Saturday, December 26, 2015

Happy Boxing Day!

My company for Christmas decided to not drive up here.  It was a pleasant, quiet day spinning.  I listened to an audiobook from the library.  A roast was in the crock pot.  Then a very pleasant surprise.

The Post Office delivered the yarn that I purchased from Weaving Southwest.  So if one believes in Santa Claus, it happens.  Isn't that a marvelous surprise?

So I smelled it, I fondled it, and now I am seriously considering what to make with it.  Some reason is driving me to look at a very old book on Bargello patterns.  I like that idea for now.  I have to do some sketches.

The weather man has been promising all week that the weekend is going to be flooding rains.  It was supposed to begin late this morning.  Well, it was raining when I got up this morning.  It has been thunder booming a lot for over an hour.  We have had gushing rain and more thunder.  It is here.

So maybe I will just stay right here and spin some more yarn.

I have been doing boring stockinette stitch with my knitting.  I am making a Sockhead Hat.  Very easy, very tedious-ly boring, but it will certainly be cute. I am also knitting the first sleeve on the sweater.  So I have been looking at interesting color stranded projects.  I don't want a long, long project.  I found a pair of fingerless mitts that looks like a fun project.  I did copy that pattern.  I don't need another hat, but I sure have seen some cute ones.  Hmmm?

So I have a wild kitty that has been coming in the cat door to eat all of Noodles dry food.  I try to remember every night to lock the door, and I put out food for him.  I think it is a "him" since he stinks up the place.  I haven't seen any sign of his spraying, but he has a certain odor that lingers behind him.  He has been sneaky enough to come in while I am listening to the t.v.  Noodles spent a lot of time last night gazing out various windows and going out on the screened porch.  So he is around somewhere.

I am glad the Christmas insanity is over.  Some stores already have Valentine's Day decorations.  Isn't that the most insane thing?  I am tired of all the ads and the pleas from charities.  I understand people are sappy at this time of year, but please leave me alone.

So, onward through the winter time.  So far this December our weather has been very strange and unusual.  I think that is true most everywhere.  I am still looking at the next three months.  I am not going to complain that we have had warmish weather with sunshine.  I like that so much more than ice and snow.  I guess I am getting to be a grumpy old woman.

One more week until 2016 rolls into town.  Luckily for us the days are minutely longer each day since Solstice. 

Happy New Year ahead of time. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Nature is Tricking Us!

Today is December 9.  December is an iffy month weather wise.  The past two weeks have been above normal temperatures.  We had a major rain storm with 6-8 inches of rain.  The same storm that flooded all over Texas and Oklahoma.  Then suddenly it has been warm and sunny.

My years of living have warned me to not get too comfy.  It's a trick.  So go out for two hours everyday and sit in the sunshine.  Knit, sew, and just sit in the sun.  Soon enough the weather will return to normal temps and gray skies.  Just sit in the sun.

And yes, the weatherman is promising storms on the weekend and a return to the yucky stuff.  Today I am sitting in the sun.

I have a new visitor that evidently knows about cat doors.  He/she/it has been coming in during the night and eating Noodles dry food.  So I have relented and started my outdoor food bowl routine earlier than normal.  I usually set a bowl out when it gets cold, icy, and snowy.  So far it has worked well and kept the visitor outside.  We will see what happens when January rolls around.

I am trying very hard to avoid reality of stupid politicians and stupid people that are making stupid remarks on TV.  It is most difficult to totally avoid it since I look at Facebook daily.  I just scroll on by and roll my eyes.  What ever happened to "humanity"?

I am making a serious mess of the wallhanging I am making for the kids.  The idea was a grand idea.  My skills are not so grand.  I am taking a bit of a break from it.  My quilting skills are nil.  Enough said about the debacle that was going to be a GRAND Christmas/Anniversary gift.

I am finally casting off for the scarf.  Whew!  I am so over that one.  I did cast on a Sockhead Hat and I love the colors of the yarn I chose.  I think now I am ready to cast on the sleeves of the striped sweater and get that finished. 

I really haven't been spinning too much.  The reality of "What to do with so much yarn?" has set in.  I finally put the knitting yarn away in a storage box with lots of lavender sachets.  I hung the yarn I can use for weaving on the wall behind my chair at the loom.  M asked me to donate some fiber to her charity while we were sitting knitting the other day.  I think I can do that.  It is a way to destash.

CJE and AE are having their Christmas party this weekend.  I have already told her not to worry about me if I don't show up.  I told her if the weather does go bad, I am not going out. 

So back outside.  Sit in the sun.  Soak up some Vitamin D.  Enjoy the weather while it is here.  We don't get many days like this from now on. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I'm Getting Squirrel-y Early

Yesterday I answered my door to a stranger that was asking me if I needed some trees trimmed.  We went through the usual greeting in the South, "Do you know _____?  They have the place down the road.  I'm their cousin."  After going through that ritual, we walked around the house.  I needed my gutters cleaned out, "We can do that ma'am.", I need to do something about those hollies that have taken over the east side of the house, "We can cut them down to the ground ma'am." etc.etc.etc.  We listed about three or four chores, we agreed on a price, we shook hands, and they got to work.  His son and his son's girlfriend arrived in his car, and he got a big chainsaw out of the trunk.  They were through in two hours.  The son even climbed up into the box elder tree and re-hung my huge bell. 

I have spent an enormous amount of money this year getting jobs done by others that I usually do myself.  I know I couldn't repair the deck, and I did have to pay a huge price for that.  But all this yard work I normally do myself  makes me feel strange.  I think I am finally beginning to see I cannot keep up with everything myself. 

Today I didn't feel "right".  I was restless.  I couldn't focus.  I finally got tired of it and decided to sit down with a snack and watch t.v. this afternoon.  My God!  there was another shooting.  Well, that riled me up and I was even more restless.

I spent an enormous amount of time looking at casitas to rent in New Mexico.  If I ever go back again, I am thinking of renting a small casita and using it for a base camp.  I can spend the days roaming around my favorite places. 

When I reported this to my friend CF, she immediately said, "You are already getting squirrely and it isn't even winter yet.  You normally don't get this way until late January."

I guess I am just not in favor of cold weather.  I know we haven't even hit the winter button yet, but I am already tired  of it.  I don't like being cold.  I don't like to wear a bunch of clothes to keep myself warm.  Thank goodness I have wool sweaters.

Some outside cat has figured out how to get in the cat door when I am asleep and eat Noodles' dry food.  I only confirmed this when I was awakened by very loud crunching sounds in the night.  My first thought was Noodles was eating very loudly.  As I aroused, I remembered Noodles does not eat dry food very often any more because of his teeth.  When he does, he is very quiet-no loud munching. I got up to check, and whoever it was darted out the cat door before I could register it.  This morning the cat bowl was down to crumbs.  The stinker came back after I went back to sleep.  Tonight I have locked the cat door.

I have five bird feeders out now.  They are eating me out of house and home. 

I am almost finished with the linen stitch scarf.  Whew!  I got tired of it about two inches ago.  I am pushing myself to say it is done!  I think I will give it to Holly.  She likes scarves.

Then I can get back to knitting sleeves on my sweater.  I will be happy to call it done also.

I am working on the quilted memory wallhanging for the kids for Christmas.  I have the pictures and fabric squares completed in a nine patch.  I need to be quilting it soon.  Oh, well, good thing their anniversary is in January.

I made cookies today.  I have to freeze them to keep them out of sight.  I have probably eaten ten already.  They are small chocolate chip cookies, but still I've eaten too many.

I am waiting for St. Nicolas Day on Sunday to put up my little tree.  I like to see the lights blinking.  I turn out the lights and just sit and stare at them.  I like to see my little spinning wheels and my sheep  and my personal ornaments on them.  Years ago I quit collecting my handblown glass icicles.  I also decided to hang some of them in the windows.  I do like the little tree that can sit atop the book case.

I just now thought that it has been such low humidity I could make some candy.  That would be fun.

So have a great weekend.  I hope you are jolly and bright and not dreading the cold weather as much as me. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Coldest Night

In case anyone was wondering, yes, it is turning into winter.  October was warmish, with nips of cool to let us know there is a transition. The leaves starting turning.  November so far has been more cool than October, but definitely not intolerable.

Yesterday a cold front from the north blew in.  It wasn't bad temp-wise, but the wind was cutting.  Last night we had a bit of rain in the sleeptimes, and everything turned wet.  So today the wind has been bitter, bitter cold.  It is the kind of wind that cuts through you.  The temps were tolerable in the low 40's.  The wind was miserable.

It was a rather good day to put some chicken in the crock pot, and then I worked on tapestry.  I am unable to sit still for long periods, so I would get up and move around.  I would watch my course online, look at videos, and then go back to weaving.  I can actually say I am pleased with my geometric shapes right now.  They aren't perfect, but they are straight and angled appropriately.

