quite expensive but delicious.

The movie was good if you didn’t expect Oscar-worthy. It was fun and a little bit predictable. The four main characters seemed to play themselves, but it worked. There were some laugh out loud moments.

I will say that apparently, based on who was in the theater, you have to be female and a certain age to enjoy it, but as I am both, I did!

We stopped for ice cream and still were home by 9! I do love an early movie!

Saturday started with delicious crepes for breakfast, and then my friend Crimson Crow came over so we could go off gallivanting. A wanted to stay home to bake a cake and work on the bookcases. That, and we were going places she didn’t care about.

Our first stop was at Fernwood Nursery and Gardens  in Montville, about 45 minutes away. It’s one of those places like Reel Pizza. Drive by the turn off all the time, but never when we have time to stop. And I read their blog faithfully, love it!!! So this was a definite birthday trip stop.

OMG it was gorgeous! I never knew shade plants could be so colorful and fragrant.

I took a few photos.

 

They do not do the place justice!

I tried to buy a hollyhock for our front garden, but Denise insisted I take it as a birthday gift! Crimson Crow had let on why were out and about. I will definitely visit there again when we need plants, everything looked so lovely and healthy. maybe after Step brother J comes and spends a few days with my pile of gravel and blackberries?

From there we headed back toward Belfast, and stopped in at a local yarn shop, Heavenly Socks, in the new location. It is a much bigger space and it is SO NICE. I never cared for its little basement location, it was too small and crowded to move or see the yarn. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the new shop is, and how much locally produced or dyed yarn there is.

And I would like it noted that I bought NOTHING there. This time. Not how to support an LYS, but a good way to support my checkbook!

Then we ambled over to Bell the Cat for lunch, also in its new location, and delicious as always.

Our last planned stop was a junk shop in Stockton Springs. I drive past it twice every Saturday on my way to and from Whorls and Purls, and I always wanted to stop and check it out. It was a whole lot of junk and a few treasures. We didn’t get into pricing with the owner, but the few things that were tagged were quite pricey. If I go back to check out any of the things that caught my eye, I will be doing some haggling, for sure.

From there we decided to stop at the grocery store for supper makings and ice cream, and then headed home.

A was done making the cake (no photo but delicious! Chocolate cake with buttercream frosting 🙂 ) so we had that, then visited until supper time.

A lot of eating on my birthday!

Sunday morning my SIL came over for cake and coffee, and gave me one of her adorable handmade bears! She retired last winter, and has been “living the dream,” sewing and crafting to her hearts delight. She has been making great quantities of stuffed bears. Mine is the cutest one.  🙂

After that, life became more mundane. I did some laundry, some weeding, some spinning. I cleaned the porch furniture and moved the plants out of the guest room and out there where they belong. Went to the grocery store for the week’s shopping, and got takeout for supper (more eating!)

I love how the porch looks with the plants on it. Please excuse the wipes , and just focus on the pretty porch and cute cat! Vacuuming is the next thing I need to do out there, and string the lights we got and never put up last summer.  Those things that would be shelves in any one else’s house (wouldn’t they look pretty with candles or plants on them?) are cat perches.  The cats can climb up into the rafters, and they can hop on those and watch the world (chipmunks) go by.  They do that quite often, when they aren’t out there sleeping on the chairs, that is.

And here’s my spinning so far. Nearly done with this bobbin, then need one more just like it. Color has blue tones here that the real thing doesn’t.  It is a gray and brownish gray color, really.

And here’s some knitting to show you, just because. A sock and a hat. Winter is coming, after all! I’d show you the sweater, but I have no recent shots of it.

The sock is actually done now, and its mate is well under way.

So, now I am officially the age that matches my birth year, and that is a little alarming.  No denying I am not young anymore.  Quickly leaving middle age and approaching elderly.  Who could believe it?  And that same number was my order number at the take out stand. I assume that means it will be a good year this year!