Archive for the ‘taxes’ Tag
Whoa, time is flying by! And I seem to have little to show for it. Oh, I have a sock and a half, for sure – this hand knit yarn is so much fun to knit with that my socks are flying off the needles (it helps that it is also a tiny bit thicker than traditional sock yarn so inches happen faster.)
And the sweater lengthens. But of course, because I am knitting both fronts and the back at once, it feels like progress is slow. I expect to finish these three pieces this week, and then I will block and seam them and make sure it is all fitting before I launch into sleeves.
I did a little maintenance around my chair this week, and
discovered found dug out excavated was reminded that I have a half finished shawl from the great shawl cast on last summer (if you recall, I cast on 4 in a day.)
This is High Country Crescent by Mary-Anne Mace. I won the pattern in a blog giveaway, and love it. Not sure why I stopped working on it – Christmas maybe? Anyway, it is back in the rotation, and so gets a row or two or three an evening, depending how exciting the basketball is. The shawl is only mindless every other row, the sweater and socks are completely mindless. Some of the basketball is also mindless, other games require my complete attention. 🙂 And what of the other shawls, you ask? Well, one was Mirno, and one was Oaklet, and those are both finished and worn regularly.
The fourth was Biophilia, also by Mary-Anne Mace. I wasn’t loving it in the yarn I was using, so I frogged it, and will use that yarn in my next shawl. That will be Moon and Sky by Jem Arrowsmith, which I received as a surprise gift not too long ago (thank you, Saffronk!) I think the yarn will work well for that one. And so will the pretty beads I was going to use. And I have a lovely lace weight silk I could use for Biophilia… or not. There is always some more yarn to try a pattern with, right? I also am dreaming of creating a beaded silk yarn to knit a shawl – I have the pattern already for that one, too (Chain Mail, in case you are wondering). And the fiber. And the beads. Just haven’t made the yarn yet, lol. Still working on the big combo spin. S-L-O-W-L-Y.
What else is happening? Oh, just some work. It is the crazy busy time of year – town meetings all over the map, tax clinics in the opposite direction, important but not exciting meetings, and the regular work as well. So last week, I was in Machias – an hour and a half THAT way – for a meeting in the late afternoon, making a twelve hour day. Tuesday it stormed, so I rescheduled Wednesday’s tax day in Stonington – on hour in the OTHER direction – which meant I spent the morning on the phone lining up all the appointments for the same time, a day later. Because Stonington is on an island. To get there, you go over a huge high bridge and then a low serpentine causeway. I don’t want to drive over either in a storm or even on a nice day following a storm if there are high winds, which there were. Thursday I did go to Stonington for a ten hour day. Friday was a tax day in Milbridge, an hour back in the first direction, and an eleven hour day.
LUCKILY I reviewed my time sheet Wednesday morning, and even with leaving early for the storm Tuesday, I knew I would go into OT if I didn’t adjust, so I went home a couple of hours early on Wednesday, too. That quiet time mid-week was much appreciated. Even if I did spend a chunk of that time shoveling. I might have made this for the cats.
They are indoor cats who are really missing their screened porch this time of year. So I made them a track, and let them out on it one at a time. They really loved it – Allie bustled about looking at everything. Zumba emulated Ferdinand, and just sat smelling the smells. And for most of the time, they acted like they knew they should not go over the snowy walls. When they stopped acting like that, in the house they went.
Saturday I did some household chores and went to Whorls and Purls and we had a rollicking good time! There was so much laughing it was hard to knit. And there was pizza – very unusual but a fun change.
Sunday we took my sister-in-law S out for breakfast to celebrate her retirement last Friday!! We let her choose the place – Denny’s was her choice, and we had a huge meal before going to her second requested stop – AC Moore. She received bountiful gifts from her coworkers, including some AC Moore gift cards. It was so much fun to watch her shop without having to worry about the cost. She makes delightful crocheted and embellished gift bags, and so she spent a lot of time in the yarn aisle, tossing in some of every color when she found a yarn she liked. All of her life she has had to be frugal, and she looked so happy filling that cart. We carried several large bags out to the truck, and the look on A’s face when she realized it was all yarn was priceless. Even better was the look on her face when she found out it wasn’t mine. I told A I was really looking forward to retirement if it meant I could go yarn shopping and get everything I wanted.