I ate supper and then found that there was NOTHING on tv tonight.  I wanted to finish the baby hat I started so I can get it done for BM's new grandbaby.  I turned on a new show on Netflix.  It was really rather depressing.  I am sorta thinking that this is one of those Swedish police dramas.  This character was close to the same age as Wallander, he lived alone and slept odd hours, and he sees dead people.  He actually has conversations with dead people.  I only watched one episode and turned that off.  I decided to balance my checkbook instead.  Much more entertaining.

The poor birds are eating really fast and furious.  I have five feeders going.  Tomorrow I will have to put out much more and more suet.

Tonight is supposed to be our coldest night into the teens.  I really don't mind the transition to the cooler weather.  But when we get slammed with the cold, I am not a happy person.  I HATE being cold.

I have had a series of really bizarre dreams lately.  I wake up and go to the bathroom.  I try to redirect my brain to something else as I drift back to sleep.  But the same dream keeps on going.  I don't have a clue what I am supposed to be working on.

Next week is Thanksgiving.  My usual habit is to spend the day in quietness and contemplation.  I work on gratitude all day.  I have varied this month by mentioning and thinking about one thing per day that I am grateful for.  So I have extended my day of gratitude with gratitude all month long.

I won four pounds of wool from Kromski and Sons on the 4th.  I still haven't received my package, and I am really anxious to get it.  I don't know if it is all white, or a mixed lot.  It is so much fun to get a surprise.

Guess I will go snuggle under the covers now and read for a while.  I heard the coyotes earlier.  I bet they are cold and hungry tonight.

Last night I threw out some of my baked potato to the jungle on the west side.  I saw something dart into cover as I opened the door.  It looked a bit like my groundhog, but it should be hibernating now.  So I don't know what was out there.  The other night I stepped out on the deck and I saw eyes out by the shed.  When my eyes adjusted I could see the whitish face.  Possum. 

Have a good weekend.  Stay warm.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Spring Storm in the Fall

I just returned from the grocery store and one errand.  I normally don't get out of the house until after 10 am, so I am confused with the time on the clock.  Today we are expecting a storm to blow through quickly between 10 am and noon.  This is one of those Spring storms that energize me.  The wind has been blowing from the south for a few days.  Because of that we have a chance of severe storms when the front blows through from the north.  Yes, the clash of the north and south goes on today.  There are always a chance of tornado and high winds. 

I have always been energized by thunder storms.  I love to stand outside with the wind blowing my hair every which-a-way.  I have been sitting on the bench by the backdoor watching the leaves twirling from the trees and going everywhere the wind blows them. Winter is the time I can access how well the trees are holding up on the property east of my property.  I can see broken limbs now as the leaves twirl around.

Because of the warmish weather, I did get some gardening done yesterday.  I planted a few things and moved things a bit.  My yard has certainly gotten away from me. Sigh!

I also have a thing for kingfishers.  Except in the city living, I have always lived near water that houses one or more kingfishers.  I have always loved them.  This morning as I took the back road into town, I saw my little guy sitting on the wire looking over his domain.  It makes me happy to see a thriving bird population nearby.

My birds are eating from three feeders now.  Of course, I am having the usual difficulty with squirrels.  The red bellied woodpecker "talked" to me the other day, and I saw the suet was low.  Usually I only have the downy woodpeckers this time of year.  The bigger ones usually wait until real wintry weather to check out the suet and sunflowers.

I finished my pillow.  It fits the comfy chair perfectly.  I should have made the pillow inside a bit longer, but it still works.
 I am still knitting on the linen stitch scarf.  I am tired of it.  As usual when this happens I put things aside for a while.  Otherwise it may be a skinny width scarf.

I am moving along slowly on my sweater.  I did try it on and I am about four inches to the finish of the body.  I am pretty sure I am going to have ample blue yarn.  It was a total crap shoot whether I would.  I know that the math is supposed to work, but I never rely on math anymore.  I think it is going to be a rugged everyday sweater that will service me well.

I am also knitting baby hats for a friend's unhatched grandbaby.  Her daughter is coming the second week of December for a visit.  Some of her friends are having a baby shower for her during that time.  I can't stand it when there aren't any homemade baby things, so she will get two baby hats from me.

I am going to go sit outside some more.  Uh-oh.  The sun is shining a bit and there are black clouds on the horizons.  Not a good sign.  I did see rays of sun peeking through the clouds driving home. That's when I noticed the low clouds swirling around. 

My grandmother once told me I was born in a thunderstorm.  That is probably why I get so energized and excited when I feel the energy of the storm brewing.  Even Noodles was acting squirrely. 

Keep your eyes on the skies.  Keep your eyes on the weather.  Keep safe.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It's Getting Darker

Time is rolling along steadily every day.  The darkness is closer each day.  I don't care for the time change thing, but I know that when I wake up, I look out the window by the bed.  If it is dark, I can't get motivated to move very fast.  Sometimes I go to the bathroom and go back to bed. 

There are all kinds of things to read about following your own rhythms.  I know that I do follow mine.  Some days I can't get up early, some I can.  Most nights I can't get to sleep very easily.  I read a lot at night.  I don't have a clock or a sign or anything that says, "Hurry up!  Get UP!"  The only thing that notes the time is Noodles.  He likes his morning snack by 8 am.

Today was Recycling Day, so I made a brave move.  I put a stack of old knitting magazines in the bin.  I know I could re-home them somehow.  I am not going to worry about it.  They went into the bin.  With Ravelry so accessible now, I don't have to hoard all those old magazines.  I did save the Archaeology magazine that has the article about the unwrapping of an incan mummy.  They show all the spindles, weaving things, seeds, dye material, etc. that was wrapped in various layers.  I'm keeping that.  Don't ask why. 

We are now in our rainy Fall period.  We badly needed the rain, but why does it come when it is getting darker?  Now it is really, really dark, gloomy, and wet.  We have not had our first frost yet.  I haven't put the stuff in the mowers that keeps them okay through the winter.  Got that on the list.

I finished the Sanquhar Sampler as much as I am going to finish. it.  Plan B works for me.  I knit an edge on one side, added buttonholes, and now it is going to be a pillow.  I think it came out pretty nice. 

I am also now taking a little rest from the scarf and the sweater to knit some baby hats.  A good friend told me her 42-year-old daughter is expecting her first child in April.  So I am making them a bit large just in case she needs to save the hats for the Fall next year.  There is nothing cuter and faster than making baby hats.

I found some old wool dyed a LONG time ago.  So I am spinning that up.  The wool is coarser than I am used to.  So it may be designated for weaving yarn.  I like my knitting yarns to be soft and cuddly. This is not-it is coarse.

I am writing again.  I am also dreaming stories again.  I am happy to be doing that.  I think I am ready to tackle putting together another book of stories.  The first one was really my initiation, and it was as unpleasant as initiations are.  I will have to find a better publisher/editor.  There were so many mistakes in the printing.  It is something to think about this winter.

I am ready to make some quilted placemats for Christmas.  I think I found the perfect fabric the other day in the thrift store.  I found a HUGE shirt with a small eyelet pattern that was the best Christmas red color.  I immediately thought it would make the perfect backing for placemats.  I have some cotton batting, so all I have to do is get some Christmas material for the top.  Put that one on my list this week.

I guess I am almost ready for hibernation.  I need to get more canned food for the pantry.  I have made some applesauce for the freezer.  I dehydrated the last of the apples last week.  That is stored in the freezer.  I know there are still apples in the grocery store.  I may get some more to put up.  I love dehydrated apples on my oatmeal.  I need to check out the cranberries too.  I like to keep at least one bag in the freezer.  They are great for breads.  It is the weather to start baking bread again.  I have to check my supplies and make sure I have everything I need.  I know I have some yeast in the freezer, but perhaps I need more.  I'll have to check.

I don't know why I am so hungry for bread pudding.  I do have some cubed bread in the freezer, but I think it is stale by now. 

While I am out tomorrow I will have to get another sack of sunflower seeds for the birds.  They are now moving into feeding mode.  All the flowers are gone; the seeds are pretty much gone; the bugs are moving under the leaves now.  We still have ticks out.  Ugh!  I will have to make some suet for the woodpeckers now.  The season is changing.

This weekend is the Hunt and Roll at Mirkwood.  I am not going.  I really don't like to camp out when it is rainy and cold.  I remember weekends waking up and snow being on the tents and the moisture inside is frozen.  I remember sleeping with my water bottle to keep it from freezing.  I guess I am really getting old.  It does not sound appealing anymore.  I like the food, the company, the fun-I don't like the weather any more.

