Friday, May 22, 2015

Well-It Is Soon To Be Another Birthday!

Isn't it funny?  Years ago I would celebrate my birthday month.  Now it is just another day.  I have gotten cards in the mail from friends.  And my friend CJE gave me a FitBit to track my Heart Rate.  She is concerned with my health issues.  So now I can track my activity level from slug to pushing it.  I monitored my sleep last night.  As I already know that I never sleep well or completely through a night, the graph showed I was up or roused 28 times last night.  I am not sure I need to know this.

I tried taking Patty on a walk today, but she balked all along the route.  She did not want the harness on.  When I first got her, I only put the harness on to indicate we were going for a walk.  She did not want that thing on, but I prevailed and snugged it up.  We would be walking along quite well, and suddenly she would stop.  She wouldn't budge.  Finally what I had to do was click and snap the lead a couple flicks, and say "Let's go."  And she would for a while.  She kept looking around like she was trying to figure out where we were.  I was too busy trying to dodge the goose and duck poop.

CJE came over yesterday and gave me the new toy.  She also made me a pattern for a simple tank top that she created.  I am thinking I could sew a few summer tops out of some cute fabric and have some nice tops.  Unfortunately we are in a cool snap.  Right now I have on a sweatshirt and socks.  I cannot remember when was the last time I was still wearing cool weather clothes in late May.

I went to the doctor this a.m. and now I am stable and seem to be accepting the meds without complications.  I don't have to go back for three months, unless, of course, I have some weird symptoms.  What a relief.

I did come straight home and got the riding mower out to mow the majority of the yard.  It was wet down close to the ground, so the mower wasn't happy.  I haven't done any weedeating or trip mowing with the push mower.  It started to rain and I was glad to not do anything for a while.

I am going to get some minor chores done for house maintenance next week.  Unfortunately I did find my floor is soft in the back bathroom.  Sigh!  I did not want to do any major repairs this year.  I told the company I need an estimate, so I can plan when to have the work done.

Noodles caught a mid-size rabbit the other evening.  It seems I have a large population of rabbits this year.  They are always in the yard, and I have walked right past them without them running off.  I only hope that he doesn't get some disease from eating them.  He did get something when we lived out near Devil's Den.  A tick fever the vet said probably came from rabbits.  It is better than Bobcat Fever.  That kills domestic cats within 24 hours.

My flowers are starting to grow well in the little bed I made out back.  Noodles keeps the catnip trimmed, so it is really getting thick.  Hopefully he will allow it to flower.  The butterflies and bees really like catnip flowers.  The coreopsis is blooming.  The milkweed flowers are reddish, but they haven't opened fully.

I have been spinning the purple yarn, but now I am wanting to spin up the green that I just dyed.  With the electric spinner I am spinning some white merino.  I am thinking that I might just dye the skein when I finish that.  I got a coupon from Paradise Fibers for my birthday, so I think I will order some more white fiber.  I haven't set up an indigo pot, but surely it will be getting warm soon.

So Jeopardy is coming on.  Time to try to outwit the smart folks there.  Sometimes I yell at them, and it frustrating why they can't get it.  The pleasures of living alone. Ha!

Have a safe holiday weekend.  Surely we will soon have sunshine and warmth.  

Friday, May 15, 2015

It's Still Raining!

 Today I picked a few stems and leaves from my tansy out back.  It has flourished this year due to the excessive rain we have had.  It hasn't begun to set flowers, so this is perfect timing.

I am really, really pleased with the pretty soft green I got.  I used copper sulfate as my mordant.  The wool is Polworth.  There is 8 oz drying and waiting to become yarn.

Yes, it appears that we are in for a very wet May.  This is extremely unusual, since May is the first month to get hot.  Not the oppressive heat of June and July and August, but a blessing from the cold.  Now we have had some cooler mornings and a lot of wet.

Patty has been sick twice this week.  We got very little sleep two nights in a row.  I finally tried a low-dose aspirin, and she slept.  Who knows?  It's a shame dogs can't give us a hint.

