Saturday, September 29, 2007

Where Did September Go?

My gosh! It is October-almost. I think it was just Labor Day the other day! I am waking up to cooler mornings. I leave my windows open all the time, and I had to put a light blanket on the bed last night. I am seeing the trees changing daily now. No spectacular color shows yet, but there is change there. The squirrels are running all over the place-and on the roads-trying to find nuts. With the freeze we had, there will be a nut shortage. That's bad for squirrels, deer, turkey, and other mast eaters. The other day I walked outside to the awful scent of bear everywhere. I think she is looking for food too.

I am seeing that blue color everywhere. I am becoming obsessive about that blue color we had last weekend at the dye workshop. I bought some Kool Aid to make some more dye, but have not had the time. I saw a car and an old pickup truck at a used car lot that had that blue. Then I look up and there is a huge billboard with that blue. It is everywhere!

I have my clothes hanging on the line, and there is a nice breeze blowing today. They will be dry in no time. Someone is supposed to come and brush hog the pastures, but they have not shown up. I wish they would come while I am at work. That way I don't have to put up with the pollen and dust as it is flying around.

Oh-the sky was that color blue, also!

The new shows have started on TV. That has been interesting this week. I have gotten several mitres done on the sock afghan. I can do those fast, and I don't have to think too much. I have been very exhausted from my job. There are two of us that are doing double duty since two others had vacation. So I can sit on the couch, knit mitres, and listen to the new shows. I then get up, do my back stretches, crawl into bed, read a little, and sleep, sleep, sleep. Then it starts all over again in the morning.

Baby Girl had her birthday this week. She is officially 6 years old now. Noodles birthday is in October-I think. He was a rescued kitty and I guesstimated his birthday. He will be 7 years old. I spent a fortune-literally-this week on flea medicine, Frontline Plus, and worm medicine. They have a new worm medicine that is topical and you apply like Frontline. That is good for kitties that do not take pills easily. (Like my two!) The vet said the tapeworm medicine is the same, but the other worm medicine was discovered in Japan as a fungus on some plant. It is a new discovery, and has been tested in Europe. I did not like to read the insert about the testing part, but I am happy to have an easier medicine to use.

I guess I better get busy and do something else productive. It is a beautiful day to be outside, but I have to clean bathrooms first. Oh-and the kitchen! It's a mess!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Take Time to Say Thanks!

I found this link on one of my quilting newsletters It will send a postcard designed by a child that says thanks to a person in the military. You don't get to pick who you send it to, but you put your name and a message attached to it. I may not approve or want this stupid war we are in, but I want our children to know that we support them away from home.

Also I found this wonderful quote that I wanted to pass along:

100,000 of your brain cells die every day-make sure it's not from boredom.
-The Economist

We finally got a little rain today. A small cool front moved through. I have begun to see a few trees changing leaf color. Yep! It's a SIGN!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Happy Autumn! It's the Autumnal Equinox!

What a glorious end of summer yesterday was! It was warm, but not HOT! It was sunny! And a perfect day to dye outside. Colleen and a coupla others were bothered by bugs, but I guess my skin's too tough. We began with practise pieces of 2 yard skeins. Colleen dyed roving. The Greatest Surprise was the Kool Aid Crock Pot. I have never tried the blue Kool Aid dyes. Well-let me be the first to tell you- it is GORGEOUS! It is the sky blue that you see in pictures four and six. I mixed a package of Blue Berry and a package of Blue Raspberry Lemonade. Well-that's on my To Do List. Everyone at the workshop was busy, busy, busy. After lunch we got down to serious dyeing of the yarn brought by the participants. It was fun to watch everyone's techniques, everyone's color choices, and to see the satisfaction that it was really pretty. I think the surprise on people's faces was the most fun. After steaming in my roaster, we gave each a quick bath. Then we hung them in the tree to dry. Well, it was a gorgeous sight!
I quickly made a char sieu marinade last night and left chicken breasts to marinade overnight. Right now my house smells wonderful as the chicken is cooking. I am trying to get the cooking over this morning while the morning is cool. I thought about cooking on the grill, but the marinade would have a tendency to burn. So I popped it in the oven, and yummy in the tummy time today. I can't get enough of that mystery Red Dye, but I have been good to watch the toxins in my system lately.
I was listening to something on t.v. that was a little bit interesting. Has anyone else noticed that there is really nothing on t.v. until the new season starts next week? Anyway, the person was talking about people who make to do lists. Not just today I need to go by the grocery store. But lists like "Climb Mount Everest in my lifetime." This person was talking about people concerned that they may die before they complete their lists and how this creates an anxiety. Well-Mt. Everest is not on my lists. Dyeing with blue Kool Aid is. I have been careful not to make any knitting wish lists. I like to call them wish lists, because I don't get anxious that I haven't done them. I know in my head things I would like to do, but I don't write it down. I have read a lot of blogs where people do that. I also have a list in my head of studies I would like to do. Example, cables.
I am talking to my girlfriend while I am writing this. Her daughter just bought a house. So we had to go through all the stuff that she has gotten to move in, and all the details.
Gotta go. I've got lots of things to do today. I will catch up later on.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Does Anyone Know What Day It Is?