Well-just muttering along.  It is late now.  Time to go to bed and read a bit.  Happy middle of the week. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

My Nose Is Clogged Up

I am highly allergic to mold.  It always comes this time of year.  First thing to do when Autumn arrives is get more antihistamines. Ragweed finally gets everything out of its system, and then along comes leaf mold.  Yay!  My favorite.  When I was little my mother always, always got either sinus infections or bronchitis in the Spring and in the Fall.  For many years the doctors could never figure it out.  Finally as medicine expanded it was discovered she was allergic to the chemical that makes leaves grow out and leaves to die.  Whatever that chemical is that tells trees to get ready-change is coming!

She was also very allergic to formaldehyde.  Guess what was a component of new dress materials in the 1950's and 1960's.  It was in the dyes. 

Anyway I am now taking my antihistamines daily.  This will last through October.  It's okay.  It isn't permanently debilitating.

I finally have reached the end of the Sanquhar scarf.  I am so over knitting this thing.  I still am not half-way, but I tried it on the other day to just see how long it has become.  I then realized that no one in his right mind would ever wear a 22 inch wide scarf that is doubled because it is knitted in the round.  We do not live in northern Europe, Siberia or Antarctica.  It has now become a long pillow form.  I am presently knitting a band on one end.  Somewhere along the way I will knit buttonholes on one side.  I am going to seam up the other end.  I will make a pillow form for the innards.  And I will not do anything like this again.

I am 1 1/2 inches along the linen stitch scarf.  I love the colors.  It is going to be really, really nice.

I put the sweater down to finish up the one project.  No news on that.  Just stockinette stitching.

For the first time in forever I am not spinning anything.

I have finished my practice piece on the tapestry loom.  I am now taking an online course by Rebecca Mezoff on Color Gradation.  I have been watching videos and reading the PDF's.  Now I need to practice some of her techniques before I go on.  I am really learning a lot.  I am also in the process of finding weaving yarns.  I no longer have a weaving stash.  I think I am going to thin out the knitting stash.  I probably have more yarn than I can knit in this lifetime.  It would be good to get rid of some of it.

The weather is typical for our Fall.  It is coolish in the evenings.  We have a few nights of 40's.  The days have been pleasant in the 70's.  Suddenly we are having a heat wave and in the 80's.  The ceiling fans are going again.  Windows open at night.  No wonder people get sick.

Noodles loves the cooler weather.  He is catching wood rats right now.  He doesn't have good teeth, so he can't eat the whole thing like he used to.  He did a good job on the little vole the other night.

I have three bird feeders and the suet feeder going again.  Sigh!  They are so spoiled.  Of course, the squirrels are ecstatic about it all.  The stupid rats chewed on the wood on the newly painted porch railing. 

So nothing new and exciting.  I also got a Craftsy class on Quilting as You Piece.  I like that concept.  I might get something done.  I have really not been faithful to my sewing.  I did repair a torn pair of work pants the other. 

So it seems I am preparing myself for the winter months.  I just can't get my mind in the right place.  The few overcast, gloomy days we have had send me spiraling down.  I do this every year.  Once I get to Winter Solstice I try to psyche myself by telling myself the days are getting longer every day.  By March I am screaming to get outside.  I need light.  It's a cycle a lot of people go through I know.

I am writing again.  I found a poem I wrote some time ago.  I found a short story that I thought I finished had not been finished.  So I am writing again.  It feels nice to sit down and live in someone else's brain for a while.

Craft fairs are happening this month.  Camping is happening this month.  Lots of activities to get involved in.  Have a safe transition into Full Fall as the cooler weather transitions.

And hope that we all make it out of Mercury in Retrograde soon. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

September-A Transition Month

Tomorrow is the first day of autumn-the Autumnal Equinox.  It is a time for transition.  I notice it is very subtle how it happens.  Suddenly we are having bits of cooler weather that move back to summer within days.  On the cooler days we have little humidity.  On the warmer days we have high humidity. The light is changing.  That I am not ready for-ever.  I like to have light to work by.  I find overcast, cloudy days or late mornings early nights light depressing.  I guess I am Persephone at heart.

I have been preparing for winter to come.  I am still working on the sweater and the Sanquahar scarf.  I finished a pair of socks for my niece, so I cast on a linen stitch scarf.  I am really not in a knitting mode, but I know what I have is fairly easy to do and mindless knitting.  I am not sure I will ever do a complicated all-over pattern in the wintertime again.  The light was dim and I had trouble reading the chart.  I had to sit by a window and I had to only work a few hours on it at a time.  How did women do it by candlelight or lantern light?

I have been cleaning outside preparing for the Fall weather.  I had my deck repaired-a big cost for me.  I painted the front rails on the porch, and I painted the new railing on the side porch and the replacement window sill.  I like it I don't have to mow as often.  The grass is changing.  I moved the garden bird feeder to a more open spot that I can still see out my windows.  I cleaned it out and it is waiting patiently for a fill up. 

I am still getting hummers, so the sugar water continues.  I heard geese in late August, and I am pretty sure they weren't our usual guests down on Barrington Road.  We do have a large group of geese that come in and stay there over the winter.  They rear young and then migrate again.  We had a large group of blackbirds that migrated through.  The robins have come and gone.  Birdsong is different now.  It isn't the usual mating songs that I hear in early summer and the melody is different now.

Noodles is still fighting fleas.  I am giving him Capstar every two weeks.  I have never had to do that.  Usually I can give him one and that is the end of it.  Of course, I use the topical flea and tick stuff once monthly.  That usually takes care of anything.  At the knitting circle everyone said they were having a terrible time.  One woman said her vet mentioned this was the worse flea season she had ever seen.

I am still working on Following the Lines on the tapestry loom.  I am close to finished.  I have dragged my heels finishing it.  I am planning to take a course with Rebecca Mezoff online and the sign up is October 5.  I want to just advance my warp and keep on weaving without cutting off this one.  I have the tension set and it is perfect and I don't want to mess with changing that.

A bit of a break while I talked to CJE.  The neighborhood crows are talking outside.  The bluejays have been fussing.  It is a lovely day-the eve of Fall.

Have a good week.  Enjoy the transition.  Prepare as you must.  The seasons will change regardless of preparation.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Is It Fall Yet?

I have been mosey-ing along through summer.  It got really hot for a while.  Our normal heat plus humidity.  It is the kind of weather that makes one sit in air conditioning and try not to think about our ancestors sweltering in layers of clothes and unable to breathe properly.

Then in August we had a cool snap.  Normally in August it is HOT and 100% humidity.  I was able to turn off the a/c for a while.  The nights actually got down into the 50's on some nights.  This is unheard of where we live.  No one, and I mean no one, has ever imagined an August like the one we have had the last two weeks. 

Today the heat is back on; the a/c is turned on. 

I have had a lot of stuff happen at one time.  Since I retired, I don't do catastrophe well.  I get a bit melodramatic-the woe is me routine.  No one cared.  It's nice to have friends that just shrug and move on. 

My riding lawn mower died right at the end of a row I was mowing.  I made myself finish the mowing with the push mower.  That nearly killed me.  I find that my heart rate fluctuates wildly when I am hot, tired, exasperated, and mad.  Sears will send someone out to take care of your mower for a very hefty sum.  It also takes about two weeks or so to get in queue. 

Then I stepped out on the deck in back and thought that something wasn't right.  I went under a little ways and could see the support board was katty-wancuss.  I don't know how to spell that.  Phonetics are good for some things; others not so good.  When I returned on top, it was with a LOT of dismay that I saw that the deck was actually pulling away from the wall of the house. 

Then when I really looked, I saw the reason it was pulling away from the house.  The boards it was attached to were rotted and ant filled.  I don't mean a few little ants.  I mean ant filled.  I called my handyman service, and they sent someone out within a few days to inspect and give me an estimate. I also called the termite inspector to come out and inspect for termites.

So after a long drawn out ordeal, two men jacked up the deck, replaced the support wall, reattached the deck properly, replaced some siding , and left me with a secure and badly scarred up deck.  This Fall I have to seal it for winter time. 

The mower gets fixed in another week or so.  So I had to hire someone to mow and trim.

Money is precious to me.  I hate to splurge on things like house repairs.  Sigh!  More drama.

My SIL lost her husband a week ago.  It was very sudden and unexpected.  I have called her a few times to check up on her.  I guess I will have to visit in Fall.

I have finished the pretty green yarn that I was spinning.  It was dyed with tansy.  I am now knitting my indigo yarn.  It actually started as an experiment with prickly pear and that went wrong immediately.  So I rinsed that off and tucked it in the indigo bucket.  It will be pretty when finished. On the electric spinner I am still spinning the green dyed with redbud leaves.