I am desperately trying to keep up with the mowing.  It is difficult.  If the ground and grass is too wet, it can clog up the mower. 

My bachelor buttons did not do so well this year.  They are scraggly and not really blossoming into a beautiful carpet of flowers.  This may be my last year to promote them.  My hollyhocks did not return as well, either.  There is only one plant where there were three last year.  I don't know why it is so hard for me to grow them.

My weigeilias did exceptionally well.  They were covered in flowers all over.  The two are thick bushes grown together now.  I trimmed the pink azalea this morning, getting it ready for next year's blooms.

My friend CJE is finally getting her new doors and she now has new flooring in her bathroom and in the kitchen.  The pictures look good.

My friend BBR is not coming in November.  It is too expensive for her to come from Vermont.  We exchanged emails this morning, catching up on news.

I don't have a lot going on.  Just wanted to post the pictures of my afternoon's work.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Day 2 May

It has seemed such a long time to finally get to May.  Normally by February I am tired of winter, and I am anxious to get on with warmer weather.  This year February was bitterly and unseasonably cold.  It seemed forever until March came.  Then we had normal weather until April.  April was cold some, warm some, and really, really, really wet.  It was always cloudy, gloomy, chilly, and bone-aching. 

Now, finally we are having a delightful weather pattern.  Sitting on my screened porch is wonderful. I listen to all the neighborhood sounds.  The birds are twittering, chattering, and chirping.  It is a good day all around.

I went to a special opening of an exhibit at the Shiloh Museum here in Springdale.  I met up with friends there, and we had a late dinner together.  Then I was sick.  I don't know if it was the lateness of the dinner or the dinner itself.  I woke up yesterday with diarrhea and Patty was sick, too.  So the two old ladies just stayed close to home.  It wasn't an awful day.

Today is an awesome day for both of us.  It is warm, it is sunny, and it is peaceful here on the little porch.

I watched a fantastic video yesterday on Netflix- The Monk with a Camera.  It is a mindful journey of a privileged young man who decides to become a Tibetan monk. 

Today I got notice from Netflix that they have Longmire's next season.  Finally..... I can find out what happens to the handsome deputy that is an asshole and got shot.

Today is not a Netflix day.  It is a peaceful day to sit on the porch, lounge around, and just chill.

I think in all the chaos of the world right now, I want to just have peace and balance in my life where I am right now.  I can only project goodness out if I have goodness coming in. 

I am on medicine three of the b.p. medicines.  I am not having any horrible reactions-except my pulse sky rockets when I stand up.  I went for a treadmill stress test Thursday, and I was over the goal pulse rate when I stood up.  I was able to make three minutes on the treadmill climbing a hill, and I was wiped out.  I was unable to breathe and my heart was pounding.

So we will see where we go from here.

I am not going to chat long.  I want to go back to my porch and just chillin'.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

There Ain't No Sense to Anything

This has been the craziest April yet.  We have been swamped in rain-which is a good thing.  Unfortunately it means I can't keep up with the yard work that needs done.  It has been hard to look out and see the high grass or the weeds.  And it is pouring rain.

It has been unseasonably warm.  Highs in the 70's.  Wonderful to have the sun and warmth.  We did get a new front and it is going to cool down to normal next week.  Back to a sweater in the mornings and still wearing long pants.

I just had a quick visit from my cousin and it was a nice calm visit.  We talk about family a lot, and it is interesting that we are closer to each other than to our siblings.  We eat and talk a lot.  Last night we did genealogy for a good long time.  We studied maps of England to locate where ancestors lived.  We looked at photos and discussed history.  While he was talking to his wife and discussing a trip they are taking in May, I rushed outside to look at the sky.

He joined me to look at constellations and discuss names of stars and planets.  I love my Star Guide on my IPad.  I recommend it to everyone.

