Odds and ends

Nothing much exciting happening here. This week is tax training, so the days are long and the off hours are short. But no chance of being bored! So many changes! Yikes. Plenty of jokes about the “postcard” which has a bzillion new pages attached to it.

I have been keeping up with spinning 15 minutes a day, which is good for that spin I started in October and only half finished by the end of the year!! It’s being plied now, should be done this week.

Knitting has been slower. Finished a sock in class Monday, started the second sock, but nothing else has budged much this week. I finished the knitting on the cowl for my sister, but haven’t grafted it together yet.

And nothing else has moved enough to warrant a photo.

That’s all the news from here – hoping that tomorrow’s storm closes Bangor Public Schools, our training follows the school closures… my brain needs a break!

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While the cat’s away…

Well, it is A who is away, not the cats… however, this mouse is still playing.  🙂

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This morning I blocked the shawl.  It was a major piece of work, but I think it is going to be worth every minute, and every pin! Which was most of the pins in the house.every-pin

The directions say that I might want to pin out the picots after pinning and blocking all the rest.

unpinned picots:

or-not-to-pin

pinned picots:

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I decided to pin.  Those picots made binding off take several evenings, as you add many stitches in the process – about doubling the number. Since I knit them all, I think it was worth the extra time to pin them out so they can be seen, don’t you?  I think they are a wonderful finishing touch on this shawl, but I would think about replacing them with beads another time. That might get heavy, I suppose, but it sure would be easier and faster, and still pretty, I think.

So here it is – all blocked and pinned and drying.  You will still get one more post of this shawl, when it is dry and I can take it out side so you can see the real color:

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It pinned out to just about 6 feet wide and 21 inches deep.

A few close ups of the lace and beads:

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And that’s not all!

Last night I planned some necklaces and strung the beads so I can cast these on sometime this week – using the beautiful silk I got for Christmas:

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This is 6, which is far more than I will be able to do this week, but they keep very well.  🙂

And on my needles right now is this shawl for me. (keeping 1+1+1 project in mind, my goal is four shawls this year – two for me, two for sale.  I am on target so far!)

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This is Kate Davies Hap for Harriet.  I have loved it since she first released it, and it is as perfect a pattern as I had hoped.  The pattern is easily learned, and it is fun to watch it grow.  This lace is much less complicated than the Pease Blossom – I won’t need the instructions for every stitch!  The yarn is String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn in the Tinker Island Fingering weight, the color is called Ruby Slippers, and for once, this picture is fairly accurate, it is a dark rose color with a definite tinge of purple.  The fabric is coming out a tiny bit stiff, but as it is garter stitch, I know it will loosen up and be soft and stretchy when I finish and block it.

A busy morning today for sure!

Actually, it has been a kind of whacky few days.  Friday we had a real snow storm – and although it didn’t start as early as I prefer, my boss closed the office!  HURRAH!  A and I scooted up to Bangor for a car appointment.  Her car needed a going over before her trip, and she had the appointment set, so we were glad the driving was easy in the morning.  the worst of the snow came in the afternoon.

 

Saturday we had to take the car back, as they were waiting for a part, and it was Super Saturday Free Tax Prep day, so we got up early to shovel, then drove to Bangor, dropped off her car, she dropped me at the tax site and came home.  I did taxes all day, hitched a ride with a coworker and picked her car up at the end of the day.  So, my day started like this:

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And ended like this:

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and I understand it was a beautiful day in between that sunrise and sunset.  🙂

While I was gone, A and her electrician friend replaced the non-working bathroom fan/light!  Very nice to get that working again.

Today we were up early, and I made her breakfast before she set off for Texas.  Well, Pennsylvania tonight, to stay over night with her nephew, then Tennessee tomorrow night, then Louisiana the next night, and finally, Texas on Wednesday, for a work training session Thursday.  Friday early she will hit the road, and come home.  She is going to try to do it in two days, so get home sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning.  Crazy to make people go to Texas for one day of training, but I am glad she was able to get permission to drive instead of flying. She enjoys it so much more, and plans to make stops along the way.  She also took her golf clubs with her, so she can go to the driving range when she gets where there is no snow.  🙂

This means I have a week that I can fill with things that she doesn’t like to do – as she said, I can make all the messes I want.  As long as I get them cleaned up by Saturday night!

I have plans for food she doesn’t like to eat, plans for watching you tube spinning videos on the big TV, plans for making valentines at the dining room table…I might even put the smooth cotton sheets on the bed for a flannel-free week.  Such ambition!

If I get really crazy, I might paint the loft.

 

Yea, probably not.

 

It’s official – I am certified!

No! Not crazy, why would you say that?

I passed my test so that I am a certified tax preparer through the AARP Tax-Aide program.  Now the fun will begin!

