How can this be a weekend? The sun is out!

I can’t believe how the sun is streaming in the windows on a SATURDAY.  It feels fantastic.  Almost like spring.  Until I go outside.  It’s still a bit nippy out there.  Still ice in the pool, I am afraid.

Interesting thing about that pool.  I drained it in September.  Now it is 3/4 full!  And not frozen solid.  I have been able to reach in and get a few leaves out when I get home from work, as there is a skim of water on the top at the end of the day.  It won’t be long now!

This morning we awoke to a really cold house.  Last night we decided to let the pellet stove go out so I could clean it today.  We have to do that every couple of weeks, and it has been unseasonably warm, so we didn’t think twice about it.

But the house should not have been THAT cold.  59 degrees chilly.  A turned the heat on at the thermostat, which should not have had to happen, it should come on automatically.  We burrowed under the quilt and waited.

Nothing.

So I got up (a couple of hours later, I must admit) and went down cellar to check the hot water heater.  We had hot water but it wasn’t circulating.  This could get expensive.

I lit a fire in the stove down there and came upstairs to hurry and clean the pellet stove.  As I passed the thermostat, I thought I would just check it out.  Hmmm.  When did we last change the batteries?  I popped new ones in on a whim and damned if I didn’t hear the circulator start to work.

I don’t understand why the thing needs batteries to work when it is hard wired to the house, but I guess I will change those every fall, because you just never know when you might actually need the heat on.

I did clean the pellet stove, and we are warm as toast now.  A has been out to the dump (yea, A!) and I have done some cleaning about the house.  Laundry is nearly complete (all credit here to A) and the bed has been changed, bathroom cleaned.  Life is good – time for a break to sit on the couch and knit. 🙂

This weekend I am making a full court press on the golden waves THING (Wrap?  Shawl? Scarf?) to finish it once and for all.  I am tired of toting it around.  I am near the end of the second ball of Kidsilk noir, and although I have more, I think that this will be long enough.  Maybe.  I am actually considering putting in a life line, blocking it and seeing how long it really comes out.  I think it need to be about 5 feet to be useful, not sure if I can get it there yet.  No new photos of it, but it looks the same all the  time anyway, so here’s an old photo for you.  🙂 (Very old, it turns out – late last summer!)image

I finished the little light orange baby hat, and will take a photo sometime this weekend.  It is cute, and now that I am comfortable with the yarn again, I will make something more like I intended in the first place.

Hap for Harriet comes along, more slowly.  I think I have 15 or 16 of the first 22 sections done.  I want to get clear of the golden waves so that the hap becomes my traveling WIP – I get lots done at lunch time at work.  🙂

Yesterday I  got home a couple of hours before A so I hooked the laptop up to the TV and watched how to spin videos.  I practiced on some leftover sock yarn, and I have more idea how it is supposed to go, but I do struggle to keep the wheel spinning consistently while feeding the yarn in.  I can only imagine the mess I will make when I have to draft wool.  🙂  I plan to get in touch with the Purple Fleece for some lessons after tax season is over.  Just a few more weeks of that!

Niece B texted the other day to see if she could stay here for March break.  Well of course!  Got new sheets for the new bed in “her” room, and made it up, ready for her whenever she wants it.  I think she arrives next weekend.  We have nothing planned – it is March, after all, and we both have to work, but that way she can sleep the days away.  I might be bale to squeeze some time off and maybe think of something fun to do.

Tomorrow is a day in the “big city.”  A and I are volunteering at a 5 K road race which benefits one of our programs at work.  We hope to be done shortly after 10, and then we will meet up with Crimson Crow and do some errands while in Ellsworth – groceries, cat food, and a reward at our favorite pizza place.  Not our usual Sunday, but change is good for the soul, someone said.  Not sure if I can knit while the race runs, but I plan to try.  🙂

Have a good weekend, and don’t forget to get out and enjoy the sun of you are lucky enough to have some!

