Monday, December 26, 2016

Stories and Memories

I really believe in stories.  Everything we do every day is a story just waiting to be told.  Maybe you are like me and not really sociable. So write down the story.

Memories are there all the time.  This time of year is always filled for memories.  Memories of friends and family and past Christmases.  And wondering about what someone you know is doing this year.  Memories.

It's funny.  I think this leads to the same discussion I have had about dreams.  People tell me all the time they don't dream.  Everyone dreams.  Our pitiful human brains that we think are so marvelous have to have "down time".  Unfortunately neurologists have found that our brains don't really "rest".  It just processes everything that has gone on during the awake time since the last sleep time. 

Some of us do have fabulous dreams.  I remember dreams and I write them down.  I participated in a "dream study" 40+ years ago when I worked in an emergency room.  The researchers were studying people who work in stressful emergency situations-ER personnel, ambulance drivers, policemen, firemen, etc.   Everyone volunteered me. 

I remember that they only wanted to know the emotion of a dream, not the actual content of the dream.  It lasted six months.  I kept my faithful diary, and I think I was the most active participant.  One of the researchers would meet with us monthly, collect the diaries, and give us new diaries.  After three months it became clear that mine was different from the others. 

I met with the doctors that were conducting the research.  They would ask me specific questions about my diaries.  I think they were amazed that I could actually remember details the dreams.  Finally one of them said my dreams were cyclical.  It was a female researcher who said she thought my dreams were in sync with the moon cycles.  They followed up with that and it was. 

See-another memory.  I know it has nothing to do with the season, but a memory that came out into a story.

I listen to audio books while I spin and knit.  I don't like a complicated story that I have to pay that much attention to.  So a story is spun into the yarn or knitted into the fabric.  Not just my story of it's life history, but from words being read to it. 

Speaking of knitting, my handspun project is on the verge of being frogged.  I ran out of blue handspun.  I ordered some yarn that I was hoping would be close.  It isn't.  It leaves a definite stripe that would be fine if I had enough of the original blue to finish out the second front piece.  I don't.  Ugh.  I guess I will try to make a pillow out of the back.  Or frog the whole damn thing.  I don't know yet.

I have finished 12 hexagons of Persian Dreams.  I am now going to start putting some together.  I want to see how it looks.  I need a little break and that would be a nice thing to do. 

I am spinning yak/silk and it is wonderful.  I am thinking happy thoughts about this bit of nice yarn.  I don't know what it will be, but it feels nice.

The afghan is growing, but I only work on it occasionally.  Maybe I just need to focus on it for a while and get it done.  Maybe.

We have had a nice two weeks of a warm up in the weather.  There has been a bit of rain, and lots of grayish clouds.  Out of the two weeks maybe two or three full days of sun.  It is just so nice to not have cold, freezing rain, or snow.  I think they predict another one of those artic fronts to head south by the middle of next week.  Sigh!  The cold is so miserable.

Well, I guess the year is at an end.  We are heading to a new year by next Sunday.  I know my year is different than the calendar year, but it is still a contemplative time.  One must focus some on plans for the next year.  I have some serious thinking to do in 2017.  It will be my 69th year in this lifetime. I must think of how I want to spend my next decade. 

Helen Mirren said that 2016 has been a pretty shitty year all around.  We lost a lot of our artists and we elected a new president.  Things will only be interesting from this time forward with him.  We have lost a few of our scientists, too, and their loss will be felt. 

Happy New Year-and on to 2017.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas Week!

Isn't it amazing how some people actually count down from June to Christmas?  I really don't do that any more.  It used to be such an ordeal to think of presents and wrapping and decorating and cooking. Now it is just another day. 

I really like to celebrate Solstice instead.  I love the idea of this day being the turning point for the return of light to our lives.  I intellectually know that every day there is a teeny bit more light added to each day until June 21.  Unfortunately my primitive brain takes over in late February and March.  I am screaming for more light, more warmth, and Spring to hurry up and come.

I love that thousands and thousands of years ago, my ancestors were sitting around fires and telling stories, and probably drinking a lot to get through the dark nights.  There is nothing romantic about it. They are dirty and smelly and die young.  They just know that on that day it is a day to celebrate the return of the light.