I finally got the yoke increased on the raglan sweater and the sleeves taken off to waste yarn.  It is just a basic sweater and nothing fancy.  I am knitting a pair of socks that have been promised to my niece.  I am using the Monkey pattern for those.  The stranded work got put on time out for a while. I have cast on 450 stitches to make a linen stitch scarf. 

I have a pretty tapestry going on the loom.  I feel overwhelmed at times, so I have dragged my feet on that.  I dreamed one night that I was told to "Follow the line."  I had an art instructor that used to tell us that all the time.  If we sat too long staring he would nudge us with "Just follow the line". 

So nothing else too new.  My niece and her man have finally set a date for the wedding.  I look forward to going to Florida in April.  I will be really sick to death of winter by then.

Keeping busy, but nothing earth shaking to report.  I had the goats out to clear some of the brush on the west side.  I hear geese overhead periodically, although it is far too early for that.  The robins have moved back to bulk up for their journey to wherever they go.  The hummingbirds are feeding well.  A noisy wren is setting up camp in the back.

The chives and the mint are all that are blooming.  Usual end of summer routine.

Sorry to not write more often.  Just nothing happening around here.  Next time.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Well-It Is July Again!

This has been a most peculiar summer.  After our most peculiar Spring, here comes peculiar summer.  We have had a LOT of rain, thunder boomers, floods, and HIGH grass.  Everything is LUSH and GREEN.  Normally by this time things are beginning to get browner and drier.  Mowing slows down.  It is unbearably HOT and HUMID.  So along comes the rain this year and cooler temps.  But now-July has returned.  HOT and HUMID has returned.  AC is turned on.  Fans are circulating the air. 

I have gone completely off my rocker this time.  I found a wonderful Leclerc Tissart Tapestry Loom on the internet.  These looms are no longer being made.  I emailed the lady and asked if it was still available, etc.  She replied it was and that there was one other person interested.  I told her to invoice me through PayPal and that I would drive up to Kansas City and pick it up.  I never heard another word from her.  I tried three times-no response.  So I decided it was the universe telling me I didn't really need this new complication in my life. 

I continued to look at tapestries on Pinterest; I lurked around looking at tapestry weaver's blogs; I read about techniques.  It has been MANY years since I have done anything like this.  I became a little bit obsessive, but realistic that my skills are really rusty. 

Suddenly another Tissart loom was offered through one of my groups on Facebook.  I emailed the guy, and we discussed a price and I said I would come on Wednesday to pick it up.  Tuesday my friend CJE and I drove through a horrible flood and thunderstorm to get out of Arkansas.  We drove to Lawrence and spent some time at the Yarn Barn in Lawrence KS.  We spent the night and the next morning we toodled over to the yarn shop in Holton, KS to pick up the new loom. 

CJE drove over on Thursday to help me put it together.  It took a little bit of puzzle making, but it actually went together pretty easily.  I have rubbed it down with Howards Wax and Oil and cleaned it  up.  I have tied up the treadles.  Now I am waiting for the warp thread to arrive.  I am playing with ideas for a design.  I put it in my spinning room because that room has a higher ceiling than any other room.  It is pretty large.

I am plying my redbud leaf colored yarn on the treadle wheel.  I am spinning the tansy leaf colored yarn on the electric spinner.  Lovely greens.  So pretty.  Green is all around us right now. 

Noodles has really slowed down lately.  He is showing his age.  He is inside more than normal enjoying less humidity in the house.  He is really hanging onto me more since he is the only fur person now.

Last night a raccoon decided to investigate the recycle box.  I finally opened the door and told it to go away.  It just looked at me, blinked and waddled a little bit away.  I finally had to step out on the deck and shoo it away.  I am sure it came back to finish its forage plan.

The goats were to arrive this week, but the rain last week has delayed things.  I cannot believe how thick my honeysuckle jungle has gotten with all the rain.  I hope these goats can give me some relief from the thickness and the encroachment on the yard.

I got my yard mowed, but it looks like a hay field.  It is pretty sad looking this year.  The grass is very thick and it holds water a long time after a rain.  I had frogs running like crazy when I was mowing next to the fence on the east side.  It was very swampy there.

I am still knitting on my handspun shawl.  I love the colors in this piece.  I am also knitting on the Sanquhar scarf sampler.  I decided to knit a hexagon last night and see if I like the pattern.  I don't want to start a new project, but I was bored.  I also have some new sock yarns that are gorgeous.  I haven't been knitting so many socks as before, but these yarns are great colors.

My dyeing has slowed to nothing.  I haven't been feeding the indigo pot.  I have been busy making quick trips to Kansas and doing crazy things.

Yesterday was RC's birthday.  He is 42 years old this year.  It is so hard for me to imagine that.

I guess that is all for this little start of July.  Hot has returned.  Things are starting to dry up.  AC on. Staying in except early morning and late,late evening.  Reading, knitting, spinning to fill up time.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Just Chugging Along!

I had to make a decision on Monday that I did not want to make.  I am now without my little Patty-Cakes.  She never recuperated from whatever her medical issues were, and by Monday she was so much worse.  She was unable to walk, she was wobbly on her feet, and she had nystagmus and other eye symptoms of neurological issues.  It is still a very raw thing for me to talk about, so I will not say anything more.

On some good news, I am hiring some goats to come out and eat away at the honeysuckle jungle on the west side of my property.  Since I bought the house I have been looking for some goats.  I finally found some.  It is going to be expensive, but not nearly as expensive as hiring people to clear it out.  Not only is there honeysuckle, but there is poison ivy, briars, and blackberry brambles.  Among all that is more trash that the previous owner threw out there.  I will get to clean that up eventually.

Every day I have been trying to do some art project.  I am ashamed that I cannot paint or even draw as I once did.  I have tried many times, and I get frustrated at myself.  So I decided that every day I will dedicate some time to do something.  Last week with Patty's illness, I photocopied a mandala that a friend had sent me for New Moon, and I colored with my colored pencils.  I enjoyed that.  It seems that coloring is a good thing to do.

Last night I was thinking I wanted to do some sun printing on fabric.  So I hunted for my supplies and my instructions.  I realized why I haven't done it in a long, long while.  I needed some foam board to pin the fabric to.  So tomorrow I will do the printing while it is cooler.

I had to go into town to question my bill for my recycling.  I live in a small town that is working really hard to prevent the big cities from swallowing it up.  I pay the local utility company $4.06/month for recycling.  My trash pickup is free as long as I purchase the yellow bags.  The yellow bags are HUGE, so I put the trash out every three-four weeks.  I recycle weekly.

As happens in small business worlds, it has just been found out that an employee of the utility company embezzled a lot of money.  She was ciphering the cash paid some way.  I don't know how to do it, so I don't try to figure it out.  Of course, I paid my $4.06 in cash-why write a check?  So now they will only take checks.  If I use a credit card or debit card, they charge a fee because they are charged a fee.  Remember small business.  I refuse to pay a fee that is almost as much as the bill.

So in May I wrote a check for multiple months instead of the one month.  Simple math-x amount of months times $4.06.  Ten days ago I went in to purchase yellow bags, and wrote a check and got my receipt.  Then I get a bill the other day for $4.69.  I couldn't fathom where this came from.

The two ladies in the office today could not figure out why I got the bill, and they found a credit on my account in the computer.  So they are going to check out the whole thing and get it straight.

So while I am out and about, I drove to our local farm store.  They did not have the foam board I was looking for.  So reluctantly I had to go to Lowes.  I got my board, I got some other things, and I left.
The wind kept trying to blow the foam board out of my hands.  Suddenly this nice man got out of his truck and offered to help me.  When I got the car opened , he told me the board would not fit in the car.  I told him I was going to get a knife out of the car and cut it smaller.  He got his pocket knife out and cut it for me.  After loading it up, he said, "Have a good day, Ma'am."  He got in his truck and drove off.

So that left me feeling pretty good about the world today.  None of those other men in their trucks tried to help.  Here was this man who wore bib overalls, had a long white beard, and longish white hair.  He got out of his truck and helped me.  Bless him for being so nice.

Now that I am rested, it is time to tackle vacuuming my bedroom.  I want to shampoo it today and get it freshened.  I got my spinning room shampooed the other day and it feels good to be clean.  I did battle with a spider this morning.  I opened the cabinet to put cups away.  As I pulled the door open, a big black house spider plopped onto the counter and scurried away.  I peered into the cabinet looking for others.  Somehow I looked up and there was her nest.  It was stuck to the upper part of the cabinet frame and the door.  I got her sucked off the counter with the vacuum, and I got the nest cleared out.  I hate to mean.  If she had chosen some location that I don't use regularly, I would have left her alone.

So I am really going to get up now and go do some work.  Ugh.  I just don't feel like cleaning, but it feels good when it is done.

Happy weekend everyone!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Hot Again!

