Drum roll, please!

A Friday list!

A and I are both off this week, so it won’t be the kind of list you are used to, maybe, but here it is –

  • The PO is on it – one of us will have to go as it has been a week.
  • Waiting for the pool water to be delivered – HURRAH! and then a sub list – if it is delivered in time, take some over to the pool store for testing and buying the appropriate chemicals to get it swim-worthy; turning on the filter (and hoping it really does work!); jumping in!Β  I know it will be cold, but I am OK with that – timing is good, the weekend promises to be hot.Β  πŸ™‚
  • Working in the neglected gardens
  • Cleaning the neglected house
  • Knitting on the two projects, and planning for a third – another shawl with that gorgeous rose-colored yarn.Β  MIGHT need to order some beads…

But, since I will not be home alone, this might change to this alternate list, depending on when the water is scheduled to be delivered:

  • Go to Deer Isle to drive the cart (and knit)Β while A plays golf, and go to my dear old Stonington Farmers’ Market. If we don’t do it this week, we will do it when we are on vacation next month.

There will be other things happening, you can be sure, but I am so excited that swimming is likely a part of the plan.

The rest of the weekend?Β  We plan to go up to take a ride on the Katahdin steamship in Moosehead Lake for L’s birthday celebration – feeling better about it knowing that our murderer-at-large for the last several weeks (9!) turned himself in last night.Β  Not that he would have come after us, but it just was an edgy feeling.

Sunday, A will play golf, and I hope I will be swimming, knitting and gardening, but you just never know – stay tuned to find out if anything went as planned.Β  πŸ™‚

Sunday afternoon

camp molly
Where we were – A’s sister K has a camp by a lake for the week, and invited us to spend the afternoon with her. We were glad to do so!

kayaking

What we did – all things water-related – tried out the new Kayak (that’s A speeding along!), went swimming, threw the frisbee countless time for the dog to swim and fetch.

It was a nice peaceful summer Sunday afternoon.

First Friday list and a vacation plan

This week I have something different on the list – a trip to Mom’s.

I haven’t been there much all summer, and we have had to cancel at least one yarn-y excursion, so I hope nothing interferes this time.

A is working in a little town the other side of Mom’s, so we got “permission” for her to drop me off early in the morning, and pick me up on the way back. Stepdad is recovering from some “minor” back surgery that isn’t as minor as we all had hoped, so we will not do too much – but we will knit, and swim and visit, which is all good.

It is the first day of a week of mostly vacation for me, I am looking forward to relaxing and doing yard work, as well as going on a yarn/lunch excursion with Mom. We plan to finally get to the Cashmere Goat in Camden – still never been there, but I do want to check it out. Not a very “L” LYS, but nicely located between the two of us in a town that has lots of little shops and places for lunch. And a million tourists – ugh.

I also hope to make good progress on some yard work – not just pool related, but weeding, trimming, etc.

And there are several August birthday cards to make, and craft room clean out to continue on with.

And as seems to be the norm, there is a work-related meeting I have to chair on Thursday, so that day is a work day, not a vacation day. I do wish I could get a whole week off at home once in a while, but it seems if I don’t leave town, I don’t get the week completely free.

That’s about it – not sure what time A will get done on friday, and what we will find to do on the way home, but I’ll be sure to let you know about it!

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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!

Sunny Sunday

Ya know, this whole stay out of the sun thing is going to bring me down. It is a beautiful day for floating in the pool reading my book, and I can’t do it. I could cover my elf from head to toe and get in and scoop out the leaves, which is nice and relaxing, but I can’t really go swimming yet,until I get the stitches out, and I sure can’t float around in the sun anymore. At least until I hear that the big thing on my back is harmless. And I haven’t heard that yet, so I am a little cranky.

I called (twice) on Friday, and the office finally got back to me to say the results weren’t in. that sounds kind of fishy to me, and so I will follow up Monday morning. She said it would take a week, L, our ex-lab tech, said they would have results in a couple of days. So I am frustrated and growing more nervous.

