Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Grammar is so funny!

On a local NPR program, there is often a woman who reports on grammar.  She is called the Radical Grammarian.  Today was a discussion on the word healthy and healthful.  We often say I eat a healthy diet.  How can a diet be healthy?  Healthy implies that it is alive.  It is supposed to be  I eat a healthful diet.  I hate that we are all so lazy that we talk in poor grammar.

Which goes to say, I am not interested in being correct.  I know in my writing that I should care.  It isn't all about commas anymore.  Unfortunately I write just like I talk.  And obviously I am not being correct.

It does goes all over me when I hear a young anchor on t.v. say something that is totally so WRONG.  Yesterday I was standing at a window when I heard something so wrong.  I turned around and yelled at the t.v.," no, no, no.  That is an adverb, not an adjective." 

So I guess I do care a little bit about something so obvious.  I haven't got the energy to determine if I need a clarifier or whatever.  I talk lazily, and my fault that I don't care.  See, I used the adverb, not the adjective.

I am almost done with #10 hexagon.  My right hand has been aching this week with the weather all over the place.  Also my right knee has been talking to me today.  It is dark and gloomy out.  Thankfully it is not bitter, bitter cold.

I am also halfway through the first side piece for the jacket.  It is going fairly quickly.

I have great ambitions to do more, but I can't seem to make myself get going.  My neighbor has organized a charity to make quilts for the new Children's Hospital that is to open next year.  She gave me some flannel that was donated to her.  I think there is ample in the piece to make two receiving blankets.

My friend CF is being dragged into the 20th Century.  No, not the 21st yet.  Her daughter has mounted a large HD flat screen t.v. on her wall.  She is getting her mother hooked up to internet so she can access Netflix.  She has her on a list to receive DVDs.  It is too funny.  CF has adamantly refused to have anything to do with computers or computerized anything.  She still uses a landline.  She gets too confused with cell phones.  Thank goodness BL is going to spend the Thanksgiving visit to teach her how to access her account, add to her list, etc.  I love her password.  It is typical of BL to come up with that.  My friend told me in case she loses the paper that she wrote it on. 

We are having unusually warm weather.  We had two little freezes with the day temps in the 50's and 60's.  It is extremely weird.  I have been holding my breath waiting for the winter to settle in.  I am grateful that I have had time to do my outdoor chores.  I finally closed up all the vents under the house.  The hoses were disconnected a long time ago.  I am waiting one last time to empty the back gutters under the box elder tree.

Well, I have to go fill the bird feeders again.  Keep moving.  That's the only advice this week.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Do You Take Breaks!

I belong to some groups on Facebook that are about knitting, spinning, weaving, and dyeing.  One of the questions that came up yesterday evening was "Do you take breaks with your knitting?"  This particular group is about knitting Persian Dreams.  It is a difficult thing to knit, but everyone is addicted to his own little hexagon world. 

The woman who posted the question has gone five days without knitting anything.  She says she isn't sad or upset, but she really is enjoying "not knitting".  She, of course, has young children that are in sports and other activities.  She also mentioned she has been bingeing on Candy Crush.

A while back I found myself obsessed with these hexagons.  As soon as one is washed and blocking I was onwards to another.  My hands got tired of managing the colorwork.  I am also knitting other projects, so I was trying to fit them into the schedule.

I suddenly pulled back. I give myself a three day break in between the hexagons.  I pick up the blanket or the sweater if I have to knit.  Yesterday I did not knit all day.

Today I laid out my eight that are completed and studied the colors.  I know what color I have to go to next.  I haven't gotten number 9 pattern out yet.  I just wanted to think about colors.

I am listening and watching a Rebecca Mezoff weaving class.  And I am finished with the purple roving I found that I had stashed away.  I am listening to Armand Gamache mysteries on audiobooks from the library.  I have listened to two of those this week.  I have read four books this week. 

Of course, all of this keeps me from turning on the t.v. and hearing the crap that is being hashed out there on the news.  I have limited my time on Facebook.  I do enjoy certain computer games, but that's when I take a break.  I haven't been watching as much Netflix as I normally do. 

So do we listen to ourselves and take breaks when our hands or our eyes or our backs or our families tell us it is time to do so?  I hope most people do.  I remember the "old days" prior to shows that I would make myself sick working crazy hours to finish the last pieces, label them, price them, etc.  No more of that.  I am not on a time schedule any more. 

I will say that I do set a goal to completely finish one hexagon in a week.  According to many of the others, that is slow knitting.  I just don't like to sit and knit all day long. 