I have to laugh. I am older than any other worker in my job. We service senior citizens, which I am only months away from official-hood. When they throw all kinds of stuff at ya, and I just act confused and demand they communicate better. They mutter among themselves that people have a tendency to not accept change well as they grow older. Today, in an aside by another co-worker, I was told I would go back to my first job I was hired for because the person they put on the job is not accepting the change well. And that she is a little bit "stressed"! Lordy-and she is not even 50 yet! All I can do is laugh-but not out loud in front of anyone.

Tomorrow is my dye workshop at the LYS. I am just 45% ready. I am moving in slow gear. It is very difficult for me to pack everything I need. I am so used to having my stuff spread out all over the place, and if I need something, there it is. Now I have to plan a little bit. Yuck!

But I am planning on having fun! I am not one of those stodgy chemistry teachers! I am intuitive, spontaneous, and what the hell! add another color persons. I will give full reports when I get back to the blog.

I have never been good at overdyeing, but that seems to be very popular. I took one of their not so hot dyed yarns from the knit shop. I first tried to intensify the colors that were already there. That didn't go well. Then I dyed it with one color. That was really BAD in the not good way. So finally I threw it in a Kool Aid crock pot, and there you are. A nice pink yarn with extra colors thrown in. I did not get a picture before it went back to the yarn shop. Maybe this weekend I will do that.

Anyway, have a good Saturday. Meet up with ya later.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

What is Flow?

I was listening to NPR and heard a wonderful essay on doing things that one enjoys. It talked about various "hobbies" and that the person found that it would not be enjoyable if it was work. The person mentioned a theory about "flow" and talked about a Hungarian scientist that had done research on a way to live a better life.
"How to live life as a work of art, rather than as a chaotic response to external events." A good place to look for a definition of flow is in Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book called Flow. He describes flow as "the way people describe their state of mind when consciousness is harmoniously ordered and they want to pursue whatever they are doing for its own sake." Flow is an optimal experience typically experienced during sports, games and hobbies. Athletes describe it as being in the zone. When flow occurs, you feel completely focused; your mind and body are working in harmony; you are using your whole self yet you don't feel overwhelmed. Time gets distorted and you experience life as full and intense. You feel joy, creativity, a total involvement in life.
I find this on days like today. I have been immersed in dyeing all morning, and suddenly realized that it was almost 1:30 p.m. I just ate a piece of cheese and drank a Coke. Maybe it will be a good day after all!
In simple terms the research showed that people were generally happy doing things and generally knew very little about what made them happy.
How does it feel to be in "the flow":
1. Completely involved, focused, concentrating-with this either due to innate curiosity or as the result of training.
2. Sense of ecstasy-of being outside everyday reality.
3. Great inner clarity-knowing what needs to be done and how well it is going.
4. Knowing the activity is doable-that the skills are adequate, and neither anxious or bored.
5. Sense of serenity-no worries about self, feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of ego-afterwards feeling of transcending ego in ways not thought possible.
6. Timeliness-thoroughly focused on present, don't notice time passing.
7. Intrinsic motivation-whatever produces "flow" becomes its own reward.

This last part was found on a web page They are not my words.

So keep on doing what you love. Knit, dye, spin, crochet, quilt, CREATE. I have to get back to the dyepot.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

It IS Finally Saturday!

