Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Today, December 25, 2013, is Christmas Day on our Christian calendar.  It is a quiet day.  After talking to a few friends and family and viewing my texts, it has been a day of not doing a lot.  Supper is in the oven.

I watched a video that my brother sent to me.  I got one row of my medieval sweater knitted.  I fed all the animals.  That's it.  Not a lot.

Happy and Merry Christmas to all.  May the Light of this Season shine over the world and bring peace, joy, and love.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Solstice!

There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
                                                                                               -Edith Wharton

Today is Winter Solstice!  It is really the beginning of winter in this hemisphere.  I know, I know, we had that dreadful snow/ice/freezing rain/sleet event that stayed on the ground for over a week!  That was only a tease from our mother the earth to remind us of who is in control.

I always begin each day after this with the idea that each day is longer than the day before.  By February I am really sick of gray, gloomy icky days.  I long for warmth and sunlight.  By March I can hardly contain myself.  Wouldn't one think that after all these years of habitual behavior I would adjust my behavior or change it somehow?

The cat and dog are not happy with the weather either.  I have to make them go outside when it is raining/freezing raining or any other form of frozen precipitation.  We will get through this and I kick them outside to do their business.  Patty did a record poop and pee this morning shivering the whole time. 

I am beginning to go into the winter slump already.  I think it is a little bit early for me to do so, but sometimes I just sit and frown.  I have SAD, and this year it is early.  I ache and I am cold all the time.  I don't want to get up and do.

Yesterday I did cook my annual mincemeat cake.  It is a recipe from my former sister-in-law, and I really like it.  I don't like fruit cakes, but this is really good.  It isn't too sweet, which is a plus. 

I had an annual physical in November, and I am still healthy.  My cholesterol is high, but that is expected with my family history.  My Vitamin D was depleted, and I expected that also.  But everything else is perfect.  Just aging is enough to cope with. 

Not much else is new and exciting.  I am knitting one sleeve on the red sweater.  The medieval sweater is languishing by the chair.  I started my niece's baby blanket.  I have been searching sock patterns again, and I don't need to do that.  I have enough to do.  I finally found some fabric I like that will finish the quilt I have reserved for H and R. 

So settling in for a long winter's nap sounds good about now.  We have four more months of yucky to cope with. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Enjoy The Warmth!

We are easing towards Solstice, and we have a warm up few days to enjoy ourselves.  I love to sit in the sunshine and soak up whatever warmth I can during these early winter months.  I am getting to hate gray days, but I tolerate them knowing that sun will shine again.

There is a major cold spell on the horizon for Thursday through the beginning of next week.  Pooh!

So today I wash blankets and put them on the clothesline.  I give Patty a bath, and she will sit in the sunshine to dry off.  I can't think of sitting still with any hand work when I can just sit in the sunshine.

We are soon going to have Solstice.  Every year I somehow tell myself that after Solstice the days are getting longer.  That there is more light every day.  Then by February I am not a happy camper.  I want it to be Spring.  It isn't Spring until after the Equinox.  I intellectually know that,  but I am tired of winter by the end of February.

I have been writing down my stories due to my friend CJE.  I submitted them to a publisher, and the first editing has been returned.  Whew!  What a learning experience that is.  It is rewriting and rewriting and learning and thinking and a lot of work.  I am so thankful she didn't just throw up her hands and say, "You need some real help here."  I am enjoying this process.  I know it sounds so crazy, but I am.

I have the medieval sweater on hiatus.  I have some little projects that need to be done quickly.  In between I pick up the handspun sweater.  I only have two inches to go until I start the sleeves.  Yeah!
OSM's socks are on the final sprint.   I am halfway done on the foot of the #2 sock.  I got the yarn yesterday to knit my niece SK a hat.  I ordered yarn for a blanket for my niece AK a baby blanket. 

Nothing going on in the sewing department.  I have things in my head to sew, but nothing is happening there. 

My friend I have been caring for is housesitting for a friend who has gone to New Orleans to visit family.  He is bored, and he is not handling the being alone and sitting still part.  I know it is his journey, but I understand how hard it is for him to be forced to retire so early.

Otherwise, I am back to normal in the household, and I am finally rested from that adventure.  I have my house back to my normal state of semi-clutter.  I have my nest back that I do my night knitting.  I have the hall bathroom back.  I have my meals back to normal again.  Now if I can just be motivated to get back to work.

The animals are back to their normal routines.  Patty is sitting in a sunny spot right now.  Noodles has slowed a bit on his rodent eating for a while.  He is still fighting his enemy that invades his territory on a regular basis.  The other morning at 4 am his "frenemy" was yowling at the bedroom window.  Oh, boy, did Noodles get upset over that!

So back to sitting in the sun.  I need to put the blankets on the line and get Patty bathed.  My usual slowing down for the season.  I don't push real hard any more.  I try to just accept that this is happening, and that I don't need to push so hard.  I just have to keep the bird feeders filled, and everyone's happy.

Enjoy the week.  Enjoy the warmth when it occurs.  Enjoy the sunshine when it occurs.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The End of Wovember Is Near!

Yes, it has been a while since I last wrote.  My days have been not my own, and my routine is fouled up.  The cat and the dog are confused.

I finally had to call in some help to move my friend on to his next stop.  I need my space.  I need to settle into my winter routine. 

My friend is so much better, but his memory is gone.  He cannot remember where he puts things or where things are.  Occasionally I see agnosia, but it is infrequent.

I noticed this morning that I do not have any salt to put on my steps.  Poor little Patty slid down the steps in a thump.  Climbing back up the steps took at least two tries.  If it wasn't mean, I would have laughed out loud.  With the cold north winds, she does pee quickly.

I have got to quit whining about everything.  I know that my friend is scared, I know how hard this whole process is for a someone who is totally left-brained and the left brain side is damaged, and I know he is anxious.

Luckily I have long-termed knitting commitments.  My color work sweater is moving along, but I could not figure out some directions this afternoon.  So I set it aside until I can focus on thinking about that next part.  I had a teeny mistake on my red sweater, and I thought last night I would have to unknit a coupla rows.  But today I was able to salvage the mistake with a crochet hook, and I think it is undetectable.  Last night I finished one purple sock, and I cast on the second one.  That's a portable and quick knit. 

Today I had a chunk of time to myself, and I FINALLY finished my last purple blend skein of BFL.  It should never, ever take three weeks to finish one skein of yarn.

We are having our first bit of real wintry weather. We have bitter North winds that have dropped the temps to miserable levels.  We had some freezing drizzle last night that left ice on the steps and porch.  Tomorrow afternoon snow is supposed to come, and something yucky on Monday, I think.  Then our usual warm up stage through Thanksgiving. 

My plan is to stock up on Wednesday.  I need more bird seed, dog food, cat food, and I better get a coupla gallons of water to put back in the closet.  I need a few things for the fridge.  Oh, yeah, I better get some salt, too, for the steps.  Then whatever happens next, I am READY!

I am going to demonstrate spinning with our guild next Saturday at the regional alpaca show.  And I am pretty sure that is all I am committed to for the rest of the year.

So Happy Thanksgiving.  Give thanks for all of our many, many blessings, and for all our friends and family. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Simple Twist of Fate

Last weekend was so nice.  It was fairly nice weather, and my son and his wife visited the whole weekend.  Usually it is a quick in by bedtime, and out the next day.  This was a whole weekend!

R had told me they had tickets for the Razorback game, so we drove to War Eagle Mill and viewed the Fall foliage.  We ate a late supper, but left room for a hot dog and a pretzel at the game.  The essential foods of choice.

When they had left to go to the game and I had putzed around some, I decided to check my emails and to check my phone.  I had a voicemail from a friend that he was in the E.R. and thinks he had a stroke. 

After running Patty out to pee and grabbing my portable knitting, I rushed to the hospital.  I stayed until he was admitted and settled.  He did have a stroke, but miraculously he did not have any motor residual effects.  Unfortunately he did have cognitive effects on the Broca's area of the brain.  He was d/c'd on Monday-after only 2.5 days of non-treatment.  He just got a diagnosis, given follow-up info, and a prescription. 

Consequently he is staying at my house to get his meds regulated and to monitor his status until he is able to go somewhere.  He cannot go to his own home.  It is really far out in the boonies, and he uses wood heat.  It would not be safe for him with his visual deficits.

So not a lot of knitting is getting done.  I am behind in my spinning.  And I am frustrated.  Luckily it is short-lived and I will be back to normal again soon.

Gotta go clean out gutters.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Those Darn Rain Crows and Frogs!

We had a little teeny blast of cold and the rains started.  Winds are blowing from the south; this brings muggy and warmer weather.  We have been in the 40's at night and 60's during the day.

 The other day I had the back door open and I suddenly tuned in that the frogs were peeping.  I yelled at them  "Go back to sleep.  It is not Spring, and please don't get cold." 

