Monday, October 29, 2012

Are they heading for higher ground?

Yesterday I went over to CJE's house and played with knitting for a while with JE and CJE.  We watched a fiber video.  Patty was not acting herself.  She was constantly wanting out.  She was nervous, and agitated.  She would just stare at me.

After we got home, I fed both she and the cat.  It was well past their appointed time to eat their dinner.  I couldn't get Patty to calm down.  She was traipsing up and down the hallway, ticking her nails against the wood floor.  She would go up and down the hallway, then stare at me.  I took her outside three or four times.  The last time when my patience was worn out, the cat came in.  He kept running up and down the hallway with his tail crooked.  I threw a little ball, he ignored it.  So it wasn't an invitation to play.  I couldn't figure it out.

Today, both are acting their normal selves.  Some friends suggested maybe they were reacting to the megastorm on East coast.  I just didn't think so. 

Just now I looked at Facebook for the first time today.  I scrolled down to see what is new.  One of my friends said there had been a 3.9 earthquake in Parkin, which is in the northeastern part of the state.  Near the New Madrid fault line.

So-like the elephants in Indonesia-I guess both my animals were heading for higher ground.  I had the sense to know something was not right, but I couldn't figure it out.  They had sense to feel the pre-shock or whatever it is called before the big one.  Now they are both their usual selves. 

Whew!  Weather is weird!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Change is on the way!

These sockies are done!  In more ways than some.  These began life as a sock blank that I found when I cleaned up my studio way back when.  I got weird one day and just threw some dyes together and I had kinda an idea of what I wanted.  Well, obviously, when it was finished, it was not my idea at all but something else!  So I knitted them up and they are done.  I will not wear them a lot because they are merino, soft as all get out, and they will wear out quick in the heel and heel flap. 

But right now I am making baby sockies out of the leftovers, and that is perfect for baby.  They are really, really soft, and snuggly and squishy. 

CJE and I taught some friends how to spin on a spindolyn yesterday.  That was fun, but it was really exhausting.  Mainly because I had to clean up the house some beforehand.  One of the friends is a weaver and knitter, and her niece is a knitter.  So each will do different things with their new skill.

I guess I am still in a nesting mode today.  I put away all the things I had out yesterday for the class.  I straightened up the house some.  I did a load of clothes, and I gave Patty a bath.  And since Patty had a bath, I washed the blankets on the bed.  She has one she likes to pull up around herself, and it was kinda smelly. 

As we speak, it is getting darker and darker outside.  Change is on the way.  We have had lovely Spring weather for quite some time.  I have flowers blooming-even my holly bushes!  I have been busy trying to get the flower bed ready for seeding before winter comes.  I have to wait until frost, or the seeds will sprout. 

I just looked out the window, and the groundhog is out being very adventurous.  He/she eats a few nibbles, stands up and looks around, and then back down to nibble some more.  They are not as destructive as the armadillos, but they do like to eat flowers in the Spring.  They have broken my hollyhock stems to eat the flowers, and that is not nice at all.  Right now he/she is eating plantain leaves.  The other day I saw he/she eating dandelion leaves and flowers.

My neighbor brought over a HUGE plate of fried catfish, hushpuppies and some fried potatoes.  It was so very, very good.  His brother caught a 21 pound catfish, and shared some of the fillets.  It was a very thoughtful gift after a long, tiring day. 

I think this cold front coming in is not welcome.  I have enjoyed having the Spring weather, and being able to work outside so much.  I have actually thought what kind of plants I want to plant, and how much work I have had this time to clean up my big flower bed.  I can really only do the physically hard stuff for about 30-40 mins now.  I have to admit I am older than my mind thinks. 

And now with the cooler weather comes nesting and getting ready for being indoors.  I have to go put the blankets outside for the short time before the rain comes.  I want that smell when I go to bed tonight. 

Snuggle up with the ones you love!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Who Invited All The Bugs!

These are Red-shouldered Beetles.  I have never heard of them before, and I don't think I have seen them before this Fall.  They cluster, they crawl, they swarm, they fly, they are everywhere.  According to the research on the internet, they are a relative of the love bug.  Now love bugs I know.

When I lived in Florida, people were warned of the impending Love Bug Mating Season.  They hook up end to end and make one weird looking creature.  They swarm-just like the above critters-and when you are driving they SPLAT all over your car.  If you get in a big swarm, it could harm your paint on your car.  So a lot of folks got bras for the front of their cars to prevent dangerous splats.