 

 

 

Sunday came and went

with no post from me…mostly because there seems to be nothing really to write about.  I feel like I am in a bit of a slump – is the change in the light?  Not sure. Anyway, I never even tried to get the book for book group, so will be skipping that this month.  Again.

This weekend was slow and steady – we went to Ellsworth Saturday morning, and I pulled a lot of my inventory out of J and B Atlantic, so I could get ready for the holiday shop in Bucksport.  I left a fair number of things in Ellsworth, of course as I don’t want to miss an opportunity for holiday shoppers!  But it saves me knitting up a storm when I don’t need to, always good.  While we were there, we ate an early lunch at Fuddrucker’s, and then did the grocery shopping at “the big store” where they have heard of unscented everything. Thank God, because we were almost out of unscented everything.

When we got home, the “laundry lady” (this week, it was A) suggested we put our pajamas on so she could wash the clothes we were wearing.  Always love when the laundry lady has a great idea!  We settled down at 2 PM in our jammies to watch TV, knit and do laundry.  At 2:30, sister-in-law L called to ask if she could stop over.  Oops!  She didn’t bat an eye to find us ready for bed. 🙂

Sunday I ran to the dump, then cleared up some of the junk from the screened porch – pile of pool equipment went down cellar, candles and other knick-knacks came in and got cleaned up.  I also cleaned a lot (but not all) of the leaves out of the pool.  From the sides, I did not get in it!  Brrrr.

That seemed like enough chores for one day, so I settled back on the couch with the knitting.

Anyone would then expect me to have made great strides in things, right?

Not so much.  I did finish a chemo hat, but as it was almost done, that is hardly anything to brag about… and I cast on the sleeves of the baby sweater I am making.  And I cast on another chemo hat – my rendition of a Hurricane hat.  But I was a lethargic knitter at best. Maybe because what I want to be casting on is a panda food cowl?  Not sure, but I didn’t let myself do it.  Sweater and hats have to get done first. The hat is in some unknown yarn mom sent over – feels like possibly alpaca, in a slightly bulky worsted weight, so the hat goes fast and I should finish it up tonight, then focus solely on the sweater until it is done.

I did take the time to go through the things I have for the Bucksport shop, and it looks like I have enough to get started, but need to add some more holiday inspired things, and some more hats.  Hard to believe I haven’t enough of those! But between Etsy, the shop in Ellsworth and the shop in Bucksport, it takes a lot to give a nice array.  Luckily, they do work up fast in bulky yarn.

I also went through the buttons I have been collecting all summer – I got some nice ones! So I am looking forward to being able to work on those things.

Procrastinated a bit on Mom’s book – we are struggling with tenses now – some things are in present, some in past.  We need to meet to talk about how she wants it to read, but I did a brief survey of memoirs on my bookcase, and found that the good ones are in the past tense.  Which means lots of careful editing.  🙂 Which means setting up a spot to work so it is easy.

Still haven’t sorted out the internet issues, and that makes me grumpy – having to be hooked up to the wall defeats the purpose of a laptop.  Which is also part of why I don’t post as often.

And as to the photos – still learning A’s camera which I confiscated.  🙂  Went to take a picture of the cats being cute today and the battery was dead.  Again.  Really?  So I charged it, but of course, the cats had long since stopped playing in the sheets of paper by the time the camera was ready, lol.

I’ll try to get some good photos of things in progress for you and post them, but as of now, you will just have to imagine them. 🙂

A worked on the bookcases for the upstairs – all but one are glued up nice and square.  The last one will wait until the first 6 are installed, so that she can make sure it really will fit in the remaining space.

What this means in my world is that I have to paint the loft, and choose a paint color for the insides of the bookcases.  The walls and ceiling of the room and outsides of the bookcases will be a very soft pale blue/gray, like all the other main rooms in the house. For the insides, I could go with the darker periwinkle blue that is the accent color in the kitchen, or I could do something totally different.  I am contemplating a bright red.  Or a bright turquoise.  Or a soft turquoise.  Or a raspberry pink-red. Or a different color in each one. You see the problem.  What do you guys think? They are plain, simple cases, unlit except for room lighting, and presumably will be filled with books. They can’t be seen from anywhere else in the house, so it should be immaterial that the room on one side is creamy yellow with periwinkle trim, and the room on the other side is pale pale pale pink (almost white) with raspberry red trim. But it might not be.

