It’s been so long

I haven’t written in so long that I don’t think I will even try to catch you up.

On the whole life has been boring, when it comes to blogging.  Work is stressful and overwhelming at times, but not unmanageable, given enough time.  Home is fine and restorative,as always.

And fall is upon us!

The colors were so muted for such a long time, then we had a gray week and they all popped out.

IMG_3377[1]

IMG_3378[1]

IMG_3379[1]

IMG_3374[1]

The morning glories are struggling to bloom now, the sun is so low they are in shade most of the day. But late in the afternoon, the sun makes it past the house and they seem to glow.

I have been making lots of apple crisp the past few weeks, which I love, and it is so easy to make, yum!

Still need to do the fall yard work – dig up the carrots and plant the garlic, spread a little cow manure and straw about… but the cosmos and zinnias are still blooming, so I can’t bother them, can I?

There was ice on the windshield this morning.  Not frost, but real ice, from the heavy dew and very cold temps.  So this fall is clearly not going to last, and winter will be here before we know it.

So, we ordered our pellets for the winter – 4 tons.  With help from our BIL, we loaded two tons into the cellar yesterday, and will work on them each weekend until they are done.  Left to our own devices, we do about a ton a day, but with help, we were able to double that.  We both notice that this time of year, a bag of pellets seems so heavy (40 pounds) but by spring we think nothing of hauling a couple of bags up the stairs to fill the stove.

I have been knitting and spinning – knitting very focused on two things – the Down the Road and Back Again shawl, which SHOULD get finished this week, and is already sold!  Yea!

IMG_3380[1]

And of course, socks. One of the things going on at work this time of year is health fairs.  I knit a lot at them, in between chatting with people about the organization.  One of them was so crowded (free flu shots!) that no one could move, and so I sat knitting and chatting with people – it turns out the knitting was drawing folks to the table. I might start keeping on knitting when people approach, instead of tucking it away.  So I finished one sock and have made a good start on the second.

Spinning has also been happening –

I made this yarn which will join some scraps and leftovers to become a shawl.  It is a two ply, one ply is Tasman Comeback, the other ply is Finn.

Then this yarn flew off the wheel!  It will likely be a hat, as there isn’t much yardage. It’s a bulky 4 ply, in Falkland.

Next up is some yarn that I hope will be for some socks – I haven’t spun for socks in quite a while. This is merino, bamboo, and nylon.

One last photo – leaving Whorls and Purls on Saturday, I looked up and thought that it looked like someone had floated a piece of roving across the sky.

IMG_3373[1]

That’s it from around these parts – I hope you have been having a good month so far! What does fall look like in your part of the world?

Weekend plans

Summer isn’t over – although the air is so much more dry than it has been, it is still plenty warm out.  I am loving it, since the pressure of all that digging is behind me.

This morning we brought a ton of pellets in and stacked them in the cellar – A and L will do the 5th and last one tomorrow while I am at my brother’s BBQ.  How did that happen?  Well, it needs doing, and she wasn’t excited about a pool oriented party, since she doesn’t do pools. I think I got the better part of this arrangement.

Today we will be heading off to Ellsworth soon, to do some grocery shopping and get a meal out at a different restaurant than we normally use on the weekends.  I have to decide between fab pizza at Finelli’s and fab burgers at Fuddrucker’s.  I’ll let you know what I decide later.  🙂

A got a book on patio design the other day, and so I have been looking at and drooling over the pictures. The how-to is a bit overwhelming, as it involves digging.  Sigh.  But I think that we can *maybe* get away with not so much of this prep as we are building on gravelly sand.  🙂  The porch, pool and house have created a nice sheltered are which we both think would be perfect for a patio , and maybe a fire pit.  Now to decide on the material.  I am leaning toward loose stones and flagstone, so that water can soak in, but there are so many cool options out there, I might change my mind.  🙂

Anyway, I have to go get cleaned up for the trip to the big city – A is driving, so I will bring the gold/pink shawl along, maybe get it finished – it’s pretty close right now…

Done!

pellets-for-web

Three tons of pellets stowed in the cellar, waiting for winter.

That dark taped thing in the lower left is the magic ramp we put over the stairs so the pellet bags slide down. A “invented” it – it’s a long strip of plywood covered in a  tarp. That and an old office chair with no arms and back (called a “rolly stool” in this house) are all the tools we need to move pellets in.

By the way, the boxes in the lower right of this photo are the pool. I is almost time to haul them upstairs and figure out what to do with all those pieces.  🙂

After we moved pellets and had a rest, L and A helped me clear out some junk that had accumulated in the pool region – bags of soil, straw, old leaves, and an old rock pile from previous clearings.  It all had to get moved, and it was nothing I couldn’t handle, except that…

snakes live over there.  “Little” garter snakes.  But I still don’t want to see them  I hate to lift something and suddenly see one.  I hate when they scoot across my path.  L is not afraid of snakes.  She proved that yesterday.

She and A took the lead, dumping stuff back toward me, where I could pick it up and move it away.  When we found the snakes, L used a stick to put one off in the woods, and chased the other one away.  I hope it stays away, since we dismantled its rock pile.

So I am one big step closer to setting up that pool.  Just waiting for some dry weather when I am home so I can finish the digging.

And truthfully, glad that it is still wet, because my arms are sore. 3 tons of pellets caught at the bottom of the ramp, lifted and stacked.

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.  🙂

OTR-sweater-for-web-7-24-15

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.

fabric-and-pattern-for-web

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.

image

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.

image

image

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.  🙂

hunting-for-web

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

hummingbird-for-web

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

cherries-for-web

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.

daylily-for-web

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.

pink-socks-for-web