Well, we have had torrential rains for over a week-around ten days.  This has been the strangest June! It seems I say that about every month.  We started out with the usual HOT days and drying out from May rains.  Then it started all over again.  Rain, rain, rain, rain.  The ground is soggy.  My neighbors are all out mowing.  I am waiting until cooler this evening and give the ground more time to dry.

With the sunshine comes HEAT and HUMIDITY!  Of course, we expect the humidity to be there because of all the moisture around. 

I just now threw some fleece and a bit of handspun yarn into the indigo bath.  I tried something new that I haven't used.  I saw a picture of a dye workshop on Navajo land and I wanted to know more about the pink that they got.  I found a picture of them pouring something into the pot.  I managed to separate the picture and saw that it was prickly pear puree.  I've never used that, and thought how fun that would be.  Well, to get prickly pear puree costs a fortune.  I did find some place on EBay that sold it cheaper than anyone else. 

While I was waiting for it, I read through my booklet on Navajo dyes.  I read it through several times.  The most important thing - I thought- was that it has to ferment in the pot for at least two weeks.  It did say you cannot heat it like other dyes or you get tan.  You also cannot use a metal pan because that creates a tan also.  I wanted pink, and I guess letting it ferment wouldn't kill me.

Well, happy day when the stuff arrived.  I soaked my fleece and my bit of handspun.  I put it in the container, and I joyfully opened the container and poured it all over the stuff in the pan.  It was a yucky tannish icky looking stuff.  I was not happy.  I was expecting it to be pink like in the picture.

Well, I let it ferment for a week, and I wasn't going to like this.  It was a pale, pale, yellowy tan color.  So today it is in the indigo bath hoping to salvage this mess.

It took me a little while to analyze my problem.  The cheaper stuff I bought on EBay was supposedly a health drink.  (I wouldn't drink that stuff, even if I held my nose tight)  To make a health drink I suppose they would have to pasteurize it.  DUH!  It had been heated.  Heating makes it tan.  Boo-hoo!

So now I am going to make it into something else.  We will see.

Patty has now been diagnosed with seizures.  She did this weird little thing last Monday.  Her back legs collapsed and her front legs splayed out.  She looked confused and scared.  She would try to get up and when she could wobble up on her legs it was scary looking.  The vet worked her in and we got the diagnosis of seizures.  I thought since last October that she was having little TIA's that were leading up to the BIG ONE.  And Monday I thought she was having the BIG ONE.  By the time we got seen in the office, she was over her little episode.  Of course.

The roadrunner has been over at my neighbor's house mostly.  He or she goes from door to door to window and looks in to see them.  He or she still comes over here and jumps up on the railing of the screened porch.  I get the eye stare and the head turns as I talk to him.  It is too cute.  I never knew them to be such social folks.

I have been trying every day to do something with my art work.  I get discouraged and chastise myself badly.  I know intellectually that it takes practice and I know that I am not going to paint the masterpiece of the year.  But I get mad at myself for not being able to do things again.  So now I have this thing to do a little bit every day.  Just a while-about an hour.  I seem to be enjoying the piddling part of it.

Last night I got tired of the Sanquhar scarf.  I petted it, and I smoothed it out.  I announced, "This may become a pillow instead of a scarf."  I don't want to give up, but I am so over knitting this thing.  I did start a pretty simple shawl with some of my handspun.  I love how the colors are coming out with that.  I know that this is the time of year that I don't knit a lot.  I am not going to give up just yet.

I finished another skein of purple.  I think I can now say I will have enough for a sweater when I finish up what I have.  I have that to look forward to this next winter.  Yay!

Well, I am going to don my gloves and go squeeze the fleece and skein and hopefully will have a much prettier color than what went into the bucket of indigo.  Fingers crossed.

Happy Weekend for everyone!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Blogger Is Maybe Working

I have been using Blogger for a long time now.  Sometimes it gets a glitch from somewhere.  Hopefully today it will go through. 

I have been busy this week dyeing with my indigo pot.  The dress is an old one of mine that I normally just wear around the house.  It has been overdyed twice before.  The dye before this one was orange, and it shows through the indigo.  I have mended the holes and it is ready for around the house wear again.

The two cloths were single dipped.  I wanted some more moons, and some of them are perfect.  Some are a little blurry.  When I ironed the dried finished pieces, it appears that some of the blue skies are snowy and there are clouds around the moons.  So there is hope for this piece.  The other was accordion folded and then folded like a flag.  It came out an odd pattern.  I could redo another pattern or leave it to fussy cut from.  I don't know yet.
I don't know why the cursor keeps going to the middle.  I am having some struggles with this post.
It has turned seasonably hot and muggy.  We had a drizzle the other morning, but it lasted less than an hour and made it more humid.  I am watering my new flower bed.  I don't know how established the plants are.  They seem happy and are blooming.  The new milkweed lost three of its branches.  Hopefully I won't lose all of them.  The one from last year that I transplanted is doing okay.  No sign of butterfly eggs.  The bumblebees are happy anyway.  Not too many honey bees.  Sigh!
I did find a box turtle by the step the other night.  Hopefully the concrete blocks will act as a deterrent.  It can munch all it wants to on other things.
The roadrunner is mostly at my neighbor's house now.  It strangely goes from door to door and pecks at the doors and low windows.  It has visited me  a few times and sits on the rail of the screened porch. It looks me in the eyes when I talk to it.  Some scrawny looking hummingbirds are feeding at the feeder. My friend has a Carolina wren nest in her asparagus fern basket.  She moved it away from cat availability. 
The Mugwort is blooming nicely.  The bachelor buttons didn't do as well this year as years past.  I ended up with patches in the yard that I mow around.  Only one hollyhock rose to glory.  I found new sprouts when I was weedeating.  Maybe next year we will have a great show.  The Echinacea is blooming.  The Brown-eyed Susan's are blooming.  The Black-eyed Susan's are big and lush, but no blooms yet.  So the garden is slowly doing it's thing.   I am waiting for the Tansy to bloom so I can use the flowers for a dye.  I like the color that the leaves produced.  I am spinning that right now on the electric spinner.
I am trying ever so hard to walk every day.  It means I have to get up early and go somewhere.  Today it wasn't going to happen.  Instead I am going to a sale at the Junk Ranch.  It is a two-day sale outside a rural town near here.  Vendors bring vintage and repurposed and refurbished stuff.  And some things are still junk, but one never knows if it is just the junk one needs.  I am looking for storage ideas, but either wall mounted or small, small, small. 
Yesterday the plumber came to check out the leak in the back shower.  He said it was the drain; he crawled under the house (ick!); confirmed it was the drain; gave me an estimate; went off to buy a new drain; came back an hour later; fixed it in about an hour with his helper (his son); and now supposedly I do not have a leak.  I have a fan blowing on the floor hopefully to dry that out.  I don't want to replace the board unless I really, really have to.  I was concerned about the mold, and a friend said to bleach it.  So I have sprayed a lot of bleach on the board.  I think after it dries more I will really scrub the corners and edge with a brush and bleach.  When it is all dry I can decide what to do. If I don't replace it, I will have to seal it with that white stuff.  I can't remember the name.  I used it on the sub floor before the installation of my bamboo floors in living room and hallway. 
I finished the sock carry-along project, so now I only have the scarf.  I tried taking it to knit night last week, but I had to rip out one row when I got home.  So yesterday I wound off the two balls of turquoise/multi color handspun and started a shawl.  It is a very simple 8 row pattern, and I almost have it memorized.  It is a pattern that I used for a shawl for a fiber show. 
The shawl sold in the last hour of the show, and I did discount it because the woman really, really wanted it.  She had on a green shirt with her jeans, and the green matched the shawl.  She tried it on and pranced around.  Everyone told her it looked like her.  So the sucker that I am, I would rather have someone really happy with my knitwear than be rich and have someone give it to Goodwill after one wearing.  I have an idea that this new one is going to be a Christmas gift. 
I am spinning on the treadle wheel and the electric spinner.  I mentioned that the tansy green is on the electric spinner and I am still spinning some purple on the treadle wheel.  I was looking for some white fleece to dye with the tansy.  I happily re-found a pound of the purple that I had stuck away for later.  Hopefully I will have enough for a sweater when all done.  I don't know yet what my annual winter sweater will be.  I am leaning towards one of Anne Hanson's patterns.  It will depend on the yardage.
I made the muslin for the new top I want to make.  I have hips and now I have to accommodate for those hips.  Sigh!  This sagging business is ruining my memory of my figure.  I have a new scale that tells me the BMI and the percentage of body fat.  Not a comforting thing to find out.  I know that I am 67 years old, but inside me still hides that athlete I once was.  Oh, well, I will keep on walking.
So off to shower and clean myself from top to bottom.  I have to get ready to go sweat and look for junk at the big sale.  It is kinda exciting.  A treasure hunt.  Happy Friday everyone!