I do bake cookies for the mailman.  I put them in the mailbox with a note of thanks.  I try to do a few other gratitude things.  Otherwise, this is just another week. 

We finally have a winter day today.  It was 4 degrees at 7 am.  It snowed last night.  It is only a covering, but it is pretty.  It is the kind of snow that sparkles in the sun.  Oh-yeah!  We have sunshine today.  I am beyond ecstatic. Yesterday I did go around and replace light bulbs. It helps some.

I am now on my 12th hexagon.  They are fun to knit, but I do give myself a break in between them.  I somehow thought 3 days a good time for a break. 

I had to put my handspun project on hold.  I realize I am not going to have enough of the blue yarn.  I am spinning some more yarn that I hope can be blended in.  It is merino and the yarn I have been using is targhee.  The targhee takes the dye differently.  We will see.  If it doesn't look right to me, I will have to take everything out and reblock it for another project.  Oh, well. 

I am still knitting on the afghan in stripes.  It is probably 1/3 the way done.  I will see how far the yarn goes and stop.

Otherwise, I decided to spin up the yak/silk blend I have been hoarding for a while.  It is really luscious.  It spins so easily.  It is a brown mix.  I would recommend this for anyone.

I also have been weaving a bit on my ribbon tapestry.  Not going very fast, but getting it going is important.

I have two receiving blankets cut out for my neighbor's project for ACH.  Just need to sew, wash, and press.

So not a lot going on, but I am making steady progress on projects.

Most of my day has been making sure the bird feeders are filled and there is water for them to drink.

Hopefully your Christmas week will not be so hectic that you can't enjoy the season.  Enjoy the sun and light when we get it.  After Wednesday it will be a little lighter each day! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Grammar is so funny!

On a local NPR program, there is often a woman who reports on grammar.  She is called the Radical Grammarian.  Today was a discussion on the word healthy and healthful.  We often say I eat a healthy diet.  How can a diet be healthy?  Healthy implies that it is alive.  It is supposed to be  I eat a healthful diet.  I hate that we are all so lazy that we talk in poor grammar.

Which goes to say, I am not interested in being correct.  I know in my writing that I should care.  It isn't all about commas anymore.  Unfortunately I write just like I talk.  And obviously I am not being correct.

It does goes all over me when I hear a young anchor on t.v. say something that is totally so WRONG.  Yesterday I was standing at a window when I heard something so wrong.  I turned around and yelled at the t.v.," no, no, no.  That is an adverb, not an adjective." 

So I guess I do care a little bit about something so obvious.  I haven't got the energy to determine if I need a clarifier or whatever.  I talk lazily, and my fault that I don't care.  See, I used the adverb, not the adjective.

I am almost done with #10 hexagon.  My right hand has been aching this week with the weather all over the place.  Also my right knee has been talking to me today.  It is dark and gloomy out.  Thankfully it is not bitter, bitter cold.

I am also halfway through the first side piece for the jacket.  It is going fairly quickly.

I have great ambitions to do more, but I can't seem to make myself get going.  My neighbor has organized a charity to make quilts for the new Children's Hospital that is to open next year.  She gave me some flannel that was donated to her.  I think there is ample in the piece to make two receiving blankets.

My friend CF is being dragged into the 20th Century.  No, not the 21st yet.  Her daughter has mounted a large HD flat screen t.v. on her wall.  She is getting her mother hooked up to internet so she can access Netflix.  She has her on a list to receive DVDs.  It is too funny.  CF has adamantly refused to have anything to do with computers or computerized anything.  She still uses a landline.  She gets too confused with cell phones.  Thank goodness BL is going to spend the Thanksgiving visit to teach her how to access her account, add to her list, etc.  I love her password.  It is typical of BL to come up with that.  My friend told me in case she loses the paper that she wrote it on. 

We are having unusually warm weather.  We had two little freezes with the day temps in the 50's and 60's.  It is extremely weird.  I have been holding my breath waiting for the winter to settle in.  I am grateful that I have had time to do my outdoor chores.  I finally closed up all the vents under the house.  The hoses were disconnected a long time ago.  I am waiting one last time to empty the back gutters under the box elder tree.