I have decided that this job is the PITS! I am not sure what to do about it other than complain and cry about it. This week I was shifted to a different truck route that takes 5 hours to deliver, and I have to do more physical labor than the other job. I am not complaining about the labor, except that my right hip is KILLING me!

The weather is definitely changing. I see subtle little changes in the leaf color, but mostly how the animals are starting to act. I have to buy more cat food and now horse food. I have started increasing Buddy's grain rations by one scoop. By next month it will be two scoops extra. I noticed Baby's hair is thicker, but not her winter coat yet.

I have had little knitting time this week due to exhaustion. But I have managed a few more rows on the dratted sock #2. When these socks are done, that's it for a while. I have already decided what the next socks will be, but not after I do some of my Christmas knitting. I promised a friend's grandson a pair of socks in RED! His favorite color.

I have got to do some maintenance this weekend, but I have got to get my stuff together for the dye workshop I am teaching next weekend. I have to clean the house some, and I have to do the last mowing on the yard to empty the lawn mower. And I have to do some weedeating to empty that out too.

Hunting season is starting next week. Whew! I have made a general announcement that I am not allowing anyone on the property. Although I am renting, I am caretaking the property. So I feel that I can do that. A friend that I trust said he wanted to come down for bow hunting. I know he is a responsible person, and will be respectful of the animals. But I guess the cable will have to go up over the cattle guard starting next week. Normally it is not a big deal in this community. But last year we had "family and friends" of people tromping around and killing trophy animals. That will not do. If you need meat, most of the time people just kill one deer quietly and share with others in need. But not the trophy people. They are out for the biggest bucks they can find.

Well, I guess I am off to do chores. Whoopee! Catch up with everyone later!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Sunday! A Day of Rest!

My very first Lizard Ridge block! Isn't it pretty?!? I took a class at the local LYS yesterday, and I finished my block this morning. This is going to be a wintertime project, along with the mitred afghan.

I took a real day of rest today! I am really tired today. I felt it more important to find some balance than to work on my computer job. I have read, knitted, taken a walk, and just sat outside for a while. I tried practising my Native American flute, but Baby does not like the sounds. I guess it hurts her ears. She attacks me and finally jumps on my feet and bites my toes.

I did accomplish the goals I set out for myself this weekend. I finished the block above, and I turned the heel on sock #2. I have picked up the gusset stitches, and I am starting there this week.

So nothing new to report. Just wanted to get a few words down today.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

You Knit! I'll Drive!


At the place where I work, a lady wanted to learn to knit socks. So another lady there said she would teach her. I am in and out all day, and could not do it. The poor thing(the teacher) brought in some worsted weight acrylic and size 10 or 10.5 needles! So the student cast on, and started knitting per instructions. She decided to make her grandson-age 17-some house socks as a practise on her first time at socks. Today she followed me into the bathroom, and quietly pulled this mess out of her Walmart sack. She was almost crying. "Look! They are Huge. It will never do." So I dug through the bag and found some size 6 double points. I suggested she make a swatch and I would help her with the math, and we can make a reasonable size pair of socks. If acrylic is reasonable. So she rode in my van the rest of the afternoon, and I gave her instructions as she progressed on her swatch. I instructed her how to take his measurements, and tomorrow I will figure out the math part. I have never given instructions while driving in traffic in a 12-passenger van!

It rained all day, and it was a pleasant Fall-ish, female rain that fell softly and nurturing. On the drive home, there were huge fluffy white clouds high in the atmosphere. But close down there were wispy clouds that were brownish gray-lighter than smoke. I was reminded that my grandmother told me that clouds have to rest sometimes. That's when you see them sitting on the mountainsides. It was such a beautiful drive home into the mountains. The sky was clearing to the west, and bright blue. The high today was 74 degrees.

The animals were eagerly waiting for their dinners. Buddy trotted in after the truck into the yard. He followed me to the door. As soon as I told him to go to the barn, he trotted that way. The cats are beginning to eat a little more than before. So I don't think it is too early to say things are changing. We still have to go through the heat of September, but there is definitely a difference in the way things feel.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Just Because There Is A Hurricane In The Gulf, Do We Have To Have The Humidty?

