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?

Another weekend has come and gone

I do wish they would hang around longer.  🙂

It was mostly a nice one, as weekends go.

A and I ventured out despite the nasty weather forecast to visit her last aunt at a nursing home in Augusta.  It was our first time there, and bittersweet.

The staff seems nice, and fun and attentive, but there were so many people just parked in their wheelchairs… and the smell when we walked in? Ugh.

Aunt N didn’t have a clue who we were, but she was so glad to have visitors.  We chatted endlessly about the same three things “Is it nice out, dear?”  “What’s the date to day?  October 27? Almost November!” “We used to skate all winter long.  They flooded the athletic field at the high school. My parents gave us memberships each Christmas so we could skate as much as we wanted.  We loved to skate.  We were all quite good.  My parents would get us skates when we were good enough, it was a real treat to get new skates.”

We took her to a quieter room and broke out the coloring books and crayons. We used to bring them with us to visit her sister, A’s mom, when she was in the memory unit.  Where A’s Mom would color with us for hours, Aunt N was having none of it.  She looked very confused at the thought and finally said her hands were too cold today.  We checked, they were warm and toasty.  So, no coloring.  She seemed unhappy to be in the quieter room, so we went back to the crowded hallway. After an hour or so, we left so she could have her regular lunch and schedule back.  We are pretty sure she had no clue that we left.

She did still show a glimmer of herself, as we were approached by a wandering woman in a wheelchair who told us “MOVE!”, Aunt N said “I think she just does it for the A-T-T-E-N-T-I-O-N, dear.  In fact, I am sure of it.”

So while we were so sad to see her there in that stage of life, we were very glad we went, and that she is still herself, she is still a fun loving woman with a twinkle in her eye.  We know she was told that her three remaining siblings died this year, but we could also tell that she did not remember that.  When she spoke of them, it was about times long past.  And now that the ice is broken, I think A will stop by there when she is traveling through Augusta, as she used to pop in to visit her at her house when she was in the area. Aunt N is the last of 10, and was the one who was closest to A’s mom.  When we lose her, it will be a very hard day for A.

After we left there, we also had lunch, at Red Robin in Augusta, before heading home.  We had planned to stop at the big grocery store on the way home, but the weather was being nasty by then: snow, sleet, and rain, depending on how high the hill was, so we just went to the usual smaller grocery store in Bucksport.  I got lots of sock knitting done before we got home, finished the heel and started up the leg.

Once home, we puttered a bit and settled down to watch a little TV while I knit.  That’s pretty much how Sunday went, too.  I did work on my sewing in the craft room – the skirt just needs a hem!  I think it will be too short for me, but it fits – yippee!  That means I can make more from this pattern.  It is bias cut, and I want to make it longer – help – geometry!  How wide does the fabric have to be to get the triangle wide enough for the skirt and long enough for the length? And how many yards do I need?  Heavens.  On the dress, I didn’t make much headway, but I did get started making my bias tape – I cut up a fat quarter, and sewed all the strips together.  It made a huge length!  I am going to love using this stuff.  🙂 It just needs ironing.  I need to insert the sleeves on the dress and see what happens then.  I think they will be too snug, but that’s what this is all about, getting the pattern just right.

I did lots of knitting, too –


This is J’s scarf – finished the first skein, which is the smaller of the two.  It is just about 30 inches long now, so I think it will be long enough when done.  He said he wanted a long one. I will use all the yarn and hope it is long enough.  This yarn is a dream to use, I am loving it!  It looks and feels soft as velvet!  It is blue-faced Leicester and silk blend.  I have another braid of the same blend in my stash (different color) and am really looking forward to making something lovely with it.


My Durrow square looks like all the other squares did at this point – but it is growing, I did several rows on it this weekend. I am back in love with this project.


And Dangling Conversation is growing like a weed – it is going to be a large shawl when done, because I am not stopping until I am pretty well out of yarn – unless I decide to do a matching hat and mitts. I would only do that if the shawl grew way too big.  Which it might.  But I love the way the colors are playing and the little bits of lace between the color changes looks so nice!  Not sure what I will do with this one, so NOT my colors.  I might see if my sister wants it, she looks prettier in these colors than I do.

That was my weekend!


Friday? Again already?