If the weather keeps up, I may be mowing the yard one more time.  It has been coolish in the mornings and late evenings, but it is warm in the day time.  Little or no rain lately.  I have been watching for the first frost, but none so far.  Weird!

I guess I just wanted to expound on the question of the day.  Do You Take Breaks!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Almost All Chores Completed

I am strong enough this year to do my Fall chores.  Thank God(dess) that the doctor took me off the statins.  I have only one or two things to do yet, but it isn't as if they are pressing.  Today I got the fuel stabilizer in the riding mower and she is draped with her cover and ready for a winter's nap.

I am on my 7th hexagon now, and it is interesting to see how these colors play out.  Here are the first six.  That last one-lime and turquoise and purple- started with some handspun for the white part.  I had just a little teeny ball and wanted to experiment.  Close up it is obviously not the smooth worsted spun mill yarn.

 
 
 
I can't seem to get Blogger to work right.  For some reason it started out in the center of the line.
 
This morning I heard a white-throated sparrow.  This is always an indicator of changing seasons.  I just kept on filling up feeders and water stations.  For some reason the birds like the dog watering bowl on the deck instead of the official bird bath.  I also put a shallow dish my friend CF made a long, long, long time ago out front.  I see birds bathing in that a lot, and sometimes I see squirrels and chipmunks drinking. 
 
See how it is doing this crazy thing.
 
We have had 80's for a number of days.  It was fine the day that it was gusting 40 mph winds.  But yesterday and today it is HOT and HUMID!  I hate being all hot and sticky in mid-October.  I know that I absolutely hate cold that lasts and lasts.  But I don't want to be hot and sticky in October. 
 
I have been revisiting some books that I am not sure if I have read on the library audiobook selections. If it turns out I have read them a while back, I will still listen.  If for some reason I remember how the mystery turns out, I return it.  It is amazing to me how listening to a book makes it a different book than one that I have actually read.  I guess our imaginations really do fill in gaps as we read.  I like that part of reading.  I just find it entertaining to listen when I work.
 
Supposedly a front is coming in with cooler temps and rain.  We have occasional clouds moving overhead.  A frog was singing for rain earlier. 
 
I have pulled out all my cat fabrics and I am amazed at the amount that I have.  I didn't even count the smaller pieces from my cat quilt.  I think it is time to make a child's quilt for my neighbor's charity.
 
Noodles has been really busy killing rodents.  His teeth are so bad that he can't quite eat them like he used to.  But he can still KILL the darn things.  It is gross, but it is nature.
 
I am knitting a jacket finally.  I am using my blue handspun that is larger than my normal handspun.  It is soft and squishy and I am really liking it.  It is simply large mitered squares.  The first row is a triangle, a square, and a half-square.  The second row is three squares.  I am on the middle row.  Then the third row is a square, a half-square, and a triangle.  It is fascinating to see how it coming out.
 
I am also still knitting on the stripe-y blanket.  I love the colors in this one.  Not sure who it will go to.  I am sure I will find a deserving home somewhere.  I always find a good home.
 
So I am now making myself a toasted cheese sandwich.  I am a tad bit hungry.  Have a good rest of the week and a good weekend.  Just not 80 degrees, please.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

It's Been A While

I am no longer a regular writer on this blog.  It doesn't really interest me as it once did. 

Yes, I am a hermit, a curmudgeon, and I like living in a peaceful routine of my own choosing.

Sometimes I am pulled away by others.  Sometimes I am pulled away by things I read or see or hear. 

For the most part Noodles and I are peacefully co-existing in our lives together.  (He is in my lap now as I type).

I have a friend that is a little off center.  She has had a very traumatized life and she does not deal with it well.  She and I met some friends yesterday, and today she has built a part of the conversation into a conspiracy to prevent her from learning something or getting something - or something.  She called this a.m. to discuss her feelings.  It took quite some time for me to understand what she was talking about.  I clarified what I heard in the conversation. 

It also made me realize that my life is simple, peaceful, and not quite so dramatic. For that I am most grateful.

I am presently knitting Persian Dreams.  It is a series of hexagons that are knit in color work.  Each is different.  Each is designed to represent Persian tiles.  My hex's don't look like tiles.  They are just pretty.  I have completed six, and #7 is on the needles.

I have also started a jacket made with handspun.  I like it.  It is squishy and soft and rather pretty.  I am not sure it would make anyone else happy, but it is making me happy making it.

