family painting and pellet moving

Friday morning I got up and made the drive to my brother C’s house – a little over an hour away. It was a gorgeous morning, frosty and cold, sunny, with mist in the valleys. Really pretty drive.

I got there a little after 8, Mom was already there, and as promised, my brother had prepped the walls! I truly had not expected him to keep up his end of the bargain. Nice surprise. A few things he did not do, but were easy for us – wipe the baseboard registers down, and sweep the walls of dust and yes, cobwebs. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, Mom and I dug right in (after delicious donuts from Willow Bake that she brought) and worked our butts off all day – the room is huge – open plan, with a foyer and long hall all sharing the ceiling with no breaks. The ceiling alone is more than 600 square feet.

I did the roller work, and Mom did the cutting in. Luckily, C had gotten the good paint that is primer and top coat together, so we were able to cover the ugly green with clean linen white in one coat.

We had a lunch break, but otherwise worked right through until after 5, when the light was gone, and we really couldn’t see how we were doing on coverage. We left instructions for C to finish up the wall cutting in over the big screen TV – we were not comfortable climbing up a ladder and leaning in across that very huge important piece of his life! Then headed home for supper. But we were so tired, and lunch had been so late that even when B offered to get us supper, all I wanted was a chocolate shake – so he got it for me. What a good step father… ๐Ÿ™‚

The three of us had a nice visit, played some Yahtzee after dinner, and then I took a really long hot shower and went to bed.

Morning came to soon! Mom and I got a slow start but were over to C’s by ten, after stopping to visit him at work.

We were definitely on a slower speed for the second day, but got it all done by 3:30. We spent the next half hour cleaning up and putting things back where they belonged, and C was really surprised when he got home around 4:30, to find it all finished.

We were pretty pleased with how it came out, the room looked so much cleaner and warmer. Of course, brother being a boy who had a long day at work, he came home cranky, complaining about where we parked, had we fed the dog, blah blah blah and Mom finally said to him “Besides telling us how nice this looks, is there anything else you would like to say right now?” It was perfect! He looked a little sheepish and said “thank you.” But it made me get a glimmer why he is twice divorced. I would not put up with that attitude every evening!

Anyway, we left shortly after, and I came home. It was so nice to get here to my pleasant wife and cuddly cats. I love spending time with Mom, we had lots of fun while we were painting, and I do wish we lived closer, but I think I live the right distance from my brother…. sometimes he is great and fun, and others he is just such a jerk. So space is good. ๐Ÿ™‚

Today A and I slept a bit late, but got up in time to be ready to rock and roll when her sister L arrived to help us load wood pellets into the basement. We stowed two tons of them on the new platform a built for storing them in the cellar. We have a pretty good system for getting them in the house – We have a board covered with a tarp that we set up on the stairs, so A and L slide the bags down to me, I catch them and stack them on the platform. We have room for another ton, but we won’t get them until later this winter, since we are tired and sore – even though it is a good, easy system, it is still 4,000 pounds of pellets that got moved and stacked!

Now we are relaxing in front of the stove, warm and cozy, with cats all around. It is a good evening.

no list, but lots of things going on

Friday was a tax day – this time at the library in Southwest Harbor. I forget what a nice town SW is – and they have a really nice library. It was kind of a slow tax day, a few cancellations, but we did enough to make the trip worthwhile. I brought my knitting (duh) and so have another tax hat done. The room we were in has years of old National Geographics, so I read all about the world the month I was born. It was pretty interesting reading. I’m pretty old, I guess, as it seemed like a history lesson I was reading.

So about the tax hat… A few months ago, we went to Aunt Nellie’s Attic in Holden, and I got a bag of beautiful blue and purple and gray yarns for 1.50. I might have mentioned it to you. They looked so beautiful together, I knew they would make great hats. I was right, but…. got home, and found it clearly was someone’s project bag, probably crewel yarn – most of it cut into 18-36 inch lengths! Horrible for knitting hats. But what I finally did was knot them together randomly, and knit “watercolored” abstract hats. I got three out of the bag, and gave the last bits to sister-in-law S today for her “chipmunker bags”. She makes really beautiful little hand crocheted gift bags with pretty accent buttons and beads. Anyway, I figure those hats cost me $.50 each! Not too expensive! I’ll get pictures in just a minute…. ๐Ÿ™‚

Last night, A and I went out to supper for a late Valentine’s Day dinner. We went to a pub in Searsport that we really liked the last time we went. Had an absolutely delicious meal – I got maple bourbon steak tips – absolutely delicious, and too much, so I will get them for supper tonight too! A had fried haddock and hand cut french fries, she ate it all, and said it was delicious. I think we will go there more often, now that we are reminded just how good the food is!

Today I cashed in on one of my super bowl winning breakfasts, and A went out and got me a breakfast sandwich and donut from Dunkin Donuts, while I made double brownies for lunch with her sisters today. Then I ran out and got a haircut, gas for the snowblower (yes, we will need it again, another blizzard predicted for tonight. No naming this one, as far as I know) and stopped at the library. I needed to get my book club book for next Monday, and found a book on CD to listen to coming and going from work. And I picked up the Louisa May Alcott book we talked about reading at last book group – Under the Lilacs. They did not have a wide selection of her works – lots of copies of LIttle Women, Little Men and Jo’s Boys, and 8 Cousins, but not much else. It will be fun to read it even if the book group doesn’t choose to. Still plugging away at Cloud Atlas. It is bogged down again. Kind of strange book – gets interesting, then dull.