I am not sure where time goes!  I do know that when it was so hot (as in all summer up to today) I had little interest in actually moving, and so sat and knit and spun a whole lot.  Last week I laid out such a nice chore list for myself on my Friday off.  I did OK with the list (it nearly killed me), but did nothing extra.  This week, I did not have the luxury of Friday off.  So, because we did very little this week as far as chores go, in spite of impending company – less than a month away! – I have lots to do this weekend.  I hope I really can get a chunk of work done tonight and Sunday.

Saturday we are going to Bangor in the morning for a car appointment and to visit A’s niece T, the one we moved a few weeks ago.  She wants some help deciding on furniture arrangements, and so we will head over there to see the new place while they work on the truck.  We will take both cars so we are not tied to the service departments’ schedule, and so I can zip down to knitting in the afternoon if we are still in Bangor.

Since the humidity has broken, and the weekend promises to be clear and dry, I am going to try to force myself to do a few things best done when the humidity is not 99%. Things like some yard work, and painting the shelves of the book cases.  I might even start tidying up the craft room.  But probably not.  Let’s not push things, OK? Naturally, there is laundry and kitchen and bathrooms to clean, as there is every week, and the grocery shopping.  Ugh.  I am already tired.

So here are a few things I worked on while it was so blooming hot and humid last week –

The spinning is 8 ounces of worsted weight, combining two colorways to make 4 different skeins that I spun last weekend.  That is drying now, so I will get final yardage later on today, and plan to knit it up as a baby sweater. there was another skein of yarn made last weekend, but I didn’t get a photo of it yet.  The Durrow square is coming along.  I have committed to at least two rows a day, and I hope to get this square finished by the end of the weekend.  Then in a silly fit of wanting to do something completely different, I cast on a scarf for my stepbrother J.  At least, I think it is for him.  I promised to knit him a scarf to thank him for all the work, and I always intended to knit him more than one.  So this might be one of them.  It is yarn I made from some BFL fiber I dyed quite a while ago.  I was learning and experimenting about color and spinning, so have four mini skeins.  I think they will make a cheerful soft scarf.

As you can see, it was too hot to move, so I basically just sat and played with fiber and yarn.

And that reminds me!  It is dry enough now that I can block the frieze cowl and show you how that came out.


By the way – A got through her test.  She is uncertain how she did on the morning section, she did not feel good about it, but she is more confident about the afternoon section.  If there are sections she passed, she doesn’t have to take them again to get her certification.  That is what she is hoping for now, to pass at least half of it.  I still hold out hope that she passed the whole thing, but she doesn’t think so.  To celebrate, we did nothing that night, but went out the next night with Mom and B to a local lobster pound for dinner.  We were singularly unimpressed with it, though the food was fine.  Won’t go there again.  I did have fun with A – she as a joke wrote on the grocery list “chips cookies chips cookies chips cookies” which is very unusual for her. So, I got lots of chips and cookies and piled them all at her place at the table.  It was quite a mountain, and she cracked up when she saw it.

Another thing I did for her  us  myself was get the air conditioner upstairs and almost set up.  Years ago, we got one of those units on wheels, thinking we could use it to cool off the bedroom.  It worked that year for the two days we needed it, and we stored it down cellar.  A couple of years later we needed it again, hooked it up, ran it for a few hours and it flooded the bathroom! So, it went back downstairs never to be thought of again.  But with this hot and humid weather, it was really bothering me that we couldn’t use it.  So I gave it lots of thought, and decided that if I set it up IN the bathtub (we have a separate shower), then if it flooded, so what?  That seemed good.  But then window by the tub is up quite high, and the hose is supposed to head to the window relatively levelly.  So I thought I could stack up two of the picnic benches A made us and that would do the trick.

I lugged that AC unit upstairs Friday, keeping it level, no easy task! and got it into the bathroom.  Got the benches stacked in the tub.  Then realized I could not lift the unit up onto the benches alone!  Bummer.  When A got home, she helped me get it all rigged, and we started it right up.  It did a great job, cooled off the bathroom and bedroom just fine. The cats hate it, the door is closed, it makes noise, bad bad bad.  I do not care.  The best part?  No leaking whatsoever!  I suspect that the drain plug in the back had not been in tight the second time we used it.  Now that the weather has cooled off again, we will dismantle the tower, but leave the unit upstairs in case the humidity comes back again. It was nice to be able to come home, get the room cooled off before we went to bed, and then get to sleep before the heat got in there again. Because you know, I live with the cat charmer. We were not allowed to leave the bedroom door shut at night, because the cats need to be able to come and go. I suggested we put a cat door in the bedroom door, but that was met with eye rolls.  If we ever build another house, it will have real air conditioning.  For those few summer days that we need it, it will be worth the expense.