Back to my bugs.  I wanted to know what they were attracted to, and I found it is box elders, althea, and a few other plants.  The "experts" say you have to remove the attracting plants to get rid of them. I have a huge box elder next to the deck, and multiple box elders in the jungle on the west side of the property.  I have one huge althea next to the carport.  So that option is not an option.

So I guess I will live with them until it freezes for good.  I am sure they will go away then.  Oh-well-then it will be time for the lady bugs to hatch and swarm all over the house. 

In other weird nature stories-I have sunflowers making blooms right now.  I am sure this week will push them close to opening.  We are to have warm and moist weather this week, so I am sure they will be happy.

 I had to start feeding the birds much too early because of the drought.  They arrived at the tail-end of the drought, and there were no seed pods for them to eat.  They were looking for food, especially the biggest birds-crows, blackbirds, grackles, etc.  So, I started putting out sunflower seeds.  And sure enough, as soon as we got the first rain, sprouts occurred.

My friend OSM has visited twice this week.  I think she is finally getting the right advice and she likes this doctor.  Yesterday we took a ride down south on the interstate, and I cut across at Chester to Hwy 71.  We went to Ft. Smith State Park to eat a picnic at lakeside.  It was so hot to sit out in the sun and eat.  All the dogs were hot and tired, but I walked them quite a ways while she was finishing her food.

I haven't been sewing at all, but I did get a little knitting done.  I am almost on the toe of sock 2.  I did get a little bit of carding done on the yellow wool.  No spinning on the wheel right now. 

The saddest thing is all the wind we have been getting.  All the leaves are blowing off quickly.  This weekend usually is the peak weekend for color, but I guess it was last weekend.  I did not see the colors yesterday that I normally see in that part of the Ozarks.  A lot of yellowish brown, light brown, rusty brown, brown, reddish brown, etc. 

I am getting ready for nesting.  It is getting to be that time of year.  It seems just as my spirits go down, and I get my nest ready, it warms up and I can get outside.  I know that soon the cold will settle in, but I enjoy the warmish Fall days.  I got more Johnson grass dug out last week.  Sigh!  That is never ending.

I went to Eureka Springs last week with CJE.  That was fun.  We ate a nice lunch at a little tea room, and we walked to quite a few shops.  She had to buy some hot sauce and the shop was uphill from where we were standing.  She concluded her business, and back to home we headed.  A nice little outing.

I am thinking of future projects, looking at pictures, but right now I am not doing much knitting.  It is okay to have a lull.  Some times my hands hurt, but I keep using them.  I do not give in to such stuff as stiff or achy hands.  My back hurt pretty bad after my bout in the garden.  I was able to fill up a whole bucket of grass rhisomes.  Isn't old age a great invention?! 

So that's the scoop.  Not much news, but I will take a picture of my sunflower when it blooms.  I may get two before Frost, but for sure, one will pop open this week.  It has been a strange Fall this year. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Little Rain, A Little Chilly!

I am sitting in front of the window facing north.  When I took Patty out this a.m., I noticed some kind of dark cloud front thing to the north.  And here it is-raging over us with a cloudburst and a mighty darkness.  I like Fall rain.  It settles the earth to lull her to sleep again during the winter months.  I don't really like Spring storms in the Fall.  Which is what we are having tomorrow.  There is lots of thunder now, rumbling along the edge of the front.  Trees are bending in the wind.  Yep-it's definitely Fall weather now.

The trees are beginning to change colors, and the Arkansas Parks and Tourism folks are putting out the leaf reports.  It will be that way until the first week of November.  I like to drive out and see the mountains in the Fall.  There is such a great color splurge and then there are more grays, deep greens from the evergreens, and it appears to be an impressionistic painting.

My friend OSM came last Monday for her test on her basal cell thing on her nose.  She has to return on Monday next for the stitches to be removed.  She is hanging in there.  I don't know how she is managing all her illnesses at this time. 

I have had a teeny virus thingy in my tummy, and it is the beginning of indoor season now for sure.  I didn't feel "sick", but I had a bad, bad headache Tuesday and Wednesday.  I thought it was just allergies.  I also had a stomach ache, but I thought that was my digestive thing and took extra digestive enzymes.  Yesterday I had to go to the bathroom a lot, and I just felt "off".  I had chills all day too. 

I did wake up at 3am yesterday and just "knew" how to fix the sewing problem I had on the quilt top.
I managed to get two rows sewn up, but I ripped out almost as much as I sewed.  I also left the iron flat on the ironing board, and now I have a scorched mark on the cover.  I decided I had to quit before I messed up more.  I noticed this morning I made a big mistake, and I will have to correct that before I can go on.  At least the solution I found is working.  It's just my "focus" button is not working right.

