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.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Eight Years!

I had to look it up.  I started this blog in January, 2007.  It is hard to imagine what anyone can really talk about in that amount of time.  Obviously my interests in fiber work stays constant.  My interest in writing on this blog has not.  I seem to only write once in a while now.  I guess my idea is to create more balance, but it only complicates life.  I have so many things I want to work on, and I pick up my knitting.  I guess I am in a rut.

Patty is older now.  I am dealing with a geriatric dog.  Noodles will be fifteen years old this year.  He is moving slowly, but he still hunts and wanders around the yard.  I guess his aging has come slowly enough that I have gotten used to his slower ways.  I noticed it more when Tommy Cat was living with us last year.  He was young and spry and full of energy.

I am older now too.  I find my hips don't like sitting too long.  I am constantly wiggling around to find a way to lessen the pain.  I am moving slower.  I am doing less physical work than I used to do.  I can ride the mower all day, but the push mower and weed eater kill me.

So where are we now.  Still living in the gray house in my studio.  Still spreading out all the things I love to work on.  Still happy to be able to do all the things I love.  I may get new glasses, but I can still see and here and smell and taste and feel all the fine things I love.  I have pumpernickel bread in the bread oven right now.  Almost ready by the smell of things.

So here's to a new year of growth and prosperity for everyone.  Keep on doing!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Yes! January Is Back!


 


My first finished project for the year 2015.  It is handspun merino.  I loved the colorway and I chose to knit it in a simple feather and fan pattern that would not take any thinking on my part.  I found this patch of moss and the green in the yarn matched the moss exactly.  I thought while knitting it that it reminded me of a forest floor.  The moss just confirmed my intuition.

January started out bitter cold and windy.  We suddenly had a very brief four days of sunshine and warmth.  It was a great respite from the usual gray, gloomy, cold days.  For some unusual reason we have not had any rain or frozen anything for a week.  I am so happy for that.  Patty hasn't been complaining either. Today it is overcast and cold again.

I am on the first sleeve of the simple yoke cardigan sweater.  I really haven't been pushing too hard. It will really be lovely when finished.  It is a yellow red, not the blue red.  I like the color on me.   I have to say I prefer to knit a top-down raglan than a bottom-up raglan.  I like to try it on and see how it going.  I find that it works better than measuring the knitting.

I have slowed my spinning down tremendously since I am not going to do any shows this year.  I want to knit up what I have and go from there.  I do have the orange mix divided out and ready to go. On the e-spinner I have some plain old white BFL.  I am so happy I bought that thing.  It is more comfortable to sit in a comfy chair and just spin away while I am watching Netflix.  I am finding that as I sit in a chair and spin on the treadle wheel, my hips hurt more.  I have to get up and move around.
Age is a bitch, I know.

My cousin DMP visited from Virginia for two days.  He and his sister were changing bank accounts in Oklahoma for the property they own there.  The bank said he had to come in person and sign the papers.  Evidently with homeland security breathing on everyone these days, they have to do this in person.  He wasn't happy that he had to take two days from work, but I think we had a great visit.  Usually when he visits in April, he is exhausted from working two days at the convention center.  This visit he didn't have that and we spent more time talking.

My friend CJE has been accepted to present her work at the gift shop at Crystal Bridges Museum.  She is also working on writing more.  She is taking an online class with Ann Hood, and this has gotten her going again. 

I had a talk and reading at the Fayetteville Library this month.  I had five people show up.  Three of them were friends, so that made it more comfortable.  I sold four books. 

I am also teaching myself rug hooking.  I know what I want to do, but I am antsy.  I don't quite have the skills to make it work, but I am trying hard.  I am also teaching myself punch needle embroidery. I like that a lot, too.

I also have a lot of creative ideas for some other projects.  I suddenly have more projects all over the place.  I guess that is why my spinning and knitting have slowed down.  I have discovered Pinterest, and I am busy hoarding photos for inspiration.

I also have plans to finish those two quilts that I started two years ago and never finished. 

So I better get busy and do some of this, I guess.  Have a good rest of the week.  Gibbs is on tonight.Yay!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It's The End-Again!

Although I don't think of the traditional Jan 1 as New Year's, it is the beginning of new things.  It is an Aries moon, a time of new beginnings, a time of turning things around, a time to reflect and change.

Since my last time to leave Patty at the boarding place, I knew that my adventures away from home would be coming to an end.  She is not doing so well; she has certainly showed me signs of a geriatric dog with special needs.  I notice them because of my education and training and the fact that I am with her all the time.  Her vision has decreased, her hearing has decreased, and her need to be with me has increased. 

So this whole month I have been thinking about what to do.  Partly thinking, anyway.  I have a tendency to put ideas in and let them stew for a while.  I have enjoyed my selfish knitting and my selfish spinning.  I don't feel the pressure to put out more and more.

I have also decided to teach myself a new skill-rug hooking.  I don't think the process is difficult-it's the practice, practice, practice kind of skill.  I like the type of hooking that looks as if it is painterly.  I like the mixing of colors and textures to add interest.  It is the color in the lines part I don't like.  We will see how it evolves. 

So this is just one more thing that is taking up my time.  Now add to that my sewing.  I bought a design wall and I have placed my quilt blocks from the quilt that was abandoned two years ago.  I did give a lot of fabric away to my SIL that quilts.  I cleaned off the shelves.  I did not sort through the flannels yet.  I also need to decide what to do with some other things in that room.  I have pillowcases to make, also.

So this is the end of the year 2014 by our traditional calendar.  Time to reflect and decide how things are going to go.

Thanks to all my friends and comrades that helped me along my path this year.  My book was published, book signings were done, fiber shows were done, and lots of stuff to consider. 

Several transitions have occurred and it is time to think about those people too. 

See you next year!