I love summer when it is just warm and soft, not brutally hot and humid.  Like this weekend will be! But climate change is real and it sucks.




After the weekend

Did everyone else dream of lemon ice last night?  It is the coolest, most refreshing thing I know… and I really wanted to swim in some this weekend!

It was a pretty good weekend, actually, except for the heat and oppressive humidity.  After all my big chores (lol) on Friday, I tried to get things done early the rest of the days.

Saturday I went to Whorls and Purls without my sweater.  How odd it felt to have that off the needles! The knitting is DONE, the blocking and weaving in of ends will happen when it isn’t so humid.  Perhaps this coming weekend.  Instead, I worked on my sock and my Durrow shawl.  That seems more interesting and easy now, I guess it just needed a break. I worked on it both days, and finally closed up the center of the center square watching Victoria Monday night. Now only 4 more to go and two triangles before I get a spell of nice easy stockinette!

After Whorls and Purls we went out to the Angler for our annual supper gathering, which is always fun.  That group is always up for a nice meal and a party.  We were missing a few members, but those who were able to make it had fun.

Sunday I got up early and put a coat of paint on the bookshelves.  I discovered one benefit to hot and humid weather.  When painting, you don’t have to hurry to keep a wet edge.  It isn’t going to dry any time soon, take your time laying on the paint carefully! I will likely give it all a second coat on Wednesday, since we will be home and I can do it early.

Then we hung about trying to keep cool before I left to go to Belfast for a blogger meet up.  I have followed Paige at Paige Makes Stuff  for a long time.  Last week she wrote in her blog about her daughter being at camp in Maine and she would stay for the week, rather than spend an extra weekend on the highway between here and home.  I immediately got in touch and said if you want to get together, email me.  Well, she did, and we did.  We met on Sunday afternoon in Belfast at Heavenly Socks.  I was early and the owner, Helen, nicely provided me with a chair at the table of filled with local knitters while I waited.  Somehow the table was situated where there was a cool breeze, and the ladies were so friendly that when Paige arrived, she just sat down and we stayed there for our whole visit. (We did manage to get up long enough to do a tiny bit of shopping.  I got some gray sock yarn that I plan to fiddle about with in my dye pots before I knit socks with it.  Paige got some Quince and Company Owl to make a sweater.)  So, we had a lovely, mostly cool, afternoon knitting and chatting away.  One of the ladies has a friend who is looking for sweet fern to harvest for some soaps she makes.  I have an overabundance of the stuff everywhere, so I hope to hear from them soon about coming over to help themselves.  And Paige told us about a business endeavor she is a part of – OMG.  Trips for Knitters.  You have to check it out.  They put together some really wonderful looking trips to places I want to go.  I need to win the lottery!  I am so glad that Paige said something about her trip on her blog BEFORE she went, so we could meet up.  So often you lovely readers tell about a trip to Maine that you just got home from, and what help is that in having real life get-togethers? Paige, if you are reading this, I hope you have a lovely week by yourself being creative and relaxing before you pick your daughter up and make the long, hot ride home again!

When I got home, I climbed in the pool to scrub and stir, and there was no complaining from me that it was murky and green when I finished (it was) because I was wet and cooler.  A shower had me less murky and green, and we had an early night of it after that.  We both find that this heat really saps our energy… or perhaps it is the lack of oxygen in the air?  Not sure, but it is hateful.

That is it for the weekend, though.  Lots of knitting between small chores, as befits a very hot few days.

This week continues to be hot, and of course there is a holiday in the middle.  Not my favorite structure for a week, but I am not turning down the holiday!  We have no big plans for it, but are open to invitations if anyone in the family comes up with something fun.  Which hopefully will involve swimming in a CLEAN pool!  🙂

How I did with that list

It nearly killed me, but I got it all, I think.

The hardest one was the pool. I really didn’t want to get in it and stir up all the muck, but it had to be done. The water was quite warm, which was pleasant. That was the only pleasant part.

