Rolling back time

Well, this was not the weekend I expected! Or at least, the last 24 hours wasn’t.

I had Friday off (I know, I didn’t give you a list!) and mostly did chores. All the laundry (which turned out to be an incredibly good thing), the grocery shopping, got a hair cut, did some cleaning.

I did manage to make the bias tape I need for the dress. What a lot one gets from a fat quarter!

It’s kind of fun to make, but involves a lot of ironing. And sewing tiny little seams.

I also knit a little bit. Everything is moving along nicely.

Saturday was about puttering in the morning, then Whorls and Purls in the afternoon. That was rather fun, as one lady brought her new rigid heddle loom and Deb taught us how the warp it.

The weather was rather nasty, but I didn’t pay much attention. I did notice the wind was howling as I crossed the Penobscot River on my way home, but at least it was raining, not snowing!

A couple hours later, as we sat watching TV, the power went out. No warning flicker, just sudden darkness.

We did the only sensible thing – reported the outage and went to bed.

But we hadn’t really prepared for an outage, no water in pots on the counter, no flashlights at the ready, cellphones not fully charged. No cooler of ice ready on the porch for fridge contents, no easy stove top meals planned.

We did joke the it made turning the clocks back much easier, but it was no fun getting launched back 150 years so unexpectedly!

Sunday we got up to still no power, and phones nearly dead, so we got dressed and went out in search of breakfast, charging phones as we went.

When we got home, we brought in another ton of pellets, and I finally planted next year’s garlic.

And then we sort of hung out, feeling off kilter. I did quite a bit of knitting, A lit a fire in the wood stove in the cellar, and we tried to figure out how we would manage to get clean enough for work in the morning. Worst case, heat water from the pool for a sponge bath. Not a pleasant thing to look forward to.

Meanwhile, the house was pretty chilly, and darkness was looming. We weren’t looking forward to another dark cold night.

At about 2:30, suddenly the light beside my chair was on and the fridge was humming! Yeah! Less than 24 hours and the power was back!

We scrambled about putting things right, washing dishes, shutting off lights, plugging in phones, fixing clocks,etc. Checked fridge and freezer, all was well. Ice cream a little soft but everything else OK. Whew! That’s usually the worst of a storm outage, when it isn’t cold enough out to save the food in the freezer.

Then we settled in with hot supper before the TV like any other 21st century Sunday evening.

How was your weekend?

April Friday list!

Due to some long hours earlier this week, and my new-found willingness to use a little PTO to top off the timesheet, I have today off. I do love a Friday off. And A will be off visiting a client today, so I have been lying here in bed at my normal wake up time, thinking about what I will do today.

  • I plan on putting up A’s office curtain rod so that I can finish her curtains.
  • Finish said curtains, which just need their rod pocket and then hem.
  • Since we did very little to celebrate her birthday on Tuesday, I thought I would bake her favorite cake while she is gone – angel food cake. There is a special family frosting she likes, not sure I will attempt that one, but certainly I will get some strawberries.
  • That means a trip to the grocery store, so might as well get a few groceries for the week.
  • And stop at the PO while I am out.
  • Head over to the pool supply store and get my spring time chemicals, and also see if they have a replacement hose for the filter. If not, I need to order that online.
  • Spend some time fishing leaves out of the pool. There are fewer than in other years, but still lots.
  • Do a little spinning. After my push to finish hitofude, and then a few hectic weeks, my spinning has been neglected. I have been trying to spin a few minutes a day this week, and this weekend, maybe I can do a little more. I have been contemplating a goal of spinning more fiber than comes in on a monthly basis so I gain on the stash. Since I get one braid a month in the roving of the month club, I think that is feasible, if I pay attention. So I am trying to pay attention before I decide on the goal.
  • I plan to knit on Durrow today. I have been trying to do at least two rows a day and I am finally feeling and seeing movement on this square. As I move closer to the center, it is easier to remember the sequence of stitches in each row, and the rows are shorter so they go faster. Not predicting when I will finish this one, but I think I will finish it, lol. It’s not feeling as endless as the first two.
  • Fine Sand is whizzing right along, and is almost plain stockinette now. Just have to count rows for some shaping. Easy peasy TV knitting, it will surely get some love.

