Weekend wrap up on a cool Monday

A and I had a full three day weekend (I know, I know, you didn’t get  Friday list!) It ran the gamut in the way of activities – from hospital visits for tests to celebrations of life to lunch with family to a picnic with coworkers.

I don’t normally like weekends like this, I like some down time.  But we staggered things a bit and made room for low-key time in between all the socializing.

Friday morning was the ECHO test – A went with me and found it very interesting.  She just watched the pictures. 🙂  I found it mostly boring and a little stressful, because of the uncertainty. As tests go it was relatively easy, just lie there and ignore the machine where machines have no business being. Have to wait until this Friday to find out all the results.

From there we went home and I hopped right back in the car and drove to Belfast to have lunch with my sister C and niece E the younger. We had a good lunch at Chases Daily, and then spent several hours at Belfast City Park, which I love.  C and  I parked ourselves at a picnic table in the shade and knit and chatted away, while E raced around the playground in the hot sun, making many friends, stopping only long enough to get a drink of water now and then. She bemoaned the lack of forethought that meant she did not have a bathing suit, but her mom and I were glad to not have to hang out in the sun at the public pool to keep an eye on her. She never noticed the ice cream stand (we carefully parked and walked behind it) so there was no fussing about treats.  All in all, a good day!  I suspect she slept well on the way home.

Saturday, A and I attended the celebration of life for a woman who served on the board of directors at work for over 20 years.  So long that she knew A back in the long ago day when A also worked here!  She passed away this winter, but her family waited for all her summer friends to arrive before having her service.  It was a hot day, but the church was reasonably cool, and the service was very nice – lots of people spoke and told stories, no one was too long winded – and the music was very nice.  This woman was a strong advocate for those who do not have the resources to survive in this world, and she will be very much missed on our board.  She also was a very strong minded, well educated woman with a great sense of humor and we will miss her personality as much as her service around here.

Once we left there, we headed home, but made a stop for an early supper at our favorite Bagaduce Lunch, where the weather is always fine and the food delicious.  My knitting really enjoyed the view.  🙂

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Sunday we had a work picnic for A, which was fun – met lots of her coworkers and their families, saw some I already knew -and it wasn’t so hot!  Yahoo! Also, since we were in Bangor, did a little bit of shopping for a few necessities. Nieces B and C (the younger) are coming for a visit in a couple of weeks, so I got a few goodies for them, as well as a birthday present for our neighbor.

But in amongst all of this socialness, there was porch time.

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I love my geraniums – this one is one that is a cutting from my grandmother’s – I have a few different colors that came from her.  Every year she planted tubs of them on her porch and seawall – and I always saved a sprig to winter over.  One year her color scheme was red, and I swear they were the prettiest red geraniums I ever saw – not as much orange in the color as some have.  I am glad that they are easy to grow, and seem to stand my neglect just fine.  This one looks great in the pot my sister gave me a long time ago as well, don’t you think? (And in the background you can see the sandy scraggly mess where you might expect to find a lawn.  But won’t.)

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And on the porch, of course, I spun.  This is Summer Bouquet from Three Waters Farm, and this spin gave me grief at first, but I think I have the hang of it now.  I kept going after I took this picture,  so the next bobbin is nearly full; I might be plying this week. It isn’t as thin as others I have done, but I am fine with making a bulkier yarn, this is supposed to be for hats, and who wants thin hats?

Well, that was our weekend, and now the week begins again.  At least it is starting cooler – if we can’t have rain, it is nice to have a little less humidity.  I know it won’t last, but I will enjoy it while it does.  They are saying 40’s and 50’s tonight!!!  Wonderful sleeping weather. 🙂

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Weekend plans…

Here it comes – another rainy weekend!  Drives me crazy, since I am close to the end of the excavation phase of the pool, and I can’t sift wet sand!  Once that is done, I can work in the rain, but I have to get that done.

Anyway…

Today, we both had the day off – and I forgot to give you a Friday list!  It had some new things on it, for sure.

