Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gosh! June Is Almost Done!

I had one more skein of sock yarn in my stash waiting for dye. So I picked some correopsis tinctoria and did a very small dye pot with copper sulfate as the mordant. It is a pretty light reddish brown. In fact, what washed out mostly was reddish color. Isn't that better than another golden yellow color? I did a fabric bundle with some different flowers and the strained correopsis in the bundle and threw it into the leftover dyepot. I got a nice reddish brown cloth with splotches of darker reddish brown. It was nice too. Sometimes surprises are often what makes me happy.

Yes-it's sunflower time. This will make all the finch folk happy when the seeds come on. I don't have as many sunflowers as I have had in the past years. And surprisingly, they are not as tall in past years. We are in a drought already. After the cold and wet, we immediately went into July heat and no rain.

I also finished the pink skein of yarn. It is beautiful, even if I say so myself. I love it. It is 50/50 romney dyed with Gaywool Salmon and faux cashmere dyed with leftover cups of Gaywool dye on a dye day on the deck. CJE and I called it Clown Barf, since it was so many different colors of pink, red, green, blue, and yellow. I haven't taken any photos yet.

I am presently spinning some more turquoise merino for the handspun sweater. I have one skein left and decided I needed to have two skeins, just in case. I am halfway done on the sleeves. Then onwards to the body.

I am also chugging along on the afghan for my nephew and his lady love. I am sick of it, but I am trying to get it big enough before I give up on it. I finished number 1 sock on the traveling socks in my purse. I immediately cast on and started ribbing before I put it back into the purse.

I have also started stitching on a story quilt that I have been putting off for quite some time. When we cleaned out my grandmother's things, my sister-in-law showed me a ragged beginnings of a crazy quilt that she did not know any history or anything. She had found it in my grandmother's things. I recognized the fabrics from clothing my grandmother had made, but I know my grandmother hated quilting. She was very vocal about this. So that means it had to be my great-grandmother who started this. It would be the kind of thing my grandmother would hang onto because of the recognizable fabrics and that her mother started it.

I found this scrappy thing the other day, washed it, and the embroidery threads gave up the ghost. But I think that is part of the appeal to me. The ragged-ness is something I like. The weird part of it all is that the scraps are all wool pieces of fabric. So I started a story quilt yesterday, and today I did a little bit of stitching while it was cool out on the screen porch. A new journey!

This is a spinning wheel a friend's husband made her. Isn't it gorgeous? It is cherry and yellow wood. And yes-that is a clock mounted on the post! I sat down to do a little bit of spinning, and it is really nice. This guy is a genius. He makes all these things for his wife to keep her happy. Even a wooden needle holder for her embroidery needles! I am totally blown away! That thing in the background to the right is her embroidery stand! And on the end table is all her needlework stuff-bowls, containers, etc. that he made her.

In that glassed case next to the fireplace is all the beautiful stuff he has made. I am so amazed!

Oh-oh! I forgot! The whole wall behind the sofa is this custom quilt rack that he made for all her quilts. Too much for me to fathom.

So CJE and AE are moving CJE's mom out to their place. They will now have both moms there to monitor and take care of. CJE has been moving everything of hers out of her studio so her mom can move into it. Now her two floor looms and other stuff are in the house in half of the family room. All her music stuff and stash and "stuff" is moving into a storage unit in town about 4 miles away.

I guess nothing else new. Oh-Patty tested negative for her six month follow-up heartworm test! Yeah! Noodles is moving really slow these days. We wouldn't want to overheat ourselves with all that fur.

I guess that's all. Just trying to stay cool and busy. My strength is gaining, although I am tired by the afternoon. I have been up early most mornings to utilize the cooler time to water and sit on the screen porch.

Talk at you in July. Happy 4th!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ah! The Lethargic Days of Summer!

I know that Summer is not official until next week, but my gosh! it is plenty hot and humid. We have had a few summer thunderstorms and that helps with the watering.

I finally got Patty into the groomer and she now has a pretty summer do that seems to be helping some with her heat distress. I take her into the vet soon to retest for heartworms, and I will ask if there are side effects from the meds she was given that cause her to be so hot.

My friend CJE kidnapped me yesterday for a girls day out to get lunch and a pedicure! Boy! That was nice. A big ole comfy chair that has heat and vibrates and feet in a foot jacuzzi! A great fun day! Her husband had supper waiting on us when we got to her house, so I got home rather late. I had to call my neighbors to let Patty out since she had been in the house since late morning. Both of the animals were a little upset. Noodles sat on the arm of the chair with one front foot touching my leg. Just to let me know that this is the way it is supposed to be!

I am reading the funniest book called Sheepish by Catherine Friend. CJE and I are both reading it on our Kindles, and I have told others to get it.

The lady that worked with us yesterday is a friend of CJE's and she said it was the first time that anyone brought knitting to her shop. Both of us just simultaneously said,"Well, that's weird".

I guess I am getting to the point when people either think it is weird or they just think "That's Juliann". I remember last year when I helped Dr. B shear her llama Paco. I answered the phone just as I got into the door. My friend identified herself, and I said, "Can I call you right back. I've got to get into the shower and get this llama spit off of me." When I did call back, she didn't think anything of it. She said she knew I was doing something with a llama that pissed it off, but didn't think beyond that. Then I get the looks when I reply that "I'm making a sock." and they say, "What?" and you know the rest of the story.