That’s the list! Not sure it will all happen, or if I will get distracted along the way. I’ll let you know! I guess I had better get up and moving.

Hope you all have a good Friday!

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?

A Little Update

As you can no doubt tell, we have been mostly off line this vacation.  Sorry for the radio silence!

It was wicked hot until yesterday, and even yesterday was muggy.  Which felt like hot if one moved.  So I tried hard not to!

Niece B spent the weekend as planned – arrived Friday afternoon and we immediately hopped in the pool.  There followed a weekend of playing games (she especially loves Guillotine and routinely beats me at it) and swimming and eating.  Sunday we went up to Bangor in two cars. After a flying trip to the shoe store for new sneakers for A and me, we had an early supper at the Olive Garden. I must say we had the absolutely worst service I have ever had there, and they were not busy for a change!  We actually had to ask twice for silver ware, and gave up trying to get water.  They have these new kiosk computer things at the table and we filled out a survey which will likely make them sorry they got the kiosks.  🙂

From there, we headed over to A’s office.  They got all new desk chairs, and are giving away the old ones, so we grabbed one for her dorm room.  Much more comfortable than the wooden ones provided for the kids to sit on. We left her in a steamy hot room with all fans gong.  Before we got home, she texted that she missed our cool house, poor kid.

Monday we headed over to Mom and B’s for a sail and a lobster dinner.  The sail was one of the best yet – nice steady breeze from the SW, which meant once we got away from land, it was very cool.  Had to laugh at all the landlubbers aboard who got nervous when we heeled over.  Got this great shot showing two landlubbers and a guy with more sense.  🙂  Who wears leather soled flip flops on a boat????

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Fortunately, we just sat in our places from cast off to tie up so they did not have to worry about slipping.

It was a hot and hazy day, for sure – you can see the haze in these photos.

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A tiny bit of heeling here – after all, it is a sail boat!

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Another schooner out enjoying the breeze.

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Owls Head Light in the haze.

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A working boat – and one with apparently good bait, as the gulls were following closely!

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Rockland Breakwater light as we came back in.

After sailing we headed out to Spruce Head for another early supper – and good thing!  The place we tried was closing for the season at 6 o’clock.  A and B had lobster, Mom and I had crab rolls.  Must have been half a pound of crab in them!  Yummy.

Then we went on a search for ice cream – and found some good stuff at Mom’s favorite place, Dorman’s Dairy in South Thomaston.  They are dear to me because they held out against Wal-Mart and did not sell their prime commercial real estate to the giant.  So there they are -a  nice little mom and pop ice cream stand (they make their own!) with Tractor Supply and Wal-Mart behind them, Lowes, Appleby’s, and a Comfort Inn across the street.  And lines filling the parking lot each and every day. May they prosper always. We did our part.  🙂

Tuesday I was determined to dedicate to sewing.  I am eager to make a dress from the Colette pattern Moneta.  I was fooled by this description “Made with knit fabric, this dress can be created in a matter of hours. With minimal pressing and just a few pattern pieces, you’ll be whipping up an army of these wardrobe workhorses.”  I had bought some gray and white window pane plaid to make this, thinking it would work well this fall and winter, maybe with a turtle neck underneath.  Of course, at the store I could not remember the required yardage, and so bought enough for the sleeveless version, not the 3/4 sleeves I had planned.  Not to worry.  I could get more or make the sleeveless version and call it a jumper, right?

Ok, folks.  First instruction – lay fabric out folded in half the long way, right sides together.  Sounds pretty easy.

I have worked with woven plaids before and it is usually easy to fold and line up the plaid.  Not so with a knit, apparently.  It moves.  You can’t see the plaid because the right sides are together.  Even though it is knit in, it doesn’t show on the back.  I spent literally three hours fighting with it. I could NOT get that fabric lined up so that the plaid ran straight.

It was hot.

I gave up and went to get a hair cut, then for a swim.

Wednesday I was determined, but I had been thinking about it all night.

Why does it have to be right sides together?  I can see the plaid if I do it wrong sides together.  Most of the pieces are cut on the fold, so it should not matter.