So what’s the big deal, Salpal? Just pick a color!  Well, it’s the internet’s fault. 🙂  Everyone does such cool things in their houses, or at least on their blogs, and I want to have it look perfect when we finish, because it has been SUCH a chore getting these done.

Once I choose a color, then I will think about book ends for some shelves. I’d really like some shelves NOT to be filled with books, so I need book ends to hold the books upright.  I also have pretty little things packed away that would look nice on the shelves.  I think.  Depending what color(s) I choose.

Sigh.

Yeah, I am going back onto the couch to knit a hat.  Or a sweater.  And look longingly at the half-finished sweater vest (remember it? Blue and teal?), the half-finished scarf/stole/shawl or whatever it is (remember it?  Teal and gold?), both of which had to get put aside for hat and sweater knitting, and will likely stay aside for some more hat knitting, but which I do want to finish soon…so I can cast on Panda Food… and other things that aren’t priorities anywhere but in my little knitting brain.  Which is why I spent some time looking at beads online, for a shawl I have no business thinking about.

Thanks for hanging in this long… I promise pictures and happy brightness again shortly.

OH YEAH! I almost forgot to tell you – Thursday night I thawed out the tomatoes and canned them.  Which ever one of you lovelies it was (sorry I don’t remember!) who told me to freeze them as they ripened and can them all at once – THANK YOU – brilliant idea!

I had about a gallon and a half of tomatoes, which somehow came out to 4 pints when peeled and excess water drained off.  A lot of work for a little goodness, but worth it, I think – to have my own tomatoes a few times this winter will be grand.

Last Friday of vacation😩

How quickly the week has gone!  I wonder why work weeks don’t go this fast?

Today A and I are going to be busy.  We are headed up to Bangor this morning to pick up a rental van, then it is down to Ellsworth for a few errands including the shoe store. We are both in a search for the perfect shoe (very different definitions of these shoes of course) and not having much luck. We are picking up pizza from Finelli’s and heading over to see Crimson Crow. We will exchange lunch for a bookcase, it seems a good deal! Then back home.

If it stops raining we will gather our big dump items in prep for a trip tomorrow.  Until this week our method of vehicle management has worked well. Own and maintain small fuel-efficient cars for regular use, then rent a larger vehicle or truck only when we need one. But this week that didn’t work as planned. There were no trucks for us to rent. So, we will make do with a van. Might mean a couple of trips, I guess.

When we get home, it is back up to the sewing room. I finished the bodice and sleeves of the dress. Things went really well on the sewing front.

But on the fit front – not so well.  I know the pattern said negative ease. It also said to trust it. My measurements were one the low side of the range so I did in fact trust it.  I have blocked enough things to know that if you pull a knit in one direction, it will shrink in the other, but I kind of thought that they would have planned for that. And maybe they did on a flat chested woman. Which I am not. The bodice barely comes down over my bra!

So, I look on this as a muslin or toile or test sew or future rags, whatever you want to call it. Future efforts will be wider and longer.

It’s probably just as well as I didn’t do a super job of lining up the plaids. I might be the only one to notice, but I would have.

What are you doing this rainy Friday?

What new torture this?

My dental hygienist retired.  Need I say more?

Other than that, a pretty good day!  After torturing me cleaning my teeth and sealing the sensitive spots, the new-to-me hygienist said “don’t eat or drink anything for 45 minutes.”  This is new! I am sure she is a lovely woman and very competent, and I am sure that hideous water needle thing she used does a great job on my plaque, but I hated it, and my gums are sore now.  AND I WAS MEETING CRIMSON CROW FOR BREAKFAST AFTER MY APPOINTMENT!!!

Luckily, we had no firm plans beyond meeting, and we had a very patient waitress who didn’t mind waiting while we chatted away the remaining time until I could eat and drink!