A and I went off to play golf early this morning – well she played, I drove the cart and knit.  It was so fun we did 18 holes, and I got lots of the sweater done.  🙂

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Followed that with a stop in Belfast for lunch and the fabric store.  I was excited to see that they carry Colette patterns, I have been wanting to try them, but never had the nerve to get them online.  I picked up one for a dress, and some fabric for a skirt.  A was waiting in the car so I did not browse long.  The pattern calls for knit fabric, and I didn’t see any there (but it is an amazing fabric store, very good quality material) so I will be on the hunt for some I like. I am excited to see that they are moving onto Main Street to a bigger place – more room for fabric and the other arts and crafts supplies they carry.  No yarn, but there is a yarn store in Belfast already, so I can live with that.

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Then we stopped at the grocery store – went in on a sunny-ish day, came out to a torrential downpour that ushered in a rainy afternoon.

This afternoon we have worked to get a ton of pellets put in the cellar for the winter.  Tomorrow, L comes over and we will put two more tons down there.  We have a good system for it, but it is still a lot of work – fifty 40-pound bags in each ton have to be picked up, brought into the house, slid down our special ramp to someone catching them in the cellar, then onto a cart to be rolled over to the corner and stacked.  It works well with at least three people.  It is a huge chore with two, and I can’t even imagine doing it alone. I guess I wouldn’t, I would build a shed and have them delivered into the shed, then bring them in all winter long, a bag at a time.  🙂  Next month, we will get two more tons, plus a ton of bio bricks.  That should get us through the winter, it is how much we burned last year (we have 5 bags left) and more than we ever burned prior to last year.

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Sunday, I think we have no plans.  If it is dry enough, you know where I will be! With brief breaks from digging to shift the laundry, of course.

Meanwhile, I cleaned off the camera, and thought I would share these few photos of a very belated high school graduation party we recently went to – A’s great-nephew is off to college in New Orleans in a  month or so.  They live “away” so the party waited until they came to Maine on their summer vacation. Party was fun, food was good, you can see his mom worked hard on the theme! I love this shot of the cousins enjoying their visit together.

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A gratuitous photo of the “hunting” cats – perspective is a funny thing, Allie ( on the left) is pounds lighter and smaller than Zumba, but here, she seems so big.  🙂

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And here is what they were watching – she did not mind the audience.

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Lastly -a  few photos that could make you think we have a nice yard.  🙂

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These are the cherry trees that bloomed so nicely a few months ago.  Birds, chipmunks, and squirrels will have them cleaned off in no time.

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I just love daylilies, they are so bright and cheerful!

Have a good weekend, I am going back to knitting….

Which reminds me – I finished these recently, wove the ends in yesterday. Summer colors ready for next winter.

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No friday list?

I can’t believe I forgot!  I was so determined to get in gear and get to visit Mom before the next storm, I completely forgot!  Then we had no internet until just a few minutes ago, so I could not rectify the situation.

Friday I did make it to Mom’s, even though it was snowing when I got up.  By the time I got to Rockport, it was rain, and it rained all day down there.  Mom and I hung out a bit (like while she ate breakfast.  I DID get there early!) and then went into town (Rockland) to do some errands, and go to the yarn store – Over the Rainbow.  They carry Quince and Co yarn now!  Oh boy.  they also carry Laura Nelkin kits and patterns, so I was able to do some serious damage to my yarn stash money.  Like wipe it out.

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The Lamb’s Pride is for hats, of course, the pink sock (Cascade Heritage Paint)yarn is because I miss knitting my socks, and it turns out I don’t have sufficient pink ones.  🙂

The Quince and Co Lark yarn in peacock and birds egg is, I think, for a color work cowl that I have yet to either invent or find the perfect pattern for.