Yesterday I woke with the sound of wind and rain, and I crept to my studio to do some spinning.  Patty hates the rain, and it is a struggle to get her out into it.  I had about 30 mins of peace before she woke up and realized I wasn't around.  So out we go into the rain for a bit of a walk about.  She can really do her business fast when she is wet.

Today it has been overcast and muggy.  Rain was supposed to begin around noon.  So I hurriedly dressed, ate breakfast, got Patty outside, and thought about going to the grocery store.  RC and HC are coming for the weekend, and I wanted to have things to eat and drink available.  While I was in the store, I heard the rain on the roof.  It was a deluge.  I finally got to the car and groceries loaded and home in between the rain. 

Since this morning the rain crows have been croaking out their message.  I glared at them as I was carrying sacks into the house.  Since I have been settled in, the rain has begun in earnest. 

So I guess we are in the transition phase of between late summer, early Fall, and the blast of winter.  Sigh!  I just know it is getting darker and I don't have as much time to knit on the stranded sweater as I would like.  It is too difficult to see the chart with my lighting-yes I have natural lighting directly over my chair, but still hard to see.  I can strain with my reading glasses, but I refuse to do that.  So I sit by the window and get the perfect light without any glare and knit a few rows.  It is growing slowly, but progress is being made.

The red homespun sweater is growing rapidly.  It is a top-down raglan and the plain knitting is a joy compared to the stranded work.  I know in the past that I have complained when there is so much stockinette to do before the fun starts.  Well, this time it is going fast.

I am spinning some BFL that has rather interesting colors.  I bought this at the fiber show in July.  It is Mountain Colors, and the colorway is Evening Star.  It is deep, deep purple (almost black), lighter purple that sometimes has pink showing, a teensy bit of blue, a teensy bit of dark green, and a teensy bit of cinnamon-y brown.  When it is spun it is much darker than I imagined it to be.  I think it needs to be a pair of socks.  We will see what the yardage is when finished.  I think this one is mine-maybe.

Noodles has been spending a lot of time outdoors with the warmer weather.  I heard the cat door slam this morning and then heard a squeal.  I looked for body parts when I woke up, but so far have not found them.  I guess he ate everything but the squeal.

I have two projects in bags sitting by my chair in the knitting room.  I also want to get back to my sewing.  I know all of this will happen, but I still feel guilty about the sewing.  I just never go back there and sit down and do it.  Sigh!

Well, I guess I will go bake some cookies.  I am trying to get things cooked before the company.  I hate to cook while I am visiting.

If it continues to rain, I guess I will pull out the rain boots.  Crazy.  We are supposed to have thunder storms.  The southern mountain range is supposed to get as much as 5 inches of rain. 

Have a good rest of the week.  I just heard thunder and I am going to shut down the computer.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Simple Life

I listen to my friend's complaints.  When I hang up the phone, I take a deep breath and I let out a HUGE sigh!  My life is simple.  My parents are dead, and I do not face the end of Life issues that so many of my friends are facing with their parents or parent. 

Another friend calls frequently and tells me the same things she told me in the last conversation.  She has a very serious threat of Alzheimer's in her family.  She and I both are thankful that we have pared our lives down to simplicity.  She lives alone, but has a system of friends (including me) who check on her regularly.

I have another friend with multiple medical problems and she is faced with HUGE medical debt.  Her life is not pleasant and a husband who does not understand why she is depressed.

I have a routine, but frequently I do not stick to the routine.  I do enjoy my spinning and I do that daily.  I knit daily.  I enjoy the complexities of patterns.  I love to see the progress made daily on projects. 

I do cook, but not as frequently as before.  I make things that I divide up into meals and freeze these portions.  Then I can microwave them or heat them up in the freezer.

I do keep the dishes clean and I do sweep the kitchen floor every other day.  I dust or sweep the main floors when I can't stand it any more or if something is on the floor.  I clean the floors regularly.  I do laundry once a week. I keep the bathrooms clean.  So I don't think I am a sorry old woman that is so often shown on t.v.

I did cancel my cable service.  I like to watch Netflix instead.  The cost of that is a fraction of what the worthless cable shows were costing me.  I have a budget, but I can't resist if I find things that are real bargains.  I like to go to Goodwill and buy any clothing I need. 

So really my Life is Simple.  I am grateful and thankful every day that I have that is simple and blessed. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I Haven't Forgotten My Bees!

Most people think I should take down my hummingbird feeder.  It is almost mid-October!  But obviously some critters still need the sugar water.  This is taken from inside the house through the window.  On a warm day there can be 50+, but on a coolish morning or day there are only a hand full of bees.  I am happy to keep them going.  With the bee shortage, I am happy to see them on my flowers in the summertime and now on the feeder.

I know the downy woodpeckers like the sugar water, too, but I have been putting out sunflower seeds for the birds for a week now.  They like that, too.

I am recuperating from the show.  I am not so tired.  Yesterday I did finish the second bobbin of red thread to ply today.  It is destined to be a sweater.  I finally made a decision to rip out the hat I was knitting and recalculate the number of stitches.  I have done that and I am now 2 inches on the ribbing.  I dropped three stitches on the green Norwegian socks, and I will have to sit in good light to pick those up.  I finished my book and have started a new one.  So I am steadily moving back to normalcy.

I did put my knitting down last night during NCIS.  Abby was knitting!  Yeah!

I have been getting phone calls from friends that are checking on me and to ask about the show.  I guess I did invest a lot of time and energy into the show.  That is the opinion of everyone.  I am only disappointed that perhaps it wasn't the best show for me to sell.  It is hard to know until one tries.

The weather is changing.  The light is decreasing slowly.  I want to get as much done on the knitting that requires light while I can.  Some things work fine in artificial light, and some things are better in natural light. 

Nothing else new.  Just wanted to show off my bees.  I am so happy for them.  I know that most people find them a nuisance, but I am happy to keep them going.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Strange And Wonderful Experience!

 Crow and I got all packed up to go to Greenwood.  Her window would not go up.  The electrical wire was messed up somehow.  So she put duct tape on it.  At times she had to hold the tape in place as we are rolling down the highway! That meant she had to put MORE duct tape on it!

We had a wonderful time visiting our old friends and catching up with each others lives.  Most of these folks we only see at fiber shows. 

Friday afternoon was a good afternoon of sun and warmth.  We were all optimistic about Saturday.
Saturday it gushed and poured rain as if someone unzipped a cloud!  Sigh!  It's a chance everyone takes at shows.  Needless to say, traffic was really slow and buyers were few.

So now I have to regroup and think and plan a different strategy.  I am still tired and my mind is still muddled.  I got my deposit into the bank this a.m. and that is all.  I did take the things off the website that sold and added some other things.  More tweeking later.

I tried to knit on my Norwegian sock yesterday, and I dropped a couple of stitches.  I decided to just roll it up and wait and take care of the problem another day.  I am too tired to think right now.

Patty came back from her adventurous boarding experience all groomed and pretty.  One of the other dogs chewed up her bed.  First he took it outside in the rain Saturday, and then it got ripped apart.  Luckily I left her a blanket, and that was intact.  It has been washed and is out on the clothesline now.

Noodles was Mr. Lovey Dovey all afternoon and night.  Now he is back to his normal behavior of "Who Cares?  We are all together again."

I think I am going to go sit in the lounge chair and relax.  I just want to be still for a while.

Happy Fall!  The leaves will turn soon!

Monday, September 23, 2013

What Day Is This?

I know I have been a poor blogger for quite some time.  I guess there is nothing new around here.  I didn't feel like complaining about the weather, and that is certainly not newsworthy.  I guess I have been on a steady course getting ready for the show in October.

I pleaded with my friend in Kansas to finish up the projects bags.  She is desperately poor right now, but she finally is going to get some money coming in October.  I asked her to please send me any fiber she did not want.  I especially wanted (coveted) the red alpaca she had bought in Taos when we took our last trip.  I have already spun two lovely-beautiful-skeins of handspun with a blend of the alpaca and merino.  I got a plan to get hers, order more merino, and I could have two more skeins of the red yarn.  Then I can make a sweater.

She did send the alpaca.  I pulled the skeins out of my bag for the show.  That meant I had to finish two skeins of something to replace the two I pulled.  I got high behind and yesterday I finished two more skeins of New Zealand merino, cashmere, and bush possum.  It was a whim buy that I got from Paradise Fibers with a birthday discount two years ago.

I guess the bush possum has this short little poof of hair, and the only way I can imagine it is to blend it with something.  That's what the company did.  I read it is a hollow core fiber like bison or quiviut.
It would be as difficult to spin it as those two.  Anyway, it was fun to experiment with something new.

I went to the spinning guild meeting on Saturday, and I took a huge amount of my fiber to give away to anyone who wanted it.  It felt really good to clean out the things I don't think I will ever use.  I rationalized some of it, but for the most part I just grabbed and put it in the car and hauled it away.  It was all gone within minutes.  I love spinners. 