We had a good morning, chatting away as we did errands. I dropped off more things at the shop while she looked around, we tortured entertained the very nice customer service guys at the building supply store, and stopped at the local craft store for some silver clasps for me before parting.

Once home, I had just enough time to return a call to my current and hopefully future boss – we are sorting things out! Not in the same place yet on a few important things, but I think we will get there.

Then the power went out.  That’s right.  Power did not go out AT ALL in all those storms we had in January, February, and March.  But it went out today for a couple of hours.  It was windy, but I wouldn’t have thought it was THAT windy.  Luckily I had just hung up the phone when it went out. So I did what any sane normal knitting-addicted person would do – I sat down immediately, pulled a blanket over my lap and knit. Without stopping, for two hours.  In complete peace and quiet. It was quite nice.

Now A is home, the power is on, the house is warming up, and we have come to an agreement on where we stand on those things the boss and I are not together on.  Tomorrow  I will call and see if we can come together and I have a job.  If so, I start Monday.  YIKES!

I checked Etsy and found a custom order for a toddler sweater/hat and mitten set – the mom loves Slipped Stitches Charleston set I knit, and wants one in a bigger size for her little girl.  She needs it by the end of November – I love the luxury of time!

Oh, and Crimson Crow helped me ID another new-to-me bird – a yellow-rumped warbler.  Funny name for a bird with a yellow head I thought.  Until I saw it again, and it carefully showed me ALL of its yellow parts. Yup, it has a yellow rump. 🙂  Zumba is impressed, she watched it very closely.

That’s all – I wonder what will happen tomorrow?

On top of the world, over the moon, ELATED

Doc says I am fine.  Changed the meds, the rash is better, the iron levels are better, the lump is nothing – woot hoot.

JB Atlantic in Ellsworth took every last bit of jewelry I have made on consignment, recommended higher prices than I would dream and wants me to make more.  Good I got all those beads, right? And already strung them.  🙂

They took 4 button hats – the ones with buttons with local ties, but said no more hats until the fall or these sell.  Turn off the hat making machine and engage the jewelry machine.

Life is good tonight.

Thursday April 16

The day after the last day of volunteer tax prep!  Still working on reports, but all returns are filed!  Woot woot!  Yesterday was spent at the Bangor Public Library – it was a bit of a crazy day, but we got through it and out on time.  Not sure how.  🙂

Today is the day I go to Ellsworth and see if I can put some things in a shop there.  Trying to get my mind and my stuff ready for this big step.  Yikes.

Lunch with my coworker got canceled, she has some family stuff going on.   Visit to the doctor is happening.  Hope to get some answers. Meeting with my boss is happening. They did call and schedule an interview, I guess they are going by the book, since they have other applicants.  Good for them, but it leaves me in limbo for a bit longer.  I’ll have my interview next week, but need to check in on some logistical stuff for between now and then.

So, I am off to sort out knit things and see how to best present them. EEK.

Another knit-heavy post/Today on my needles/What I am up to this bright Monday

On my needles – the photo was taken this morning, but it is what was on the needles all day yesterday.mitten and sweater jan 18

Yesterday I conceded that the cold was winning and did the only thing I know of to beat it – I stayed put on the couch with knitting and Gray’s Anatomy reruns.  All those doctors did the trick, I feel much better today!

The mitten is coming long, although I did rip it back to the cuff when I realized I was carrying the yarn too tightly between needles.  That problem is solved, I have made up all that ground and then some.  I think they will be too long on me, but I will wait and see.  Meanwhile, I am learning about thumbs.  Elizabeth Zimmerman uses something she calls a thumb trick so I am trying it, as she is, after all, a certified knitting genius. I am loving these beauties, I knew I was ready for some red and white mittens!  Because of all the nice carried yarn, they are thick and warm, too.  Can’t wait to get then done and on my hands.

