Saturday, February 6, 2016

February Has Two Birthdays in My Family!

Before I rush off to discuss my family, I just want to give a shout out to a movie on Netflix- Evening.  I had never heard of it, but since it has so many notable names (Vanessa Redgrave and Meryl Streep) I had to watch it.  OMG!  This was the best movie.  I think I could watch it again if I had to.  Why has no one mentioned this movie?

I am really excited about something I purchased last week.  India Flint has spent the summer in Australia thinking of ways to reach people that want to know more about her work.  She knows that folks just can't afford to jet around to places where she teaches.  Most of her workshops in the US and Canada are sold out in hours.  There is only so much one can absorb with books.  Yes, dyeing is practice and practice and practice.  So first off- she set up a private group on Facebook and newest info is posted there.  It is a fast way to get information disseminated.  Then she has created a new card game for dyers.  It is four sets of ten cards.  Three sets will have words or instructions printed on them.  The fourth is for notes or whatever we want to put on them.  When she received them from her printer, she then dyed on a whole lot of them.  That is cool too.  She said the person could use them like a tarot reading-pull one card from each pile.  Then figure out how to use that info.  Or one could just pull one card and do that activity.  The fun will begin soon.  She is preparing them for mailing out on February 29.  She is wrapping the sets in a piece of cloth that she will have dyed.  They are placed in a cardboard box for shipping.  She wanted to do a small wooden box, but the postal service told her she would have to go through a lot of customs crap declaring what is in the box, etc.  She also added an option of a dyed silk scarf for an additional fee.  I chose not to get that.

I think I mentioned that I am trying to walk every day.  My friend CJE gave me a FitBit primarily to monitor my heart rate.  I find that it does not record every step I am taking on the treadmill.  I tried to discuss this with the company without any success.  Nonetheless, it has been entertaining to view my sleep habits and the steps I take.  I am trying unsuccessfully to pay attention to the weight part.  With my history of anorexia, I am really not supposed to even use a scale.  Since I have been dealing with this for over 45 years, I think I can handle weighing once a week.  The weight is not as important to me as the Lean vs Fat part.  I really need to lose some fat.  Don't we all?

I did a strange thing this week.  I decided to go to Devil's Den State Park.  I walked a trail that  I always walk- and that I haven't had any difficulty with- because it is a loop trail.  It is only 1.5 miles. Perfect for a day that was in the 50's.  I really didn't think anything about the fact that it is a mountainous terrain-lots of up and down and roots and rocks and there were downed trees to climb over.  I got about halfway when my gas ran out.  It was a lot of sputtering and then boom! no more gas.  I leaned up against a tree thinking about my options.  Essentially it was a lot of pep talking to myself.  "you got yourself in this, now get yourself out"  "I got down here and I have to get up there" and looking up the bluff line.    As I was climbing up the rock steps to the top of the bluff, I would say "one step at a time"  "one step at a time"  rest, rest, rest  "one step at a time".

Once I was back at the car and leaning on the head rest, I had to plan how quickly I could find something to eat.  I was thinking I needed fuel.  I stopped at McDonald's and got an egg mcmuffin.  They are 300 calories with some protein in it.

After I am home for perhaps 30 minutes, I think that my blood pressure must be sky rocketing.  My ears are ringing.  No-my blood pressure was actually Hypotensive.   So this was perhaps one hour after my episode.  I wonder what my blood pressure had been when I was leaning on the tree wondering how I was going to get back to the car? 

The other thing is my FitBit gave me a badge because I had climbed 25 flights of stairs. 

Well, my body is beginning to fall apart.  I just have a hard time changing with this. 

Now to family matters.  My brother's birthday is next week.  My little grand-nephew's birthday is in 18 days.  Hmmm.

I had a dream about my brother's dog.  We had a great conversation about her sailboat with two sails and how much fun she has sailing.  So I started painting a picture of this for my brother.  I spent the best part of two days working and I hated it.  It was AWFUL!  So this morning I put aside the stupid board I was painting on.  I pulled out a sheet of my watercolor paper.  I did a fast sketch and I loved it.  It was whimsical and obviously just a sketch.  Not a painting-just a quick sketch.  I also wrote a short story of our conversation about sailing.  So those are now packaged with a note explaining it. On the outside of the note I wrote From Sukie and Judy.
.I like it.  It is silly and funny all at the same time.

MH will be getting a hat from me.  He is at the age that he will probably pull it off.  I just thought he needed a new hat when they go to Colorado.  I have to find him a new book too.  That's what Aunties provide.  Knitwear and books.  Ha!