I am knitting the heel flap on sock 2.  And I am on the stockinette rounds for the sweater.  Both are boring knitting, but do-able in my mind state. 

Oooh-a big clap of thunder.  I better get this published before the lights go out.  I love Fall storms!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Shorter Days and Less Light!

 This is a shawl that I finished quickly using worsted weight yarn.  I think it certainly looks like Fall.  I like the feel of it, and the weight.  It is perfect for just a little something to throw over one's shoulder.  I put it on my website. 

 The top mushrooms in a cluster were kinda pretty for brown mushrooms.  So after I started to get the photo, I realized that there is a very "dead fishy" smell coming from it.  The bottom layer had begun to decay, and was gelatous.  It was very stinky.  I love the texture of the second mushroom.  It is beige and off white.  Perfect winter colors.

These are Gulf Frittilary butterflies stopping for a visit.  With our little cold front, they had to move on.  I have noticed more caterpillars this year, and it will be interesting to see what they will be when it is warmer weather again.

I have had a visit from my friend OSM from California.  She is very ill, and is trying to care for herself.  I wish she wasn't doing all the things she is doing, but it is her journey.  She made an appointment with a local dermatologist to check out her basal cell spot on her nose.  It has become a long process.  So thankfully, her visits are short.  She is aware that my tolerance is low for longer visits.

Our knitting group had a fun little party at LK's new house on Sunday.  There were about nine of us, I think, and CJE and I left before more came.  I am so happy that she was able to find this cute little house and set down some roots. 

Patty has had pancreatitis again, but not as severe as the first time.  She keeps finding something dead in the woods behind the house.  I did not recognize anything that she threw up except for bones.   Right now she is driving me insane because she wants out and she wants to go to the woods. 

We had a brief little cold spell with a little bit of rain.  It is a taste of what we are heading for.  I just wish we could get more rain.  We had two days of just damp, drizzly, light misty, wet and cold.  I made a pot of chili and hunkered down.  I don't want to go out and I don't need anything but my little shelter and yarn. 

I am now working on my winter sweater.  I am on Plan B.  Plan A was going very well.  I had perhaps 3-4 inches knitted, and I knew in my heart that I was never going to wear it.  I could never get gauge.  I kept doing the math as I kept on knitting.  I finally stopped knitting and put it aside.  I got one sock finished of my pair, and then decided I needed to rework the math and replan the sweater.  So now I am going to make a bottom-up sweater with stranded colorwork on the yoke.  I am very pleased because it is on gauge exactly as it should be.  I am doing a 2/2 ribbing, and it is supposed to be three inches before the increase and body is begun.  It seems the ribbing is never going to get to 3 inches.  I am only at 2 right now.  I am seriously thinking that 2.5 is fine.  You know- I am anxious to get going on the stockinette of the body.  I know stockinette is boring, so I try to do it as fast as I can.

While I have been escorting my friend to her doctor's appointments, I am knitting on my sock and I am about halfway on the ankle/cuff of the number 2 sockie.  It is coming along well.  It is my plain old sock pattern that is in my head.  The wool is very soft and squishy, and I think they are going to be some of warmest and comfortable.  I just hope the wool is not too soft that it wears out quickly.

I entered three pieces in the fiber show at the Ozark Folkways shop.  The fiber show is this weekend, and I get to see everyone's pieces displayed.  Last year CJE won Best in Show.  She did not get back from Indonesia in time to enter anything this year. 

I am spinning some really pretty pink Coopworth mixed with another roving mix of wool, mohair, and bamboo.  The Coopworth was gummy, and was really hard to spin.  So I finished up my one bobbin of it, and now I am plying it.  I am then going to wash it and see how it feels after it is soaked and blocked.  If it is still gummy, I am not going to be happy.  This is the first time I have had a problem with anything I have bought from a vendor that I know has quality stuff.  I think she would take back what I have left and replace it with something else.  But I want to try working with it first.

So nothing else new or exciting.  I did have one day of major cleaning and rearranging furniture.  I knew that soon I would be closing up the house for winter, and I just needed to do it before then.  It was a little bit scary moving the bed and finding a lot of spider webs attached to the legs of the bed.  This has been the summer of spiders and bugs.  The termite inspector told me they have had a lot of calls this summer, and that this summer was perfect weather for spiders.  Great!  Thank goodness most of them are shy.

Well, back to spinning.  I need to get this done before the weekend.  I will see the vendor at the show, and I want to know for sure that it will clean up nice.  I have a good book on audio that is from the library.  So here we be.

Have a good rest of the week.