Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The End of July Summary

I cannot believe it is already the end of July. I guess I am having fun, because it is going by fast.

Something has eaten all my corn. Corn is kinda hard to get these days. I notice that the roadside vendors do not have corn, and the big local pick and eat place does not have corn. My neighbor went to the big place the other day to get corn, and Mr. V told him that coyotes had torn up the whole crop. My little crop went down a week or so ago, and something ate the cobs while they were green. Saturday when I walked out to the car, I found squash that had been broken open and nibbled. Not completely eaten, just nibbled. I left weeds around the watermelons to hide them, but I guess when they smell ripe they are prime suspects. I felt like it was probably raccoons or possums. One of my friends blame my woodchucks. Another blames the squirrels. And my neighbor blames the coyotes. (We do have coyotes) It doesn't matter-the stuff is gone.

Knitting has been sporadic. I have been moving along on the sock, but I picked up the Life Time Blanket the other day and started making little squares again. The handspun square is too thick and makes things catawampus. I don't want to take it out, but it bothers me. I try to pet it down and smooth it out. We'll see.

We have started a new sock club at my LYS. We had our first meeting Sunday. I call the group SSK - Sunday Sock Knitters. We will meet once monthly on the last Sunday of the month. We had a nice group, and everyone was knitting. We developed several good ideas of what we would like to do with this group. We are going to do some charity knitting-socks for children in need. The LYS is the depot for Knitting for Noggins, a charity for The Children's Hospital in Little Rock. So we will be doing two charities this Fall. In January we will start a Mystery Sock, which should be a fun thing to do. We had good eats, as usual. Since there was so much food, we are going to limit it to two volunteers each month to bring food. That should cut down on the quantity.

I had my friend from Jasper here this weekend. A friend of ours fell off a ladder and shattered his hip. He was not a candidate for surgery, so he is in a nursing home until it heals. They are saying a minimum of three months; he says he is not staying there that long. So CF and I went to visit him on Saturday. She took cookies and I took local peaches. One of his children brought in a small refrigerator for his snacks and pop. Another one bought a 4 inch foam mattress to put on the bed. So he is getting a lot of attention right now. It is funny that no one checked on him when he is at home-they just called to make sure he was okay. It is good that now everyone is there for him.

CF and I rearranged my living room again for the umpteenth time. I have gotten rid of so much furniture and stuff that what is left is very heavy. It does take two of us to move it. I am planning on getting my girlfriend's weaving loom soon, and I wanted to make room for it. I knew I couldn't move the furniture, and she is always happy to help with that.

Also I bought one of those portable sheds that are a steel frame and a tarp covering. It has a covering on all four sides. I started putting it together, and I had a hard time fitting the pipes together. I just about tore up my rubber mallet beating the pieces together. But I was proud of myself for doing it. Then my neighbor's grandson helped me put the side poles together and put it upright. CF and I would never have been able to do that. It took all my strength to keep up with the 18 y.o., but I did. CF and I put the tarp covering on, and that was the hardest part. We had to take some of the pipes out, and adjust the straps of the covering around and it was very HARD to do. I mean-I put the pipes in to stay the first time. But two old ladies did it! We got it finished. I just have to fasten it down to the ground and it's complete. I will put a picture up later.

The grass is getting out of hand. We are having a rain event this week, and I mentioned Saturday I needed to mow before the rain started. It started yesterday. I thought it wasn't coming until tonight. Well, too late. It is sopping wet outside, and dew is very heavy in the mornings when it is coolest. The humidity is up, of course. If it will dry out a little today, I will try to get the front mowed. This is truly the weirdest summer weather.

The weeds are gaining ground. I have given up trying to get control. I just sigh and shake my head. The birds like the seed, but it is awful looking. It makes things look really wild and woolly.

I guess that summarizes this week. It has been busy. There are some days I just has to sit and knit. Or read. Then the rest of the time I have to get out and do stuff. I have no choice. I am the sole do-it person here. The next project is clean out the shed. UGH!

Oh-and I am steaming the wallpaper off the guest room. That is a MESS! And I am in no hurry to do that. But it has to go-it is really ugly. And old.

So until later.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


What could be lovelier than rain in late July? Cooler Temps! Thank you Al Gore! This has been a strange summer. Yesterday it was overcast, and I could hear grumbling from the skies in a distance. But no rain. There was rain all around us. It was so strange to turn on lights during the day. Was it Fall and I didn't realize I missed something? Then in the night I heard heavy rain, and silently did some gratitude prayers before going back to sleep.

Today is rainy, and COOL! I have the lights on. I feel like I need to make some bread or something a little more substantial than eating watermelon.

Let's see. What has happened since I last wrote. I am still trying to get over this blasted stomach thing. I had a little relapse Monday, but I am better now.

Saturday began the celebration for my friend CJE's mother's 85th birthday. Friends and family from all over the U.S. were in the area, and they evidently went to breakfast early together. Then they started gathering again in the afternoon at CJE's house. When I arrived at 3 p.m., there was a full yard of cars. I only knew a few people, but everyone was friendly, hungry, and happy to celebrate a long life of friends and family. It began to wind down around 6:30 p.m., so CJE, JE, and I sat on the deck and knit on our projects while people talked. It was fun, but enough socializing for me. I went home about 7:30 p.m. They planned to start again the next day for breakfast, and then there was a catered luncheon and band in the afternoon in Gravette.
I opted to not attend any of that.