Apparently that isn’t going to happen.
I’ll let her think that for the next few years. 🙂
That’s about it – another crazy work week this week, and a good chance I have to go to a town meeting on Saturday, sigh. I will knit there, but it won’t be like going to Whorls and Purls. No pizza, no laughing. No fiber to drool over. Next time I will share with you the latest fibery goodness I have acquired – I don’t think I have shared with you the past few months of Roving of the Month club. They are yummy.
Up until this point we have had a fairly quiet winter. Our storms were of the warmer variety, which I don’t like- more icy nonsense than snow.
All of that changed this week. No more warm days between storms melting everything.
Starting Thursday I had three days of taxes scheduled. Volunteers lined up. Appointments filled.
Thursday the weather prediction was for a big snow, more snow the farther east we were. But not starting until 11 or so.
Sure enough, at 11 the first flakes fell, and the boss gave us an early dismissal, which was great, but meant canceling a slew of appointments and rescheduling them for next month.
We got about 6 inches at our house, but the location of the Friday tax clinic got 18 inches! So, we cancelled all the morning appointments and got there at noon. It was a crazy day, the schedule got all out of whack as people came late or early depending on their drivway situation. Instead of getting out at 4 as planned, it was closer to 5, followed by a long drive home.
Saturday was predicted to be light snow, 1 – 3 inches. I trucked up to Bangor for Super Saturday tax clinic. It’s held in an empty storefront in a small mall, and we worked hard all day, but did notice our numbers were down. Found out why when we left at 4. Way more than 3 inches – it had been snowing steadily all day! I went to the grocery store right there and headed home through some heavy snow on messy roads, so it took forever. Got home to find the driveway unplowed, and that’s when I realized how much snow we had. My mighty Prius plowed up the hill no problem, shooting snow everywhere! A had cleared out my parking space, which made me so happy as I just had sneakers on. 😀 We had 8 -9 inches and it kept snowing a few more hours.
So I got through the busy week, in the end made far less busy but no shorter by the snow.
Today is a combo day – pajamas and snow pants. We have to get out and clear vents and decks and driveways (plow guy came last night, yea!) this morning, then we will totally chill. Because this afternoon, guess what?
We are forecast to get 18-26 inches (depending which channel one watches) in 24 hours, starting late this afternoon. Strong, sustained winds as well. I fully expect to get the call canceling work tomorrow – that will be my napping spinning knitting day. Of course there will be intermittent shoveling as well to keep ahead of it.
And I hold out the tiniest bit of hope for at least a delay on Tuesday morning. 😝
So I should have finishes to share soon, and pretty snow pictures.
Oh, and our forecast after Tuesday? Storm expected on Thursday which they won’t talk about yet. But significant something.
Guess winter is hitting us full force this month!
It started with meeting some new friends and seeing some old ones, at a Ravelry meet-up last Sunday. Due to snowfall Saturday night, there were only three of us knitters, but our hostess, Chefadina on Ravelry made us feel very welcome, we met her family and her neighbors (the old friends) stopped by. Her new place is beautiful, a big old house that most recently was a B and B. It sits high above the river, and is just filled with lovely light.
Monday started tax training, and as always it was, well, taxing. The software is new to us all, still has bugs, so things would suddenly work or not work, and the state returns aren’t ready yet. We were all glad when it was over on Friday. Now, in two weeks, we meet again, and hope to have some state software available to work on. The first of February is when we start seeing clients, we would like to have a clue what we are doing before than!
Because I was responsible for leading the group in the hands on exercises in the afternoon, I was not able to do my usual thing – knit hats! But we were in a chilly room so I wore lots of hand knit shawls and sweaters (not all at once) and got lots of compliments.
When I was home, though, I was knitting and spinning. Here’s a shot of my snow fling mittens in progress. They will get a soft lining, and so are taking a long time, but I now have two mittens that look like this. I’ll have to close up the tops, then do the linings.
Here’s a dark shot of my spinning. It is a merino/nylon mix from Three Waters Farm, in the colorway Garden Center. I am spinning this to make socks, so divided it in thirds, thinking I would do a traditional three ply. But then I started reading my two spinning books I got for Christmas, and I decided to spin a three ply yarn with one opposing ply. So for those of you who understand these things, I will spin two singles with a Z twist, and one with an S twist, then ply them all together with an S twist. I hope I am spinning thin enough that I will get enough yardage for a pair of socks, but we will see. I can always make the heels and toes in a contrasting color if need be. But I would rather not. PS that black is really a wonderful dark purple.