This time it only took two hours to get it folded and the plaid straight.  I found I had to pin it at every pattern repeat, on both the selvedge edge and the folded edge to keep the plaid together. But it worked.

Then the lay out.

It seemed like I should be able to get a sleeve out of this yardage, and I was right.  I modified the recommended layout and gained enough yardage to make the 3/4 sleeve in the fabric required for the sleeveless dress. if you make this pattern, take note, it can save you a lot of money! Instead of laying the pieces out in a long line as directed, I pinned the skirt as recommended, cut it out, opened the remaining fabric up and brought the selvedges together to meet in the middle, thereby creating two folded edges, which I used to cut the bodice pieces. That left JUST enough yardage for the sleeves.

By doing this, I was able to also keep all the pieces going in the same direction, so if there is nap in the fabric, it will all be going in the same direction.  Not sure why the directions don’t call for that, either.

I haven’t sewn a stitch yet (but have worked on this for at leas 8 hours!), but I felt good enough about the final outcome that when we went to Bangor to do errands last night, I stopped in at the fabric store and bought enough fabric for two more dresses.  Solids this time, I have learned my lesson! I’ll set up the sewing machine later today and begin the task of getting tension and stitch right using zig-zag.

It hasn’t been all sewing and sailing this week, of course.  I have done some knitting as well.  The Scarlet Tanager shawl is complete – washed blocked and dried. It is brighter than  usually would wear, but I think I will love having the summer sunshine around me this winter. The fabric is really soft, I guess that is the bamboo in it – very nice!

Here it is being blocked – I love how this shawl just opens up with blocking.

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And here it is all done, modelled as always by the dining room chair.  🙂

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I have been knitting away at the teal/gold thing whenever we travel – I am about a 1/4 of the way through the yarn, so at least a 1/4 of the way done with it.  Not sure I will go to the end with the yarn as it will also stretch a lot and open up with blocking. And I cast on a new project – breaking my own rule about number of WIPs.  Too bad, it is vacation.  A kindly let me confiscate her camera, so I can share photos of both WIPs with you. But the camera and I are not in agreement on colors yet – the green seems to have washed out of these, leaving them looking a bit dull.  The Millais shawl is a soft aqua.  The sweater is made with all that yarn I dyed earlier in the year – strong teals, aquas and blues.  Hopefully, I will get a better photo of these before long and you can really see the colors.

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I am almost done with the border of the Millais.  I like that the longest part is at the beginning – now the rows will get smaller and smaller.  It calls for three skeins of the yarn, I almost finished with the first one.  It is incredibly light and soft, like a feather.

So that is what I have been up to this week – not much to show for anything, but I think I will suddenly have lots accomplished from all this effort.  Certainly I have enjoyed the pool this week, and THAT work was well worth it.

We have a couple more days of vacation – today I will spend swimming and sewing, and I think I will make you wait until tomorrow for a peek at Friday and the weekend plans.  I know you look forward to my crazy Friday lists as much as I do, and we get one more before I go back to work.  🙂

Ta-da! A Friday list!

It’s been a long time, I know, but it’s vacation time!  A and I have all next week off, and we also scheduled Friday off.  But then she had to go meet a client for a few hours, so really, I am the only one with a vacation day today.

I was contemplating what to do with al of this time, and realized I could at long last write a Friday list so you all could join me in the glory of a free day.  🙂

Since A has to work, we both are up early, as usual.  But I can take my coffee and sit on the porch and enjoy the morning and write for you guys.

Then I have to get moving.  I need to clean the guest room and make the bed, because niece B is spending the weekend.  She will get here some time late this afternoon, her last class gets out at 2.  I expect there will be some pool swimming when she arrives, she hates the heat and loves to swim as much as I do.

I also should give her bathroom a swipe, and get the laundry moving.  A did some earlier this week, but there is always more where that came from. And I bet that B will be bringing her laundry with her, she is a smart girl.

The PO.  The grocery shopping – just a few extra things for my girl to eat. She *might* anticipate that we will feed her.