I am not inspired with knitting at the moment. I decided to cast on for another sock, as they are my ole stand-by when I am bored. They are easy, quick, and portable.

I have been reading the newest book in the series by Susan Wittig Albert, The Tale of Briar Bank. It is her series about Beatrix Potter's farm life in the Lake country. Of course, the animals solve the mysteries, and they are quite an interesting group. This book has more info on the badgers, who hold all the books of history of the Lake country. Bosworth Badger keeps a diary of events in his library that is passed down through the generations. It is too bad there are no illustrations ala Beatrix Potter to go along with the story. I enjoy this series as well as the other series she does about the herb shop in Pecan Springs, Texas.

I also finished my first skein of red, turquoise, and black yarn. While I was spinning that I listened to Prayers for Sale, by Sandra Dallas. This was the best book, one I would think of buying to have in my library. I recommend this to anyone who likes human interest, history, quilting, and information about the Depression. Really a good book.

I talked to my son the other night. He just came back from a trip to Montana. He has a close group of friends that he has hung out with forever. They stay very close-like a tribe. They even go on vacations together. Well, two of them just got married at Glacier Nat'l Park, and they asked R. to marry them. I asked if this was legal. He said they took care of the legal part, and they asked him to marry them on this trip. It all sounded so wonderful, and it makes me happy to think that they just asked a friend who knows them and loves them to marry them. Much better than that stupid stuff you see all the time on t.v. reality shows. This seems more real to me. To have all your friends together on a camping trip, and to have a celebration together.

I just keep looking out the window and thinking it is Fall. I know that we have one more killer month of heat, and then almost killer heat in Sept. Then it is Fall. But it is pretty Fallish right now.

Enjoy sitting outside while you can. I am going to the screened porch right now. Enjoy the week.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

We Had An Earthquake!

This is news! Arkansas had an earthquake yesterday! 2.5 only, but we are a long way from the West Coast. Yes, I know there is a fault line in eastern Arkansas, but that's a long distance from here. This is a baby praying mantis on the screen door on the porch. He is only about an inch long, although he looks bigger here.
This is a long story. Some years ago I did a commissioned batch of spun bison. It came straight from the field. It was AWFUL to process, and fairly easy to spin. I was not impressed-until I took it off the blocker, and POOF! it bloomed into the loveliest wool ever! I always said I would buy some of my own, and never did. This Spring I did order some. The lady said they did not have any field fiber, but did have some prepared fiber for spinning. It was expensive, but I did buy a little bit. I thought, "Great. I don't have to process it." It was not what I wanted. It was short fibers, and pill-y. I mean little balls like sweater pills all over it. So I thought, "I'll combine it with alpaca, and they will blend into this lovely fiber-y goodness." No, that didn't happen either. I spun this a coupla days ago, and I only did a little batch of just under 2 ozs. It spun into 140 yds. It is nice, but........ I finally got a box of field fiber, and it is more what I remember from the original commission. And it smells like wood smoke. There are some long hairy pieces in there that are sorted out, and some of the soft stuff has longer hairs in it. But I am happy. I will have to wash it-bison do wallow in mud.

I also finished the MIA scarf. Yes, it is the chevron pattern. I had some ugly sock yarn that combined with a lovely multi colored single ply. I actually call it "In The Garden".

We had a brief respite from the stifling heat and humidity. We had rain, also. We can just say our gratitude prayers every time we get rain from now on. It is going into the HOT part of the summer. We are expected to be near 98 degrees this week, and higher next.
Most of the flowers have peaked. Right now it is so wonderful to sit on the porch in the morning or afternoon and listen to the finches chirpling away in the sunflowers. They are quite happy eating away whatever seeds are there. I did spy an indigo bunting on some of the seed heads yesterday.
I am chipping away on the UFO pile. Yeah! I am sewing on my new quilt top. I am also listening to a good book on tape, Night of the Jaguar. I find I can listen to books while I sew or spin. So now I am "reading" more than I was before.
Have a good rest of the week.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

It's July!

Here's the finished skein of yarn from that pretty "fluff" I showed you before. Baby's First Socks! I took a detour from my "only working on UFO's" path. These were fast and easy, easy, easy.

I went to the spinning guild's First Wednesday meeting yesterday. We had two new people there. That was nice. It is good to get new folks. It was a nice small group, and some really pretty show and tell.
After that I drove a back road trip to visit CJE. They still don't have water, and it is beginning to get old. We walked out on the deck and you could smell the oily diesel smell. Yuck! She carded alpaca and I knit while we just visited. She and AE went to a lily convention in Springfield, MO, and she had to tell me all about that.
Otherwise, nothing is new this week. I have had the windows and doors open this a.m. because it is somewhat cool for July. But the humidity is starting to rise with the temps, so I will probably have to turn on the air soon.
I will wish you a safe and fun 4th of July holiday. I don't like fireworks, and we have had a lot in the last week or so already. Soon it will be over. I leave you with another sunflower pic. I love my sunflowers, and the birds have already started picking on seeds.