Well, I have to go fill the bird feeders again.  Keep moving.  That's the only advice this week.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Do You Take Breaks!

I belong to some groups on Facebook that are about knitting, spinning, weaving, and dyeing.  One of the questions that came up yesterday evening was "Do you take breaks with your knitting?"  This particular group is about knitting Persian Dreams.  It is a difficult thing to knit, but everyone is addicted to his own little hexagon world. 

The woman who posted the question has gone five days without knitting anything.  She says she isn't sad or upset, but she really is enjoying "not knitting".  She, of course, has young children that are in sports and other activities.  She also mentioned she has been bingeing on Candy Crush.

A while back I found myself obsessed with these hexagons.  As soon as one is washed and blocking I was onwards to another.  My hands got tired of managing the colorwork.  I am also knitting other projects, so I was trying to fit them into the schedule.

I suddenly pulled back. I give myself a three day break in between the hexagons.  I pick up the blanket or the sweater if I have to knit.  Yesterday I did not knit all day.

Today I laid out my eight that are completed and studied the colors.  I know what color I have to go to next.  I haven't gotten number 9 pattern out yet.  I just wanted to think about colors.

I am listening and watching a Rebecca Mezoff weaving class.  And I am finished with the purple roving I found that I had stashed away.  I am listening to Armand Gamache mysteries on audiobooks from the library.  I have listened to two of those this week.  I have read four books this week. 

Of course, all of this keeps me from turning on the t.v. and hearing the crap that is being hashed out there on the news.  I have limited my time on Facebook.  I do enjoy certain computer games, but that's when I take a break.  I haven't been watching as much Netflix as I normally do. 

So do we listen to ourselves and take breaks when our hands or our eyes or our backs or our families tell us it is time to do so?  I hope most people do.  I remember the "old days" prior to shows that I would make myself sick working crazy hours to finish the last pieces, label them, price them, etc.  No more of that.  I am not on a time schedule any more. 

I will say that I do set a goal to completely finish one hexagon in a week.  According to many of the others, that is slow knitting.  I just don't like to sit and knit all day long. 

If the weather keeps up, I may be mowing the yard one more time.  It has been coolish in the mornings and late evenings, but it is warm in the day time.  Little or no rain lately.  I have been watching for the first frost, but none so far.  Weird!

I guess I just wanted to expound on the question of the day.  Do You Take Breaks!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Almost All Chores Completed

I am strong enough this year to do my Fall chores.  Thank God(dess) that the doctor took me off the statins.  I have only one or two things to do yet, but it isn't as if they are pressing.  Today I got the fuel stabilizer in the riding mower and she is draped with her cover and ready for a winter's nap.

I am on my 7th hexagon now, and it is interesting to see how these colors play out.  Here are the first six.  That last one-lime and turquoise and purple- started with some handspun for the white part.  I had just a little teeny ball and wanted to experiment.  Close up it is obviously not the smooth worsted spun mill yarn.

I can't seem to get Blogger to work right.  For some reason it started out in the center of the line.
This morning I heard a white-throated sparrow.  This is always an indicator of changing seasons.  I just kept on filling up feeders and water stations.  For some reason the birds like the dog watering bowl on the deck instead of the official bird bath.  I also put a shallow dish my friend CF made a long, long, long time ago out front.  I see birds bathing in that a lot, and sometimes I see squirrels and chipmunks drinking. 
See how it is doing this crazy thing.
We have had 80's for a number of days.  It was fine the day that it was gusting 40 mph winds.  But yesterday and today it is HOT and HUMID!  I hate being all hot and sticky in mid-October.  I know that I absolutely hate cold that lasts and lasts.  But I don't want to be hot and sticky in October. 
I have been revisiting some books that I am not sure if I have read on the library audiobook selections. If it turns out I have read them a while back, I will still listen.  If for some reason I remember how the mystery turns out, I return it.  It is amazing to me how listening to a book makes it a different book than one that I have actually read.  I guess our imaginations really do fill in gaps as we read.  I like that part of reading.  I just find it entertaining to listen when I work.
Supposedly a front is coming in with cooler temps and rain.  We have occasional clouds moving overhead.  A frog was singing for rain earlier. 
I have pulled out all my cat fabrics and I am amazed at the amount that I have.  I didn't even count the smaller pieces from my cat quilt.  I think it is time to make a child's quilt for my neighbor's charity.
Noodles has been really busy killing rodents.  His teeth are so bad that he can't quite eat them like he used to.  But he can still KILL the darn things.  It is gross, but it is nature.
I am knitting a jacket finally.  I am using my blue handspun that is larger than my normal handspun.  It is soft and squishy and I am really liking it.  It is simply large mitered squares.  The first row is a triangle, a square, and a half-square.  The second row is three squares.  I am on the middle row.  Then the third row is a square, a half-square, and a triangle.  It is fascinating to see how it coming out.
I am also still knitting on the stripe-y blanket.  I love the colors in this one.  Not sure who it will go to.  I am sure I will find a deserving home somewhere.  I always find a good home.
So I am now making myself a toasted cheese sandwich.  I am a tad bit hungry.  Have a good rest of the week and a good weekend.  Just not 80 degrees, please.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