I might do a bit of porch sweeping, and then I want to head upstairs.  This week while we are on vacation, I want to get some sewing done, and before that can happen, I need to clear off the table in the craft room.  It has been so long since I was up there that I can’t remember what is smeared across it.  But that is why I love the craft room – it is OK to smear and go.  🙂

I also expect to soak and block the shawl I finished last week, so I can take photos for you.  A said I can use her camera, if I can find it and charge it.  So I guess I will take the photos with the phone, lol.

This will likely fill the day and then some.  It will feel good to have this kind of time to do things, even laundry.

I have other things I hope to get done this vacation, but several years ago we stopped making ambitious vacation to-do lists.  Every time we did, someone got sick or died or broke an ankle. So now we make “project lists” and on mine for this week, in addition to the sewing, are things like washing some windows, doing a bit of cleaning.  Also, I want to make some frames to protect the shrubs from falling snow this winter.  I have an idea, using a couple of 2 x 4’s and old pallets.  A thinks it won’t work, so I hope to try it this week.  If not, we have a load of pallets to take to the dump for recycling.  But if it works, I will recycle them in my own front yard.

Crimson Crow has a bookcase for us, and I hope to get it (and she hopes so too) this week.  I’ll make a few cosmetic changes to it, and hope to get it set up with my cook books so they can get off the stair landing. But I might not finish it this week, it depends what else goes on.

Monday is a day for visiting Mom and going for a sail.  Tuesday is a day for staying home waiting for the man to service the pellet stove and clean the chimney. And sewing or knitting, I would guess.

A wants to have an excursion to a golf course somewhere that she doesn’t usually play, and I hope it will be near some cool shopping or a yarn shop.  But if not, I will drive the cart and knit.

And of course, visiting with B and playing games will fill this weekend.

Looks like fun times ahead!

So many things planned and in our heads to do, and only a week to do them! But no to-do list after today.  Only a project list.

Vacation since Friday

It has been an interesting few days. Not what I would really call vacation like. For one thing – WHAT IS WITH THE POURING RAIN? I am going to get a vacation complex. 🙂

Anyway, after a pretty good day Friday, Saturday was mostly chores, hanging out at the house. A and sister L spent the day in the basement ripping out insulation, dead mice, etc. I cleaned the pool and swam a bit since it was overcast/rainy, I thought it was safe enough in my long-sleeved bathing suit. 🙂 And I did laundry all day. I mean it. I must have done a dozen loads. But when I was done, EVERYTHING was clean folded and put away, sheets, towels, clothes, guest room sheets and towels, too. I also got into the craft room for a bit, and finished the last cotton skirt, just in time for fall. At least, it is fall colors, so I can wear it whenever I want. It is a good between season skirt, and light enough to go to Phoenix with me.

I figured out the Halloween cards for this year – woo hoo! Now to make them in time. 🙂

I also ran to Brewer to pick up A’s car and move it over to the rental lot for her, as she was still down cellar and in the midst of destruction. She took 9 contractor sized bags of junk to the dump in that rental car – well worth the cost, as that would have been nine trips in or little cars.

Sunday we opted not to go to the fair in the pouring rain, but lazed at home, fiddling and doing chores and watching old TV shows. Eventually we got off our duffs and headed into Bangor to a new restaurant with L – McLaughlin’s at the Marina. It is unassuming, right on the river, and I have not had such good seafood in a very long time. We will be going back again! They are open until January 1, although, with reduced hours, of course, We will find them.

Yesterday, in the pouring rain (noticing a vacation trend this year? It’s depressing me) I went up to Bangor early and met my niece B, her Mom, and her Mom’s gentleman friend. B had a van full of stuff to move into her dorm. Luckily the rain slowed to a drizzle, and we moved fast. But before we got her books and her groceries bought, it was pouring again, so we got a little damp (soaked). But she is all settled in her room, her best friends are next door, and she seemed really glad to be back. It is amazing how much stuff she can pack into half a dorm room. Pretty good packer!

Today on my vacation, I worked. Sigh. I had a contract I had to complete, and it was a bear to put together, but I sent it off about half an hour ago. At least, that is a day I won’t have to take vacation hours for. And it wasn’t a very nice day weather-wise, so I don’t mind. If it had been sunny, that would have really been miserable. To celebrate me finishing it, we are headed into Ellsworth in a bit for dinner – not sure where, but there are a few places we haven’t been to in a long while that we like, and one or two new places in town. I’ll let you know! And of course, we will sneak into the office when no one is there to slow us down, and I will put the contract files where they can be found in case someone needs them this week, I won’t have to go in and get caught.