This week also marked the start of a new year of Socks with Sarah on Ravelry. If you have followed me for a few years, you know that the last time she had this activity, I knit socks like a wild woman, and finished 26 pairs in the year. This year, I have decided to purposely restrain myself. I am aiming for between 4-6 pairs this year. This is the start of my first pair – Stella Blue on Caper Sock base from String Theory Hand Dyed Yarns. I am using my basic go-to sock pattern – Fundamental Toe Up socks . 64 stitches on number one needles, these will take a while to knit, because they are NOT my focus. 🙂 I swear it.
I hope my second pair will be the handspun yarn, and I do have a skein of yarn I got at Fiber Frolic for my third pair. Not sure what I will do for the 4th or later pairs, but I expect something will turn up!
The other knitting I am working on is a cowl to go with my recently completed Derry sweater – no photos yet, but I will try to get some soon. And I frogged the last bit of secret knitting and cast on an endless scarf with the yarn instead. I hope to finish that this week. The first thing I was working on was an interesting finished garment, but a ridiculous amount of stockinette in a boring tube. And it kept snagging on things, because the thin yarn and huge needles left loads of holes. I figured if it was snagging in my project bag, it would be shredded in no time with normal wear. Not a nice thought, so I ripped it out. The recipient returns to town next week sometime, I would like to have it ready for her.
So that is how I got through the work week – and was so glad to see this weekend come! Yesterday I did some chores around the house, then took the trash, the grocery list and my knitting, and headed off to knitting group, stopping at the dump on the way there, and the grocery store on the way back. Got to drive the truck that way. And got credit for helping out around the house even while disappearing for several hours. 🙂
Today was a little more low key – cleared the snow off the cars and cleaned the pellet stove – two not fun chores. A couple of inches of snow on smooth ice is treacherous walking, but I got the cars cleared without mishap. Then we took down the Christmas tree and tossed it out into the woods. Now, this sounds like a lot of work, but here’s the thing – we never decorated the tree. We only put on it the ornaments we got for Christmas, no lights, no garland, nothing. We just ran out of energy and time, but I loved our minimalist tree! It was pretty and smelled divine. I was able to toss it to the woods from the deck, so the wasn’t too awful.. The birds are already using it to shelter while they hit the feeders.
Other than those big chores, this was a low key day, a pajama afternoon. Cleaning the pellet stove gets the stove clean and me filthy – so after my shower, I just decided that noon was a good time for PJs! I made a shepherd’s pie for supper for the next few days – back on the diet for real tomorrow. Life will hopefully return to normal now that last week is really over. 🙂
I have spinning and knitting to get done!
Since coming back to work on Monday, I have been immersed in learning the new software the IRS is using. Trying very hard to think of change as good, but there is that learning curve thing that just gets harder and harder as I get older.
Have to start helping other learn it soon, so I need to get it. Rather be knitting…
The good news? Yesterday we went to an all day training, and while it was too crowded for me to knit during the training (rats) I was able to get a good 3 hours in on the drive, as I was a passenger. That Christmas knitting is moving right along, although the one tedious project still feels pretty immense.
I also ordered some more fiber from Three Waters Farm – I think between TWF and the Purple Fleece, I will never need to look at fiber out in the world – they both have so many lovely colors!
I actually did 2 orders from TWF, the first one arrived and I went on Etsy to do something with my shop, and saw that there was a sale page. I could not resist one of the braids there, so ordered another.
And now I need to stop doing that. I have lots of spinning to do! The most recent Purple Fleece Roving of the Month is begging me to cast aside Cadillac Mountain and spin it instead, but it has to wait it’s turn… Check this out – Alpaca – and I have 2 braids because I signed up in October and got a special promotional extra braid, oh my. 🙂
I finished two turbans this week, and am working on a third in a lighter weight yarn. I want to knock these out fairly quickly so I can move on. The pattern is so nice and simple, it really is fast.
I tried one on and sort of like it, but not sure I would ever wear it, really. But maybe I need one to see? Later, later…or, if the girls don’t buy all these, maybe I will keep one.