Which means I should sit and do crafts. πŸ™‚ I have been doing that today. I worked on making a couple of cards, and I hung up the collage I made when C was here, and I started my next craft project, which is a tray. It might get a tiled bottom, or it might just be a painting project, not sure yet. Depends if I can find the tile i want. In Martha Stewart Living quite a while ago, I saw a tray she made where she popped out some tiles and replaced them with sea glass. As I have BUCKET loads of the stuff, I have always wanted to do it. I was left alone at AC Moore on Friday (he he he ) and they had some small wooden trays, so I thought now is a good time to try it.

They had a whole lot of other stuff, too, so I got some Halloween ribbon (can you believe it is almost Halloween? It must, be the stores are full of goblins and candies. What happened to September?) and a cute rubber stamp of a row of houses, and a bunch of other things I “needed” which I am sure you will be seeing signs of eventually.

What I did not find, and maybe all of you savvy crafters can help me with is the yarn I can visualise but not find. It has to be washable, and it should feel nice, but other than that, I don’t care what it is made of. It should be Dk or worsted weight. Here’s the hard part. I want three colorways that look nice together – a burgundy, a navy, and a hunter green. Then, I want at least one variegated yarn that also goes with these colors. Ideally, I want three variegated yarns, one with greens, one with blues, one with burgundies. Then, I want a neutral that goes with all – either a gray or a cream, I think. Apparently, this is hard to find in Bangor, ME. I can find the solids, but the variegateds I find don’t match, and I haven’t yet found the two-colored variegated I want. All of this is to make A a CAL blanket. I don’t want to do it with less than 7 colors, and she is fussy and wants those particular colors. I might have to cave and not let her have all three, if I can’t find a variegated that will work with them all. I suspect I could find it all in dear old Lamb’s Pride, but keeping it clean and cat free is going to mean lots of washing, which would felt the Lamb’s Pride very quickly. So I will keep searching. If any of you have tips, please let me know!

So. I did manage the whole Friday list on Friday – and we had a really nice time visiting A’s Aunt N. she’s a hoot, and we heard some new stories about people in A’s family. Met two fo her great grandsons, who live in her basement apartment. They are cute little boys, and very fun. We are so glad that they live there, and so Aunt N is not alone, as she is getting a bit befuddled.

I have almost finished the bundle of things for Diane, the winner of my 100 followers giveaway. Some of it is taking longer than I thought,a ndshe probably thinks it was all a hoax, but it isn’t! Really! πŸ™‚

I suppose I had better get upstairs and finish things up so I can mail them soon, huh? Take advantage of A going into the office for a few hours.

But first – I finished my book group book, the Burgess Boys. I really enjoyed it, even though some of it was hard to read, it definitely is making me think about what it would be like to be a refuge in a country where I did not speak the language nor understand the customs. She really captured what some parts of life in Maine are like, although I don’t live near Lewiston/Auburn where the large Somali refugee population is, so I don’t know if that is right, but it felt genuine. I’ll be interested to hear wha the other book group ladies think of it.

Now, I am going to do a bit of crocheting or something, then head upstairs.

Here are a few photos of things going on around here lately. Sorry they are blurry/crooked – blame the screen and old hands.

But you can see why I rarely need to prune anything in the yard!

collage

collage 1

The collage installed.

deer

fawn

deer in woods

Cute little creatures, as long as they stay out of the garden!

Friday update

Yesterday I did everything on my list. πŸ™‚

First the good: I got to R’s wonderful family cottage just after lunch. Her mom and uncle were there as well as her husband T and two boys, C and A. It was hot, but really beautiful day. we spent a lot of time on the rocks watching C run around finding shells, crabs, etc. A was the smart one, he wanted to be inside reading. In the cool house. Mom and Uncle left around 3, and then the rest of us went for a short kayak/canoe ride out to the ledges that are only visible when the tide is out. T, A and I wisely did not get out of our boats, while R and C roamed through the mud and shells. believe it or not, that was my first ride in a canoe! We made it back safely, then T and C went off exploring a bit, while R and I sat on the porch drinking water and catching up on two years worth of news.

When the tide came up enough, we went for a swim until we got chilled, by which time, it was supper time, and I headed out. It was a peaceful, quiet uneventful day. Perfect summer day!