I am also knitting a ripple blanket using six colors.  I also like it.  I don't know who sill get it when it is done.  Of course, I spent a long time the other night un-knitting (tinking) six rows to find a mistake.  I never found the mistake, but my numbers were right.  So I started knitting again.  It is coming out correct this time.  I have made up the part that I tinked.

I have also discovered some pretty purple-ly merino that I had in the drawer.  After I divided it out, I have spun and plied one skein.  It is time to get to the next bit so I can finish out the roving.  I love the colors in this one.

I have listed to several books on tape while I have knit, spun, and rested my eyes with a warm compress.  I am into some of the J.A. Jance books I haven't read.  I also have a new Hamish McBeth mystery audiobook on Hold at the library.  When I checked tonight I am next on the list.  It has been two months since I placed it on hold.  I continue to read my Kindle at night before bed.

I have been preparing for winter, and today was "drying apples" day.  I like to snack on the dried apples, but they are also good in oatmeal.  I have made apple butter.  Applesausce is next.  I think I still have one container in the freezer that needs to be eaten soon.

I have been cleaning gutters, trimming trees away from the house, and trying to get things done that have to get done before cold.  I did get the furnace checked and ready.  I still have to put the stuff in the gas tanks of the mowers that keeps them from separating and the water freezing.  Whatever that is called.  There are some plants I need to transplant.  Nothing urgent now.  Just a few chores.

I guess I can say that my life is moving slowly and steadily.  Nothing earth shaking going on.  I still don't know exactly what the phone call was about this a.m.  I just listened and didn't try to stir the pot too much. 

I found a light blue cashmere scarf at a thrift store, and I am studying it.  I think I need to dye it somehow.  Don't know yet.

My neighbor has started some of us making quilts for the new children's hospital scheduled to open next year.  I pulled out my "cat prints" and I have tons.  I think I can make at least one, maybe two.  I am going to make courthouse steps quilt as you go.  It is easy once the pieces are cut and prepped. 

So sorry I haven't care enough to write.  Really there is nothing exciting going on.  Just routine chores and knitting and spinning, and sewing going on.  I will say it is time to prepare for winter, although it is 80 degrees outside tomorrow.  It won't last.

Happy Full Moon.  Enjoy the moonlight and thank Grandmother Moon for blessing us tonight.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Labor Day-2016

I guess I have been waiting for summer to get here all summer.  Our usual weather of 100+ degrees for days and days and days with 100% humidity never appeared.  We certainly had our awful high temps that made the "feels like" temp 100.  Then we would go through a spell of rain and cooler temps.  I guess 80 degrees doesn't feel like cooler to some folks.  Usually by July the drought comes, the grass slows down, the flowers are over, the trees look parched and a lot of leaves dry up.  Not this year.  It has rained more than normal.  The trees are green and lush and I have been mowing weekly.

Now we have had cooler weather for a while.  In August!  It is always one of the hottest months.  We actually got down in the low 50's at night!  Of course, the daytime would heat up to high 80's.

This week we are supposed to have normal temps in the high 80's and low 90's.  I had to turn the overhead fan back on in the bedroom last night.  It is just too strange and too weird.

I have finished two hexagons in the Persian Dreams blanket.  I am on number three.  So far the colors on this one is my favorite.  I am also still working on the Stripey Blanket.  It is worsted weight yarn and is knitting much faster. 

I am plying the second skein of the roving I bought in Kelleyville at the fiber show.  I love the odd lime green that is shot throughout.  I think it is cheerful.  The fiber blends are easy to spin.  It is merino, Polworth and silk.  I now have a nice collection of blue yarns. 

I am think that perhaps I can use all these blue handspun yarns in a knitted jacket.  I am looking at Melody Johnson's Mitered Diamond Jacket.  I think it would be a way to blend some of the blues I have spun.  I don't have enough of one color, but I think the many skeins could combine easily.  Still thinking on this.

I have decided to cancel my trip to Taos.  I know I can drive that far without a problem-except for the tired factor.  I don't think it would be enjoyable if I have to really push myself to drive, drive, drive. It comes down to "at what price" are you willing to push yourself.  It has been a very difficult decision to make.  It also means a reality check is in place.  "No, you are no longer 40 years old."  Ugh!  That one is hard. 

Noodles is another consideration.  I know I can find someone to house/cat sit.  It would be difficult for him, but he can adjust.  I am noticing changes in him lately that indicate his age.  Two old folks living in one house.  UGH! 

I also remember that once I started seeing changes in Patty, I started being more vigilant about her care.  He is the same now.  I know it is silly to some that "he is only a cat".  I am his caregiver.  I took on the responsibility to see that he is cared for.  It is my responsibility to make sure he is safe and loved and has the quality of life he deserves.  It doesn't mean I have to do crazy things; it means I just have to be aware.