I am still spinning the mystery brown stuff.  I am still knitting my girlfriend's socks.  I haven't touched that last sleeve on my sweater that is taking too long. 

I also have not woven.  I made a promise to weave every day.  Hasn't happened.  I had another one of my memory jumps this week.  I remember when I was wanting to weave Josef Albers color studies to demonstrate how color works differently with fiber vs. painting.  That was nixed by my art advisor.  I don't know if that shipped has sailed.  I don't know if it is something that still needs to be done.  I just don't know.  Too much happened this week after that epiphany.  I will have to think on it.

I watched a wonderful video with Susun Weed about Artemis Vulgaris-Croneswort.  Most folk call it Mugwort.  Susun's plants told her it does not like to be called Mugwort.  It makes one think of drinking from a mug.  I think I will have to go to YouTube and watch more of her videos.  She is a wonderful storyteller.  She also said that was how people knew where the herbalist lived.  There would be Croneswort growing right by the door.  When folk moved to the city, they would hang the dried plant by the door or paint a picture of it on their door.  I have it growing by my back step.  I have had these plants for at least 20+ years.

Herbs are such wonderful plants.  They have been around for a lot longer than pharmaceuticals have.  It's too bad that alternative medicine is not given more credit. 

Well, I have chattered a long, long time today.  Enjoy the sunshine.  It is a beautiful weekend.

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Random Day-A Random Friday!

Isn't Life the strangest thing?  I can wake up groggily determined that this is going to be the most productive day of my Life.  Then somewhere when the fog clears and I look at the clock and it is 11:00 AM.  Where did the morning go?  I should have a lot of things to account for the time, but there isn't anything to mark the time.

I do start every morning with feeding Noodles and the birds.  He will never ever give me slack about that.  He will yowl loudly if I don't get a move on.  The birds are not so insistent this week. On cold, yucky days they are clamoring over each other to get to the feeders.

We have had the most delightful week of nice weather.  I know it seems that during the winter I complain a lot about the cold, the yuck, the wind, whatever is happening.  This week I wish to declare that it has been a delightful week.  Especially since it is January and it is so nice.  There is wind, yes, but there is sunshine!

I am slowly gaining ground on the second sock for my friend.  I did not touch it once yesterday.  It is a slow down kind of week.  Just sit in the sunshine and warm up the bones kind of week.

It is a week like this that there is hope for Spring.  Of course, I am realistic that winter will return next week.  I have had a glimpse of Spring and I will cling to that.

I always, always have such high hopes for yard work about this time of year.  There is so much to do and so much work, but I am eager to begin.  I won't uncover the hollyhocks yet, nor will I cut all the little weeds.  I wonder why I have so much hemlock in the yard?  I don't think I have ever lived anywhere that there is so much.  The bachelor buttons are popping up in the yard already.  Green onions are sending out shoots. My garlic has tall shoots too.  A friend said he saw Spring Beauties.  It is way, way, way too early for those.

I have started spinning some wool that is a mystery wool.  It was supposed to be Polworth, but it isn't.  It is a short fiber, very soft, and a wonderful chocolate brown natural color. It will be pretty, no matter what it is. 

I have been watching PBS videos while I spin.  It is amazing what one can find on their web page.  I can't get PBS on my t.v. for some reason.  So I enjoy some of the current shows a few days later than they air.  But I love the archived videos just as much. 

My sweater that is taking too long is lingering again.  I really should just get that sleeve finished.  Sigh!  See-nothing done today!

I will have to run a couple of errands, so I will try to sit down this afternoon and get that second sock cuff finished.  That is my goal today.

I have to find a way to reconcile my time on Facebook.  It is a black hole that can suck away a day.

My friend CJE is friending me now on Blogger.  Thanks for your support.

India Flint is creating a wonderful kit in lieu of a workshop.  I ordered one.  She is mailing it out on the 29th of Feb to everyone that orders.  A great thing for a Leap Year gift.  I have been itching to dye something.  This will be a jump start-maybe.

Well, have a great weekend.  Get out in the sunshine and enjoy it while it happens.  Screw "should" and "would".  I am going to enjoy the day of warmth and sunshine first.  Then I will knit or spin.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Yep! It's Gray and Gloomy

Let's just cut through the chase.  It's winter.  It's awful!

Now, to the good stuff.