My roadrunner is spending quite a lot of time in the yard now ridding me of any lizards, insects etc. I saw (I think her) with something in her beak the other day, and when I could see better it was a lizard. Now I personally like lizards, and I wish she would concentrate on snakes and ugly, bad bugs.

I haven't seen as many bumblebees as I remember from last year. There do seem to be a lot of honeybees this year, which I am really happy about. I heard on a story on NPR that the blue jays up north got some kind of avian virus, and that is why we don't see many blue jays right now. I did notice that there were not as many as I have seen in the past.

I am almost finished with the foot on my traveling plain sock. I am not working very hard on the sweater sleeves on the handspun sweater. I always start sleeves first. I did pick up the afghan again and have been getting that moving along again. I want to get that done and mailed off by the end of this summer. I am not sure if they are getting married or what is happening. It seems both sets of parents are busy fighting over the wedding, and the bride and groom plan on just going on a trip to the Bahamas and getting married while on vacation. Sounds good to me.

I purchased a used tiny Norwood floor loom from a lady in the weaving guild. It is so pretty. It is 22 inch weaving width, and, of course, it is cherry. I have been weaving the last little bits of warp that she had on it. I am making myself some new kitchen dishcloths. I am happy with the purchase, although I had doubts of my sanity. When I sold the last one to JE, I was convinced that weaving was not in my cards any more. I did not want to do that. And here I am again. Sigh!

I mailed a huge box of fabrics to the quilt guild in Joplin for their charity quilts. The lady that is in charge of that and stored all their fabrics lost her house in the tornado. So I sent off a box hoping they will like them. It was just time to let go of some things and give them new homes.

So, slowly, I am doing much better. I still don't have a great enthusiasm for strenuous activity. I have to mow the yard in increments over a coupla days. But I am used to taking breaks now, and I don't feel as guilty as before. I am forcing myself to not take naps. By this time in the afternoon, I am sleepy and tired.

So have a safe and productive weekend coming up. Happy Father's Day to anyone who has fathers. Keep cool, and don't overheat!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

Moving Through The Fear

I have very, very severe dental phobia. It all began in childhood with an old country dentist. But my most recent adventure into dental surgery helped me move through some of this fear. My blood pressure was extremely high. High enough to cause severe damage if that were my normal blood pressure. After all the prep with cardiac leads, pulse ox on finger, blood pressure cuff attached, a nasal cannula was placed. I began to feel pretty happy with that. The doctor put in the i.v. and said he would just tie my arm down to the chair to keep me from pulling out the iv. That's the last thing I knew until the nurse called my name. Wow! No listening to the noises, no smells, no pressures, no seeing the needle approaching the mouth, Wow!

Of course, I had been warned by many people of all the things to watch out for. The nurse told CJE that she was amazed that I did not bleed very much. And that I went out really fast. Well, I haven't bled very much. Just a little bit in the beginning. I had a headache Friday afternoon that I think was due to the anesthesia. The only pain I have had is my TMJs were sore yesterday after I woke up. One Aleve took care of that. I have been taking very good care of myself, following instructions given, and I am doing so good with this.

Since I got sick in May, naps are my new friend. I have continued to nap with this surgery. But today is the first day in probably a month that I have some energy and feel like doing something. I lay in bed last night and thought about my indigo pot that is languishing on the deck and thought of things I want to dye. This is a good sign. My normal habit is to think of things when I am going to sleep. I haven't done this in a month.

Yesterday I spent a good portion of the day spinning the pink yarn. I love this stuff. It is a 50/50 blend I made up of some Romney wool I dyed and some faux cashmere that CJE and I dyed. It is spinning quite fast. The faux cashmere is not too slick, and it makes the whole thing so soft. I think it is quite a lovely mauve-y pink with shades to lavender.

Oh-speaking of lavender. Mine is blooming. I am going to try to capture it at just the right time to dry the flowers. I didn't do that last year and I missed the opportunity.

My front flower bed is loaded with yellow correopsis and blue bachelor buttons. I only had one daisy bloom, although it was a really large plant. Yarrows are blooming. I rescued some plants from the jungle on the hillside. This year I have a tall common day lily blooming, but it is the old fashioned kind. I also got a very tall iris from the hillside. Since I have been sick, I have not done the weeding I should do. Sigh!

We moved from wet and stormy and cool to very hot and dry July weather. It is most bizarre. I normally don't have the air conditioning on all the time, but the humidity keeps it on. I can't spin or knit if I am hot and sticky.

So slowly now I am getting better. I am ready to do more. I have ideas in my head that want to come out. I feel like I am moving forward a little bit. Thanks to all my friends that have been there for me .

Thursday, June 2, 2011

No Excuses!

I called the oral surgeon on Tuesday, had a consultation yesterday, and tomorrow I have my surgery. Wow! I had an appointment for the 16th, and they called and told me there was a cancellation on Friday, 6-3-2011. So I began with getting the yardwork under control, got the laundry finished and put away, and the grocery shopping done. I will not be able to eat for a while, so I got puddings, jello, etc to carry me through a coupla days. I figure this will take at least a week to feel better, and maybe a coupla weeks to begin to feel normal. Sigh! At least I don't have to sit around for 2 weeks worrying about it! I decided to get it over with. I missed a great portion of May, and I don't want to miss June too.

So no writing for at least a week. I will get back to it after I get over the trauma. I have severe dental phobia, and surgery is not my favorite either. CJE is going with me to drive, and will stay in the afternoon to make sure I don't have any reactions.

Stay well. I will continue later after I get going again.