My older brother told me they had such a bad storm Thursday night.  He said he was afraid he would wake up in Kansas with Toto.  I am glad they are getting some rain for a while.  It is so dry in Texas in the summer. 

I am knitting along on my Sanquhar Cowl.  I started a pair of socks as a carry along project.  I am now at the point of making up my mind who is going to receive them.  That will tell me how long to make the foot.  I have two people in mind, but I guess I will have to toss a coin.

I am itching to start another sweater.  I really don't need another sweater.  I just like the length of the project.  It takes a lot to commit to a project like that.  I think that is a stupid reason to start a sweater.

I have been putzing along spinning my last bobbin of orange yarn.  I watched Wolf Hall yesterday on the computer while I was spinning.  I think this is going to be a beautiful yarn.  Such vivid color. 

My doctor finally is beginning to listen to me.  It has been so frustrating to me that I can't make them believe what I am saying.  I am on the third kind of medicine.  Fingers crossed this one seems to be the answer to the problem of regulating my b.p. without side effects.  My daily readings are pretty stable and I am not dizzy or woozy feeling.  It almost is like a cloud was lifted off my head after three days.  So-we will see.  Funny thing that the doctor told me all my blood work is normal.  They can't find anything else wrong, no matter what they dream up that needs to be tested. 

I got my serger back from the repair man.  I am lucky that I have found a guy that will come to the house and pick up either my sewing machine or the serger and bring it back all fixed.  Of course, I have to pay a little more for service.  Now I have to just make myself get up and start making those pillow cases that are on my shelf of "make this now" stuff.

Patty got her Spring haircut.  It was a traumatic experience for her and me.  She jumped, bucked, squirmed, jerked about.  When he was getting to the close trim with scissors to sculpt around her face and legs, I just held her down.  What should have been a one-hour job took two hours.  She is changing fast in some things with this dementia thing, and then there are days that she seems her usual self.

Other than that, my life seems to be on a slow-boat to nowhere.  I have my routines and my life is super simple.  It is very nice to just putter around and do a little bit of work every day.  I am very blessed.  I am just happy that my one little bit of health problem is probably on the road to okay.  Maybe now that my head is clearer I can actually get things done.

Happy Spring.  Maybe now most everyone around is experiencing green happenings instead of white and cold happenings.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Everthing is Green!

After our unusual winter, we are having an unusual Spring!  Why does that surprise me?  It shouldn't.

I am actually mowing the weeds.  There are spots of real grass, but the usual Spring weeds are flourishing.  We have been having our storms, our rain, our unusually warm April.  My redbuds are so beautiful right now.  It is so pleasing to see the gorgeous colors.  My daffodils bloomed quickly and were done.  The iris and other bulbs are well on their way to popping open.

Unfortunately I am not going to get such a great hollyhock year as last.  I love hollyhocks-their tall stalks blooming little bit by little bit with cups of flowers.

I am so excited that my roadrunner visited today.  Noodles alerted me of something outside.  I stood in the doorway of the screened porch.  After spotting me, the roadrunner raced up the steps of the porch, hopped up on the railing and stared at me.  I very softly said, "Hi.  I am happy you have come back."  It hopped down to steps, hopped up to rail, hopped down to steps, hopped up to rail, and stared me right in the eye.  After a coupla minutes, it flew up to rooftop and started cuckooing loudly.

I know all the bird people are going to pooh-pooh me.  Birds don't have the memories to do something like that.  I know the first hummingbird always hovers in front of one particular window, and last year an oriole hovered in front of the studio window.  I feel like they recognize me.  It makes me feel loved and appreciated.  I don't want to know that this is some random behavior. 

I am doing very little knitting right now.  I started the Sanquhar Cowl, and I love the sampler idea.  I don't get bored with an endless pattern and as soon as I get bored, I get another pattern to learn.  I am also knitting a pair of socks.  I don't need a pair of socks, but I needed something to haul around.