I finished the hat and mitts for Shelley.  Just need to get into the mail.  I am now working on a pair of socks for a friend.  I hope she likes the color.  It isn't in her normal color range, but this yarn has bamboo in it.  I think with her foot issues, it would be a comfort.  Plus it is microbacterial.

I finally got back to the sweater that has taken too long.  That's it's new name.   I am working on the decreases at the shoulder area.  I just want it done.  I like the rugged, rustic quality of this one.  It isn't all fine and pretty.  It is a basic top-down raglan cardigan, made with rustic tweedy yarn, and it is going to be a hard working sweater.  I am ashamed I have just gotten tired and put it down so many times.

I have been weaving a teeny bit.  I got a new chair, and I think that will help.  I just can't seem to sit and focus.  I like the way it is happening, but it isn't happening fast.

I have a treadmill now and I am walking every day.  It was a challenge to figure out my pace without getting my heart rate racing.  I am actually walking so much slower than my normal pace outside or in a hurry inside.  I have decided to walk to Memphis.  It is going to take a long, long time.  I made it to West Fork and I am now walking down Highway 71 to Brentwood.  Brentwood is just a wide spot in the road, but there is still a community there.  I am heading to Winslow in the next two days.

The wild kitty did not come in to eat last night.  That seems strange to me.  I hope he is alright.

The birds are eating fast and furious since we had this cold snap.  I fill all five feeders twice a day.  I have run out of suet, and the woodpeckers are not happy.

I spotted a Hairy Woodpecker the other day.  I have never seen them here in the time I have lived here.  I am happy they are moving in the neighborhood.  I like a variety.

Noodles has been mostly indoor kitty the last couple of days.  When it is icy and wet and cold, he prefers to stay in.  He definitely is getting older.  I spotted some chipmunks gathering seeds on the ground the other day.  So he hasn't completely killed them all yet.

I may have my electric spinner sold.  I will know in a week whether she has her money together.  I hope it will go.  It needs someone to use it and love it and care for it.

I have been cooking a lot in the crock pot and putting meals away in the freezer.  I just am not inspired to cook much anymore.  It isn't very inspiring, but it plentiful.  I just had lunch of scrambled eggs with cheese and onion.  Not inspiring, but warm and tasty.

I think if we had sunshine, I would not be so gloomy.

Just to check in and touch base.  Nothing new or exciting going on.  Just my new walking program.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Yes, It Is Still Winter!

Well, it finally happened.  We moved into winter.  For real, this time.  This morning at 9:30am it was 12 degrees.  There was sparkly pretty outside due to our brief snow flurries.  It was too warm while it was snowing to stick.  It did leave pretty stuff on the deck that sparkled in the sun. 

I got over the "pretty" part by noon when it still wasn't 20 degrees.  The sun is deceptive.  It is only 2:30 pm- the warmest part of the day- and it is 24 degrees.  Yes, it is still winter, even when we yearn for warm, sunny and comfortable.

It is a good thing I like to wear wool.  It is comfortable, bulky and heavy.  It is WARM, tho, and I will wear it until it is consistently warm again.

This has certainly been the weirdest winter in a long, long time.  It was so warm and rainy and then a brief chilling at night.  So I guess it is good to just get this over with and return to the warmer weather.

I am extremely happy that there hasn't been any ice so far.  I know we have three more months of possibility, but so far......

I haven't been in a knitting mood lately.  I finished a Sockhead Hat for Shelley and I am knitting her a pair of plain  fingerless mitts.  She has to have her fingers to play her guitar.  I also cast on a pair of socks with a strange lattice type of pattern.  It was on someone's blog.  They didn't publish the pattern, but wrote it out on their blog.  So I wrote it out on a scrap piece of paper.  I do have to pay attention to the pattern, although it is very easy.  I think it will only be the cuff.  I don't like to think too hard on socks.  I have my plain pattern in my head.  So once the heel is divided, it will be plain old sock.  I finished one sleeve of the sweater that has been going on for too long.  I picked up the stitches for the other sleeve, but I just haven't worked on it.  I have got to finish this project and be done.  It has been going on too long.

I also finished spinning my green yarn that was dyed with tansy.  I made it a bit thicker than my normal spinning so I can use it in weaving.  I also purchased some Columbia wool from someone in Missouri.  I like to buy from someone within my Fibershed.  I have never spun Columbia.  It is really soft and lustrous.  I like the "hand" of it, so it will be interesting to see how it spins.

I finally made up my mind about what to weave.  I want to finish up the last of the warp threads.  So I hope I can do what I want to do.  Tapestry is a lot harder than one thinks it should be.  One has to have some artistic sense and some imagination.  The skills take forever to hone. 