Then there are two precious Laura Nelkin bracelet kits, Stereo Cuff, and a lace beaded cuff (the name of which I can’t remember). While we were oohing and aahing over the selection of her kits, Mom asked me if I would make some earrings for her to give as a gift.  Well, duh!  I will dig through my beads and see if there are some that will work, but if not, then I will find a few pennies and head to the bead store in Bangor when I am there next week for taxes. One thing (of many) that I love about Laura Nelkin’s kits is that she very clearly outlines what is needed – what size beads, how many, etc, so after you make the one you bought, it is pretty easy to come up with your own colors and designs, based on her pattern.

Anyway, after getting all that lusciousness, we had a good lunch at the Brass Compass and headed home, where we worked on a puzzle with B before I went back out into the storm.  Heading north again around Penobscot Bay, the rain turned to snow in Camden, and it was slow going after that.  I stopped at the big grocery store in Camden and did the shopping for the week, and still got home by supper time!

Today was a day for shoveling and knitting, and I did both.  Some work on the blue sweater, the orange baby sweater, and I knit one of the necklaces I strung earlier this week.  I’ll share photos of all of that tomorrow, when they tell me the sun will shine, so you can see the work.

I also spotted a new bird at the feeder, and while I didn’t get a photo, I can describe it pretty well so that you smart people can tell me what it is.  Tiny, and clearly striped, but with a red breast.  It looked a lot like the purple finch in my bird book, except that the head was not red.  Tiny like that, though.  The Pine Siskins in the book don’t seem to have any red, and so I am lost.

Tomorrow Mom and B will stop by on their way home from church (they go occasionally to Cherryfield, and sometimes we are home when they come by.  Tomorrow we made a plan to be sure we are, and we will all go out for brunch.  Other than that, I think it will be more shoveling and knitting….

How I did with that list today…

Was I crazy or what, thinking I could do all of that?

I finished the grant!
Did a few loads of laundry!
Did all the errands in town!
Ordered the catalog presents!
Did some knitting!

Did not:
clean the kitchen
empty the camera
make the cranberry sauce
go near the craft room
touch the mailing list.(Although, to my credit, I tried, but I forgot to make it available offline before i left the office, so I have to wait until I go to Ellsworth and stop at the office.)

So, my list for Saturday – very different from Friday.

Get up early, head over to Mom’s for her historical society’s craft fair. I will be helping her wherever she needs me, but still finding plenty of time to shop! My sister will have a booth, selling her pottery, so I will help out there as she needs me.

Help clean up.

Go home.

Depending on the time, I may stop in Belfast to get a Christmas present for A on the way home.

Then home, have dinner with A and play with the kids. With all sorts of new ideas and purchases. I love a good quality craft fair. 🙂

CAL free Saturday

Well, it felt kind of strange to get up Saturday morning and NOT log on to do my CAL rows, but A and I had plans with L, and she was coming over early. So instead, I got up, did some laundry, knit a few rows on the toe-up sock and then we headed out.

Here are some photos of the sock, by the way. Sorry, some are blurry – not sure what happened. I like the way the color is coming together, although I wish I had more dark blue stripes in the yarn. I’ll keep dying and working on that.

This shows the nice wide toe box, and the pattern on the top of the foot.
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A little blurry, but you can see where the graft would be in traditionally knit socks. This is not perfect, but it is lots better than any graft I have done to date.

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Blurry heel turn – no decreasing and picking up of stitches – just short rows to turn – NICE.
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Whole foot done in record time.

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Anyway, back to Saturday…

We headed down Rte 1 to the mid-coast area, stopping for donuts at Willow Bake Shop, a visit with Mom and B, and then to our first destination – the Wooden Screen Door company in Waldoboro. We ordered our coveted two screen/storm doors only 5 years into the house! If you check out their web page, we ordered plain doors – one with a cat cutout for the front door, and one with a sloop cutout for our bedroom. It will be really nice to have doors that fit, and screens with no holes. And we went for the additional option of glass panels for the winter, which I think will make a big difference in how cold and drafty the mud room is, and also our bedroom. This was a huge expense, but we have waited a long time, planning for this purchase.