I think tomorrow is going to be a decent day. I do not plan to spend it working. 🙂 But of course, if I go outside, I have to cover up, so I am not sure what I will do. L is coming over with her bike, we might get a bike ride in, which will be fun. Maybe I will have to head into town (Bucksport) to get the next book club book, so I can take it with me on my trip and get it all read before I return. Or maybe I will find there is something wonderful at the thrift store that I can’t live without. There is no telling. It is a vacation day, after all!

WIP

I realize I haven’t written much about what I am making lately, outside of the CAL blanket. That is because almost everything seems to be at a standstill. The lace weight linen stitch scarf has many more rows worked on it, but seems to grow no longer, and there is still plenty of yarn left. Not sure how that happens, I had THREE meetings yesterday and knit through them all. No noticeable change. I suppose all of a sudden one day it will be done, but that day isn’t today.

Skirts: Well, I have two ready to be hemmed, and one cut out and pinned to be sewn. But the hem marker tool I ordered did not work. I was oh so frustrated! I filled it with chalk, set the height, squeezed the bulb, nothing. Well, maybe it needs to be primed? I squeezed and squeezed, and nothing. I took both hands and gave it a good, solid squeeze and the chalk container popped open and I had chalk everywhere except on the skirt. I remembered reading in the reviews that some people had real trouble with it, and others loved it, so I thought, OK, it’s me. I called the company (Nancy’s Notions) and asked for help. They immediately got me to a product support person, who tried to help, and gave me some suggestions. I tried for another hour, spilling chalk dust every where. I finally gave up. I emailed the company (by then they were closed for the weekend) and asked them to please help me find a solution. I did not just want a replacement if the problem is with the product, or me. I just want to know how to use it. To their great credit, they promised to try one and make sure it worked before shipping it, and they shipped one out already! I can’t wait to get it and see if it is different. I will return the original one Saturday when I can get to the PO. It seemed to me from my exhaustive study of the thing, that there needs to be a connection between the chalk container and the vent it is all supposed to blow out that just isn’t there. Has anyone else had any experience with the Dritz chalk hem marker? Can you tell me what I am doing wrong, or is this just a manufacturing error?

Anyway, there sit my three summer skirts. 😦 If only I were a nice slim thing whose hips, buttocks, and stomach all pulled up the same amount of fabric so I could hem straight across and have it hang evenly. But I am not.

Last thing I am working on, which actually IS adding up, is a pile of crocheted purple beanies for babies. I am sending them off to a group down in Bath (Maine). I see one of the women involved in it at meetings every few months, so she sees me knitting away at hats (I did say meeting, right?), and asked if I ever made baby hats. She told me about this project they do to make purple hats for newborns, to help parents get through the first few weeks of having a newborn (purple crying time?) when a baby can just cry for long periods of time for no apparent reason. Being an auntie, I have no experience with this, but can see how it might drive you mad. I said I would make her some hats and blithely bought two skeins of acrylic baby yarn. I followed a beanie pattern I found on UK Crochet pattern’s blog and figured I would make as many as I could from the yarn. Well, it seems I can make a lot of new-born sized beanies from 2 skeins!!! I think I am up to 10 or 12, and still have more yarn. I have begun adapting the pattern a bit to keep from getting bored going around and around, using a shell stitch for the last row, or changing out the increases. I’ll try to remember to take a photo of the pile before I send them out. It is looking like a pretty impressive stack right now!

That’s it. I am always working in purple, and will be glad for a change, much as I like purple, it has been going on too long. And I have some heavenly silks in blue and red waiting for me to make scarves. And a book on toe up socks to try out. And the bulky red sweater I ripped out last winter. And a periwinkle bulky vest. So I hope I finish these purple things VERY soon.

Off in the mail!