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Interminable Rain

Yes, it is still raining.  We have had so much now that the ground is saturated.  It just runs off into the ravine-down the hill it goes. 

Yesterday was my birthday.  My grandmother always told me that I was born in a thunderstorm.  I love storms-it excites me; it energizes me; I get jazzed.  I am somehow not excited about the weatherman staying on the t.v. all the time, giving minute by minute reports.  I have a wonderful APP on my IPad that my brother recommended to me.  I look at the location of the storm cell, I calculate how long it will take to arrive, and I calculate how long it will take to go through.  That is all I need to know.

My poor flowers look ragged, forlorn, and soggy.  A good day or two of sunshine would perk them up tremendously.

I am sick to death of discussing my health issues, and I am not thinking about it any more.  What I can do is walk.  I can get into some kind of regular walking, exercise mode and just do it.  Today I tried a section of the new Razorback Greenway.  The first part was really lovely.  It is a wide expanse of concrete that runs along the edge of a creek.  If you listen to the sound of the rushing water and the bird sounds, you can almost tune out the sounds of urban life. Especially the sound of traffic on a nearby roadway. 

Since CJE gave me a FitBit, I can now calculate the distance I am walking, the time, of course, and mainly to monitor my heart rate.  I try to keep my heart rate at 135 when I am climbing a little hill, and I push to walk faster.  Somewhere inside this slug is the old body that used to ride bicycles every day and row three times a week.  This is the same physical shell that used to be a master rower and race in regattas.  I figure within three months I should be doing much better. 

I have repairmen coming on Thursday to do some simple repairs that are necessary for maintenance of the homestead.  I do have one major repair job, but I will ask for an estimate and save up for that.  I was thinking today I might ask how much it would cost to put two ceiling fans in the kitchen and one in the guest bedroom.  I would also like to replace the outside lights, but it isn't a necessary thing.  Just a "maybe" job.

I listened to a Joe Gray cozy mystery on audio book yesterday and today.  I finished up my small skein of purple BFL and got it wound onto the skein winder.  I haven't blocked it yet, because it surely won't dry with all the wet and humid air.  I love that I can download a book from the library and listen while I get something done.  All for free!  Free is good!

My birthday was uneventful, but it was heartwarming to have so many people think of me.  I have a lot of gratitude for the messages I get.  I even got a card from CF, and she and I just don't do that.  We have known each other 25 years, and we never give birthday or Christmas stuff.  We give each other things all year whenever we think of it.  When I called her to ask, she said she was looking for a card for her daughter, and found this one that made her think of me.  Funny. 

I think I am going to go to bed and read for a while.  There isn't a thing on t.v., and I am not going to go through Facebook again.  I don't want to get on Pinterest and get lost.

Check your toes and make sure there are no webs there.  At least we will get a good crop of mosquitoes out of this.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Well-It Is Soon To Be Another Birthday!

Isn't it funny?  Years ago I would celebrate my birthday month.  Now it is just another day.  I have gotten cards in the mail from friends.  And my friend CJE gave me a FitBit to track my Heart Rate.  She is concerned with my health issues.  So now I can track my activity level from slug to pushing it.  I monitored my sleep last night.  As I already know that I never sleep well or completely through a night, the graph showed I was up or roused 28 times last night.  I am not sure I need to know this.

I tried taking Patty on a walk today, but she balked all along the route.  She did not want the harness on.  When I first got her, I only put the harness on to indicate we were going for a walk.  She did not want that thing on, but I prevailed and snugged it up.  We would be walking along quite well, and suddenly she would stop.  She wouldn't budge.  Finally what I had to do was click and snap the lead a couple flicks, and say "Let's go."  And she would for a while.  She kept looking around like she was trying to figure out where we were.  I was too busy trying to dodge the goose and duck poop.

CJE came over yesterday and gave me the new toy.  She also made me a pattern for a simple tank top that she created.  I am thinking I could sew a few summer tops out of some cute fabric and have some nice tops.  Unfortunately we are in a cool snap.  Right now I have on a sweatshirt and socks.  I cannot remember when was the last time I was still wearing cool weather clothes in late May.

I went to the doctor this a.m. and now I am stable and seem to be accepting the meds without complications.  I don't have to go back for three months, unless, of course, I have some weird symptoms.  What a relief.

I did come straight home and got the riding mower out to mow the majority of the yard.  It was wet down close to the ground, so the mower wasn't happy.  I haven't done any weedeating or trip mowing with the push mower.  It started to rain and I was glad to not do anything for a while.

I am going to get some minor chores done for house maintenance next week.  Unfortunately I did find my floor is soft in the back bathroom.  Sigh!  I did not want to do any major repairs this year.  I told the company I need an estimate, so I can plan when to have the work done.

Noodles caught a mid-size rabbit the other evening.  It seems I have a large population of rabbits this year.  They are always in the yard, and I have walked right past them without them running off.  I only hope that he doesn't get some disease from eating them.  He did get something when we lived out near Devil's Den.  A tick fever the vet said probably came from rabbits.  It is better than Bobcat Fever.  That kills domestic cats within 24 hours.

My flowers are starting to grow well in the little bed I made out back.  Noodles keeps the catnip trimmed, so it is really getting thick.  Hopefully he will allow it to flower.  The butterflies and bees really like catnip flowers.  The coreopsis is blooming.  The milkweed flowers are reddish, but they haven't opened fully.

I have been spinning the purple yarn, but now I am wanting to spin up the green that I just dyed.  With the electric spinner I am spinning some white merino.  I am thinking that I might just dye the skein when I finish that.  I got a coupon from Paradise Fibers for my birthday, so I think I will order some more white fiber.  I haven't set up an indigo pot, but surely it will be getting warm soon.

So Jeopardy is coming on.  Time to try to outwit the smart folks there.  Sometimes I yell at them, and it frustrating why they can't get it.  The pleasures of living alone. Ha!

Have a safe holiday weekend.  Surely we will soon have sunshine and warmth.  

Friday, May 15, 2015

It's Still Raining!

 Today I picked a few stems and leaves from my tansy out back.  It has flourished this year due to the excessive rain we have had.  It hasn't begun to set flowers, so this is perfect timing.

I am really, really pleased with the pretty soft green I got.  I used copper sulfate as my mordant.  The wool is Polworth.  There is 8 oz drying and waiting to become yarn.

Yes, it appears that we are in for a very wet May.  This is extremely unusual, since May is the first month to get hot.  Not the oppressive heat of June and July and August, but a blessing from the cold.  Now we have had some cooler mornings and a lot of wet.

Patty has been sick twice this week.  We got very little sleep two nights in a row.  I finally tried a low-dose aspirin, and she slept.  Who knows?  It's a shame dogs can't give us a hint.

I am desperately trying to keep up with the mowing.  It is difficult.  If the ground and grass is too wet, it can clog up the mower. 

My bachelor buttons did not do so well this year.  They are scraggly and not really blossoming into a beautiful carpet of flowers.  This may be my last year to promote them.  My hollyhocks did not return as well, either.  There is only one plant where there were three last year.  I don't know why it is so hard for me to grow them.

My weigeilias did exceptionally well.  They were covered in flowers all over.  The two are thick bushes grown together now.  I trimmed the pink azalea this morning, getting it ready for next year's blooms.

My friend CJE is finally getting her new doors and she now has new flooring in her bathroom and in the kitchen.  The pictures look good.

My friend BBR is not coming in November.  It is too expensive for her to come from Vermont.  We exchanged emails this morning, catching up on news.

I don't have a lot going on.  Just wanted to post the pictures of my afternoon's work.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Day 2 May

It has seemed such a long time to finally get to May.  Normally by February I am tired of winter, and I am anxious to get on with warmer weather.  This year February was bitterly and unseasonably cold.  It seemed forever until March came.  Then we had normal weather until April.  April was cold some, warm some, and really, really, really wet.  It was always cloudy, gloomy, chilly, and bone-aching. 

Now, finally we are having a delightful weather pattern.  Sitting on my screened porch is wonderful. I listen to all the neighborhood sounds.  The birds are twittering, chattering, and chirping.  It is a good day all around.

I went to a special opening of an exhibit at the Shiloh Museum here in Springdale.  I met up with friends there, and we had a late dinner together.  Then I was sick.  I don't know if it was the lateness of the dinner or the dinner itself.  I woke up yesterday with diarrhea and Patty was sick, too.  So the two old ladies just stayed close to home.  It wasn't an awful day.

Today is an awesome day for both of us.  It is warm, it is sunny, and it is peaceful here on the little porch.

I watched a fantastic video yesterday on Netflix- The Monk with a Camera.  It is a mindful journey of a privileged young man who decides to become a Tibetan monk. 