We followed that with Lunch at the Captain’s Fresh Idea across the street – delicious lunch, but a bit pricier than I like for lunch. Really good lemonade, though – real, not chemically tasting. We tried deep fried green beans (strange concept, but yummy.) and L tried blueberry iced tea. A day of adventurous eating. 🙂

Then we got on the road, and stopped at a really sketchy flea market, looking for little saucers to feed the cats, and I did find two. With three cats, we go through lots of little cat food dishes.

We kept heading south, and found ourselves in Mexicali Blues in Damariscotta. I have been to the Portland store, but none of the rest. We were on a mission, looking for 30 small, frivolous fun things. A’s sister S is having radiation treatment for breast cancer, starting mid-September, and we wanted to have a bag of treats, so she could open one a day, to give her a bright spot during this time (prognosis is very good, cancer was in situ, and they performed the first half of the lumpectomy last week. They will have to go get a bit more next week, but they still are not worried.)

Besides a bunch of cute toys, I managed to find a new bedspread for the guest room, very similar to the old one, which is getting really faded from the sun. It is a blue and white (shocking, I know!) India print spread.

We wound our way back out to Rte 1, headed up to Camden and Belfast. We hit the Reny’s in Belfast to complete our pile of presents, and I found a few treats for us as well. Like: A beach umbrella and holder. I never owned such a thing before, but I think I can use it next to the pool, and take it to the beach pretty easily, and sit in the shade like I am supposed to. 😦 Also, some good imported cookies, and a few little cat toys, and more cat dishes.

We got home late in the afternoon, and although we had planned to go to the fireworks in the evening, we were both tired, and just chilled on the couch. Instead of the CAL, I worked on the endless purple scarf – I also had worked on it in the car all day – it is getting longer, at last, but the yarn ball doesn’t seem to get smaller. I know it will all of a sudden, but it seems to be taking forever.

So we had a really nice day, lots of fun together, even if I didn’t start the weekend with a couple of hours of crocheting. 🙂

Random things

A had to work today, so we were up early, and as usual, I have gotten lots of odds and ends done: cleaned the cat boxes (so many!); fed and watered the cats; pinned a hem on niece E’s heart skirt; finished another baby beanie (that’s 5 this week!) and started another; knit a few rows on the endless scarf; sewn the buttons on the big blue-green cowl, and remembered to take photos of it before I put it away for three or four months; watched the local news and weather (ugh – 90’s!!!!); took Allie and Zumba to the vet for their last booster shot; and lastly, played with the cats.

Remember this? Super duper alpaca yarn from Good Karma Farm?

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Well, now it is this – a hugely bulky, lovely drapey cowl/scarf/shawl THING with cool bamboo buttons that just got sewed on this morning, so I can be sure to wear it on the first cold day. Which is not today. I tried modelling it for you, but it is too hot, so I used this lovely glass pitcher to stand in for my neck. I can’t tell you how soft and lovely this is. I carried the two yarns together throughout, but also did a “P1 K1 in the stitch below” pattern, which effectively makes it 4 strands thick. Super warm and drapey. Very blue/green, two of my favorite colors. sorry about the color change – clearly I used the flash when I took the photo of the yarn originally, but I did not this morning. True color is somewhere between the two, and more blue than green.

fluffy cowl

fluffy cowl 1

fluffy cowl 2

Still to do today:
SWIM
knit
crochet
sew
make jelly
dispose of snake (more on that below. Ick)
weed-whack – but this may wait for morning and coolness
get lottery tickets for pool at work – and check our last one – maybe I don’t have to go back to work after all!
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More swimming

It’s hot here already, at least by Maine standards, but the car was cool, and I ran the AC to dry things off. As a result, when I got out of the car at the vet, my glasses totally steamed up. Ugh. Some days I am glad Maine has short summers!

The trip to the vet was special. Zumba nicely ate her anti-anxiety meds with her breakfast this morning, but Allie did not. Between Allie not, and them still so upset about the coming of Tigger, crating them together was downright impossible. And though the vet is only two miles away, it was an unpleasant trip with Allie. But, they were very quiet coming home, and shot out of those crates like racehorses out the starting gate. I feel so badly for making them mad at me again, they were actually tolerating me and Tigger this morning before that.