Last night I finished the second skirt for little niece E, and today I mailed them off to her. She should have them by Monday. I hope they fit, and I hope they look like what she imagined. Then I hope my sister doesn’t think they are too good for her to wear! E is very hard on clothes, but these are just little cotton summer skirts, not heirloom quality things to be “SAVED”. I hope she gets to wear them as much as she wants until they become rags. After all, she chose the fabrics. 🙂

E's skirt 2

E's skirt

This is the world’s easiest garment, I think. Half yard of fabric, elastic long enough to go around your waist. Hem tape. Thread.

Sew the selvage edges together, trim seams. To make the elastic casing, fold over 1/4 inch at the top edge to the inside, press. Fold over the top in an amount equal to the width of your elastic plus 1/4 inch, also to the inside. Stitch this down almost all the way around, leave open a space to thread in the elastic. Thread it through, stitch the two ends of it together, then tuck into the casing and stitch the casing closed.

At the bottom, sew the hem tape to the raw edge, hem the skirt.

If your six-year-old chooses some bright ribbon to go on it, tack it around the bottom edge, about an inch above the bottom of the skirt.

Voila – summer skirt!

Oops, almost forgot the Friday list!

I had so many things to do this morning that I just got up and started doing them, never wrote the list down for all of you. And I know how my scintillating Friday lists are eagerly awaited by the blogosphere.

Here it is:

PO, of course
Grocery store
Bank
Pet food store
sew on E’s last skirt
swim in pool
laundry
wait for Humidex Man

Not too exciting as lists go, yet something about it made me want to get up and get going. Well, that and the Humidex man said he would be here around 3, and the banking had to be done in Ellsworth, so I knew I wanted to be there when the bank opened, and do the grocery shopping while I was there, at the big store that has everything, and get to the PO while the counter was open, because I really was hoping my package from Nancy’s Notions would arrive, so I could finish MY skirt, too.

Anyway, it all went as planned, although I was early to Ellsworth, so went to the grocery store first, but then opening the accounts a t the bank took a really long time and so I had to hurry through the pet food store and the PO, and where I might have wanted to make a detour to the Craft Barn, I didn’t dare – I had ice cream! I did have it packed in the cooler, but that won’t keep it cold forever.

So by noon time, I had accomplished all of the errand type things on the list, except the laundry, and now I can settle in to await the Humidex man.

What on earth? Well, it’s a whole house dehumidifier!!!! If nothing else, this lovely damp weather has made us realize that we really do need dit. The portable unit we had was not designed for this, and it tried hard until it died from over work. As each summer day goes by, the basement starts to smell more and more like a basement. Not good! So we got some advice, and Humidex was recommended. Nearest distributor? New YORK! We were not excited about that, but they called last night, they have a guy reasonably close (well, in Maine, anyway) and he can come out TODAY to check it out and drop off the unit, and have his installer come within the next week to put it in. Can you believe it?? I know it won’t go this smoothly, really, but when it is in, I know I will be so much happier when we have these muggy days.

Once he is done, I will head for the pool and the yard. Things are starting to grow at last – we have had our pea pods for a few nights now, I think they will be coming along fast now. Stir fry for dinner tomorrow! And I have had the best lettuce ever this year, I think I am actually getting real heads of it. It always got too hot before it got big enough before. Radishes are just OK. Carrots aren’t really growing, but I guess they will eventually. The tomatoes are FINALLY settled in and seem to be growing. I have a few blossoms on them. Potatoes are doing very well, and the beans have blossoms. So I am about to have a whole lot of things ready to eat! the asparagus is doing very well in its box – the first spears ferned out and were lovely, if sparse. Not the screen I had hoped for. The cosmos I interplanted was very slow to grow as well, but I noticed it is really moving along now, and some of the dwarf variety has buds. But more exciting than that – the asparagus is sending up many more spears, and I think it will fill in nicely. Can’t wait for a few more years to go by so I can eat that! Yum.
Roses are having a great time, ones I have had for years that never did anything are blooming their fool heads off. And today it is pleasant to sit on the deck and smell them. At last!

Mrs. Phoebe is still sitting on her second batch of egg,,s no signs of hatching when I checked on her this morning. I hope that this crew does well.