The not so good part: The doctor visit in the morning was my annual physical, and I passed on pretty much everything (or, nothing new I should say), except that a mole on my back that she has been watching has grown since last summer, so it will have to come off. I got the sun lecture, pretty effectively. On the way to R’s I stopped home and picked up a hat and long-sleeved shirt, then stopped at the pharmacy and got a whole array of waterproof sunscreens. I wore that hot hat all day, and the long-sleeved shirt and sunscreen when boating. I drew the line at swimming in it, though. But, I will have to get something I can swim in, because you know me, I LOVE to swim and then float around in the pool. I love to lie in the sun, and am completely convinced I look nicer with a tan. I’ll have to check out sun-free tanning lotions, I guess. Last night I was trying to think of a way to rig a shade over the pool…which would help keep the water from heating up so fast, too… so that would be a silver lining to this cloud. I even wondered about setting a market umbrella up in the middle of the pool – it isn’t a big pool, it could work! Anyway… like everyone else my age, I spent my childhood summers blithely unaware that I should be worried about the sun, and by the time I was in my thirties and people were really seriously talking about sun damage, it was apparently too late. I do try not to get sunburned, but I also do like to spend time outdoors, and I hate the heat, so I prefer no hats, no sleeves, etc. time to change my ways.

A dear friend of mine used to stay inside from 10-2 every day – this while living at the beach all summer! And I never understood it, but I guess now I do. 😦

Another good thing – the new Dritz hem marker came, and it works fine. And as I diagnosed, it has a large opening between the chalk container and the vent. So the problem lies with Dritz and quality control. Which stinks for all of us who have limited access to notions, and Dritz is the one we can find everywhere. BUT! Nancy’s Notions did a GREAT job on the customer service, and sent me one that works, and as I asked, they tried it first, I could tell because it has chalk in the container. I do wonder how many they had to try to get one that worked? I shipped the defective one back to them today, with a note of appreciation to the staff who were so good at helping me. So. Even though it was very frustrating to get the dysfunctional equipment, I have to say I would never hesitate to shop at Nancy’s again, the customer service was excellent. NOW I can hem those skirts.

Sunday slow day

It’s sunny. It’s hot. I LOVE it!!

A had a rule for Sundays – she won’t get out of bed until 9. It’s been a hellish few months for her, so being able to sleep in is a luxury. I couldn’t stand it, and got up at 8:45. πŸ™‚ I had lots of weed whacking to do, and wanted to get started before it got too hot. I missed that, but did manage to do the whole back yard before it was just too stinking hot to be out there.

Came in and chilled with a pineapple popsicle (YUMMY from Edy’s) while A gathered up all the trash. While I went to the dump, she vacuumed the house. Then it was into the pool for me. I floated around until I could tell I was getting sunburned, then I swam a bit more to get cool, came in and showered and am just sitting here typing away.

but A just sais “Let’s go get an ice cream sundae”, so see you later.

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.

Today is the day I STOP being productive!

So far today I have:

played with the cats
scooped the pool and then – drum roll –
swam in the pool
floated in the pool reading the poor magazine I keep hauling out there
gone blog crawling
done a bit of crocheting
watched NCIS reruns

and here’s what I plan to do with the rest of the day
cook dinner on the grill
float in the pool
sit on the deck
knit
crochet
sew

I love holidays.

the rest of my day

I made the jelly At least, I made one batch. I have at least 2 more of the raspberry jelly to go, and A has 1 more strawberry jam to go, so that is what we will be doing at some point over the next few days! But I can hear that satisfying sound of lids popping in the kitchen. Yum!

I also had supper ready when A walked in the door – Bertolli saves the day!

I “fixed” the screechy sound on the tv (unplug for ten secondes, plug back in)
and I ironed the sewing so am ready for the next step on the skirts. I also cut out the last one. So, productive day, but a bit more frustrating than yesterday.

Tomorrow – off to Bath (Maine!) and Halcyon yarn shop with mom and my birthday gift certificate! I’ll bring my bathing suit as well, as it is supposed to be HOT and she has a huge big pool…