I am moving right along with the Starry Sky sweater from the Medieval book.  I cannot fathom walking into this gorgeous, really old church, staring at the paintings on the walls, and creating knitting patterns from those paintings!  But it is done, and I can enjoy the beauty of photos.

I finished one of the Norwegian socks with the star on the heel.  It is wonderful.  I made the largest size.  I have huge ankles, and I have a tendency to knit too tightly with colorwork.  My past experience has been too tight to get on.  Actually these fit perfectly and if anything are loose enough to enjoy.  I think once they felt some inside, it will be the perfect winter sock.  And I have stars on my heels!

I am thinking of the next sweater with the handspun.  I haven't finished the yarn yet, so will not actually decide the pattern until then.  I am writing names of patterns I like on slips of paper, and I will review them again once I get to that point.  This is the dreaming part of knitting that I find so much fun.  I really think I want something with cables, but  who knows.  I think I would like a cardigan.  I have mostly pullovers, and a cardigan would be nice. See-dreaming.

I am ready for the show to happen.  I think it will be so much fun.  October is THE CRAFT MONTH here and this will just be the beginning of many shows to happen in just a few weeks.  I wonder how come October is the month.  When did it all begin?  I know that I did War Eagle in October back in the late 70's.  Back when it was a small gathering, and everyone was so welcoming and nice and friendly. It was certainly fun. I had my spinning wheel and sat spinning away during the whole weekend. 

Today I have been sucking up cobwebs and other stuff from the corners with my vacuum.  I live with them for a while, and then they do have to go.  I am in a cleaning mood, which is not my usual mood.  I guess the change in seasons tells me that soon I will have to close up the house.  I have to dust the ceiling fans, and wash behind things and get ready for new weather to arrive.  Thank goodness we still have warm days with sun. 

Yesterday I sat on the deck in a shady spot and knit four rows on my sweater.  It was very peaceful. The birds were fussing at me, but otherwise very little noise.  The light is great for reading the chart.  My only complaint so far with this pattern is the chart is printed in color.  When I photocopied it to put on my magnet board and to enlarge it, I couldn't read it.  It took a lot of work to lighten it up and get the size right.  I obviously have overcome the obstacles and I have been moving along.

The yard is still overgrown, but it is definitely end of season.  My black-eyed Susan's are done.  The grasshoppers have been chewing on everything, so most of the plants looks scraggly. 

Speaking of scraggly, Patty is looking a little bit shaggy.  I called her groomer, but he just had open-heart surgery.  I know I can take her to someone else, but he lets me stay during the process.  So I got her down last week and cut off her hobbit hair around her feet, trimmed her nails, and trimmed around her face.  She still looks a little ragged.  I think she is happy to have hair since the nights have been in the 40's.  I still leave the window open at night.  I just added one of my flannel quilts and it is quite snuggly.  Patty burrows under during the night and gets up close.  Sometime in the night Noodles will get under the other side.  Then I am pinned.

So that is that.  Oh, I am knitting a watch cap for my cousin to wear when he is sailing.  That is my mindless easy knitting I stick into my purse.  There is no pattern.  You cast on, rib, knit, decrease.  That's it.  Easy knitting.

I probably won't have much news to relate until after the show.  I am in the mood to get this over and done with.

I think I will finish my cleaning chores and maybe go out on the deck and knit. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Let's Catch Up

Okay, it is the middle of August.  It has been in the 50's at night, and only into the low 80's during the day.  How strange is this?  August is usually the hottest and driest month of our summer.  I checked my electric bill from last year, and my last bill I paid is $20 cheaper than last year.  Weird!

Anyway, I am ready for the show in October.  I need to do some last minute things, and I need to check all my labels.  I set the table up and it is fine.  No repairs are needed for any of that stuff.  So just last minute fiddly kind of stuff.

I have been slogging along with my colorwork sweater.  Actually this week motivated me to move a little faster.  With the cool evenings, I picked up the shawl I had put aside.  I am on the homestretch with it.  It felt really good laying across my legs as I knit. 

We have also been having a deluge of rain.  It seems everyone is having rain, so nothing new with that.  Just why 5-6 inches a day is the question?

I bought some yarn at HandHeld to make some gloves.  I cast on, started the ribbing, and I put it down.  I don't need another pair of gloves.  What was I thinking?  Okay, now I have this expensive sock yarn, and I don't want gloves or socks.  I'll have to think on that one.

I was without my computer for three days this week.  I felt adrift without a lifeline.  I guess they are addictive.  I got some mending done, I did my ironing, and I mended a quilt that was damaged.  I finished sewing the strip quilt top.  So lots of things got done; just stuff I put off and put off and put off. 

Patty has had another bout with her pancreatitis.  I guess this is going to be written up as a chronic condition now.  It is so lovely to wake up at midnight with a puking dog.  After I got her outside and cared for, I had to clean all that mess up.  I go on hyper vigil after that and one time I was aware that she was in the "stance" to puke, so I grabbed her and started running down the hallway.  I stumbled and fell, and she went skittering across the wood floor.  In my half-sleep stupor I said, "Damn, I fumbled the football."  She, of course, threw up all over the floor.  I did skin my knee and elbow, but I was more concerned in getting the hallway cleaned up. 

My single roadrunner is getting to be quite friendly.  It comes up on the deck and clacks its bill.  I talk to it and it flies up onto the rooftop and goes to the front porch.  Once while I was sitting on the screened porch, it clacked it's bill to let me know it was close by (probably that it was aware that I was near), and then it flew up on the stair railing.  I have never seen them so close up.  The plumage is such a gorgeous color of deep purple.  It looks black from a distance.  Then it has turquoise eye liner.  So pretty. 

The birds are eating seeds like crazy.  I know the poor things are so confused by the weather.  I only have two hummingbirds, and they defend the feeder vigilantly.  While they are attacking each other, the downy woodpecker sits there and slurps up sugar water.  Too cute!

My neighbor came over to remove the last of the dirt from my dirt pile.  He always has yard projects, and I donated it to him.  He used his son's big tractor, and he made quite a mess in my yard.  It was that night that the rains started.  So, of course, I have a big ole muddy mess in the back yard.  I am sure the Johnson grass will grow just fine through that. 

I finally got to mow this week, but now I have a hay field out there.  I think with the dryer weather and coolness, the grass will quit growing so rapidly. 

I am dyeing some BFL today with turquoise.  I was standing at my stand looking at my handspun on the rack.  I need some color.  I stood there for a long time and finally thought "turquoise".  So I am soaking the wool, and slowly heating the pot.

I am expecting a package from GK within the next coupla weeks.  She says she has four more bags for me.  I asked her to put some of her fiber into the box.  I specifically want the alpaca that she bought in Taos when we went.  I have some yarn that I spun that I love, and I blended the fibers with the alpaca.  If I get hers, I can get two more skeins, and I think I could make something really nice with that.  She is having a hard time struggling with money issues.  I wish I could help her out more, but I don't have the ability to help her much.  I make up things-like the bags-to give her projects and to help her.  It has really been a struggle for her just to sew the bags.  She is so depressed, and her mind is befuddled. 

Well, I guess that is my catch up report.  Not a lot to talk about, but I am slowly getting things done around here.  I am just so thrilled to have things together for the show. 

Stay cool and dry.  Enjoy the weekend! 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Still Raining!

This is August 9.  August is always a very hot, very dry, very air conditioner kind of month. 
It has been raining for about a week now.  I mean we have had lots of thunderstorms with lightening and thunder and wind.  I pick up dead limbs out of the yard every morning.  By mid afternoon the sun will peek out a little bit, and the humidity zooms to "air you wear".  I turn on the a/c at that point.  Until then I can tolerate the warmness and moistness.

Well, we did have snow in May!  Why not rain in August?

I have been spinning the BFL blend that I bought in Kellyville.  It works up fast, it looks gorgeous, and I love it.  I am on the second bobbin of the second skein.  I started on Sunday.  Wow!  It is nice.

I sold my little Norwood loom to a new weaver in Cabot.  I am delivering it in Russellville tomorrow.  I am sad at my decision, but it is a good one.  I don't know why I am grieving so much.  I haven't really woven anything in a long, long time.  It just means I have to move on.

I do spend most of my time with my spinning and knitting.  Occasionally I wander into the back room to sew. 

I hate being a grown-up!  I have to make big decisions and then I move on.

My neighbor has been using his son's tractor to move dirt from my pile to his yard.  Now I have a muddy mess in the back yard.  I try not to think too much about it.  The rain has kept him from finishing up the job.  I know he will clean up the mess once it is dry enough.  It is just awful to look out there first thing in the morning.

I have been watching movies on Netflix this week while spinning.  I finished one yesterday that was Australian.  I would never go to the movie theater to see it, but it was good.

Well, I am off to the grocery store for my weekly shopping.  Just wanted to grouse some about the weather.  I am beginning to get used to the idea of rain every day.  Feels really tropical around here. Where's the beach?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Okay! I have a problem!