It's Been A While

I am no longer a regular writer on this blog.  It doesn't really interest me as it once did. 

Yes, I am a hermit, a curmudgeon, and I like living in a peaceful routine of my own choosing.

Sometimes I am pulled away by others.  Sometimes I am pulled away by things I read or see or hear. 

For the most part Noodles and I are peacefully co-existing in our lives together.  (He is in my lap now as I type).

I have a friend that is a little off center.  She has had a very traumatized life and she does not deal with it well.  She and I met some friends yesterday, and today she has built a part of the conversation into a conspiracy to prevent her from learning something or getting something - or something.  She called this a.m. to discuss her feelings.  It took quite some time for me to understand what she was talking about.  I clarified what I heard in the conversation. 

It also made me realize that my life is simple, peaceful, and not quite so dramatic. For that I am most grateful.

I am presently knitting Persian Dreams.  It is a series of hexagons that are knit in color work.  Each is different.  Each is designed to represent Persian tiles.  My hex's don't look like tiles.  They are just pretty.  I have completed six, and #7 is on the needles.

I have also started a jacket made with handspun.  I like it.  It is squishy and soft and rather pretty.  I am not sure it would make anyone else happy, but it is making me happy making it.

I am also knitting a ripple blanket using six colors.  I also like it.  I don't know who sill get it when it is done.  Of course, I spent a long time the other night un-knitting (tinking) six rows to find a mistake.  I never found the mistake, but my numbers were right.  So I started knitting again.  It is coming out correct this time.  I have made up the part that I tinked.

I have also discovered some pretty purple-ly merino that I had in the drawer.  After I divided it out, I have spun and plied one skein.  It is time to get to the next bit so I can finish out the roving.  I love the colors in this one.

I have listed to several books on tape while I have knit, spun, and rested my eyes with a warm compress.  I am into some of the J.A. Jance books I haven't read.  I also have a new Hamish McBeth mystery audiobook on Hold at the library.  When I checked tonight I am next on the list.  It has been two months since I placed it on hold.  I continue to read my Kindle at night before bed.

I have been preparing for winter, and today was "drying apples" day.  I like to snack on the dried apples, but they are also good in oatmeal.  I have made apple butter.  Applesausce is next.  I think I still have one container in the freezer that needs to be eaten soon.

I have been cleaning gutters, trimming trees away from the house, and trying to get things done that have to get done before cold.  I did get the furnace checked and ready.  I still have to put the stuff in the gas tanks of the mowers that keeps them from separating and the water freezing.  Whatever that is called.  There are some plants I need to transplant.  Nothing urgent now.  Just a few chores.

I guess I can say that my life is moving slowly and steadily.  Nothing earth shaking going on.  I still don't know exactly what the phone call was about this a.m.  I just listened and didn't try to stir the pot too much. 

I found a light blue cashmere scarf at a thrift store, and I am studying it.  I think I need to dye it somehow.  Don't know yet.

My neighbor has started some of us making quilts for the new children's hospital scheduled to open next year.  I pulled out my "cat prints" and I have tons.  I think I can make at least one, maybe two.  I am going to make courthouse steps quilt as you go.  It is easy once the pieces are cut and prepped. 

