Not much exciting going on here!

This weekend was busy busy, but I feel like nothing got accomplished.  It was like knitting a mile of stockinette – you know you are making progress, but it is hard to see.

Saturday we got an early start, because we had things to do and we had to be in Brewer by noon time for A’s sister’s birthday lunch.  I managed to get the bathroom clean, my hair cut, some of the tree bits out of the pool before we headed out.

We came home afterwards, and it wasn’t until we drove in the driveway that we realized we forgot to go to the grocery store.  Sigh.  Did some household chores before retiring to the knitting couch – working on some baby hats for sale.

Today I felt ambitious, and while A did a special project for work, I cut up some old pallets and loaded the car with a lot of junk and trash for the dump, then went there and to the grocery store, which had way too many people for a beautiful Sunday!  I’ll have to remember that.  🙂  A went off for her weekly golf game, and I worked some more on the pool and in the yard, but everything looks the same.  Then I quit because it was hot, and went back to knitting  🙂

It is amazing to me that it was hot. It seems we are back into normal weather.  I notice the flowers are working really hard to get on track – lilacs are starting to bud, and might hit their normal bloom date of Memorial Day weekend.  Lupine are sending up flower heads, as well, they are usually blooming early in June.  Bleeding heart is blooming, trees are suddenly quite green. Everything is growing like mad, and so next weekend, I will need to weed whack, which I do instead of mowing this mess.  🙂 And finish getting the pool ready because I think swimming will be happening soon.

I did block Reyna, and she is packed up, ready to ship out tomorrow.  She is smaller than I would like, but I used the yarn they sent, so I hope they are pleased with it.  Once blocked, the shawl is 46 inches across, 21 inches tall at peak. Big enough to wear as a scarf or kerchief, certainly.

 

reyna-complete-for-web

Here’s a picture of something you won’t see often on this blog –

pie-for-web

My boss brought me in a bag of rhubarb last week, so I made a pie on Friday night.  Pie is not something I excel at, or do often, but I LOVE rhubarb pie, so I managed to bake this.  🙂  It seems I come from a cake family, and A from a cookie family, so this was a rare treat.

I think I will go have a slice now before I brush my teeth.

Hope you all had a good, productive and fun weekend!

 

Advertisements

Losing at yarn chicken

image

Just had to bind off the rest of those stitches. 😖

However it is not as bad as it seems. The instructions for Reyna tell you where to adjust if you think you will run short. I put a lifeline in at the spot I knew I was safe and then I did 2 more rows. I was weighing the yarn after every row and I thought 10 grams would be enough for 5 rows and the bind off. Apparently it will be enough for 3 rows and the bind off, which won’t happen until Wednesday.

It’s  quite a wavy sort of bind off, I am counting on a soak and a block to straighten it out and make the shawl a little bigger, it looks pretty small right now.

What really happened on my April vacation

When last we spoke, I told you that we were gong to finish the loft library come hell or high water.  Maybe not in those terms, but…A was really set on getting it done.  I was completely stressed out about it, because getting it done revolved around me doing a whole lot of painting.  Since A built the wall of bookcases herself, I could hardly complain about doing “my share”.

But the last thing I wanted to do was work the whole week!

Saturday we had two helpers – niece B and sister-in-law L.  L worked like a MACHINE, she must have made 20 trips up and down the stairs as she and A cleaned out A’s space and A’s stuff from the loft.  B and I did errands, and then headed up to clear my stuff out of the loft. While I purged and sorted, B snoozed on the futon.  :-)It was OK because really, I had to do my own purging.  I was surprised to find it only took a couple of hours to completely empty the loft of all “stuff”.  I put it neatly and in a fairly organized pile in the craft room (it’s OK to laugh.  I understand.)  The craft room is behind the cute screened door.  It theoretically keeps cats out but lets heat in. The room at the other end of the loft is A’s office/exercise room.  When we first viewed this home as a model, the loft was actually a hallway, with the stairs coming up into it.  But we both felt it was a waste of a loft, and so moved the stairs.  They go up from the corner of the dining room to into A’s office, giving it great corners and angles, and making the loft much more usable. The plan is to line the knee wall with built in bookcases, which A has been working hard on in her basement work room.

 

cleaned-out-day-1-a

cleaned-out-day-1-b

Sunday, we celebrated A’s birthday, with two of her sisters and her brother in law coming over for a mid-day meal.  L mentioned that she was tired, I wonder why?  We were pretty low-key Sunday afternoon, I did some knitting, working hard to get the Danse Macabre close to on schedule, even though I was working on clue four, and clue five was already out.  🙂

Monday I spent the day clearing furniture from the room, wiping walls, and taping the few edges that matter.  Since it is a loft, there is most of a wall that isn’t there, but it means that there are edges that are 12-14 feet from the ground.  Heights not being my favorite thing, taping those spots was tricky. I knew painting them would be worse, and was NOT looking forward to the adventure.

Monday evening we went over to Mom’s for an “April birthday party” with her, step dad B, brother C (whose birthday is at the end of the month) and C’s fiancée, D.  It was fun, and delicious food and cake.  A liked all her presents, and I liked having some time to sit and knit and visit. I worked on Maluka, and got the border finished.

Tuesday, the painting began in earnest, and I worked in that room for nearly 8 hours.  My goal was to get all the scary parts completely done before Mom arrived on Friday to help me.  That meant there was lots of climbing up the step ladder, hanging on for dear life as I leaned out over the railing to get the edges painted.

When I took my lunch break, the room looked like this:day-one-from-craft-room

day-one-from-A's-office

So I have to say that painting a primer white room a color that is only slightly more blue than that means that progress pictures are relatively boring.  Sorry about that!  This is one coat on ceiling and scary walls.