Well, yesterday I awoke with no internet connection.  I missed it.  It threw my whole normal morning routine in a tizzy.  We were having a thunder storm and it was raining hard.  So I sat in my nest and knitted and listened to Pandora on my IPad.

Finally late morning nearly noon, my friend CJE came over with a huge amount of stuff.  She finally got herself set up with her spinning wheel.  She said it is a really sad day when you notice there are cobwebs on your spinning wheel.  So I gave her a cloth and some oil and she cleaned it up before starting.

So the afternoon was productive with me knitting and her spinning and talking about things. 

After she left the young man from Cox came over and worked on my mess again.  I ended up buying a new router at Office Depot, and I am online again.  Unfortunately, the original problem is still there.

I can get connection, but suddenly it goes away.  Sometimes it comes back immediately, and sometimes it takes a while to reconnect. 

Weather is crazy and no one can figure out what is happening.  We never, ever get so much rain and I never, ever have to mow so regularly.  Sigh!  At least I don't have to turn on the air conditioner until later in the afternoon when the sun comes out and the humidity rises.  It is coolish and dampish in the evenings.  Weird for the first week of August.

The stupid mockingbird is staking out his territory for the pokeberries.  They are not ripe yet, but he is definitely taking over his spots.  Noodles happens to be around these spots, so there is a lot of screaming from the bird and a lot of Noodles doing the weird chirpy, raspy things cats do with their lower jaw.  I am sure when the berries ripen, he will have to be on the screened porch and out of reach of the beak.

I finished the English Babydoll Southdown wool.  I have tried it, and I don't want to do it again.  It did soften some when it was washed.  I am now going to spin some BFL that will spin easily and quickly and will be a joy to spin.

I did dye with the weld I bought at the fiber show last weekend.  I didn't have a lot, so I planned two skeins of commercial sock yarn.  One skein I used copper sulfate, and it is the prettiest, softest green and is gorgeous.  The other one was dyed with alum and cream of tartar and is the prettiest, softest yellow and is gorgeous.  I love both of them.  I think they would be pretty together in a subtle colorwork pattern.

Oh, that is the other problem I have.  I started to take a picture of them, and the camera said the batter is exhausted.  So I plugged in the charger, and nothing is happening.  I guess I have to get a new battery.  Sigh!  I can't take all this crazy electronic stuff going out all at the same time.

Have a good first week of August.  I hope you are dry and cool and getting work done.  Later.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Monotony of Summer!

I haven't written because nothing is new.  It is the time of year I understand siestas.  It is hot, humid, and so far, really dry.  After our beginnings of rainy days, we are now in drought again.

I have my knitting nest set up exactly as I like it, and I am slowly progressing on my sweater.  It is the softest yarn- a merino and cashmere blend.  I am not sure that it will hold up to a lot of wear, but it will be nice to wear next to skin.  The pattern is challenging, and I do about 1 or 2 rows a day.  I am still plugging along with the lacy scarf.  Surely I will have it finished by the October show in Greenwood.  That is the goal.  I am still out of love with it, and that makes the knitting tedious.

I finished one skein of the British Babydoll Southdown.  Not my favorite wool to spin, but I wanted the experience of a new wool.  I know I will not buy any more of that.

This coming weekend is the fiber show in Kellyville, OK-Fiber Christmas in July.  I am going to make my annual trek for a day trip.  I know that I DO NOT need any more fiber, but gosh!  when did that ever stop me?  I also want to network with some of my vendor friends.

I have a dreaded appt. on Friday to get my teeth cleaned.  I HATE dentistry worse than anything.  Yuck!

I am almost Netflix-ed out for a while.  I know I am at a low place when I am watching Sherlock Holmes shows.  Surely some time in my life I have seen these. 

I am reading a lot lately, but I can't tell you what I am reading.  Cozy mysteries, I know, but none of them that memorable.  I finished the series of Shetland mysteries by Anne Cleese.  They were good.  I recommend them for mystery readers.  The others are just little books that take a day or maybe two to read.  I am back with the library since I am reading so fast this summer.

Another person stopped to "sell" me on sealing my driveway.  This is number three.  I am getting good at dismissing them.  I must have a sign marked out on the road somewhere that says "Sucker lives here."  At least they are creative about what their products do.  Oh, well, winter will come and the grass growing in the cracks will die.  One offered to spray poison on the grass for me.  I told him absolutely not while I have birds and insects so active right now.  He looked at me like I was crazy. 

I do have a great variety of bees right now.  They are loving all the good things to pollinate.  I have a lot of butterflies, too, and I noticed there seems to be a lot of dragonflies this year.  I saw lots of baby praying mantises about a month ago.  Of course, I have the usual number of birds.  I don't have so many hummingbirds as I have had.  The downy woodpeckers seem to enjoy the sugar water more than the hummers this year.

So this is the monotonous time of year to stay indoors, avoid the heat, and just keep plugging along towards the goals for October. 

Stay cool and drink lots of water.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What A Bizarre Week!

I decided to knit a color-stranded sweater for myself.  I have been so good to focus on what I need for the fiber show in October, and I am glad to say that I am caught up with that.  So now onwards with my own sweater.  It is a long-term project, but I am so excited about it.

I can't read the damn pattern.  It is printed in a very dark color and is a tiny print for the chart.  I did enlarge it on the computer after scanning it in.  That helps, but it is still hard to see.

Two of my friends have shamed me into buying the magnifying readers that the doctor prescribed for me last January.  I can read better (with less strain, I should say), but any movement makes me nauseous and makes me tired and headachy.  I decided that perhaps it is the movement that bothers me.  If it is stationary, I can read better.  If it moves (as in knitting) I can't handle it.  I do one row around and that's it.  At this rate I will never finish the sweater.

Of course, everyone tells me that I will adjust to it, and that it will make things so much better.  Yeah, right!

And today I got attacked by a yellow jacket wasp.  And then I discover that the nest is right by the back stairs in the cap of one of the support posts.  And then I panic that Patty will get stung.  And then I monitor her every move out-of-doors.  It has not been a good day.

Everything that I read online tells me this is a serious situation, and I already knew that.  My neighbor came over about 6:30 to check out the situation, and he bravely duct taped all the way around the tops.  I am giving it another day to make sure that the surviving ladies that did not get sealed in the tomb go away.  Then I am duct taping every one of the caps to make sure that it is safe.

I am spinning some English Babydoll Southdown fleece.  I have never spun it before, but it is weird feeling.  It is spongy feeling in the roving, and it is spinning rather tightly.  It definitely is not a long, lustrous fiber, and it isn't very soft.  I am thinking something like gloves from the yarn.  I don't know yet.  I think socks would be too thick and hot for me.  It isn't a difficult fiber to spin, just different than what I normally spin.  I wouldn't advise a beginner to tackle it unless a thick/thin yarn is wanted.  I am trying to control the draw, but it is a bit troublesome.

I wanted to get some mowing done this morning, but I never got started after the wasp sting and all.
It is 85 degrees at 9:35 pm.  We went from cooler to hotter real quick.  Of course, the up side is grass doesn't grow in hot and dry conditions!  Yeah! 

Otherwise, we are doing our usual hanging out in the house during the day and avoiding heat.  Noodles comes in about 1 pm and stays in until dark.  Patty just sleeps. 

My son turns 40 years old this Thursday!  Wow!  Isn't that impossible?

Have a good and safe rest of the week.  I am ready to go to bed and read a while.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Heat Is On!

 My Japanese indigo plants are thriving.  I have not picked any.  I am just going to baby them through the summer and hopefully they will reseed and flourish for next year.
 The mugwort and tansy plants are taller than me this year. 
 The catnip has exploded!  I am watering daily, but it is beginning to suffer some with the heat.  Noodles sits in the middle of the planter and eats.
 This is the hollyhock that is from seeds I brought from the b&b yard in Taos.  After spraying it with the stuff, it stabilized and is producing some beautiful flowers.
These were some plants I bought three years ago.  Last year they did bloom a few little flowers.  This is the year now that it is glorious.  Again, after spraying it I was able to save the poor little thing and it is blooming beautifully.  The color is a deeper maroon color than pics show.

I find it much too hot to mow carefully this time of year.  I have been using the riding mower in spurts.  I can't do it all at one time.  It is just too hot.  I did not trim or use the string trimmer last week.

Noodles and Patty are finding all the stick-tights that are coming with the weeds.  I pick them out as fast as I can.

I have wound down with the knitting.  I did finish the socks, and I am still knitting the lace scarf.  I picked up the UFO of a shawl that I put aside earlier on.  I also decided in the late evening while watching Netflix on t.v., I can do a few squares on my mitered square blanket.  I know I declared it "done" a long, long, long time ago, but I am going to do one more row while it is so hot.  Easy peasy knitting.

