A bit of a quiet week ahead

A is traveling this week, 4 days in southern Maine.  But it’s Wednesday that she is in the office, so it means only two nights away from home.  Crazy amount of driving though.

Last night the cats could NOT BELIEVE they were stuck with me, and they moped about.  This morning, Allie was quite vocal in her dismay, woke me up at 4 am and basically followed me about the house all morning crying at me.  Zumba got up for breakfast (she is still Zumba after all) and then went back to bed.  No bird watching, no time on the deck.

But I enjoyed the quiet time (discounting Allie, of course) and slept with the windows and door wide open, spent the evening out on the porch knitting. I managed to finish the June sock, making a pair!


I started the July sock because I have a couple of meetings and appointments this week, and need something small to knit on.  And since I will be focused on spinning in July, I need a head start on the sock.  🙂


The other thing that is happening coming up soon is that my step brother J is coming to help with yard work on Saturday.  I am so appreciative, I can’t believe he would give up a day of his vacation to work in our yard.  But since he is, I ordered three yard of garden soil with compost that was delivered last night,  and I am going to pick out some edging stones this week.  I am hopeful that we can get the front bed with all the lovely-but-growing-too-large shrubs under control and looking good. We will get mulch this week, too, so hopefully the good work will stay good.  🙂


I showed you the pink weigela last week, here is the darker one – which they call red, but it isn’t.  More like hot pink. Just COVERED in blossoms, bees and hummingbirds.


I just love these flowering shrubs, and plan to stick to the part of my garden plan that says shrubs and mulch instead of lawn.  I just need to get some soil (these are actually growing like this in GRAVEL) and mulch in place.  I plan to fill in the gaps with daylilies, they look so pretty against all this pink. I have some, but they would prefer soil as well. It will be a lot of work, and I will miss Whorls and Purls (unless it rains, then we will do all of this on Sunday) but it will be so worth it to have some good strong help.


A will be home tonight, in time to get to bed for an early start tomorrow.  I know this girl will be as glad to see her as I am.


It never ceases to amaze me how a big cat like Zumba (15 pounds, not much fur) can make herself so small when she wants to.


Hope you all have a quiet week, too.

Saturday report

Would you be surprised if I told you my Friday list took two days to get through?  And I didn’t really get through it all, I haven’t been outside.

But, I did do this:


I know, these painting pictures all look the same.  But here’s what’s done – four of the five wooden cases are painted (insides only, outsides will be covered by trim) the fifth one has two coats everywhere it needs it, and just needs a third coat on the bottom shelf.  I’ll do that first thing in the morning.  Also complete are the 5 backs.  Four have been done for a week or so, I did the fifth one yesterday and today.  I really love the blue, which dries much darker than it goes on, thankfully.  Doesn’t the color look great with the blue of the walls? Encouraging A to remember our compromise, I haven’t painted any of the actual shelves.  🙂  I can do that when the boxes are installed.  Most of them are primed, and just need finish coats (3) and the ones that aren’t yet primed can wait until that 6th box is ready to be painted, as the primer is oil based and a pain to clean up.

I also took the Danse Macabre from this:


to this:


to this:

I am so in love with this shawl and thrilled that I get to keep it!  The designer is Boo Knits; the pattern is Danse Macabre.  It is the MKAL I did in April, and while I didn’t finish with the gang, I did push hard on it, and I learned some lessons.  The big one is not to do a Boo Knits MKAL – I can’t do her patterns in a month.  I love them, they are unbelievably easy to follow, she charts and writes instructions, thinks about everything.  She creates beautiful lace.  It is my second one, and I will make more.  But not in a crazy month.  I think my speed is more like 2-3 months. And that is with focus.

I also learned that I love tussah silk, which this is not.  This is Juniper Moon Farm Findley which I already knew I loved.  But the pattern called for tussah silk, so before the month was over, I ordered some of what the design called for.  And I can see that it will make a very different cloth. I love all the photos of my fellow KALers’ projects, and I can’t wait to make a shawl from the stuff.

Meanwhile, here’s my art shot of the day:


So.  You might be able to see in the blocking photo all the empty boxes that once held pins.  I had some blocking squares left, but Maluka had to wait until this morning, for want of pins.

This was a much easier job – wires at the top, a pin at each point, half an hours’ work, as opposed to the two plus that was Danse.


I am hoping for a couple of things to happen with this blocking.  The first is that merciless stretching will gain some width in this – it seems more like a scarf than a shawl.

The second is that the top will not roll, also the result of merciless blocking.  I thread the wires through every single stitch, and pinned it tight, so it isn’t rolling now, but I bet when I release the tension, that top will roll.

This is a pretty shawlette, in yarn I love – it is called “like lichen”, but it really is aqua and blue (are lichen blue and aqua? I always think of them as silvery, or bright orange), so of course I love it.  However – if I do this again, I will do some heavy modification.  That thing that looks like a cable is really wrapped stitches, and it was a pain in the neck.  I’ll put a cable in if I do it again.  I will also do the eyelet more like Kate Davies Hap for Harriet than this is.  They are very similar, YO in garter, but this uses a double yarn over in the last one to create the extra stitch – Davies just does one more YO than she does SSK.  I like it better.  And I would do one more row of eyelet in each point so it isn’t so clunky.  Then I hope I will remember to bind off the proper number of stitches in each point, since I will have increased more than the three the pattern calls for.  Lastly, I will make it wider.  That will require a second skein, of course.  And the edging did take me forever, so making it bigger means longer than forever.  But I think the finished garment will be more useful.

Also, thinking about using a different color for the border and the body.  Not sure about that, but as this is far down my queue now, I have time.