The only thing I didn’t get back to was the shelf painting. But I can start that evenings this week. Then A can install them next weekend.

So. What J did. We talked about several things, but what he wanted most to do was keep working in the front. So his dad did some more edging, and he cleared and leveled for a walk way. It was a lot of work, but he was right, clearing that out and fixing it up really does make a difference. We are going to keep the loose stone edging the rest of the way around, as it gets mangled by the plow every winter.

His dad also cut down some small trees to open up the front, and to make it easier for me to clear the side by the cars. Hard for you to see a difference, but the maple tree is thrilled that the cherries are out of its way. We left the big cherries near the deck to shade it.

While they were doing that, I planted this birch tree. For our commitment ceremony back in 2009, we gave out tree seed starter kits as favors. At some point after that, we asked Mom, who has a very green thumb, to start us a white birch. She did, and it has been living in its container in the backyard for a few years. We weren’t sure in the grand scheme of things where we wanted it. But the roots were growing out the drainage hole, so I had to take action.

It turned out to be a major project. Digging a hole is hard in our yard with all the rocks. But cutting the pot away from around the root was the hardest part. By the time I did that, hauling dirt from the pile in the front yard was easy!

Other than that, I put a few things in the raised beds, planted the third planting of mom’s pink poppy seeds in the raised bed (third time is a charm, right?) and did some watering of everything (thus ensuring monsoon rains overnight). I did not put up the trellises.

One of the things I put in the raised bed was this volunteer that was growing in the dirt pile. I am not sure what it is, I hope it survives and then thrives, it is so pretty!

Lest you think she was a slacker, A vacuumed the whole house before they arrived, then made a couple of trips to the dump with truckloads of junk from the yard and her workshop.

They wouldn’t let us take them out to supper, so after they left we showered off and settled in for naps. A slept until morning! I slept until supper time, ate, watched one show and knit a row before going back to bed. No doubt we were exhausted!

And he is coming back next weekend to finish the walkway and a swathe of garden on the other side of it. At least the house is pretty clean…

And there WILL be knitting today.

On and off the needles

Finished knitting the scarf. When it dries, it gets a big i-cord daisy shaped flower and it is done!

Hitofude is hard to photograph but coming along. Chart B is complete, just have C, D, E and ribbing to go! That’s 57 rows but who is counting?

That’s what I did this weekend. What are you up to? Do you miss your spring ahead hour as much as I do?


It’s Friday!  I am on vacation!!!  Whew!  I thought this week would never end.  I had a list of things to make sure got done at work, and I made it through the list with time to spare. Even with all the last minute things that got added to it as people realized that the 18th is a long way away and there are things that they can’t possible do alone.  🙂

Now I have to tackle my “at home” list and my “packing list” and my “what knitting to bring along” list.

So this weekend will be a lot of chores and running about, not TOO much fiber or other fun.  But some, always some.

In all the cleaning and packing, I do intend to go to Whorls and Purls on Saturday afternoon, though probably not for the whole afternoon.  At least a couple of hours.  I would LOVE to finish the green and black striped sweater, and I am pretty close.  I am doing the broken rib on the body, have maybe ten more rows and a bind off, then I have to pick up and knit the neck.  Then it is all weaving in ends.  And there are tons.  Oh, stripes, why do you torture us so? I also have a shawl and a necklace on the needles. And socks.  Always some knitting to choose from!

I am making a list of knitting projects I want to do so I can look for the right yarns when I am out in Wisconsin, but I am not going to cast on anything new before I go.  I think I will just bring along the three projects (not the big sweater) to work on until I buy some yarn, lol.

I do plan to bring along my interchangeable needles so I can cast on whatever I want while I am there.  Because I know I am going to find amazing yarn that I won’t be able to resist.

Mom arrives on Sunday so we can do the road trip food shopping, and load the car for an early start Monday.  That means we need to clear out and clean out the guest room and get it ready for her.  No one has stayed with us in months!  It MIGHT be dusty in there.  🙂

For supper, we are planning to take her to Bagaduce Lunch.  She has never been there, and I think she will love it.  What is not to love about fresh seafood, ice cream, and a killer view?