Of course, I am still spinning yarn.  I just completed a teeny skein of black alpaca.  It is so lovely.  Glossy and a true-black color.  I have decided to put some odds/ends together to make a small skein of something.  We will see if the colors look okay when spun.  Right now that is iffy when I look at the color mixtures.

I decided I could sew strips together to make a strip quilt, but that hasn't been going too well.  I keep getting distracted and I somehow got my strips twisted.  I had to rip out a seam and untwist, and that did me in. 

Otherwise I am reading a lot, and doing a whole lot of nothing.  This is typical for summer when the weather is awful. 

My friend SMH and I went out to eat last night to celebrate our birthdays.  We had a good meal, and enough food for us to eat today as well.  We had a good time, and it was fun! 

I need a little fun right now.  I have had one of my bouts of depression that hits me periodically.  I have to wallow around in it for a while, which does strain friendships some.  I call it going down into the well.  After moaning around for a while, I usually pull myself out and move on.  Thank goodness I never get bad enough to be concerned.  It is just a cyclical thing I have done all my life.

Have a good weekend.  July is upon us and we are moving into deep summertime.  So far I have only had to use the a/c during the heat of the day.  I can get by at night and early day without it.  July is a test of endurance.  There were times last year that the a/c stayed on 24/7.  It is usually the time of long siesta.  Do not move much or you sweat.  Then August is the hot, hot month.  Then it begins to wind down to Fall.  Aren't cycles wonderful!

Stay safe and cool wherever you are.   

Thursday, June 20, 2013

It's Almost Solstice!

I haven't dropped off the planet.  Although it is a pleasant thought to know we still have a planet left, the conspiracy stuff is flying too fast for me.  I am choosing to just ignore everyone that talks about it.

That means I do not listen to the news anymore.  I watch the weather, but why is another question.  It is hot, it is humid, and we have an occasional little shower that moves in.  Mother Earth is pissed off at humans right now, so just get used to it.

My teeny potato crop is almost ready for harvest.  I only had three plants this year.

I just finished winding the newest skein of handspun and it is in the bath relaxing.  Then she goes to the yarn blocker for drying.  Then suddenly there is a new skein of lovely Cormo wool and silk ready for someone to love her.  It is a pretty yellow that is soft and looks like lemon custard.

I have been in a funk for about a week.  Reading other peoples' blogs makes me realize that a lot of folks are in a funk right now.  I am having a hard time being motivated to do much.  I am reading a lot.  I am not watching t.v. in the evenings any more, but when I do sit down I turn on Netflix and knit.  I am bored with the knitting.  Another cyclical thing, I know.

Peach season is starting, so I am gorging on fresh peaches.  Somewhere along the way I get tired of eating so many and I put some up in the freezer.  There are some fruits that I just prefer to eat in season instead of eating in the winter.  One of them is peaches.  Around May I start thinking about peaches, and then June comes and there they are.  I think our local crops are going to be good this year with all the rain we had.  Watermelon is another fruit I prefer in season, and I prefer local melons. 

Nothing else of importance in my life at the moment.  I am just plugging along trying to get everything completed that I want to put in the show in October.  I am planning more yarn, but right now I am taking a little break.

Have a safe weekend.  Keep cool.

Monday, June 3, 2013

It Is Almost Summer!

I know it is so boring to just talk about the weather.  But this is the weirdest Spring ever in memory.
Of course, my memory is shorter these days.

Who would ever imagine that on June 2 in Arkansas that I would be wearing sweat pants and a long-sleeved shirt over my t-shirt?

At least today the sun in shining!  Wahoooo!  When I sit outside I can imagine that it is warmer and nice and pleasant.  When I get too hot, I stroll inside and cool off.  Almost summer!

I am having a hard time focusing on knitting.  I am doing too scarves and a pair of man socks.  That's it.  I dream of bigger and more complicated knits, but I am just not into it.

I have been spinning like a demon, though I have to get up and stretch periodically.  I am doing a coupla skeins of BFL that I am going to indigo dye.  The skeins spin fast and take forever to dry in the moisture-laden air we have.  But I can hardly wait to get a dyepot going.

On Facebook I saw the cutest hat pattern-Wolves Will Be Wolves.  According to the designer, you can put as many wolves in as you desire in the midst of the sheep.  A cute little stranded knit hat.

I also found a cute pattern for a cardigan that has a flared bottom and cables.  I like it a lot.  But since I am only in dreaming stage, I just wrote the name down.

My friend CJE is back from her trip in China.  They had a delay in Beijing that made her a little nervous.  Other than that it was the running from port to port in the airports trying to make planes.

She surprised me that she signed up to vend at the show in October.  I emailed the organizer and asked if we could have adjoining booths.  She had already planned it that way.  Isn't that a great thing!  She said it would be a shame to separate the two of us. 

If the yard dries a little more, I will mow tomorrow.  I think more rain is expected the latter part of the week.  Sigh!  Saturday the yard was floating, yesterday it was soppy, and today it is soggy.  So it is drying out little bit by little bit.

I had to spray my hollyhocks.  They all had some little bug eating them up.  I was afraid to spray, but I want to stop anything from eating the flowers.  The hummers and bees love the flowers. 

Well, time to put the clothes in the dryer.  I did grocery shopping early this am, and am almost through with laundry.  Then I can go back to spinning.  Yeah!  Who needs to do housework?

Have a great week.  Hope you aren't growing webs between your toes.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

End of May-Waiting on a BIG Storm!

It is the end of May.  It has not turned incredibly hot yet, and it is still storming.  After the big storm in Oklahoma, everyone is edgy around here.  We keep going to the windows and looking out.  Right now the big storms are in the south, and in Oklahoma around Tulsa.  The latter storms are supposed to be heading here.  SIGH!

I finished a skein of plain BFL and it is on the blocker right now.  I wanted to spin some yarn I can dye with indigo.  I am not going to make a dye pot until I have consistent weather.  This hot one day, cool the next, and lots of storms is not conducive to standing outside on the deck and dyeing.

I am having a terrible time with ticks this year.  And my hollyhocks have some kind of "rust" fungus going on.  According to the internet sites I looked at, I will have to dispose of the stalks and stems and debris around the sites this Fall.  Then next Spring I have to start spraying a fungicide early on.

Other than all that everything else is good here.  Aren't the flowers pretty?  I love this kind of iris the best.  The purple ones I found on the hillside and replanted them in the yard.  The yellow iris was given by a friend and this is it's third home.  The daylilies are getting buds, and they will be next.  I got them in the same spot as the iris.

I am trying out a new pattern, but I am not in love with the yarn.  I think after the scarf is finished I will overdye the whole thing if I don't like it.  We will wait and see.

So end of May.  Surely it will be hot and awful soon.  So far it is pleasant and humid.  I mowed the yard to get ready for the storms arriving.  All I have to do is sit and knit or sew.  Let it rain!

Enjoy the weekend.  Be safe and keep looking up.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Last Hurrah for Weather! I Hope!

It has been an incredible week of weather here in the mid-south.  Everyone knows that there was a HUGE tornado in Moore OK last Monday.  On Sunday there were 30 tornadoes from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iowa-straight up tornado alley.  Then the big one hit on Monday in Oklahoma.  That same group of storms sent 4 small tornadoes to our little corner of the world.  The closest to me was north of Siloam Springs, approximately 15-20 miles away.

Then Tuesday we had chilly weather and rain all day long.  We got approximately 6 inches of rain.  Then Wednesday it was hot and sunny and nice.  Thursday it was cloudy and coolish-around 60 degrees.  It was supposed to rain again, but never did.  I just got out and mowed the yard just in case it did and things grew more.  Then yesterday sunny and hot.

I got a surprise wellness-check from a young woman that I met at the Washington County Fair last Fall.  She was concerned that I was ill and unable to mow my yard.  I know that the untidiness of my flower beds is alarming, but really, I am able to mow most of my yard.  The bachelor buttons have taken over and have dominated the whole mess.  But as they fade away, the correopsis is blooming now, the verbena is starting to bloom, and the hollyhocks are putting on stalks of buds.  So eventually there will be other color. 

I did note that the bumblebees have been very, very happy during the last coupla weeks.  I read online that bees like the color blue.  Now how in the world can they tell the color blue?  I don't know about that.  But they are very happy out there in bachelor button land. 

Today I ventured into the midst to check out some other things, and I did see 3-4 honey bees.  That makes me very, very happy that they are there.  I was so worried with that disease that killed off so many would decimate my little population. 

I did see a really pretty ribbon snake the other day in the midst of plants.  That also makes me happy. 

Other than yard and weather, I have been busy finishing up my last skein of the pretty red wool/alpaca yarn.  I sit with Netflix and spin away.  I haven't wound the skein yet, but I am sure there is a lot of yardage in this one. 

I finished the little Selbu hat, and it is really pretty.  I like the subtle light gray and white combo.

I finished one of the Manly Socks, and have cast on for number two. 