The sweater – sigh.  I love blue, you know I do.  And I do need a blue cardigan, I truly do.  But this “very easy” lace is killing me, I can’t get in the flow of it,so it simply isn’t becoming instinctive and mindless.  However, I made a real push this weekend, and finally got up to the armholes!  Now, the directions have me supposedly knitting first the left front, then the right front (with opposite shaping to the left, of course) and then the back.  And it all says “working in pattern.”  I was in a dilemma, as I can’t read the knitting! How do I know where the heck I am or left off in the pattern? So, I joined two more balls of yarn, and am knitting both fronts and back at the same time.  That way I at least know which row I am on.  I THINK I have figured out where each section begins in the pattern, but time will soon tell.  The good news is that there are now 72 fewer stitches in a row, so it should go faster.  As long as I keep those three balls untangled.  And I will definitely be knitting the two sleeves at the same time so that they stand a chance of matching.

But what else have I been up to?

Well, reading blogs, of course, and uploading hats to Etsy – thanks to all of you who have looked at my shop, and don’t forget to let me know what you think if you haven’t already. I think there will be some cards and things posted soon, in the next few days, at least.

Since it was the weekend, A was home with me the past few days, and she was such a sweetie, doing lots of laundry and table clearing, and being generally a good sport about being married to a slug.  🙂  She even drove me to Ellsworth on Saturday so I could pick up a book the library had gotten for me.  Since it is the book club book, and the meeting is tonight, it was sort of important.  🙂 (My Brilliant Friend – more on that when I finish it) we did a few other errands, then had breakfast at Martha’s Cafe, which we love.  I like to go out for breakfast, because the food is so yummy, and it doesn’t cost the earth. I like Martha’s because she makes delicious everything. I had a veggie and ham stuffed omelet, and stole some of A’s raspberry muffin.  mmmmmm

Today, besides finishing the book and not getting sucked into red and white knitting, I plan to do the housework I did not do Friday (start deep cleaning the bedroom) and get into the craft room to make some cards for the Etsy shop – I am thinking Valentine’s and birthday cards, but I am open to ideas, so please, offer them up!

And I have to go check the mouse traps I have outside, they are no longer buried under a pile of snow – with all that rain yesterday and balmy (is it really 40 degrees F out there today???) air, we have almost no snow left – so I  can find the traps.

Other than that, I will putter, putter, putter.  🙂

First Friday list 2015!

Happy New Year everyone!

I am looking forward to 2015 as a year of change and new discoveries.  It is exciting and a little scary, too.  Yesterday was the last day of full-time work, at a place where I have worked since I moved to Maine 18 years ago.  Monday starts the part-time, phase out portion of employment, although it seems my employer really doesn’t believe that and thinks I will want to come back.  I might, who knows? It is all open right now.

So, in this new year, what do Fridays look like?

Well, let’s start with the things I HAVE to get done.

A trip to Ellsworth to return a book on disk to the library, and I may have to drive around a bit to listen to the last disk.  🙂  It is the Edge of Eternity, the third in Ken Follet’s trilogy, and while I am enjoying them all very much, I really think 28 disks is a bit much.  I can’t even imagine holding that book to read it!

Then I will pop over to the doctor to get blood drawn to see if my iron levels have improved.

After that, I have no idea!  The possibilities are:

  • the Post Office
  • the dump
  • prepping for tax class which starts Monday, which I have to teach for which I am pretty much not ready
  • laundry
  • clean any part of the house, at this point I can take my pick of rooms, it could use a cleaning
  • knit (pretty good chance this will happen!)
  • check the traps I set last night to catch that stinking nocturnal mouse who lives in our bedroom wall. I hope I catch the little creature and his whole family, too!

That seems like enough to keep me busy!

Friday List

First off – a note to the powers that be at Word Press. Please, could you add an auto save feature? Yikes – I just lost a whole Friday list post.