A’s sisters were here when I got back – we had power pellet lifting today – we had a ton of them delivered to the driveway this week – with three of us working (S keeps the cats from the open door) we can get them stacked in the cellar pretty quickly. A and L bring them to the top of the stairs, slide them down a ramp A made, and I catch and stack them. It worked pretty well! Allie hid in the bedroom. Zumba came downstairs to help me (as in hide in the kayak cockpit and watch.

Then A and L made home-made veggie egg rolls – so yummy! The brownies also were good, though rich. They are layered – blondie on bottom, then brownie, then caramel frosting. sugar hit!

After I finish this post, I’ll take those photos, and then settle into knit away on my red sweater. Have I told you about it? It’s a Vogue Knitting pattern – bulky yarn, cable knit, but easy pattern. I am about 2/3 done, and hope to finish it this weekend. I’ll miss it on my lap, it is SO cozy and warm. After this, I have yarn from a friend at work so I will make her sweater – also an easy pattern, neck down, circular needles, fast fast. THEN – leg warmers for oldest niece C – she requested them in a fade colorway – I can’t wait to get into a yarn store and choose colors to make that happen. I warned her that if they are fun to make, she might get several pairs. I got the impression that it won’t be a problem. ๐Ÿ™‚

So. Another blizzard tonight, or maybe tomorrow – they are a little vague and uncertain. I don’t think it will be a Nemo storm – unless you live in Nova Scotia. If you do, I hope you get a better weather report for your area than we do. Ours stops exactly on the border, even though we are much closer geographically and weather-wise to New Brunswick and NS, we get weather reports for places like Boston and New York, which get totally different weather from us. The national identity needs to be forgotten when it comes to weather. But I guess it never will.

what a great stretch of weather!

When we get beautiful days and cool nights, I can ALMOST get over no pool. ๐Ÿ™‚

Because of the Monday holiday tomorrow, I am in the midst of a 4 day weekend – and we are having fun! Yesterday we drove down to Portland to do a little hobby shopping, but we started with a good breakfast at the Old Mill Diner on Rte 3 – boy they have good food and generous portions. If there is a comfort food they make it and make it well. Yum, I had eggs benedict, and couldn’t finish half of it. In Portland, A went to Rockler and saw in person all the things she has been dreaming about in the catalogs, and we bought plenty! Then I took my coupons over to Michael’s and got a few things there that I have been wanting, mostly Martha Stewart punches and kits. Here’s the thing that does get my goat though – kits! I only want some of the contents, but the pieces aren’t sold separately. I specifically mean the double-sided adhesive rub-ons for glittering, embossing and flocking. So I bought a kit, and was glad to have a 40% off coupon. Come on, Martha – let me restock my supplies without buying things I don’t need. Because I won’t do it forever, I will find a work around. Or just skip it entirely.

Anyway – then we stopped at LL Bean on the way back east – stocked A up on sweaters and turtlenecks. I got wool socks and a denim skirt. No, not an outfit!!! But I realized that too many of my wool socks have no heel left, and I never did learn to darn them. And I know wool sock weather is coming. The denim skirt is something I have been wanting to add to my wardrobe since losing all the weight, so it was GREAT to be able to grab one off the rack, try it on and buy it. Whoa! It has been years since that happened in that store.

Last stop heading home was A-1 Diner in Gardiner – we have driven by it so many times, and always wanted to stop – yesterday was it. Food was very good. Prices a little steep, I thought – 30 dollars for Mac and cheese, a BLT, a piece of cake and a cookie. No beverages.

We finished off the day out by going to see “The Help” at the Alamo theater in Bucksport. We both enjoyed it very much – and thought they did a good job following the book, although I thought they downplayed the violence of the era (and book) a bit, so you had to just take it on faith that the maids were right to be scared to help Skeeter. Thought the casting was absolutely fantastic – heavens! Everyone was just perfect for the role they had. Lots of great parts for strong women.

I got tons of knitting done – knit all the way down to Portland and back, and through most of the movie. I love a good circular stockinette knitting pattern! Can do it in the dark. If I ever go blind, I will just knit millions of these sweaters. I am working on another Good Karma yarn sweater – I love the first one I made, and so am doing one in shades of burgundy and gray. The wool/alpaca blend yarn is so nice and soft and warm.

So, since yesterday was all about helping the economy, today is all about chores. Power pellet lifting! We have three tons of pellets in the driveway that need to be down cellar. A’s sister L will be over this afternoon, and we will get our assembly line going. I get to sit on the rolly chair in the 4 foot section of the cellar while they slide 40 pound bags down a ramp at me. We will get in the groove and get those babies in and stacked. Then we will get a break and have some apple crumble I made on Friday, and feel all righteous for doing all that exercising. Tomorrow we plan a long bike ride on the down east sunrise trail. LL has been wanting to get us over there for weeks now, but scheduling has been tough. Tomorrow looks like a beautiful day for it.

Today seems like it might be the kind of day that has me sneaking off to jump in a lake, since the pool is gone…

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