I am noticing that I spend more time trying to figure out where he is during the day.  I don't intrude on his space.  This morning I saw the wild cat sitting by the burn barrel across the yard.  Noodles was unaware that Mr. Stinky was watching him and me.  I looked out the window several times just watching.

I have been reading more-again- and I have been listening to audible books while I knit or spin.  I really like that my library has the "cloud" system and I can just download it to the computer.  I can listen on my IPad while knitting or my computer while spinning.

I noticed that my eating is beginning to change with the cooler weather.  Yesterday I heated up some leftover rice and put some milk, sugar, and cinnamon on it.  Voila!  Rice cereal.  Soon it will be time for oatmeal.  I guess I eat way too much toast with peanut butter, but that is my go-to breakfast.  Cheese is my go-to snack.  Soon-hot cereals.  I made a meatloaf last night.  That's cooler weather food.  Aren't human beings the strangest creatures?

I went back to weaving on the ribbon weaving.  I think I have un-woven more on this loom than any loom I have ever had.  It is a strange feeling to not quite get what I want.  I guess I am so used to overshot and harness-weaving that is so structured.  It is varied by colors and textures.  I am usually ahead of the game with that. 

I know I am getting more rigid about some things.  I follow the patterns pretty closely.  I vary a few things.  I am unsure if it is rigidity or fear of change or fear of spontaneity or laziness or what it is.
It's okay in my world, but I don't want it spilling over to other people's worlds. 

September is the change month.  We have Fall arriving the 22nd.  Officially anyway.  Then soon October.  I saw on Facebook- "This is the beginning of the Ber months."  What a pun!

I guess I have procrastinated enough.  Time to get spinning.  I am almost through with this plying.

Happy Labor Day!  I am still going to wear white if I want to.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Light Is Changing

It is the second week of August.  I noticed that there has been a shift in the light and that there is a change in the yard.  Sometimes I can complain continuously of the rainy-ness that makes lawn  mowing a necessity.  I know that we are blessed to have rain.  I know intellectually that rain is a blessing.  It isn't a blessing to wait until 7pm or 7:30 pm to mow because of the heat.  Taking a shower can't take the stickiness away. Rain also equates higher humidity.

Yet, the light has shifted.  The cicadas and crickets are noisy.  The web worms are making bigger and bigger messes.  Leaves are beginning to break away and fly around through the air.  The robins have migrated back.  I have seen large groups of blackbirds migrating through.

All these minute changes that one takes for granted.  It really sneaks up on us.  We are so used to summer and we isolate ourselves in our air-conditioned spaces.  Yet-when one sits quietly on a porch or outside, the changes are all around us. 

I don't want to be one of those people who suddenly realize it is time to get the woolens out.  I want to notice all the changes that move us towards the woolens. We only have about six weeks until Autumnal Equinox.  I want to feel and hear and smell and see the changes.

So, I finally finished the second pair of Roxanne's socks.  I told her I am taking a break from sock knitting.  She has a fantasy going that I am going to be her personal sock knitter.  I am going to figure out a way to get out of this gracefully.

I started knitting Persian Tiles, but I am not doing much knitting.  I also picked up the Striped Blanket again.  It is going fast.  It is worsted weight yarn on bigger needles.  I find that larger needles make my hands tired.  So really not a lot of knitting.

I went to Fiber Christmas in July, and I was really good.  I did buy two braids of roving of different colorways.  I am combining them into a really pretty yarn.  I finished my book on tape, and so I stopped yesterday at the end of that.  It is satisfying to me to listen as I spin.  I love my library loaning system over the internet.

I have also been watching some of the Olympics.  I finally realized what it is about the televised mess that was off-putting the last Olympics.  The commentators pick and choose what they show to their audience and they tell all these stories. I love when they build up all this crap about the athlete and then interview them after an event.  The poor athlete is trying to catch a breath and normalize his body systems.  The silly cow sticks a microphone into the athlete's face and asked a stupid question. Last night she asked Michael Phelps about pre-race jitters with his opponent doing something stupid right in front of him.  Michael Phelps looked perplexed and looked at the monitor. "Oh, I wasn't even noticing that.  I was just watching the race before mine on the monitor."  He smiles and walks off.  No drama there.

I finally had enough and turned on Netflix.

Noodles is beginning to show signs of change.  I am trying a state of denial and making up excuses for his silly behavior.  I am also beginning to get glimpses of truth edging in.  He is much more needy than he has ever been.  He is still killing, just not eating as much of the wild.  I guess it is inevitable that his age is beginning to show.