I also want to get in the sewing room.  I know, I know-too many projects going on.

I also have decided to start walking on a treadmill.  I have to get myself going on this.  I have to develop a habit.  I am comfortable with my laziness.  Unfortunately with this heart thing going on, I decided I HAVE to do something.  It can only go downhill from here.  I will do this, and I will get myself under control.

There is a wild kitty coming in the cat door at night.  I don't mind in the cold of winter, but I smelled something ominous yesterday.  If he is going to do that, I will lock the door at night.  No matter how cold it is and how hungry wild kitty gets.  I am not going to have my house smelling.

The birds are eating in a frenzy today.  I am monitoring the feeders and trying to keep up.

So Happy New Year-the Year of the Monkey!  I hope there are plans ahead for a crafty and artistic year.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Happy Boxing Day!

My company for Christmas decided to not drive up here.  It was a pleasant, quiet day spinning.  I listened to an audiobook from the library.  A roast was in the crock pot.  Then a very pleasant surprise.


The Post Office delivered the yarn that I purchased from Weaving Southwest.  So if one believes in Santa Claus, it happens.  Isn't that a marvelous surprise?

So I smelled it, I fondled it, and now I am seriously considering what to make with it.  Some reason is driving me to look at a very old book on Bargello patterns.  I like that idea for now.  I have to do some sketches.

The weather man has been promising all week that the weekend is going to be flooding rains.  It was supposed to begin late this morning.  Well, it was raining when I got up this morning.  It has been thunder booming a lot for over an hour.  We have had gushing rain and more thunder.  It is here.

So maybe I will just stay right here and spin some more yarn.

I have been doing boring stockinette stitch with my knitting.  I am making a Sockhead Hat.  Very easy, very tedious-ly boring, but it will certainly be cute. I am also knitting the first sleeve on the sweater.  So I have been looking at interesting color stranded projects.  I don't want a long, long project.  I found a pair of fingerless mitts that looks like a fun project.  I did copy that pattern.  I don't need another hat, but I sure have seen some cute ones.  Hmmm?

So I have a wild kitty that has been coming in the cat door to eat all of Noodles dry food.  I try to remember every night to lock the door, and I put out food for him.  I think it is a "him" since he stinks up the place.  I haven't seen any sign of his spraying, but he has a certain odor that lingers behind him.  He has been sneaky enough to come in while I am listening to the t.v.  Noodles spent a lot of time last night gazing out various windows and going out on the screened porch.  So he is around somewhere.

I am glad the Christmas insanity is over.  Some stores already have Valentine's Day decorations.  Isn't that the most insane thing?  I am tired of all the ads and the pleas from charities.  I understand people are sappy at this time of year, but please leave me alone.

So, onward through the winter time.  So far this December our weather has been very strange and unusual.  I think that is true most everywhere.  I am still looking at the next three months.  I am not going to complain that we have had warmish weather with sunshine.  I like that so much more than ice and snow.  I guess I am getting to be a grumpy old woman.

One more week until 2016 rolls into town.  Luckily for us the days are minutely longer each day since Solstice. 

Happy New Year ahead of time. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Nature is Tricking Us!

Today is December 9.  December is an iffy month weather wise.  The past two weeks have been above normal temperatures.  We had a major rain storm with 6-8 inches of rain.  The same storm that flooded all over Texas and Oklahoma.  Then suddenly it has been warm and sunny.

My years of living have warned me to not get too comfy.  It's a trick.  So go out for two hours everyday and sit in the sunshine.  Knit, sew, and just sit in the sun.  Soon enough the weather will return to normal temps and gray skies.  Just sit in the sun.

And yes, the weatherman is promising storms on the weekend and a return to the yucky stuff.  Today I am sitting in the sun.

I have a new visitor that evidently knows about cat doors.  He/she/it has been coming in during the night and eating Noodles dry food.  So I have relented and started my outdoor food bowl routine earlier than normal.  I usually set a bowl out when it gets cold, icy, and snowy.  So far it has worked well and kept the visitor outside.  We will see what happens when January rolls around.

I am trying very hard to avoid reality of stupid politicians and stupid people that are making stupid remarks on TV.  It is most difficult to totally avoid it since I look at Facebook daily.  I just scroll on by and roll my eyes.  What ever happened to "humanity"?