Training went pretty well, given all the stuff we had to cram into one week – I think this is my 9th or 10th year, and it does grow easier each year to recall all the little rules, but I wonder how a new volunteer feels as things are blasted at them in such a short time?  Thankfully, they are not left alone to do taxes, we all help each other and check each other’s work. Next year it will all feel new, though, as the IRS is changing their tax prep software program.  Across the board. Every bit of it. So this year is the last year of feeling some comfort that I know what the heck I am doing.  Next year, I will just know how it is supposed to come out, not how to make it happen.  But that is a long way away.  🙂

I didn’t get as much knitting done as I would have normally in training.  For one thing, I opted against a circular needle hat, and went with a WIP I have had around for a while  – is scarf.  I made really good progress on it, though, several inches, so I feel good about that.  But I was a small group leader every afternoon, and small group leaders teaching computer skills don’t have much time for knitting, lol.  However, it seems, after all these years, I have a reputation, and many volunteers, male and female stopped to ask me what I was working on, to share tales of their own knitting experience or fond memories of a family member knitting.  Also, since it is January in Maine, and we are in what I hope is the coldest room at Husson University for our training, I wore many knitted things that week – socks, sweaters, shawls, even necklaces and bracelets.  I got many compliments, and “you MADE that?” comments during the week.  So it was a good week, fiber-wise.  🙂

The other thing I love about tax training week is lunch break. I haven’t changed a bit since kindergarten, right?  More specifically, it is lunch that I like.  We eat in the student community room, and get our food at the lunch bar, named Cressy’s.  They have the best freshly made sandwiches, burgers, etc.  The ladies are fun to chat with, and invent delicious daily specials.  It is a highlight of the week.  Actually, whenever I can get organized to get there a bit early, I go there for breakfast, too.  Niece B, a student there, turned me on to their omelets – delicious.  And everything is very affordable… I look forward to it all year long.  And no, I never seem to go there any other time of the year, even though it is open and I could. It is a special tax training thing.

But now it is behind us, I passed the test and am good to go forth and prepare taxes in my spare time.

Yes, I guess I might be crazy after all.

last Friday of tax season!

This season seems really long, could it be the weather? Today I am filling in at the Edith Dyer Library , if you are in the neighborhood, come on down and say hello.  🙂

This week was LOOOONG, I did taxes 4 days.  Yesterday was the last day at the old office, it was hectic but we made it fun – had lunch brought it, did over thirty tax returns.  Whew!

So the real fun is tomorrow – Mom is coming over, we are heading to Bangor to pick up niece B at college – to go back to the bead store.  Any excuse!  B likes to make earrings, Mom needs buttons, so we will probably go to JoAnn’s as well to see what we can find.  Then lunch, and who knows what shopping we will do after that?

Nothing much else new right now – that’s what happens when I do taxes all week.  But next week we are through, and then things can get back to normal, and I might have things to share on the employment front.  Also the medical.  Some good some bad, or at least, not good.  More later.

Here’s what’s not new – SNOW.  Three days this week the school delays crawled along the bottom of the TV. Today is an icy mix.  But we might get a gorgeous weekend, who knows?

I WANT MY DAFFODILS!

April Friday!

I’ll be doing taxes – bet you are surprised!

It’s our last day doing them Down East in Milbridge – I’ll be there with three intrepid volunteers, all willing to get up early and drive far to help me.  They are the best!

Anyway, it will be a long day, so likely I will just come home, eat supper on the couch, do a wee bit of knitting before I fall asleep.

Saturday will be more fun – we are off to the big city to get the tires switched over to summer tires on A’s car.  And in anticipation, I made a list of supplies I need from the bead store. YES I SAID NEED and I meant it. Things like jump rings and clasps.  Not too many beads on the list. What’s the point of having all this yarn and beads if I have no clasps?

I hope the Beaded Moose has what I need, but if not, I will check out AC Moore or JoAnn’s.  Still no luck?  I guess I will go online – I doubt I will be getting to Augusta any time soon to go to the other small local bead store.

We also will go to the big grocery store – woot woot – unscented products!  Wider selection!  More sizes of the products we love! How pathetic that this is a big deal in our day.

Then home to some relaxing, some housework, some knitting and card making – I am in the midst of making lots of thank you notes for those volunteers mentioned at the start of the post. Which has really turned into a Saturday list post, hasn’t it?  Well, take heart, tax season is nearly over, then things will return to what passes for normal around here.

Thursday at the BPL

Today is not one of my normal tax days, but I was called to help out at the Bangor Public Library today, so I got my act together, (thankfully) packed up the knitting, and headed to the big city, where we actually have to PAY TO PARK!

The server went down as I was finishing up my first client, they will give us an update at 1.  Hopefully, it will be to say they are back online.

So, I sit with my knitting and gaze at the periodical covers, wondering why they don’t have any knitting magazines.  I read the craft and bead ones, there is a crochet one I will look at this afternoon if the system doesn’t come up.  This is a lovely reading room, I never got to enjoy it before.

They asked me to come up the next three Wednesdays to help out, I said I would.  I hope this doesn’t happen each time. I could sit at home and knit and look at magazines.

And park for free.

Another Friday the 13th?

Friday this week is another tax day.  I am helping out in a site I don’t usually work at, in Hampden.  I expect it will be all day, BUT on the off-chance I get out early, I will bring the list of materials I need at the bead store in Bangor.  🙂

That’s right, need.  Mom ordered some earrings,  I have the silk but not the right beads.  So, I just need to pick up a couple of tubes. ROTFL.  It’s true, it really is and I will try to restrain myself from getting anything not on that list.

If I don’t get them tomorrow, I will do so on Saturday – another tax day in the Bangor area, that is supposed to get done earlier. Of course, it may be “snow/mixed precip”-ing by then, but I hope not.

Not a very exciting Friday list, I know, but it is tax season after all.  It will all be over soon.