I am going to stop now.  I need to shower and get ready for an appointment in town today.  I decided to combine several errands that can be done in that part of town.  Ugh!  I hate traffic in Fayetteville.  It is just going to get worse as the college students trickle back for Fall semester.  Another sign of age creeping in on me, I guess.

No new news on the brother front.  B is still traveling with his job.  He also spends a lot of free time on his boat with his dog.  K hasn't  shared anything more about L.  She is so extremely secretive.

CJE and AE are going to Sante Fe for a week.  Time for AE's birthday trip to the Opera.

CF is thrilled that I ordered her a new practice book on her flute.

And my LYS should be back from holiday. 

Nothing else new on the home front.

It is time also for the Tontitown Grape Festival.  Will have to stay away from that part of town.

Stay cool and get out to notice changes around you.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Independence Day Eve!

Some days messages arrive in the strangest ways.  I watched an amazing movie last night, August, Osage County.  It makes my dysfunctional family seem like nothing.  Of course, my dysfunctional problem was holding it all inside so we were not confrontational.  That's why I created anorexia as my control.  I don't like to think about it too much. 

Then a sweet young woman that is someone I have watched grow up and develop her own anorexia problem sent me a link on Facebook.  It was about questions to ask yourself when you grow up with a non-loving mother.

I won't go into my deepest thoughts.  The message is there; I will explore it today in private.

I did discuss some with one friend who said, "Both of our mothers are dead.  Shouldn't all that stuff just go away, too?"  Hmmmm.

So we had the most wonderful rain this morning.  Lots and lots of water and cool air.  It was so nice to stand at the back door and just smell the cleanness of the air.  That's an awkward sentence.  Should it be cleanliness?  I don't know.

I finished the first pair of socks for RB in California.  I am waiting for her to get them, try them on, and then she will decide to reorder another pair.  Of course, I have already cast on a pair and I am almost finished with the cuff of the first one.  I love the colorway in the yarn.  I am tempted to keep them, but I already have so many pairs.  It could be a hoarding problem.

Noodles did the funniest thing last night.  I leave the back door open until I go to bed.  He has a thing about going out on the deck in the dark.  It is "his deck".  I am watching the movie, knitting on the sock, and he steps around the corner and stares at me.  "What?"   He only said one "Meower!" and turned around and left.  I kept knitting, and he returned, stared and another yelp.  Only one sound.  In my imagination I was hearing, "Mooooom!" the way teenagers say can stretch it out into three or four syllables.  "Let me get to the end of the row."  I kept knitting.  He returned once more and was much more insistent with this yelp. "MOOOOOM!"  So I threw down the knitting, and rushed into the kitchen. 

All I could see was that Mr. Stinky, the wild kitty, had come in the back door and emptied his food bowl.  I assured him that I would refill his bowl and that it wasn't a tragedy.  He glanced out the door.  That's when I noticed Mr. Stinky was on the deck.  He slithered over the edge to escape.  I stood at the doorway telling him to just leave Noodles' food alone.  He needed to go away now.  Then I assured Noodles that Mr. Stinky was gone and he was okay to go out to his deck.

Animals are so funny.  I guess since I have lived with mine for almost 16 years that I know his communications and he knows mine. 

I also finished my hat. 

It is a traditional Fair Isle Fisherman's Kep.  I am waiting until it dries before I put the tassel on. It is a project to support the museum in Shetland.  I bought the basic pattern from them, and you are free to put whatever patterns you want on it.  I used some of my handspun and some leftovers from my Spindrift stash.  Bits and Bobs.

So right now I am only working on the blanket and this new pair of socks.  It seems odd to not have a major project going on. 


I finished my Targhee roving.  I used two different colorways, and for some reason there is more brown in one skein.  I am pleased with the results.  I made it a bit thicker than I normally do.  I only got 588 yards out of it all.  Enough to do a small project.  I have been thinking I want to make Harmonia's Rings.  I bought the pattern about 8 years ago.  Maybe.  I'm thinking.

I just like the blues in this batch.  The color is correct in the photo.  A bit of dark, a bit of medium, and an almost turquoise light.  Then the golden brown mixed in.  If one searches enough there is a slight bit of green where the yellow and blue touch.  I like it.

I guess I should get on with my day.  I have been totally lazy with the rain and coolness coming in the windows.  It is time to move and get going.  YAWN! 

Have a good 4th of July!  Happy Independence Day!