I started a scarf in a simple lace pattern by Anne Hanson, but I am not in love with this one.  Something isn't right, but I am going to finish it.  I frogged the first pattern I attempted.  I don't think the yarn will hold up to another frogging.

I am decreasing on the shawl that I started early in the Spring.  I don't work on it much since I don't need it right now. 

I replanted two houseplants yesterday, and they will have to get over the shock of new housing. 

I have plans for an indigo vat, if and when the weather settles down.  I have to plan out what I am going to dye, and get all that ready.  I have plenty of tansy right now to do a dye bath, but I don't think I will right now.  Maybe I will do a solar dye bottle.  That might do me.

My neighbors' grandson is getting married today.  He is such a nice young man.  I hope they have a long and wonderful life together.

Nothing else of note.  It is just the time of year that is hardest.  The transition from late Spring into Summer.  Then the grumping begins of the heat and humidity, instead of the wet and cold.  Oh, well, such is life in Arkansas.

No plans for the summer have arisen.  I want to take a little trip, but nothing has come up for me.  I haven't really put any thoughts into it, but there is a little desire.  My biggest problem is I get all excited and want to do a trip, but the actually going is not a great desire.  It is the planning or anticipation that is fun.  Not the trip, for sure.

Well, have a safe and glorious Memorial Weekend.  Enjoy the lazy days.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's Warm Again!

5 years ago-neat and tidy and boring
 Today I was trying to weed and trim and it was awful.  The bachelor buttons are taking over the world!  I planted three redbuds that were tiny little twigs, and they are big now.  When I planted the small bed in-between the two sidewalks, I put shredded wood chips that were from the compost pile in Fayetteville.  Out of those wood chips, I have three more redbuds.  Why would anyone cut down a redbud in the first place, and secondly, why have the chips in the compost pile?
 My friend gave me two weigelias, and they are now quite large and doing well.  Aren't the flowers wonderful?

 This is a close-up of the bachelor buttons-see how thick they are!  The purple is my favorite color.
He likes the shade when he is helping with the gardening.

And we had snow in May in Arkansas!  It has been cold and wet and miserable.  This is so not like our normal weather.  With all the snow and rain we have had in the last few weeks, our county is no longer under drought!  I will get back to you in August on that one!

I have committed to doing another show in October in Greenwood, AR.  I think it is their first show.
I know the people organizing this one.  So it will be old friends and catching up.

I am spinning the most luscious yarn right now.  It is merino roving that is various colors of deep red with a tinge of black in there.  I am blending it with a tiny amount of deep, deep red alpaca that I got when I was in Taos.  It was such a small amount of fiber that I was waiting until I had the right stuff to blend with it.  It is perfect together, and it will be a great yarn when finished.

I am thinking of dyes I want to do.  I have enough tansy out there right now to do a dyebath.  I just can't do everything I want to do.

So lots of things to do right now.  I am knitting a pretty colorwork hat out of Shetland wool.  I am knitting a pair of plain socks.  I put the shawl aside for right now.  I just found a pattern for a lace scarf that I think would be wonderful in a gradient yarn.  I ordered some pretty lilac and gray gradient yarn from Webs, and that should be the perfect thing. 

My biggest problem right now is I want to be outside when it is warm and the sun is shining.  I need to mow the yard, but I am waiting until tomorrow.  I think we are in for more rain Thursday, so I think mowing tomorrow is better.

I guess there isn't too much news.  I have found that I spin more yarn if I am on Netflix.  So I will get busy with that instead of going back outside.  I get so excited when the sun comes out and it is hard to sit still in the house.

Enjoy the warmth and the sun!  I am.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy May Day!

Today is May 1.  In Druidic cultures and other pagan cultures, it is considered beginnings of new life.  I know everyone has seen many silly movies showing the ritualistic mating stuff, but today is significant in other cultures.  When the Romans came along, they added flowers into the mix.  And everything gets very mixed up from this point on.

All I know is today is warm, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the roadrunner has been cooing, and all seems right in the world.

Of course, we are supposed to get a cold front in tomorrow that may bring a freeze.  Sigh!

But today is a marvelous day to just try to balance oneself with the world surrounding.

I did my show in Missouri last weekend.  I met some really marvelous people, and they were fun to be around.  It really wasn't as hard as I expected.  There was cold, drizzly rain all weekend, and the crowd was not as expected.  I think I did well considering it was 48 degrees and raining all day.

I was able to find the location fairly easily.  It was a long drive in the pouring rain on Friday.  At times it would have made sense to just pull over for a while, but when I am driving on the interstate, I don't. 

I didn't get tired until Sunday and Monday.  Yesterday I woke up thinking this is the day I am getting my life back into order.  I mowed and used the trimmer to tidy up the yard.  I think it is beginning to look like a jungle, but I like a blue jungle.  The bachelor buttons have taken over.  I am waiting to see if any of the other seeds I planted will make it or not.  They will have to struggle to overpower those other tall plants.

Surely the chickweed will die soon.  I cannot pull it all out, but surely it will die soon.

I got some pretty black-eyed susans from my friend CF last year.  They did well, and I tried to make sure they survived the drought.  This year they are going to multiply and be happy- I think.  They are making their green leaves right now, and I think I will have a good crop.  If they keep multiplying, I should have enough for dye.  Yeah!

Patty and Noodles are so happy to have their lives back to normal.  Monday Noodles just wanted to sit in my lap.  He is back to his precious self now, but for a while he was a bit needy.  Patty is still following me everywhere, and if I move she moves.  But that is fairly normal for her.  She got a nice haircut while I was away.  So she is set for the hotter weather.

I finished up the black bean yarn and I have it on the blocker drying.  It is a pretty gray color.  I will put a pic up next time.

I guess that catches me up to now.  I got some Paco-Vicuna fiber from my friend GK.  I can't wait to get into that!  There is only one ounce, but it is luscious.  It costs just about the same price for bison.
Both luxuries to have!

I also have been itching to get an indigo vat started.  I will have to wait until the threat of freeze is over.  I don't want to kill it right off. 

So until next time-have a good week.

Monday, April 22, 2013

What a week that was!

While I am frantically putting the finishing touches on items for the show next weekend, I am reminded that none of this is important in the global sense of the word.  After the bombings in Boston and the plant blowup in Texas, the whole scheme of Life is reflected in several things.  My dil's grandfather died, and she was very close to him.  I can hold her close in my heart, but I can't help the others that are hurting so badly.

In the times of reflection, I cannot see that my beautifully crafted items mean a whole lot to the world at large.  It is only my work of love for the fiber and for the finished piece.  I am not a production person, so it is a small contribution to the world of fiber.  I am very fortunate that I live in my studio, and I can sit and watch Netflix and spin away at all hours and times.

I only vend at small shows now.  I prefer to just make a little bit extra to help me pay some things that stretch the budget.  It is not important to anyone but me.  I do put a lot of love for fiber into my spinnings.  I hope that is what draws people to buy my yarn.  I know that is the response when people feel the yarn.  Then it is "oh, this is so soft"  or "oh, this is so nice".  And I like to see the smiles on the faces of the ones who have never touched handspun before.

So, yes, last week was a rough week.  I can only hope that this week will be better.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Real Spring Day!

I don't have a lot to talk about.  I just wanted to report that today is sunny and warmish.  The grass, or rather the weeds, need mowing.  We had a light frost this week, but that is forgotten on days like today. 

My potatoes are hatching.  The birds are singing.  The trees are making pollen and leafing out.  It's just a glorious day!

I washed socks the other day.  It is a little bit early, but I can live with just one or two pair for the rest of the season.  Those can be put away in May.  I have one of the rugs outside now airing. 

My friend SH came over to show me how she uses her IPad.  I am really frustrated with DropBox right now.  I have my pattern on the computer DB, and according to everything it is supposed to be in my DB on the IPad.  It's not.  I spent 2-3 hours trying different things and gave up.  I just have to carve out more time to try it again.

I just want to go outside to sit and knit.  Sorry this is going to be short.  Have a good Sunday!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

It Must Be Spring!

Tonight we are getting a blast of cold from the northwest, and the south winds have been blowing for days.  What happens when the two collide?  You got it.  Possible tornadoes are warned, but hail is our most likely candidate.  SIGH!  It is so lovely to be in tornado alley. 

It has been very warmish, at least pleasant to be out and about.  Tomorrow the high is planned around 50 degrees! That's about a 25 degree difference!  Then mid fifties until Saturday.  Yep-this is definitely Spring.

I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon at two.  I guess I will arrive looking like a drowned rat.  It is all good, because it is water of some kind. 

The other day I noticed a sign at a vet clinic that said, "It's Spring.  Do you know where your tom cat is?"  Well, some of the neighborhood kitties decided to check out our yard.  Noodles is ever vigilant for intruders.  He got into a major and hellacious fight with one of them at dusk yesterday.  So..... my solution is to lock the cat door at night.  He spends all night long on the screened porch watching and guarding.  During the day he is allowed to patrol and hunt and act all macho.  I keep an eye on him and watch for intruders.  His gimpy leg must hurt, because he does not bear weight on it.  And there is the limp, of course.