I am making a serious mess of the wallhanging I am making for the kids.  The idea was a grand idea.  My skills are not so grand.  I am taking a bit of a break from it.  My quilting skills are nil.  Enough said about the debacle that was going to be a GRAND Christmas/Anniversary gift.

I am finally casting off for the scarf.  Whew!  I am so over that one.  I did cast on a Sockhead Hat and I love the colors of the yarn I chose.  I think now I am ready to cast on the sleeves of the striped sweater and get that finished. 

I really haven't been spinning too much.  The reality of "What to do with so much yarn?" has set in.  I finally put the knitting yarn away in a storage box with lots of lavender sachets.  I hung the yarn I can use for weaving on the wall behind my chair at the loom.  M asked me to donate some fiber to her charity while we were sitting knitting the other day.  I think I can do that.  It is a way to destash.

CJE and AE are having their Christmas party this weekend.  I have already told her not to worry about me if I don't show up.  I told her if the weather does go bad, I am not going out. 

So back outside.  Sit in the sun.  Soak up some Vitamin D.  Enjoy the weather while it is here.  We don't get many days like this from now on. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I'm Getting Squirrel-y Early

Yesterday I answered my door to a stranger that was asking me if I needed some trees trimmed.  We went through the usual greeting in the South, "Do you know _____?  They have the place down the road.  I'm their cousin."  After going through that ritual, we walked around the house.  I needed my gutters cleaned out, "We can do that ma'am.", I need to do something about those hollies that have taken over the east side of the house, "We can cut them down to the ground ma'am." etc.etc.etc.  We listed about three or four chores, we agreed on a price, we shook hands, and they got to work.  His son and his son's girlfriend arrived in his car, and he got a big chainsaw out of the trunk.  They were through in two hours.  The son even climbed up into the box elder tree and re-hung my huge bell. 

I have spent an enormous amount of money this year getting jobs done by others that I usually do myself.  I know I couldn't repair the deck, and I did have to pay a huge price for that.  But all this yard work I normally do myself  makes me feel strange.  I think I am finally beginning to see I cannot keep up with everything myself. 

Today I didn't feel "right".  I was restless.  I couldn't focus.  I finally got tired of it and decided to sit down with a snack and watch t.v. this afternoon.  My God!  there was another shooting.  Well, that riled me up and I was even more restless.

I spent an enormous amount of time looking at casitas to rent in New Mexico.  If I ever go back again, I am thinking of renting a small casita and using it for a base camp.  I can spend the days roaming around my favorite places. 

When I reported this to my friend CF, she immediately said, "You are already getting squirrely and it isn't even winter yet.  You normally don't get this way until late January."

I guess I am just not in favor of cold weather.  I know we haven't even hit the winter button yet, but I am already tired  of it.  I don't like being cold.  I don't like to wear a bunch of clothes to keep myself warm.  Thank goodness I have wool sweaters.

Some outside cat has figured out how to get in the cat door when I am asleep and eat Noodles' dry food.  I only confirmed this when I was awakened by very loud crunching sounds in the night.  My first thought was Noodles was eating very loudly.  As I aroused, I remembered Noodles does not eat dry food very often any more because of his teeth.  When he does, he is very quiet-no loud munching. I got up to check, and whoever it was darted out the cat door before I could register it.  This morning the cat bowl was down to crumbs.  The stinker came back after I went back to sleep.  Tonight I have locked the cat door.

I have five bird feeders out now.  They are eating me out of house and home. 

I am almost finished with the linen stitch scarf.  Whew!  I got tired of it about two inches ago.  I am pushing myself to say it is done!  I think I will give it to Holly.  She likes scarves.

Then I can get back to knitting sleeves on my sweater.  I will be happy to call it done also.

I am working on the quilted memory wallhanging for the kids for Christmas.  I have the pictures and fabric squares completed in a nine patch.  I need to be quilting it soon.  Oh, well, good thing their anniversary is in January.

I made cookies today.  I have to freeze them to keep them out of sight.  I have probably eaten ten already.  They are small chocolate chip cookies, but still I've eaten too many.

I am waiting for St. Nicolas Day on Sunday to put up my little tree.  I like to see the lights blinking.  I turn out the lights and just sit and stare at them.  I like to see my little spinning wheels and my sheep  and my personal ornaments on them.  Years ago I quit collecting my handblown glass icicles.  I also decided to hang some of them in the windows.  I do like the little tree that can sit atop the book case.

I just now thought that it has been such low humidity I could make some candy.  That would be fun.

So have a great weekend.  I hope you are jolly and bright and not dreading the cold weather as much as me.