I long ago learned that painting is much easier when you paint the ceiling and walls and trim all the same color.  🙂  I did not do that in the craft room, nor in A’s office.  In the craft room most walls and ceiling are the same, but then I got creative and painted the dormer alcove and all trim a different color.  A’s office is worse – walls and ceiling are the same color, a very pale pink, but the trim is all a dark burgundy color.  THAT was hideous to get right. So I swore never again.  The second floor of our house has reasonably low ceilings, and the style is a cape, so making everything the same color works well.  Not so sure it would work downstairs, or in a more formal house.  Someday I will finish painting the downstairs, and let you know.  🙂

Anyway, back to the matter at hand.  This is the first time the room had been painted, beyond primer, and it sucked up paint like nothing else. This made the first coat on everything take absolutely forever and quite hard work to get it blended in, even with a roller.

Wednesday I spent about 6 hours upstairs, and was glad to find that the second coat was easier.  By the end of the day, the room looked like this:

day-2-from-office

You can tell it is a different day because I put the glass shade back on the ceiling light.  Yes, I know that is the only way you can tell. But that is two coats on everything scary.  It was ready for Mom to come help, and had a some variety left so she could choose her favorite kind of painting – roller or brush.

Then I quit for the day and went back to this. A might have her goals, but I also have goals, and I was determined to finish knitting at least one of the three shawls I have on my needles.

 

Thursday was a break from painting.  Yahoo!  We had early car appointments, which meant that Maluka got lots of attention as the mobile project.  Then we headed to Ellsworth to run a  few errands, including dropping lots of boxes off at Good Will, and meeting up with Crimson Crow at Merrill Furniture, where A and I searched for a new mattress.  We were super lucky to find a discontinued model of Tempurpedic at a deep discount!  It gets delivered on Wednesday, and we can’t wait.  Our aching backs can’t either. Since we saved so much money, when I found a chair that both A and I felt was comfortable (I wish you knew how rare that is) and found that it came in fabric we could both agree on, we ordered two of the darned things.  They will arrive in 6-8 weeks.  They have quite a “Florida” vibe, but I love the summery aspect of them, and they tie all of our colors (blue, blue green, green blue, blue gray) in together.  SO MUCH NICER THAN OLD BROWN MICROSUEDE. Can’t wait to share them with you.

Then we had lunch and ice cream with Crimson Crow before heading home.

Frankly,  was still exhausted.  Painting and the thought of painting was beating me up.

Up early Friday morning, getting things organized for Mom’s arrival.  By ten she was here, changed into her painting clothes and we were working.  She chose brush work.  By lunch time, everything had a coat of paint, by the end of the work day, everything in the room that needed to be painted was complete! We celebrated with cupcakes L brought over at just the right time.

day-three-walls-done

Since the book cases are going against the knee wall, we did not paint that wall.  But everything else has two coats, and looks fabulous!

Now, if I was tired on Thursday then you know that by Friday, I was completely exhausted.  So as we sat in the living room in the evening, and A said “So tomorrow you will get the bookcases painted so we can put them in place on Sunday, right?” I about lost it.  I said no. I tried to be calm and patient as I explained that right now, I was not going to ever paint again, but that I was tired, too tired to even think about it.  That perhaps tomorrow, when I was rested, I would feel differently, but if she needed an answer now, it was no. She decided to drop it.  such a wise woman.  🙂

Saturday morning, Mom told us at breakfast (delicious waffles and bacon that A made us!) that she was going to take the two book cases that had made it as far as the living room upstairs and get painting them, and the 5 backs that were upstairs would also go under her brush.

So, we hauled them upstairs, where I remembered that the wood needed to be primed, so we opted to just do the backs.  Remember, I am doing the backs of the cases in a different color?  A has them all cut and ready to be painted, so Mom and I set up another table and got to work painting them…not hot pink, not bright turquoise, but

day-4

Blue, of course!  I try to go a different route, but it always comes back to blue.  This one is named Athens.

And frankly, what you see here is all the painting that got done on Saturday.  Mom headed out when this was done, and A went back to bed for a few hours of napping. I sat on the couch and knit for four hours straight!  I finished Maluka, I finished all the clues on Danse Macabre and started the bind off.  I even cast on a new shawl, Reyna, which is a store sample for Over the Rainbow Yarn in Rockland. Late in the day I took a long hot shower, swallowed a few Tylenol, and went to bed early.

Today, Sunday, is the day that A thought we would be unpacking books.

Now even I am laughing hysterically.

Instead, I went up and primed the two bookcases and their shelves, lightly sanded the backs and wiped them down, they are ready for their second coat when there is room to spread them out.

day-5-from-office

day-5-from-craft-room

I’ll do a bit in the evenings, and maybe things will be advanced enough that next weekend we can install the bookcases.  But I make no promises, and if anyone pushes me on it, I might just sit and knit.  It has been 8 years, what difference does a week make?

I asked A about it last night, why she was so determined to set this practically unattainable goal. She said that without goals we would not push and it would never get done.  I think I would have been OK with a lesser but still ambitious goal, like get the room painted. I could have done without the huge pressure of this goal. It is true that we  might have been able to meet it if I painted until late in the evening each day, but that would have completely ruined the whole week. Even having it hanging over my head as an expectation was not fun.

My new goal for that room is to get it finished this month.  I think that is a reasonable goal that I can work toward without hating painting and the room and the books.  Plus, I want my craft room back, and it now has several bits of extra furniture in it.

THAT is motivation.

And now I think I will go bind off a bit of Danse Macabre.