Brace yourself!

Due to an inordinate amount of work done this week and a couple of late in the day meetings, it turns out I have today off!

And if you have been around a while, you know what that means – a Friday to do list.  Since A will not be home, it is a pretty standard list for a “me” day.

-I intend to paint the 5 book case boxes that are all primed.  I also want to paint the fifth bookcase back, so that these five can be assembled and perhaps installed this weekend.  We had a bit of conversation about the next step.  A thought we would install these 5 bookcases and begin unpacking books.  She would measure for the 6th and final case that will complete the wall.  She wisely waited to do that so it could fit exactly.  It will also be the one that is not permanently affixed to the wall, but will be removable to provide crawl space access.  So it will be fussy.   Once that case is done and installed, she will put the face trim and top shelf on the whole works.

All of this made perfect sense to me except the part about unpacking the books before the end. We went back and forth about it, and we each have valid reasons.  Mine are about painting.  I don’t want to be painting trim around the books. Hers are about boxes of stuff weighing her down.  She wants them unpacked.  I think we have reached a compromise, and that is that we will install and trim what we have and I will paint trim before it goes up, so only touch ups are needed.  Then we can START loading shelves while we await the finishing case and trim bits.  I hope that this will keep us moving forward on this project, and I really fear that if the boxes are out of her way, forward momentum will halt as other projects grab her attention.

-Head to the PO where I hope I will find several packages.  A and I ordered “scads” of new clothes while we were on vacation.  Our favorite plain knit shirts were on sale, so we got some replacements and some new colors. I also ordered a few new skirts as it seems I haven’t got any.  Well, maybe I do, but I really could use some additional year round ones, my winter wardrobe is pretty limited. I hope the ones I ordered fit!

-Block Danse Macabre and take photos of it for you. I know this project will take at least a couple of hours, better to do it while I am home alone.

-If there are any blocking squares and pins left after that, I will also block Maluka.

-knit on the Over the Rainbow store sample Reyna – I am on the last section of openwork and hope to get it done this weekend.  It calls for one skein, 400 yards of sock-weight yarn.  The store provided one skein of yarn that is close to the proper weight, but only 350 yards, so I will be carefully weighing it toward the end to make sure I use every bit and get as big a garment as possible.  Right now it feels like it will be a bit small, but I know it will grow when blocked.  The color is really pretty – a green, teal, brown, blue variegated.  It has a nice sheen to it, too, so the finished product will be a pretty piece.  Can’t wait to show it to you!

-maybe get outside and work on the yard and pool a bit. It is supposed to be a gorgeous day, and I have been neglecting spring outside chores for inside painting.

-do a bit of planning for knitting stock for the Creatively Maine shop that will open in July, not that far away!  I hope to have a supply of cotton baby booties and hats to include there, along with jewelry, and maybe a wool hat or two.  And a couple of shawls.  Where will I find the time for this knitting?  Good question. I do have two shawls ready to go, one that has been done and for sale for a while, one that is done but hasn’t been shown anywhere for sale. And hats are quick, right?

I’ll try to post this weekend and show you photos of some of this work I will be cranking through in one long day.


Full of photos of yard and needle work

I’ll start with the finished objects.  I am amazed at how many there really are!  Two shawls – Leftie, just finished today – still on the needles here, as yet unblocked, but already well loved.  This is the yarn I dyed myself.  Lots left, I am thinking about a sweater….



And Indian Feathers, which I finished a while ago, but just got photos of.  It is pouring rain, so they are inside shots.  The close up is pretty accurate, color-wise. The beads are there, but as I mentioned before, too small for the pattern.



Another Indian feathers – this one, 1/3 the size of the original.  Also, larger beads, and more of them.  Still unblocked, but I think it will be big enough to be a small cowl.  I think I will wind up adding buttons to it.


The trapper cowl – I am pleased with how it came out – very warm and cozy.  I think it is a Christmas present, but I might keep it.  Or just make another one….


That’s the lot of finished items – I’ll have socks done for you this week I think.  And maybe cast on another shawl.  Or a sweater. Or both?  Who knows?

Next up the yard.  This is for you, Kepanie.  I know I have confused you all with my endless pool project – here’s how it works (and why it is endless!)

Here’s the area the pool will be in eventually:




So, I need to clear a circle, 20 feet across, and make sure it has no rocks, is just sand.  Here’s how I do that.

I dig down into the rocky sand about a shovel’s depth (which often takes several tries to get, because it is rocky!) and put it into the sieve on the wheelbarrow.




Then, using a rock (it took wearing out the fingers of several pairs of gloves to think of using a rock, not my hand) I sift the sand from the rocks.


When I am done, I am left with a wheelbarrow full of sand and a sieve full of rocks.


I dump the rocks in the other wagon, and the sand on the cleared ground, to later be spread and leveled.




Then, I take the wagon of rocks over to the place where I am putting in the path.  Dump them, shovel out some sand if need be (about every other load of rocks, I need to excavate some more sand, but it is easy digging – no rocks!) and take that back over to the pool area.


All of my work is supervised by Zumba, who just doesn’t get it.  Lots of people don’t get it.  But When I have a pool to swim in, I will be a very happy person.  Luckily, it hasn’t really gotten hot yet, so I am not worried that I am missing prime swimming weather.  🙂


Here are some other shots of the crazy place I call a yard.