Well, anyway, I had better get upstairs to the sewing machine, or I won’t be mailing any little skirts out tomorrow, and I told my sister I would… and my box from Nancy’s DID come, so I can check out my new hem marker. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Random things

A had to work today, so we were up early, and as usual, I have gotten lots of odds and ends done: cleaned the cat boxes (so many!); fed and watered the cats; pinned a hem on niece E’s heart skirt; finished another baby beanie (that’s 5 this week!) and started another; knit a few rows on the endless scarf; sewn the buttons on the big blue-green cowl, and remembered to take photos of it before I put it away for three or four months; watched the local news and weather (ugh – 90’s!!!!); took Allie and Zumba to the vet for their last booster shot; and lastly, played with the cats.

Remember this? Super duper alpaca yarn from Good Karma Farm?

good karma yarn

Well, now it is this – a hugely bulky, lovely drapey cowl/scarf/shawl THING with cool bamboo buttons that just got sewed on this morning, so I can be sure to wear it on the first cold day. Which is not today. I tried modelling it for you, but it is too hot, so I used this lovely glass pitcher to stand in for my neck. I can’t tell you how soft and lovely this is. I carried the two yarns together throughout, but also did a “P1 K1 in the stitch below” pattern, which effectively makes it 4 strands thick. Super warm and drapey. Very blue/green, two of my favorite colors. sorry about the color change – clearly I used the flash when I took the photo of the yarn originally, but I did not this morning. True color is somewhere between the two, and more blue than green.

fluffy cowl

fluffy cowl 1

fluffy cowl 2

Still to do today:
SWIM
knit
crochet
sew
make jelly
dispose of snake (more on that below. Ick)
weed-whack – but this may wait for morning and coolness
get lottery tickets for pool at work – and check our last one – maybe I don’t have to go back to work after all!
PO
More swimming

It’s hot here already, at least by Maine standards, but the car was cool, and I ran the AC to dry things off. As a result, when I got out of the car at the vet, my glasses totally steamed up. Ugh. Some days I am glad Maine has short summers!

The trip to the vet was special. Zumba nicely ate her anti-anxiety meds with her breakfast this morning, but Allie did not. Between Allie not, and them still so upset about the coming of Tigger, crating them together was downright impossible. And though the vet is only two miles away, it was an unpleasant trip with Allie. But, they were very quiet coming home, and shot out of those crates like racehorses out the starting gate. I feel so badly for making them mad at me again, they were actually tolerating me and Tigger this morning before that.

Tigger took advantage of all of us leaving to explore a little, and I found her down cellar – hurrah! I need her to be comfortable down there, so I can move her cat box there, and so she can teach Allie and Zumba to hunt the darned mice who live there. They want to, they just don’t quite know how.

So, the whole snake thing. Ugh, I hate them so much. Yesterday, A was out in the yard, when she came in she said “it looks like you have a few big ripe strawberries out there, but you should wait a while to pick them. Why? I wondered. “well, there is a little garter snake out there, trying to make his way through the netting you have to keep the birds off the berries.” No need to tell me twice, I waited a LONG time to go near the berries. When I did, I saw, not a little garter snake but a freaking huge green THING totally tangled in the netting. It is at least three feet long. It was hanging kind of strangely and not moving, so I thought it might be dead, but I wasn’t staying around to find out. All night long I have worried about this. I obviously am not touching it to get it out of the netting, and it can’t stay there. It is gross. I can’t just pull the netting off from the other side and toss it in the woods, other little animals that I like can also get tangled in that and die. I am not sure I can bring my self to drag it off and bag it up for the trash, certainly not by myself. But I think, with a rake and a shovel, it can be done. If someone helps. I wonder if A will help me with this tonight when she gets home? She suggested calling our wonderful neighbor, but that seems really mean. “Hey, neighbor who has been so helpful and nice to us since we bought this land, won’t you come over and get this disgusting dead snake away from the garden? Gosh, thanks. Here’s a jar of jelly for your trouble.” I think I should just give him the jelly for even thinking of asking him to do it. I really really really was hoping it would be gone this morning, either eaten by something (crows? Where are you?) or not dead after all, just resting, and free.

Next year, the birds can eat the strawberries. No more netting for me.