I love having the windows and door open to the fresh air.  I know the pollen is bad right now, but I am into the fresh air thing.  I assume we will still have some cooler weather before May, but I love the sunshine, the warmth, and all the green.

I am still having some difficulties with my blood pressure.  It is so worrisome.  I went back to doctor yesterday, and I was assigned a different doctor.  She seems to think it is okay to have fluctuating all over the place b.p.  So I guess right now I am not going to worry so much.

My cousin will be here next week.  At some time I do need to clean up my house.  UGH!

Going to a quilt show tomorrow morning.  I am really excited about it.  I need some kind of motivation to get back to sewing.  I did clean up the room and reorganized things so it doesn't look like a tornado hit in there.  I need to vacuum, but I always need to vacuum.

So-as usual-nothing new and exciting.  This is my busy season.  Getting beds prepared, planting things, mowing, trimming, and generally getting ready for summer.  By the time the heat is on I will be in the maintenance stage.  That isn't so hectic.

Have a good weekend.  Enjoy Spring!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

March-A Month of Contemplation

Every winter I try to teach myself new skills.  It is supposed to be a time of learning, reawakening creativity, and certainly one of discovery. 

This year I decided I would learn to do rughooking.  The method is like knitting-it is traditional only in the sense of how to use your tools.  The creativity is endless.  Of course, I have wanted to do rughooking for so many years, I cannot imagine how long it has been.  I have started a project.  I put it in my pea brain how I wanted it to look.  Since it isn't looking like I imagined, it has become a frustration.  I don't know what is the matter with my work.  It isn't satisfying me.  I know I am my own worst critic.  Sigh!

I also have been knitless for any big projects.  I like to have at least one challenging project that makes me crazy and gives me something to complain about.  So I decided I would do a Sanquhar sampler scarf.  That is another skill I wanted to learn, so I ordered Beth Brown-Reinsel's DVD on her gloves.  I just couldn't get into making a pair of gloves in a fidgety pattern.  So the scarf was a good alternative.

I ordered the yarn, and it should have been here last week.  Everything is delayed due to weather.  Yesterday I looked at the tracker and UPS transferred the package to the post office!  How crazy!  Hopefully I will get it today. 

Sunday night I was so out of sorts since I had nothing on needles.  The TV shows are so mindless that I cannot sit still in a chair and pay attention to the show.  I hastily cast on a pair of socks.  I don't need any socks, but it was easy to cast on and get going.  After the heel I will have to decide who they are for so I can make them the right length.

I did cast on a simple hat pattern last Tuesday when the newest snow storm blew in.  I finished that Friday night.  I used leftover yarns, and it knit very quickly. 

I have also finished one skein of my orange yarn.  It is very, very soft and squishy and really, really lovely.  I realized that I buy roving seasonally.  I bought this last Fall when I was in a very orange-y mood.  Right now I am more into pinks and greens and light blues.  I am trying very hard to get this orange finished.  It is really pretty.  I have also refused to buy any new rovings-especially the pinks, greens, and blues.  I don't need any new fiber.  Sigh!

I have been trying to block out time during the horrible winter weather.  It is so amazing that we have had the most gorgeous nice winter until February.  Then the ugly hit.  I am so thankful that I am not in the frigid north, but this is more cold than I like.  I think it is being forced to stay indoors that does it for me.  Right now we are in a warm up phase, which means mud.  I will take mud over snow/ice any day.

I have been watching several quilting videos I have.  I have learned some new ideas, but for the most part it is just a way to past time.  I like the refreshers on color and color theory.  Some of the information I used to know, and suddenly I slap my forehead and say Duh!  Why didn't you remember this? 

Patty is slowing changing.  I have to keep an eye on her regularly.  I think she is having mini-strokes some days.  She had a rough day a coupla days ago.  I once thought Noodles would die first, and Patty and I could go on trips together.  It doesn't look that way now.  I won't be going on too many trips with her at all.  I would like to go out to the woods for some hiking, and I think she could manage fine right now.  I am just waiting for a warmer day to do so-with some sunshine.