For now, I will work on Reyna and baby hats for sale.  Reyna is almost done – or rather, I am almost out of yarn.  This will be a good game of yarn chicken as the skein the store sent is 50 yards shorter than the yarn recommended in the pattern.  Glad I got my fancy scale for Christmas!  I’ll weigh after each row and try to use every inch.

I will leave you with these photos of my supervisor.  Normally, I don’t let her in while I am blocking, but today she snuck in when I wasn’t looking. Apparently, pin cushions are wonderful toys.  She even got a pin out and was batting it about.  That got her evicted.




PS. The clothes came and everything fit!  Miracle.  And the new blue skirt matches the Danse Macabre shawl perfectly.  Life is good.








A day in the life of Zumba

Zumba would spend all day out on the little deck off of our bedroom, if we would let her.  She loves waiting for the birds and squirrels.  They will never notice this big cat, right?

Zumba ever hopeful

Today, for the first time, Zumba leaped off the railing to the ground.  When she is out there, we check on her regularly.  A went out to see how she was doing and saw her on the ground, 8 feet below, looking around.  We got shoes on in record time, and went out to catch her.  It wasn’t too hard, she sniffed a bit, staying out of reach, then we threw some leaves.  She can’t resist chasing leaves, so she came right to me.  I snatched her up and in she came for the rest of her life. Since we didn’t see it happen we aren’t sure if she jumped or fell, but either way, no more unattended time out.  Luckily, we have a nice screened porch she can sit in and watch birds and squirrels.

In  the evening, Zumba likes to sleep in front of the stove. When we had Tigger, she claimed the spot, but now that she is gone, Zumba has moved right in and obviously, feels right at home.

Zumba stove 3

Zumba stove 2

Zumba stove 1

Yup, that is our crazy cat – look, she has hair on her belly again!  Just a little bit longer than peach fuzz, but it is growing in for real.

New Kid

I realize I haven’t told you much about Tigger since she came to live with us. She is all settled in, seems to have adjusted beautifully to being an inside cat. She and Zumba play well together, Allie doesn’t tolerate her at all, and is seriously intimidated by her. It is almost funny the way Tigger, at 7 pounds can torture Allie, at 14 pounds, by sitting and washing her face while Allie struggles with how to get past her. It gets noisy though, and Allie really is nervous, so I try not to laugh.

But now that the weather is getting colder, Tigger is having all new experiences. She is fascinated by the pellet stove. All summer she has played around it, sat on it, ignored it. Now when we turn it on, she runs and plants herself in front of it, staring. It is like TV for cats. Right now she is rolling on the floor in front of it and clearly enjoying the warmth of the fire. She is one happy cat. Wait until we turn on the radiant heat and she discovers warm floors!

Tigger’s first day

tigger's first day

Tigger’s transfer was rough on her. She didn’t want to get in the crate. She sure didn’t want to stay in the crate. She worked very hard to get out of the crate, and unfortunately for both of us, she pooped in the crate. Finally, after over an hour of torture and driving, we arrived. At the Vet.

They were very kind and cleaned her and the crate up, lined it with paper so she wouldn’t have to travel on hard plastic. They gave me a bag which held the towel and t-shirt that had been in there with her. I appreciate it, but I threw them away when we got home.

Tigger was very happy to see the vet. She purred while he examined her, patiently let him give her her vaccines, and then not so patiently got back into the crate. The verdict there? She is healthy, has a good coat, clean ears, clear eyes, and weighs 7 pounds. A light weight compared to her new sisters. Will that be a problem?

So, we arrived at home 5 minutes later. She looked around the laundry room and mudroom, went behind the washer, and settled in.

After I set out her food, fixed up her box, I sat quietly, and after about half an hour, I was able to coax her out. She did some exploring, then came over for a cuddle. She is VERY cuddly. She settled on my lap for about half an hour, then used the box and went back behind the washing machine.

I came out of the laundry room to find Allie posted at the end of the hall on full alert. Zumba was on the dining room table! I walked over to get her down, and she hissed and spit at me, leaped off the table, which startled Allie, Zumba hissed and spit at her, and Allie spit at me. I can see they are happy to have a new cat in the household! I washed my hands, and things got a little better with them.

So that is how it went all evening. I stayed in with Tigger for long stretches, but she never again came out from behind the washer. Zumba was cranky and Allie nervous.

A got home from work, and spent time with Allie and Zumba, and then went in to meet Tigger, who simply looked at her from behind the washer.

I know Tigger felt miserable, she was scared and probably feeling crummy, having gotten her shots, and she of course has no idea what is going on. So, I did what any caring (crazy) cat other would do. I slept on the floor in the mudroom on a chaise cushion, so that she would not be alone, yet not right in the laundry room, in case she wanted to be alone. As far as I know, she stayed behind that washer all night long. But this morning when I called, she crept out and curled up by my feet. She let me hold her while A came in to really meet her, and she let A give her a full belly rub!

The response on the other side of the door is not as positive – Zumba still growls and hisses when she smells her. Allie isn’t sure what to do about it. While they were sleeping, I did sneak Tigger out and carry her around the house so she could at least see it. Neither Zumba nor Allie noticed us, but Tigger was very scared, so I carried her back and let her go behind the washer. Where she still is. When the vet told me last week that this might take a week, I thought he was crazy. But now I can see how it might. Certainly, I think I will let Tigger be safely shut away from the girls when we aren’t home for quite a while. Until they learn that she is really a sweet sister who knows lots of things that they might like to know. Belly rubs are good. How to hunt. How to cuddle.

I sure do hope this all works out!

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