Tigger took advantage of all of us leaving to explore a little, and I found her down cellar – hurrah! I need her to be comfortable down there, so I can move her cat box there, and so she can teach Allie and Zumba to hunt the darned mice who live there. They want to, they just don’t quite know how.

So, the whole snake thing. Ugh, I hate them so much. Yesterday, A was out in the yard, when she came in she said “it looks like you have a few big ripe strawberries out there, but you should wait a while to pick them. Why? I wondered. “well, there is a little garter snake out there, trying to make his way through the netting you have to keep the birds off the berries.” No need to tell me twice, I waited a LONG time to go near the berries. When I did, I saw, not a little garter snake but a freaking huge green THING totally tangled in the netting. It is at least three feet long. It was hanging kind of strangely and not moving, so I thought it might be dead, but I wasn’t staying around to find out. All night long I have worried about this. I obviously am not touching it to get it out of the netting, and it can’t stay there. It is gross. I can’t just pull the netting off from the other side and toss it in the woods, other little animals that I like can also get tangled in that and die. I am not sure I can bring my self to drag it off and bag it up for the trash, certainly not by myself. But I think, with a rake and a shovel, it can be done. If someone helps. I wonder if A will help me with this tonight when she gets home? She suggested calling our wonderful neighbor, but that seems really mean. “Hey, neighbor who has been so helpful and nice to us since we bought this land, won’t you come over and get this disgusting dead snake away from the garden? Gosh, thanks. Here’s a jar of jelly for your trouble.” I think I should just give him the jelly for even thinking of asking him to do it. I really really really was hoping it would be gone this morning, either eaten by something (crows? Where are you?) or not dead after all, just resting, and free.

Next year, the birds can eat the strawberries. No more netting for me.

It’s in the bag

scarf in a bag

I have been wanting to try Halcyon’s silk for a long time, and every time I get in there, I am overwhelmed by the colors, and of course, the price, and I don’t know what I would make. Then, this time – there it was – my perfect red. Not a whisper of orange in it, really really bluey red. And they had it bagged in this cute little package with my other favorite silk mohair blend, enough to make a scarf. So, I did not resist – after all, I had my birthday gift certificate, so it was really free. 🙂

in the bag

I also got a book on toe up sock knitting, and some more navy yarn for my CAL blanket. I really like how the navy looks with the teal, but I only had two skeins of it, so now I can use more of it.

Mom and I had a fun day doing all of this – we took the back way to Bath, to avoid the hideous bottle neck that is Rte 1 in Wiscasset, it was so pretty. I had never been in all that back country, through Sheepscot village, so that was fun. We had lunch before shopping so that we could concentrate. We always have lunch at Mae’s cafe and bakery when in Bath, always good food. This was no exception. Then it was down the hill to Halcyon, and we just dove in and reveled in the colors and fibers. They were not busy, so we could wander around and call back and forth without disturbing people. Mom got a whole bunch of different yarns, but all blue! We got so silly when we were leaving, because she and I almost always buy either blue or red. And yesterday was no exception!

We took the same scenic way home, but managed to get ourselves back on Rte 1 in time to swing into Damariscotta for some delicious Round Top ice cream before heading home.

Visited with B on their lovely porch when I dropped her off, then headed home. I wasn’t driving 5 minutes when A called to see where I was. It turns out she was also on her way home,a nd thought we should stop for dinner where our paths met – in dear old Belfast. We had a nice supper on the dock at the Weathervane. Good way to start a holiday!

Other things I did yesterday – before I left, I managed to make a batch of strawberry jam and one of raspberry jelly, and I stopped at the dump on the way to Mom’s = before you tink “will this woman never stop doing chores?” let me tell you that yes, I will. It’s just that the darned jelly needs to be made, the fruit is all prepped and taking up the fridge space. And it needs to be done before it is too hot to stand in front of the stove. I think we have only one more batch to go.