The birds are eating me out of house and home.  Well, the squirrels are helping.  I notice that the colors are brighter on the finches and cardinals.  The songs are a little different, too.  First signs that the weather is changing.

Life is surely strange.  I don't think I ever imagined that I would live this long.  I know I am young chronologically, but I just never thought I would live this long.  Now I have blood pressure problems, and it seems odd.  I know that we never know when the end will be.

 I was lying in bed and thinking.  I thought about my friend George, and I felt a heaviness in my chest.  It is strange that mostly I don't feel sad about his passing, but then last night I did.  I am so thankful that he passed so quickly.  He was so fearful and that was difficult to manage.  I thought of others that have passed on, too, and it was a reflective time to ponder the meanings of things we do.

Well, on that gloomy note I guess I better get moving along.  I have lots to do, but I have little motivation right now.  It is probably the overcast, gray skies and the chilly dampness.  Have a great week!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day

It seems to me that the holidays-like Valentines Day- are super hyped these days.  I bet the stores already have green shamrocks and little people pasted on the walls.  It boggles the mind.

This week I had a bit of a scare.  My blood pressure read 196/97.  It never came down below 165, and I was really worried.  I went to the clinic, and I am now on bp meds and the doc put me back on cholesterol meds.  I am monitoring my bp daily and will return to the doctor next Wednesday.

So maybe I have an active imagination, but I feel more energized and want to get a lot done in a day.
I have sheets out on the line, dog beds in the washer, and bread is rising.  I have swept the floors-I am not going to mop today- and I am really ready to just sit down a while and rest.

I finished my sweater.  I slogged through the stockinette row after row after row.  It is really pretty.  I found the cutest yellow buttons that are vintage, and I need to sew those on today.  I finished the little blue hat for Max's birthday.  I don't see how this thing will fit him.  He is one big boy.

I just put the dog beds in the dryer to get rid of some of the hair.  Then I will put it outside to finish drying.  Noodles is lying on the top of the dryer in a sunny spot.  I had a memory of standing next to the shaking washing machine and dryer as a kid.  We thought it could jiggle away our fat.  Too funny, eh?

The bread is beginning to smell yeasty.  I love the smell of rising bread.

I have had a lot of trouble going to sleep lately.  Just as I settle and find a comfy spot, my brain engages.  I think about the stories I am writing right now.  I think of where they are going and how I am going to bring them to that spot.  How does one just turn off one's brain?  Just as I relax, I have to get up and go to the bathroom. Sigh!

Today is an absolutely gorgeous day!  The sun is shining, the sky is blue, a bit of wind.  According to the weather guy, this evening the wind will shift from the north.  This will herald in our newest cold front from the artic.  UGH!  I hate cold.  It could be just like today forever.  Tomorrow the temp is supposed to plummet.  Then snow/freezing rain/and or ice will move in.  UGH!  That is why I am preparing everything today for the event.

I don't know what I will knit next.  I finally put a pair of socks on the needles.  I also started a zigzag afghan.  It is one of those ten stitch patterns.  Both are quite simple to do, and I am up for something for a challenge.  I just don't know what.

I am almost finished spinning the second bobbin of orange mutli merino, and then I will ply that.  I think it is quite pretty.  Unspun the orange is rather dominant.  Blended in while spinning, it is not as prominent.  Yes, it is orange, but more of an earthy, Fall leaves kind of orange.  I like it a lot.

Patty is snoring right next to me.  Poor little thing.  She is so confused why I am so active.  She has to be right under my feet at all times, and it does discombobulate her teeny brain.  She is happy most of the time and doesn't seem to be in any kind of distress most of the time.  I can be thankful for that.

So back to work.  It has been a good sit down and a bit of a rest.  I have some things I want to do before lunch.  Whew!  I don't know where the energy came from, but I am taking advantage of it.

Keep safe, keep warm, and stay off the roads on Monday morning.  Next time.