Today I got notice from Netflix that they have Longmire's next season.  Finally..... I can find out what happens to the handsome deputy that is an asshole and got shot.

Today is not a Netflix day.  It is a peaceful day to sit on the porch, lounge around, and just chill.

I think in all the chaos of the world right now, I want to just have peace and balance in my life where I am right now.  I can only project goodness out if I have goodness coming in. 

I am on medicine three of the b.p. medicines.  I am not having any horrible reactions-except my pulse sky rockets when I stand up.  I went for a treadmill stress test Thursday, and I was over the goal pulse rate when I stood up.  I was able to make three minutes on the treadmill climbing a hill, and I was wiped out.  I was unable to breathe and my heart was pounding.

So we will see where we go from here.

I am not going to chat long.  I want to go back to my porch and just chillin'.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

There Ain't No Sense to Anything

This has been the craziest April yet.  We have been swamped in rain-which is a good thing.  Unfortunately it means I can't keep up with the yard work that needs done.  It has been hard to look out and see the high grass or the weeds.  And it is pouring rain.

It has been unseasonably warm.  Highs in the 70's.  Wonderful to have the sun and warmth.  We did get a new front and it is going to cool down to normal next week.  Back to a sweater in the mornings and still wearing long pants.

I just had a quick visit from my cousin and it was a nice calm visit.  We talk about family a lot, and it is interesting that we are closer to each other than to our siblings.  We eat and talk a lot.  Last night we did genealogy for a good long time.  We studied maps of England to locate where ancestors lived.  We looked at photos and discussed history.  While he was talking to his wife and discussing a trip they are taking in May, I rushed outside to look at the sky.

He joined me to look at constellations and discuss names of stars and planets.  I love my Star Guide on my IPad.  I recommend it to everyone.

My older brother told me they had such a bad storm Thursday night.  He said he was afraid he would wake up in Kansas with Toto.  I am glad they are getting some rain for a while.  It is so dry in Texas in the summer. 

I am knitting along on my Sanquhar Cowl.  I started a pair of socks as a carry along project.  I am now at the point of making up my mind who is going to receive them.  That will tell me how long to make the foot.  I have two people in mind, but I guess I will have to toss a coin.

I am itching to start another sweater.  I really don't need another sweater.  I just like the length of the project.  It takes a lot to commit to a project like that.  I think that is a stupid reason to start a sweater.

I have been putzing along spinning my last bobbin of orange yarn.  I watched Wolf Hall yesterday on the computer while I was spinning.  I think this is going to be a beautiful yarn.  Such vivid color. 

My doctor finally is beginning to listen to me.  It has been so frustrating to me that I can't make them believe what I am saying.  I am on the third kind of medicine.  Fingers crossed this one seems to be the answer to the problem of regulating my b.p. without side effects.  My daily readings are pretty stable and I am not dizzy or woozy feeling.  It almost is like a cloud was lifted off my head after three days.  So-we will see.  Funny thing that the doctor told me all my blood work is normal.  They can't find anything else wrong, no matter what they dream up that needs to be tested. 

I got my serger back from the repair man.  I am lucky that I have found a guy that will come to the house and pick up either my sewing machine or the serger and bring it back all fixed.  Of course, I have to pay a little more for service.  Now I have to just make myself get up and start making those pillow cases that are on my shelf of "make this now" stuff.

Patty got her Spring haircut.  It was a traumatic experience for her and me.  She jumped, bucked, squirmed, jerked about.  When he was getting to the close trim with scissors to sculpt around her face and legs, I just held her down.  What should have been a one-hour job took two hours.  She is changing fast in some things with this dementia thing, and then there are days that she seems her usual self.

Other than that, my life seems to be on a slow-boat to nowhere.  I have my routines and my life is super simple.  It is very nice to just putter around and do a little bit of work every day.  I am very blessed.  I am just happy that my one little bit of health problem is probably on the road to okay.  Maybe now that my head is clearer I can actually get things done.

Happy Spring.  Maybe now most everyone around is experiencing green happenings instead of white and cold happenings.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Everthing is Green!

After our unusual winter, we are having an unusual Spring!  Why does that surprise me?  It shouldn't.

I am actually mowing the weeds.  There are spots of real grass, but the usual Spring weeds are flourishing.  We have been having our storms, our rain, our unusually warm April.  My redbuds are so beautiful right now.  It is so pleasing to see the gorgeous colors.  My daffodils bloomed quickly and were done.  The iris and other bulbs are well on their way to popping open.

Unfortunately I am not going to get such a great hollyhock year as last.  I love hollyhocks-their tall stalks blooming little bit by little bit with cups of flowers.

I am so excited that my roadrunner visited today.  Noodles alerted me of something outside.  I stood in the doorway of the screened porch.  After spotting me, the roadrunner raced up the steps of the porch, hopped up on the railing and stared at me.  I very softly said, "Hi.  I am happy you have come back."  It hopped down to steps, hopped up to rail, hopped down to steps, hopped up to rail, and stared me right in the eye.  After a coupla minutes, it flew up to rooftop and started cuckooing loudly.

I know all the bird people are going to pooh-pooh me.  Birds don't have the memories to do something like that.  I know the first hummingbird always hovers in front of one particular window, and last year an oriole hovered in front of the studio window.  I feel like they recognize me.  It makes me feel loved and appreciated.  I don't want to know that this is some random behavior. 

I am doing very little knitting right now.  I started the Sanquhar Cowl, and I love the sampler idea.  I don't get bored with an endless pattern and as soon as I get bored, I get another pattern to learn.  I am also knitting a pair of socks.  I don't need a pair of socks, but I needed something to haul around.

I love having the windows and door open to the fresh air.  I know the pollen is bad right now, but I am into the fresh air thing.  I assume we will still have some cooler weather before May, but I love the sunshine, the warmth, and all the green.

I am still having some difficulties with my blood pressure.  It is so worrisome.  I went back to doctor yesterday, and I was assigned a different doctor.  She seems to think it is okay to have fluctuating all over the place b.p.  So I guess right now I am not going to worry so much.

My cousin will be here next week.  At some time I do need to clean up my house.  UGH!

Going to a quilt show tomorrow morning.  I am really excited about it.  I need some kind of motivation to get back to sewing.  I did clean up the room and reorganized things so it doesn't look like a tornado hit in there.  I need to vacuum, but I always need to vacuum.

So-as usual-nothing new and exciting.  This is my busy season.  Getting beds prepared, planting things, mowing, trimming, and generally getting ready for summer.  By the time the heat is on I will be in the maintenance stage.  That isn't so hectic.

Have a good weekend.  Enjoy Spring!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

March-A Month of Contemplation

Every winter I try to teach myself new skills.  It is supposed to be a time of learning, reawakening creativity, and certainly one of discovery. 

This year I decided I would learn to do rughooking.  The method is like knitting-it is traditional only in the sense of how to use your tools.  The creativity is endless.  Of course, I have wanted to do rughooking for so many years, I cannot imagine how long it has been.  I have started a project.  I put it in my pea brain how I wanted it to look.  Since it isn't looking like I imagined, it has become a frustration.  I don't know what is the matter with my work.  It isn't satisfying me.  I know I am my own worst critic.  Sigh!

I also have been knitless for any big projects.  I like to have at least one challenging project that makes me crazy and gives me something to complain about.  So I decided I would do a Sanquhar sampler scarf.  That is another skill I wanted to learn, so I ordered Beth Brown-Reinsel's DVD on her gloves.  I just couldn't get into making a pair of gloves in a fidgety pattern.  So the scarf was a good alternative.

I ordered the yarn, and it should have been here last week.  Everything is delayed due to weather.  Yesterday I looked at the tracker and UPS transferred the package to the post office!  How crazy!  Hopefully I will get it today. 

Sunday night I was so out of sorts since I had nothing on needles.  The TV shows are so mindless that I cannot sit still in a chair and pay attention to the show.  I hastily cast on a pair of socks.  I don't need any socks, but it was easy to cast on and get going.  After the heel I will have to decide who they are for so I can make them the right length.

I did cast on a simple hat pattern last Tuesday when the newest snow storm blew in.  I finished that Friday night.  I used leftover yarns, and it knit very quickly. 

I have also finished one skein of my orange yarn.  It is very, very soft and squishy and really, really lovely.  I realized that I buy roving seasonally.  I bought this last Fall when I was in a very orange-y mood.  Right now I am more into pinks and greens and light blues.  I am trying very hard to get this orange finished.  It is really pretty.  I have also refused to buy any new rovings-especially the pinks, greens, and blues.  I don't need any new fiber.  Sigh!