(Stop planning more knitting, Salpal, you have knitting for Christmas and shops and Christmas cards to make and spinning to do. Oh, and some software to learn to gear up for tax season!)
I started this post late last week but didn’t finish it, lucky for you, you got to see all the fiber I acquired! And you get to hear about the weekend.
Saturday I got the snow tires on, just in time, as it was snowing as I headed down to Stockton Springs for knitting! I spent the afternoon working away on hats and things, and made good progress, finishing another secret project and ignoring the last secret project which is boring me to tears. 🙂 Cast on another turban (a good thing as that is the one one of the girls really wants, it turns out.)
Sunday, A and I went on an adventure. Last week she was in Georgetown (Maine) for three days, and this week, she is in Edgecomb for two, one of them very long, so she was going to stay over night. Then she got this great idea – stay over two nights, and I go along for a day of adventuring, and stay there one night with her. The ladies in Georgetown had told her about their tree lighting ceremony, so we decided to check it out.
Bright and early Sunday morning we ventured forth, in two cars ( waaah, no knitting for me!) and met at our hotel, the Cod Cove Inn, which is very nice and comfortable. Looks like it has beautiful gardens, but they are put to bed for the winter now.
Then we had lunch in Wiscasset at Sarah’s Café, no dieting this day! and ventured off to Bath for shopping. We managed to mostly buy things for ourselves, but did get a couple of Christmas presents, and found a lovely, huge shop filled with Maine-made things. I could have spent a fortune there! I did notice some baby veggie and fruit hats and they were $40! Maybe I need to adjust my pricing and head back over there with some things… I went into Halcyon to check out their spinning fiber, and came out empty handed but with lots of info for the future. 🙂
From there we headed down the Georgetown peninsula to Reid State Park – I had never been there, and it is beautiful!
It was cold and windy, and there were some kites flying (you can see the edge of one at the top right corner of the photo) but no one was in swimming, lol.
Then it was off to the tree lighting ceremony. The town pier is absolutely beautiful, of course, what with being on the coast of Maine and all. 🙂
And it was soooo coooooold! They had hot chocolate, and we thoroughly enjoyed it while waiting for the tree to go from this
Sorry it is blurry, I guess the phone doesn’t like low light situations. 🙂
We were so cold that once this was done, we skipped our plan for a nice dinner and a trip down to Boothbay to see the lights, and went back to our hotel room, where we dined on left over lunch and watched sappy Christmas movies on the TV, while snuggled under warm pretty quilts. 🙂
And now it is a new week of learning software and teaching people how to use it. One more week of work after this and then we are on vacation AGAIN. I love it. 🙂
Of course, it is still close to zero at night, and we have snow coming this weekend, but what the heck, let’s celebrate with an American rite of spring – income tax!
That’s right, that’s what I will be doing all day, this time up in Bangor. So no time for fun lists today. I’ll carry the knitting and hope for a break to work on it.
And I’ll try to do something fun or interesting this weekend to make up or it.
Today is a tax day – long one – have to hit the road by 6:30 am, won’t get home until after 5. So that is what I will be doing, but I will have my knitting with me, for those gaps between clients. 🙂
Not much else exciting going on! Yesterday was also a long tax day, so I will be glad to have the weekend arrive. Nothing as exhausting as working three days, lol.
The end of the first week of not going to some work everyday! Although, I certainly was involved with work every day, and today, I have to go to Bangor to do some, I am beginning to get a glimmer of what it will be like.
Today, a morning meeting with tax folks to get everyone up to speed and in the same place for the start of the season. We should be done by lunch time, and then I should head home immediately.
I mentioned those mittens yesterday… and I really want to make some stranded red and white ones. I might need to go to the two LYS in Bangor and see if I can find some appropriate yarn.
I will not go to the big box stores, and all I want to get is the red and white, so if I think I can be strong-minded, I will do that, otherwise, I will come home and order it online.
And I will knit on the lace projects some, I would love to make visible progress on them!
I’ll also move out of the master bathroom and into the bedroom in the slow cleaning project. I think I might dust the bookcase today.
Some craft room projects are also calling my name, so I might wander up there and see if there is a cleared off area on which to work…
That should fill the whole day!