Then Monday we head off.  I am not bringing the computer with me on the road trip, but I will have the phone, so I expect that I will answer comments, but not sure if I will do much posting before I get back. Maybe over on Instagram… (where I am SalpalCrafts)

And that reminds me!  Etsy is doing a big labor day sale, and my shop, SalpalCrafts, is participating. Most of my inventory is on sale.  It is a small shop but if there is something there that you want, now is a great time to get it. Or, if you missed out, I can do a custom knit for you.  OK, shameless self promotion is over…

So I will be en route to Wisconsin until Wednesday, there until Sunday, and then en route home again. Home by Thursday the 14th.  I’ll share loads of goodies and things with you when I return.

Here’s a gratuitous sock in progress shot to tide you over until I return.  🙂



OK, let’s try this again!

My stomach bug decided to linger long enough that I took Tuesday off and went to the doctor without an appointment, which of course meant waiting for over 2 hours in the their waiting room.

Final determination?  Virus. Dehydration.

Advice?  Drink a mixture of salt and Gatorade, lots of it, small sips all the time.  If I wasn’t sick before, that might have made me sick.

Do that for 24 hours, then add dry toast to the menu.

If that works, add crackers and brown rice.  Still good?  Add bananas.

So, I am at the brown rice for lunch phase, and while I don’t feel good, I am not sick.  I think the chemical fake sugars in the Gatorade are making me nauseous now, so I will stop drinking it as soon as I get home, and switch back to flat ginger ale.

As has been the case all along, as long as I don’t swallow anything, I feel fine. It’s kind of ridiculous.

I did get a chuckle out of the nurse at the doctor’s office Tuesday.  She commented “wow, you have lost a lot of weight since Friday!” and I said “Well, the doctor told me to lose 5 pounds a month. I got right on it.”

Of course, it won’t be that much once I get hydrated.

Anyway – here we are, almost to the weekend. I am going to try making plans again and see if it goes better than last week.

There is much yard work still to be done. If we get a nice cool morning, I will work on it then.

The pool needs attention, I haven’t been in it in over a week!

Saturday afternoon is reserved for Whorls and Purls, and I am DETERMINED to go, after missing two nice fiber gatherings last weekend.  I have loads of knitting and spinning still to do. (And always will, right?)

A and I have a semi-plan to go to Bagaduce Lunch for supper on Friday, if there is any point in going out to eat.  I hope there is! We haven’t been there yet this summer, and I do love that place. She has Friday off from work, so we can eat early, before the crowds.  I hope.

A trip to the Post Office is needed, I think I have a package or two on the way. Other than that, there is laundry and housework begging to be done, I will try to fit it in around all that other fun stuff.

We don’t happen to need a lot of groceries, since one of us didn’t eat all week, but I am pretty sure there are a few things that will need picking up, so I will do that while I am out and about.

I hope this weekend is much better than last weekend!  And I hope that you all have a good weekend, too!






Weekend ahead!!

Glad it finally made it! I find five day weeks a complete drag!

Our weekend starts off right, we are meeting up with Mom and B for dinner tonight. Tomorrow I hope to do some yard chores and then it’s off to whorls and purls for the afternoon.

Sunday has more yard work, assuming the forecast is correct. And of course all rest breaks involve spinning and knitting!

A simple enough plan, and broadly general enough that if I do even a tiny bit, it counts as a chore done. My kind of weekend!

what have you got going on this weekend?

The forecast was accurate

Which I guess is good?

Friday was unbelievably cold and windy, yesterday it was a bit warmer and snowed all day. Today is warmer still and raining.

So the world is coated in ice.

Yesterday I took the truck and went to knitting. Roads were snow covered but fine getting there.

But this is what I found!


Only Debbie and I were there. We enjoyed a quiet afternoon knitting and munching on her good cookies and sipping hot chocolate. But we missed the ladies who usually fill the sofas.

The roads weren’t so fine going home- no need to plow the main road apparently. But going slow in 4 wheel drive worked well and i made it home safely.

This morning we woke to the promised rain and 35  degrees. Well, the air is 35 degrees. Everything else is still zero. So it looks like this:img_1254

Naturally, that means we are headed out to Bangor for a family gathering and some (the last?) of the holiday shopping.  In the truck. 😀

We also saw this outside the bedroom this morning.  Maybe he is snacking on the creatures who live in our walls.



Hope you are safe, warm, and dry this morning!


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