I’ll try to remember it all. 🙂

So this morning, I am waiting for the bug man to come do his regular quarterly visit, and then I will call Crimson Crow so we can meet in Ellsworth. Lots of chores to do there, and of course, some fun things, too. A visit to the Craft Barn is in store, if, after I check supplies I find I do not have 6 pieces of 12 x 12 brown paper. My challenge will be to leave with not much nothing else. I will do the grocery shopping while there, at the big store, and then head over to Reny’s for some Christmas shopping. We do a Christmas is for Kids program at work, and A and I try to help out with that each year. This year there were two kids who went unclaimed by all the other donors, so I am shopping for a couple of 4-year-old boys – should be pretty easy! Crimson Crow mentioned a trip to GoodWill, and of course, we will need lunch! Should be a good day.

There will be knitting involved somewhere along the way, of course. I have already done my sock knitting this morning, but I have two other projects on the needles right now – the Estonian Lace scarf, and the lace cardigan. Here’s a photo for you – both projects in progress – amazing the difference needle size and yarn weight make! I love them both in their place – no way would I ever get through a lace weight cardigan, though I would love it when finished. 🙂

lace projects

I have done some thinking, and reached a conclusion – this is my last pair of socks this year. I am slowing down the sock knitting, to make it last. 🙂 Twenty six pairs of socks! Wow, I never would have believed it. I was hoping to knit up my sock yarn stash, three skeins!!!! Did that ages ago. I am no longer afraid of socks, and I will likely keep knitting them, but at a much slower pace. So, this pair will linger on my needles. Actually, it will only be one sock that will linger, I will likely finish the current sock tonight or tomorrow. Part of what is driving this decision is that I have no more sock yarn, and am not ready to spend some of my precious yarn stash cash on more sock yarn at this point. With the changing finances ahead, I know it will be a while before it builds up to this level again.

Back to my list for today…

I will do a load or two of laundry, and the usual local chores, Post Office, etc.

If I have the patience, I will try to figure out why the new printer doesn’t see our Wi Fi, but even if I don’t crack that nut, I will start printing the photos for the Christmas cards (it prints fine with the cable). Yesterday I worked on cards at work, and it got me in the card making mood – yeah! At last! A says we are getting our Christmas tree on Sunday, and so the holiday things are coming together at last.

That’s about it – lots to do today because we are going to spend the day with A’s sisters and aunt tomorrow. So I had better get moving.

Have a good day!

Friday list – Nor’Easter!

We have been having a storm that just won’t quit – three days of wind and rain.  I am just glad it isn’t snow. 🙂

My Friday list got a sudden change Thursday morning when I answered the phone.  Job Interview!  One of the jobs I applied for a few months ago.  They got 38 applications and are interviewing 6, so I feel lucky to have made it this far.

So, I will get up and dressed (professionally, of course) and head off to Ellsworth for a ten o’clock appointment.  On the way back, I will see about getting a haircut (sort of wish I did it last week!) and stop at the PO.

Then it is home to make lunch for the rapidly improving patient, and await the stove man.  The new pellet stove gets installed tomorrow – I can’t wait.  It will be so much more quiet, and efficient – and it will have a thermostat – none of this on or off nonsense.  Ooh la la.  I’ll just be hanging about waiting for them to do their thing, so will likely do some knitting.

L is doing really well, and so is thinking of going home soon.  A and I are worried about her stairs (her bathroom is upstairs), but it is up to her to decide when she is strong enough.  PT on Wednesday went well, with the therapist telling her a few more things she could do, and a few things she had to stop doing.  Good for her to hear it from someone other than the two of us. Anyway, if she goes home, we prefer that it happen Saturday, so that if it is too soon, she can move back in on Sunday (as opposed to us figuring out how to do it mid-week.) But we will see what she thinks.

Saturday, I will be out and about taking some photos for work, and in the process, pick up our locally grown cranberries for spiced cranberry jelly for the holidays.  Yum…

Sunday, I hope to lay low and just relax, work on projects, get the rest of the Halloween cards made and mailed.  then the week starts, and the hamster wheel will be racing again.  Sigh.

But first, we get through Friday.  🙂

Edit – just found this in the draft file – sorry to be a week late, I thought it posted last week! So here is an old Friday list. 🙂 A new one will follow tomorrow.