The wygelia is in bloom – it did not mind being under 5 feet of snow this winter!  Well, perhaps it did – it is a funny shape this year.  🙂 But it is blooming like mad.


Here is the lupine by the driveway, spreading nicely to fill in the space between driveway and woods.


Here is a shot of that deck I love so much except in the midst of a snowy winter. It is sunny all morning, then has increasing shade in the afternoon – a lovely spot to eat dinner.

Speaking of winter – remember this shot?

house in snow

Yeah, I know, I try not to, too.

Here it is now –


Much better!

The raised beds are coming along – these photos are already a couple of weeks old, I forgot to take some yesterday.


Tomatoes and yellow squash, with some marigolds.  Tomatoes have blossoms on them now!


Strawberries, which I ignored this season, are producing the most they ever have.  I will dig out a lot of them this fall, though, they take up too much real estate for the amount they produce (we have had three so far.  🙂 )


Radishes, carrots, peas, lettuce and pumpkins.  Radishes are up, but not getting round. Peas are up and looking ready to bud, but not growing tall because a deer keeps trimming them. Carrots are up, but not very well.  I will likely reseed them when the radishes are done.  Lettuce not up at all, I’ll reseed that as well.  Pumpkins are up and growing.


Sister-in-law L’s garden – cilantro, beans, carrots, all seem to be happy!  As are the volunteer morning glories.  It looks nice and lush in her square.  🙂

So that is it off the camera.  It piles up quickly!

This week is going to be a fun one – first off – Friday is a holiday!  So only 4 days of work.  I like that… Tuesday I have my very first ever spinning lesson!  I am going to learn how to spin on a drop spindle, and hope that I love it and that a spindle will keep me happy for many years, because I have seen the price of wheels.  Yikes.  Can’t wait to share with you what happens when I  try spinning.  🙂

Sister in law L’s son D and his wife A are back in the USA after two years in Madagascar.  They will be around this week, and we will be so excited to see them, and get to know A better. I am hoping for good weather all week so I can continue to make progress on that sandy project, but if it rains, I can sit and spin and knit. And think about how happy I am this week with SCOTUS.  And how pleased I am at how YOUNG my favorite justices are. They will be on that court for a long time to come.

So that is what I am up to at this moment.  All exciting, I know!

Foggy Sunday

The weatherman finally got it right – it is a lovely, foggy day, soft and gray. Perfect for planting!
wet deck 2

I have gotten lots of things done around outside this weekend – I think everything that can be planted yet is, and all of the house plants are cleaned up and out on the deck. I hope it stays gray for a few days while they get used to being outside.
wet deck

The pool is getting near to full, just have to put the ladder in, and bring the outside chairs out of the cellar, and the yard is looking good for the summer. Sister-in-law L has promised to come over one day this week while we are at work and do some more weeding/raking – she is an angel!

I am disappointed that the cherries are blooming now, I wish they could have waited a few days longer, they look so pretty right now (sorry about the blurry photo), and they won’t next week when everyone is here to see them.

Other news of our outdoor world – a phoebe has built a nest on one of the deck supports under the deck that the cats go out on. Not sure why she chose to build right there, but it has made for some interesting moments out with the kids. I spoke with Mom about it – how long should we leave her in peace, and Mom suggested we don’t, until she is sitting on the nest, in the hopes that she decides to move it. So we go out, and the phoebe protests until we give up and go in. It is quite funny, the cats have no idea there is a nest right beneath their feet, but they certainly know they are being scolded and dive bombed. They sit and watch out the door for hours, and are thrilled when we open it and let them on the deck.
watching the birds
And while I was out on the deck potting things, the first humming bird of the season buzzed by! A sprightly brightly dressed male, happy that I hung the feeders last week. It is truly spring at last!

wedding prep

Oh, it sounds so funny to be thinking about getting ready for our wedding. It is such a combination of HUGE deal and non-event.

Huge deal in that we can actually do it! Non-event in that we had a big party and commitment ceremony 4 years ago, so we consider ourselves married already. This will be a renewing of those vows with whatever language is necessary to make it legal. Then a Dutch treat lunch at Crosby’s.

So, what preparations?

Well, I would like to have the gravel around the house a bit tidier (I should really stop calling it a yard!) so A’s two sisters came over last week and helped dig and weed and plant pansies. It looks much better, but there is more I want to do. Aunts who have never seen the place are coming, after all. I want my sand nice and tidy. 🙂 And the pool filled. I am working on that a bit each day.

Clean the house – yep, someone has to do that at some point. Probably the day before, or why bother, right?

I guess the loft won’t get painted in time, unless it is too rainy to work outside this weekend. So I might move the furniture back and uncover it. But the rooms leading to and from it are still full of boxes and will remain so until the loft is finished.

The there is the problem of what to wear. A is planning on a clean t-shirt and casual slacks. Shorts, even have crossed her mind. I saw a beautiful sundress on the cover of a Lands End catalog, but by the time I ordered it they were out of stock. So I looked in the closet. I probably have something in there I can wear. Or I could clear off the sewing machine and make something. But probably not before the 19th.

That’s it. Those are the preparations, and they are under control, and if they don’t all get done, we will still get married and it will be fine.

There is something to be said for this stress free way of getting hitched.

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