Well-here is the project I have been working on today. The picture on the left is the solution I found for the problem I have been having with this quilt. The problem is shown in two different views. The quilt block is a modification of a log cabin pattern. The four blocks together make the larger block. The indiviual blocks never could come out anywhere near the same size. I tried different things, got so frustrated I threw them in a box, and left it until today. I tried putting the bigger block in the middle-didn't work. I tried another way. I finally decided to just use the small blocks in its separate pattern. I sewed four blocks together for a larger block. I sewed two together to make a larger block. Then sewed three of these together across. I now have three strips to sew together. Where I will go from here-who knows. I have so much material now, and I am winging it.

I have been energized today to do this much. But the energy level is diminishing. It is also getting hotter-with humidity. I think I will finish sewing my strips together, and that will be it.
Have a good holiday!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Wow! It's Cool At Night!!

Has this every happened to you? I am almost asleep, and I am really looking forward to being asleep, and BONG! my brain registers what is wrong with this scarf. I had seen it on someone's blog, and I thought, "My scarf does not look like that. I wonder why?" And several days later, BONG! I did not garter stitch my color B. So it has no texture. It is flat. It is unlovely! I have thought about unraveling the whole thing and doing something else with the yarn. So this morning, I began to analyze the situation. I have knitted 27", and I really, really, really, don't want to undo 27". So I took it outside, propped it up as above, and stood way back. I left it there a while, and went out to look at it occasionally. So, I think I will just finish this mess, chalk it up to experience, and be done with it.
Isn't this a lovely chili? I just picked it this morning. It is 3.5" And I am going to stuff it with cheese and bake it! Yum!

I worked on mitres yesterday throughout the day. A friend from out of town stopped by to show me her new car. And she thinks I have too many projects! Imagine that? She is someone who works on one project at a time. She does not have a stash. She buys the yarn needed for the project, and never is tempted into buying something on impulse. So which of us is weird?

Today I spent the morning working on the shrug. I am going to finish that pretty quickly, and I cannot finish it soon enough. The mornings have been in the 50's for a coupla days. We have hot days still, but the weather is changing. The scarf is doomed for the give away box. And I guess I better finish those socks for my friend. So really I have three projects within reach of finishing. The mitre afghan is an ongoing project forever. And I am going to start a lizard ridge afghan. And that will be an ongoing project forever.

So-happy Sunday-enjoy the weekend!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

It's September Already!?!?!

Okay! Someone who is an arachnid expert tell me why this photo turned out the way it did. There is something in the spider that reflects the light from the flash. It was too weird! I tried several shots-without and with flash-and this is what I get! It wasn't dark out. It was just dusk, and I went out to remove a skein of wool on the blocker right outside the door. But Ms. Spidey had already moved in. I left her there for the night. No one I have talked to knows why she shows up white. She is actually a pretty brown orb spider.

Well enough weaving questions. I am working on the mitred afghan. Nothing to show that is exciting. I am also trying to finish the Manos shrug. And the LYS is having a fabulous sale to get ready for the new Fall yarns. I am taking a class next Saturday, and bought my yarn for that. I also bought some pretty lavender tweed Euroflax for a washcloth for Christmas. Yes, I am thinking Christmas already. Yuck!

I went into the little town near me to run errands this a.m. I stopped at the bank, library, and post office. The necessary things. I also ran by the feed store and picked up some feed for Buddy. I was too tired to carry the sack out to the barn. I looked out later and he had ripped the sack open and was eating. So more work for me since I was too lazy to take care of it when I got home. I had to transfer some to buckets, and then carry the rest of the sack to the barn. I was not a happy camper, to say the least.

I am getting old I guess. I find that if I try to knit after I have worked all day, I doze off. It has been a very tiring week. I am beginning to fantasize about being wealthy and not working. Which is truly a fantasy! I even got tired at the Monday Night Knit Group last week. I decided to leave early so I could get home safely.

I have decided I have too many UFO's hanging out and waiting to be finished. I have found several little projects I want to do. But I am being stubborn and not start anything else. I have to finish at least one complete project before I can start another new thing. We will see how long this will last. But I really have too many projects sitting around. Yeah, everyone says that. But I really do.

I guess I will close for now. I feel like a nap is coming soon. I did 3 mitres this morning early, so that is a little bit of an accomplishment.

Baby's on guard! She may look peaceful, but she is alert to anything that moves around her!