I have been trying to block out time during the horrible winter weather.  It is so amazing that we have had the most gorgeous nice winter until February.  Then the ugly hit.  I am so thankful that I am not in the frigid north, but this is more cold than I like.  I think it is being forced to stay indoors that does it for me.  Right now we are in a warm up phase, which means mud.  I will take mud over snow/ice any day.

I have been watching several quilting videos I have.  I have learned some new ideas, but for the most part it is just a way to past time.  I like the refreshers on color and color theory.  Some of the information I used to know, and suddenly I slap my forehead and say Duh!  Why didn't you remember this? 

Patty is slowing changing.  I have to keep an eye on her regularly.  I think she is having mini-strokes some days.  She had a rough day a coupla days ago.  I once thought Noodles would die first, and Patty and I could go on trips together.  It doesn't look that way now.  I won't be going on too many trips with her at all.  I would like to go out to the woods for some hiking, and I think she could manage fine right now.  I am just waiting for a warmer day to do so-with some sunshine.

The birds are eating me out of house and home.  Well, the squirrels are helping.  I notice that the colors are brighter on the finches and cardinals.  The songs are a little different, too.  First signs that the weather is changing.

Life is surely strange.  I don't think I ever imagined that I would live this long.  I know I am young chronologically, but I just never thought I would live this long.  Now I have blood pressure problems, and it seems odd.  I know that we never know when the end will be.

 I was lying in bed and thinking.  I thought about my friend George, and I felt a heaviness in my chest.  It is strange that mostly I don't feel sad about his passing, but then last night I did.  I am so thankful that he passed so quickly.  He was so fearful and that was difficult to manage.  I thought of others that have passed on, too, and it was a reflective time to ponder the meanings of things we do.

Well, on that gloomy note I guess I better get moving along.  I have lots to do, but I have little motivation right now.  It is probably the overcast, gray skies and the chilly dampness.  Have a great week!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day

It seems to me that the holidays-like Valentines Day- are super hyped these days.  I bet the stores already have green shamrocks and little people pasted on the walls.  It boggles the mind.

This week I had a bit of a scare.  My blood pressure read 196/97.  It never came down below 165, and I was really worried.  I went to the clinic, and I am now on bp meds and the doc put me back on cholesterol meds.  I am monitoring my bp daily and will return to the doctor next Wednesday.

So maybe I have an active imagination, but I feel more energized and want to get a lot done in a day.
I have sheets out on the line, dog beds in the washer, and bread is rising.  I have swept the floors-I am not going to mop today- and I am really ready to just sit down a while and rest.

I finished my sweater.  I slogged through the stockinette row after row after row.  It is really pretty.  I found the cutest yellow buttons that are vintage, and I need to sew those on today.  I finished the little blue hat for Max's birthday.  I don't see how this thing will fit him.  He is one big boy.

I just put the dog beds in the dryer to get rid of some of the hair.  Then I will put it outside to finish drying.  Noodles is lying on the top of the dryer in a sunny spot.  I had a memory of standing next to the shaking washing machine and dryer as a kid.  We thought it could jiggle away our fat.  Too funny, eh?

The bread is beginning to smell yeasty.  I love the smell of rising bread.

I have had a lot of trouble going to sleep lately.  Just as I settle and find a comfy spot, my brain engages.  I think about the stories I am writing right now.  I think of where they are going and how I am going to bring them to that spot.  How does one just turn off one's brain?  Just as I relax, I have to get up and go to the bathroom. Sigh!

Today is an absolutely gorgeous day!  The sun is shining, the sky is blue, a bit of wind.  According to the weather guy, this evening the wind will shift from the north.  This will herald in our newest cold front from the artic.  UGH!  I hate cold.  It could be just like today forever.  Tomorrow the temp is supposed to plummet.  Then snow/freezing rain/and or ice will move in.  UGH!  That is why I am preparing everything today for the event.

I don't know what I will knit next.  I finally put a pair of socks on the needles.  I also started a zigzag afghan.  It is one of those ten stitch patterns.  Both are quite simple to do, and I am up for something for a challenge.  I just don't know what.

I am almost finished spinning the second bobbin of orange mutli merino, and then I will ply that.  I think it is quite pretty.  Unspun the orange is rather dominant.  Blended in while spinning, it is not as prominent.  Yes, it is orange, but more of an earthy, Fall leaves kind of orange.  I like it a lot.

Patty is snoring right next to me.  Poor little thing.  She is so confused why I am so active.  She has to be right under my feet at all times, and it does discombobulate her teeny brain.  She is happy most of the time and doesn't seem to be in any kind of distress most of the time.  I can be thankful for that.

So back to work.  It has been a good sit down and a bit of a rest.  I have some things I want to do before lunch.  Whew!  I don't know where the energy came from, but I am taking advantage of it.

Keep safe, keep warm, and stay off the roads on Monday morning.  Next time.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Eight Years!

I had to look it up.  I started this blog in January, 2007.  It is hard to imagine what anyone can really talk about in that amount of time.  Obviously my interests in fiber work stays constant.  My interest in writing on this blog has not.  I seem to only write once in a while now.  I guess my idea is to create more balance, but it only complicates life.  I have so many things I want to work on, and I pick up my knitting.  I guess I am in a rut.

Patty is older now.  I am dealing with a geriatric dog.  Noodles will be fifteen years old this year.  He is moving slowly, but he still hunts and wanders around the yard.  I guess his aging has come slowly enough that I have gotten used to his slower ways.  I noticed it more when Tommy Cat was living with us last year.  He was young and spry and full of energy.

I am older now too.  I find my hips don't like sitting too long.  I am constantly wiggling around to find a way to lessen the pain.  I am moving slower.  I am doing less physical work than I used to do.  I can ride the mower all day, but the push mower and weed eater kill me.

So where are we now.  Still living in the gray house in my studio.  Still spreading out all the things I love to work on.  Still happy to be able to do all the things I love.  I may get new glasses, but I can still see and here and smell and taste and feel all the fine things I love.  I have pumpernickel bread in the bread oven right now.  Almost ready by the smell of things.

So here's to a new year of growth and prosperity for everyone.  Keep on doing!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Yes! January Is Back!


My first finished project for the year 2015.  It is handspun merino.  I loved the colorway and I chose to knit it in a simple feather and fan pattern that would not take any thinking on my part.  I found this patch of moss and the green in the yarn matched the moss exactly.  I thought while knitting it that it reminded me of a forest floor.  The moss just confirmed my intuition.

January started out bitter cold and windy.  We suddenly had a very brief four days of sunshine and warmth.  It was a great respite from the usual gray, gloomy, cold days.  For some unusual reason we have not had any rain or frozen anything for a week.  I am so happy for that.  Patty hasn't been complaining either. Today it is overcast and cold again.

I am on the first sleeve of the simple yoke cardigan sweater.  I really haven't been pushing too hard. It will really be lovely when finished.  It is a yellow red, not the blue red.  I like the color on me.   I have to say I prefer to knit a top-down raglan than a bottom-up raglan.  I like to try it on and see how it going.  I find that it works better than measuring the knitting.

I have slowed my spinning down tremendously since I am not going to do any shows this year.  I want to knit up what I have and go from there.  I do have the orange mix divided out and ready to go. On the e-spinner I have some plain old white BFL.  I am so happy I bought that thing.  It is more comfortable to sit in a comfy chair and just spin away while I am watching Netflix.  I am finding that as I sit in a chair and spin on the treadle wheel, my hips hurt more.  I have to get up and move around.
Age is a bitch, I know.

My cousin DMP visited from Virginia for two days.  He and his sister were changing bank accounts in Oklahoma for the property they own there.  The bank said he had to come in person and sign the papers.  Evidently with homeland security breathing on everyone these days, they have to do this in person.  He wasn't happy that he had to take two days from work, but I think we had a great visit.  Usually when he visits in April, he is exhausted from working two days at the convention center.  This visit he didn't have that and we spent more time talking.

My friend CJE has been accepted to present her work at the gift shop at Crystal Bridges Museum.  She is also working on writing more.  She is taking an online class with Ann Hood, and this has gotten her going again. 

I had a talk and reading at the Fayetteville Library this month.  I had five people show up.  Three of them were friends, so that made it more comfortable.  I sold four books. 

I am also teaching myself rug hooking.  I know what I want to do, but I am antsy.  I don't quite have the skills to make it work, but I am trying hard.  I am also teaching myself punch needle embroidery. I like that a lot, too.

I also have a lot of creative ideas for some other projects.  I suddenly have more projects all over the place.  I guess that is why my spinning and knitting have slowed down.  I have discovered Pinterest, and I am busy hoarding photos for inspiration.

I also have plans to finish those two quilts that I started two years ago and never finished. 

So I better get busy and do some of this, I guess.  Have a good rest of the week.  Gibbs is on tonight.Yay!