I planted some seeds and I hope to get some nice flowers out of them.  I hope they have time to germinate before the drought sets in.  I did not get any sunflowers last year.  The stalks grew to about 18-24 inches and then dried up.  I planted some indigenous wildflower seeds that hopefully will create flowers that are drought tolerant.  The only difficulty is they are only drought tolerant when established.  Reports on that later.

My riding lawnmower decided to not start this year.  I finally figured out I needed a new battery.  I went to Walmart because theirs is the cheapest 12 volt battery I can find.  Unfortunately I got a smart ass clerk in the automotive department.  It infuriates me no end.  Testosterone is a wonderful hormone when used properly.

I visited my friend OSM on Sunday at her Tahlequah cabin.  She brought all three dogs with her this trip.  What a zoo!  She continues to battle Graves disease and she is still on her weird diet.  I am so grateful that right now I am okay. 

I am still moving along on my inventory and getting things organized for the fiber show.  I think this will be a good show.  I finally got the labels made for my bags, and now the bags are ready.  I have a thank you card stuffed in each one.  They are ready to go.  I am almost done with the bison/silk blend yarn.  It is really pretty.  I am anxious to see if it blooms after washing and blocking.  Today I got another email from the organizers.  They are providing refreshments for the vendors and a lunch.  I think that is a nice touch.  I was going to stick a peanut butter sandwich in my bag, but now that isn't necessary.

I guess that is all to report this week.  Not a lot.  I am only knitting on my shawl, but I wanted something else to do as a change.  I started a Fair Isle hat.  I think it going to be pretty.  I really find stranded work soothing and I love to use charts.  I remember when I first learned I had to write out the pattern, but now I have learned to read the chart and to read my knitting.  I try to explain that last part to others.  It is really the central key to doing stranded work-read your knitting.  And it is all a form of logic.  At least it is to me.

Have a safe week.  Pray for safety in the storms.  No tornadoes, please.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

It Is A Time of Changes

I sometimes wonder about how Life catches up with us some times in the Spring.  We had such a delightful warm spell that was then thrown aside for ugly cold weather.  I will not complain about the rain, and with all the rain we are now in a moderate drought according to the map I looked at online.

We are promised warmer weather by Saturday and for a few days.  Then another chill down.  I am hoping that the major freezes are done.  It isn't so awful when it is cool at night and early morning.  As long as there is warm sun to sit in, I am fine with it.

Along with these changes, my forsythias have decided to open a few buds.  The redbud trees are trying to open their pretty pinky purple buds.  The pasture daffodils are finished.  The henbit is still purple in the yards everywhere.  The Bradford pears are all blooming.  It is all very confusing.

With the seasonal confusion, it seems that everyone I talk to is having some kind of change in her life.  It is very odd.  One friend thinks perhaps it is a magnetic shift.  I certainly don't want the poles to shift in my lifetime.  But a lot of people have folks developing cancer and that is sad.  It is certainly a time of changes.

I am now into my "beginning" panic stage.  I actually have two weeks to be prepared.  The three or four days before the show is errands run, hair cuts, etc.  No time to make something.

My friend OS is visiting her cabins in Oklahoma for her Spring visit.  I will call her tomorrow.  I do not have much time to spend with her this trip.  I hope she is understanding of that.  My cousin is making his annual visit a week from this Saturday.  So time to spend with him too.  It is a busy month.

I am done with the knitting for this show.  I think I have enough, if that is in fact real.  How do you have enough?  I am still trying to get the loom warped to make a cotton scarf.  The weaving will not take long.  I will just have to make a time to just do it.  I am spinning bison/silk roving right now that is luscious.  I have a goal set to complete the second bobbin by this weekend.  Then the plying, washing, and blocking.  That will probably be all I will have time to complete.  I will see.

I was just standing at my west window admiring the sunset tonight.  We haven't had many sunsets in the past week.  It was a gorgeous deep pink, salmon, and gold.  Really magnificent.

I ordered a Square to put on the IPad .  I am anxious to try that out.  It will be nice to take credit and debit cards.

Not much else is new.  Patty found a composted veggie pile behind my neighbor's house.  The cat ate the little chipmunk I had been admiring earlier that day.  I thought he and Baby had eaten them all when I first moved in.  I was so happy to see one.  The woodchuck is happily eating greens from the bachelor buttons.  Today he/she ran a squirrel off that was quite amusing while window watching.

I am ready to plant some sunflower seeds and other flower seed.  I have to assure them that there is an end to the frost.  I know that drought will get them if I don't get them planted soon and germinated.  My little Japanese Indigo plants are slowly growing.  I talk to them regularly.  I have a bed prepared for them, but it will be a while before they are ready to transplant.

So no other news.  I am just tired.  I am ready to do something other than think about this show.  I plan on resting for at least one week afterwards.  Then time to plan the next show.  But rest comes first.

The ball park down the street opened for the season tonight.  That means fireworks on Friday nights.  I guess that is surely a sign that seasons are changing.

Enjoy your weekend.  Enjoy the heat and warmth from the sun.  Yes, there are Spring storms planned, but right now I want to enjoy the heat.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

This Has Been A FULL Moon!

I have had a very frustrating electronic week.  I will not go into details right this minute.  I think I will take something for the headache and go to bed.  I think a good cozy mystery is what I need more than anything.

I am really, really close to finishing the green scarf.  Yeah!  I have had a little trouble with my aches with the really cold weather we had.  Now that it has warmed and a little bit of sun appeared, I am fine and dandy.  My knitting slowed tremendously, and now I am in catch-up.

I am spinning some bison/silk blend and it is heavenly.  I am still watching my BBC soaps on Netflix, and enjoying them.  Occasionally I turn to Miss Marple to take the edge off reality.

I will catch up with my blog tomorrow.  Just felt I wanted to vent a little bit of my frustration.

It is getting close to my show in April, and I am almost ready for that.  I am nervous about putting my toes in the water again after so many long years ago.  But I am feeling good about this one.

My friends seem to be having so many problems.  Mine seem so small in comparison. 

Oh-Patty found another decomposing vegetable pile behind my neighbor's house.  YUCK!  STINK!  She had to have a bath yesterday.  And I watched her like a hawk for any pancreas problems that she is prone to.  SIGH!

Okay-now I have to go lay down and forget the electronic world-except for my Kindle, of course. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I'm Green-Are You?

Happy St. Patrick's Day.  I actually seldom think of it any more.  But I am knitting green.  This is some handspun yarn I did last Fall.  It is Polworth, and is very, very squishy.  I love the feel of the wool and it seems that everyone who touches it squeezes it. 

Well, we had two days of Spring with temps way above normal.  It was in the 70's and sunny and wonderful.  I actually was able to start cleaning up the winter mess in some beds and I cut back all the dead seed heads and stems.  Today is cold and windy and rainy.  Gray and dreary!  I know March is still technically wintertime.  It just is wonderful to have the warm days to get out and do yard work.

I finished the two bobbins of yellow wool.  Now to plying.  I guess it is good to work on some not-really-soft wool for a change.  I am spoiled by the merino and other luxury yarns I make.  The yellow is a Romney-cross that is a tiny bit rough.  At least compared to the others.  On its own it is lovely.  I dyed it with marigolds. 

My friend GK just had her gallbladder removed.  I hope this is all she needs to get better now.  She had been vomiting for two weeks when the doctor finally addressed the gallbladder.  The surgeon who consulted slapped her in the hospital because her potassium levels were life-threatening low, and she was dehydrated.  So hopefully she will get better and start feeling normal again.

CJE just went to Santa Fe to visit with friends.  She is feeling less stressed and rejuvenated. 

Patty just woke up.  I had to take her out into the yard to start her day.  It is very windy, cold, and I didn't notice the mist until I took my hat off.  It was damp and I hung it up to dry.  Ugh!  Bring the sun back.

There is a major uproar right now on a pig factory farm being on the Buffalo River.  It is always a concern for the quality of recreational water.  I think the people were able to buy land cheaply in Newton County.  It is not just the pollution to the watershed, it is pollution to the air quality.  I am sure the owners used the "jobs and money to the local people" card. 

Well-on to plying yellow.  Have a good day.  Please don't drink green beer.  YUCK! 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Wandering through March!

Yes, it is March 10.  We are stoically marching on through March.  It has rained two good rains.  Last night we actually had thunder and lightening and wind.  It was lovely.  Thank goodness, Patty has had a hearing deficit for a while.  She does panic when she sees the lightening strike nearby, but I don't think she hears the thunder as much as before. 

It was lovely to dig out the umbrella and push Patty out the door and take a little walk in the soppy ground puddles.  The ground was quite mushy and verging on muddy. 

Spring is popping up in odd places, as it always does in March each year.  My yard originally had been a pasture.  So I don't really have decent grass, and I have a lot of pasture weeds.  Chickweed, henbit, wild onions, plantains, etc. are popping up everywhere.  The teensy-weensy bluets are blooming.  When I bought the house the yard had been mowed carefully to make it appear there was yard. 

One year later I discovered that I don't have a yard, but a pasture.  And in the pasture are pasture daffodils.  They are the kind that were not planted by anyone, but suddenly there they are blooming away.

I am watching the forsythias carefully from now on.  They are the forecasters that tell me that it is time to rejoice.  It is over.  We will still have cool days and evenings until May.  When the forsythias are blooming, winter is over.

One of our weaving guild members died last fall.  Her sisters are trying to sort through her studio and mountains of stuff.  Several guild members have helped them along the way.  Yesterday they held a sidewalk sale for the weaving guild members prior to our meeting.  It was astonishing how many bags of yarn there were.  I am seriously trying to limit mine, and it hurts to see how her stuff was sorted and pawed through.  I know Sally would have wanted us to do just what we were doing.  We honor her by taking good care of her things.

I am on the second bobbin of yellow yarn.  I have switched today to watching Miss Marple.  It isn't something I have to think too much about.  She is so clever with her logical observations.  I love to watch the actress knit.  She has an interesting style of holding the right hand needle.

I am knitting a beautiful scarf with the green Polworth wool I spun. The pattern is in the book One Skein Wonders.  The pattern is easy and I don't have to think too much. I am also knitting on a pair of fingerless mitts-just plain and simple-no pattern on the mitts.  The yarn is enough interest with the dyes.

I guess that catches me up to date.  It has been cloudy, windy, and chilly all day.  By week's end we are supposed to be 70 degrees!  Unfortunately, it is time for me to clean up the winter debris out of the flower beds and do some weed control early.  So my short reprieve from the yard is coming to an end early.  I like working out in the yard.  For some reason, I never can see an end to it.  It goes on and on and on.

Enjoy the winds of March.  It blows out the old staleness and brings in the freshness.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Interesting Factoid!

 I made a big ole blunder on my website.  I sold a pair of socks twice.  After sorting out that mess, I actually ended up with an order for two pairs of socks to be made.  So I cast on the blue ones Monday, January 28.  Four weeks and two days later, both pairs done.  The striped pair are fancy-pants socks with a zig-zag rib that I had to pay attention to and use a counter.  Of course, I am well aware that I would have starved to death if I relied on knitting socks for a living.  I am sure whatever knitting ancestor that lives in my house would scoff at my complaints.  But my hands are tired, and I am not knitting a sock for a while.
My other weird thing are these lovely merino skeins.  I finished them, washed and blocked, and put a photo on Facebook.  They are now winging their way to a new home.  A friend saw them and bought them within minutes of my putting their photo online.  I didn't get to love on them very much.

Nothing else of note.  We have had two very wet, sloppy snows in eight days time.  Nothing all winter, and wham!  here's your winter precip all at once.  I truly am not complaining about anything wet that falls from the skies.  We need the rain and moisture however we get it. 

I did get a burst of planting-itis during the warm spell we had.  I bought some seed potatoes, and I coveted the packets of spinach and lettuce.  I swooned over the packets of summer flowers.  Luckily I can remember that I have seed, and that we are still in drought.

This week has been the usual 30's and windy.  Normal gray skies.  It keeps me inside to do the work I need to do here.

Now that my commission is completed I have to get organized and plan for the show in April.  I want to increase my inventory quite a bit.  I have been spinning every day, but not a lot to show for that.  I am spinning some pretty rough Romney that I dyed with marigolds.  It is neon yellow-at least a very bright yellow.  The wool is neppy and so it has lumps in places.  I can't pull everything out as I go.

I have been watching a BBC show called Monarch of the Glen.  It is a wonderful series that played for four years, yet not here in America.  I love it.  The actors are wonderful, I like the storyline, and it keeps me spinning while I watch.

So move over February-here comes March.  It seems strange to think that two months have already passed in this year. 

Have a good weekend.  Enjoy the sunshine when we do get it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

That Beats All!

Just as I finished the previous post, I got up to plug in the batteries.  I looked out and it is snowing! 

It Must Be Time!

Time for the Snow Tire and Daffodil Festival!  It has been really warm and windy, and now the new front is supposed to bring a mixture of rain, sleet, freezing rain, ice, and who knows what.  I worry about ice on power lines more than anything else.  I do need to recharge two of my batteries before then.  Isn't this crazy.

Blogger is again not letting me upload photos.  I wish they would get their s__ together. 

I finished one pair of the commissioned socks, and I am on the heel of the second sock on the second pair.  I want these to be DONE!  I am so over the sock business.  I am dreadfully behind in my inventory for the fiber show in April.  Oh, well.

I am also spinning along on the merino I got from HandHeld.  It is gorgeous stuff.  I am almost finished with the second skein's singles.  Then plying, then DONE!

I have had a minor little bug, and my head is full of fluid.  I mope around from room to room, but I am not sick enough to go to bed.  If I am in the front room, I knit.  If I am in this room, I spin.  I did lie down a little while yesterday and read my good book. 

It is really dark outside.  I hate the waiting part of a storm of any kind.  There is a frenzy at the bird feeder that is a telling sign that weather is moving in.

Not a whole lot going on.  It is that time of year where the anticipation is more exciting than the actual weather.  It isn't Spring yet, but soon.  We have had a bit of rain, which bodes well for us.  We are still in drought, but hopefully we will have a wet Spring to help out.  I am debating about planting Spring greens-lettuce and spinach.  I have seed potatoes, but not yet on that. 

Noodles has really been hunting lately, but so far he hasn't brought any kill into the house.  Today he is curled up in bed.  I bet his leg aches.  Mine does. 

Stay safe.  I am going to plug in some batteries and line things up just in case.

Friday, February 15, 2013

It's Winter Again!

I hate to complain, but it is winter again.  Yesterday I was sitting out on the deck in short-sleeves and knitting.  Today I am bundled in my wool and staying indoors.  The front came in from the North and brought bitter wind with it.  I know I shouldn't complain with all the messy weather everyone else is getting.

We were supposed to get snow this week, but it never made it to my yard.  Tonight is a chance of some more, but I am of the opinion of "Wait and see."

In the meantime I have spun the most luscious merino that I bought at my LYS, HandHeld Knitting.  I bought two different rovings to combine into a "painterly" skein.  I divided them into halves, and the first half is on the blocker as we speak.  I will get a pic as soon as I can.  I still have to spin the second half, but I am on it.  It is sitting in the chair in front of the spinning wheel.

I have put all knitting aside to complete two pairs of socks that were commissioned by a friend of R and H.  I am thrilled to have turned the heel on sockie 2 of the blue pair, and I am going slowly on the second brown striped pair.  I am so ready for this to be done.  I have lots of knitting to do, and this has put me behind on that.

I will be a vendor at a show in Missouri in April, and I have to get moving on my inventory.  That is why I am behind in the knitting.  I am doing fairly well on the handspun yarn part, but still need more variety.  I decided last night to spin some white skeins (bare naked) and not have all dyed skeins.  I don't know if people will like them, but I think probably it will give more choices.  I can always dye them later if they don't sell.

I am getting a little bit nervous about going on the "road" again.  It has been many years since I did that.  Then I was a production weaver and sometimes spinner.  Now I am so not into production work and I am primarily a spinner.  I will only do "one of a kind" work now.  No more production work.

I also am not going to become someone's personal knitter.  I am only doing these socks because of her friendship with the kids.  I did my friend G's vest because he is a close friend and he appreciates my work.  He has a lot of my hand knit stuff, and he takes care of it.

I have had a little stomach bug this week, and that has been a bit of unpleasantness.  I have only been two places to get it-the grocery store or the weaving guild meeting.  So I have been close to home this week and not going out.  I still have occasional queasiness in the stomach, and I eat crackers to get over it.

I read there is a new virus now in Great Britain.  Great!  Keep telling me about all these new viruses!

I did make a batch of scones this week, so I have them in the freezer now.  I really like this recipe that my friend C gave me.  It is easy, fast, and delicious.  I put cranberries in it.  Yummy!

I have finally made a decision to start baking bread again.  I may not make the best in the world in the beginning, but eventually I will get back to what I used to do.  It is part of my decision to know the ingredients in my food.  I have lots of stuff I have saved over the years, including my baking stone.  It will all be good!

So here I sit in my studio with the soft hum of the heater going and Patty snoring in her chair. The wind chimes are tinkling outside in the wind.  It is time to turn on Netflix and start spinning. 

It will soon be time for Spring.  I think we are just anxious to get going, and the poor plants don't know what to do here.  The skunks are moving around quite a bit now, and I have seen hawks dancing together in the air.

Soon March will be here and we will actually be anxious to get warm again.   Have a good weekend!