So sorry I haven't care enough to write.  Really there is nothing exciting going on.  Just routine chores and knitting and spinning, and sewing going on.  I will say it is time to prepare for winter, although it is 80 degrees outside tomorrow.  It won't last.

Happy Full Moon.  Enjoy the moonlight and thank Grandmother Moon for blessing us tonight.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Labor Day-2016

I guess I have been waiting for summer to get here all summer.  Our usual weather of 100+ degrees for days and days and days with 100% humidity never appeared.  We certainly had our awful high temps that made the "feels like" temp 100.  Then we would go through a spell of rain and cooler temps.  I guess 80 degrees doesn't feel like cooler to some folks.  Usually by July the drought comes, the grass slows down, the flowers are over, the trees look parched and a lot of leaves dry up.  Not this year.  It has rained more than normal.  The trees are green and lush and I have been mowing weekly.

Now we have had cooler weather for a while.  In August!  It is always one of the hottest months.  We actually got down in the low 50's at night!  Of course, the daytime would heat up to high 80's.

This week we are supposed to have normal temps in the high 80's and low 90's.  I had to turn the overhead fan back on in the bedroom last night.  It is just too strange and too weird.

I have finished two hexagons in the Persian Dreams blanket.  I am on number three.  So far the colors on this one is my favorite.  I am also still working on the Stripey Blanket.  It is worsted weight yarn and is knitting much faster. 

I am plying the second skein of the roving I bought in Kelleyville at the fiber show.  I love the odd lime green that is shot throughout.  I think it is cheerful.  The fiber blends are easy to spin.  It is merino, Polworth and silk.  I now have a nice collection of blue yarns. 

I am think that perhaps I can use all these blue handspun yarns in a knitted jacket.  I am looking at Melody Johnson's Mitered Diamond Jacket.  I think it would be a way to blend some of the blues I have spun.  I don't have enough of one color, but I think the many skeins could combine easily.  Still thinking on this.

I have decided to cancel my trip to Taos.  I know I can drive that far without a problem-except for the tired factor.  I don't think it would be enjoyable if I have to really push myself to drive, drive, drive. It comes down to "at what price" are you willing to push yourself.  It has been a very difficult decision to make.  It also means a reality check is in place.  "No, you are no longer 40 years old."  Ugh!  That one is hard. 

Noodles is another consideration.  I know I can find someone to house/cat sit.  It would be difficult for him, but he can adjust.  I am noticing changes in him lately that indicate his age.  Two old folks living in one house.  UGH! 

I also remember that once I started seeing changes in Patty, I started being more vigilant about her care.  He is the same now.  I know it is silly to some that "he is only a cat".  I am his caregiver.  I took on the responsibility to see that he is cared for.  It is my responsibility to make sure he is safe and loved and has the quality of life he deserves.  It doesn't mean I have to do crazy things; it means I just have to be aware.

I am noticing that I spend more time trying to figure out where he is during the day.  I don't intrude on his space.  This morning I saw the wild cat sitting by the burn barrel across the yard.  Noodles was unaware that Mr. Stinky was watching him and me.  I looked out the window several times just watching.

I have been reading more-again- and I have been listening to audible books while I knit or spin.  I really like that my library has the "cloud" system and I can just download it to the computer.  I can listen on my IPad while knitting or my computer while spinning.

I noticed that my eating is beginning to change with the cooler weather.  Yesterday I heated up some leftover rice and put some milk, sugar, and cinnamon on it.  Voila!  Rice cereal.  Soon it will be time for oatmeal.  I guess I eat way too much toast with peanut butter, but that is my go-to breakfast.  Cheese is my go-to snack.  Soon-hot cereals.  I made a meatloaf last night.  That's cooler weather food.  Aren't human beings the strangest creatures?

I went back to weaving on the ribbon weaving.  I think I have un-woven more on this loom than any loom I have ever had.  It is a strange feeling to not quite get what I want.  I guess I am so used to overshot and harness-weaving that is so structured.  It is varied by colors and textures.  I am usually ahead of the game with that. 

I know I am getting more rigid about some things.  I follow the patterns pretty closely.  I vary a few things.  I am unsure if it is rigidity or fear of change or fear of spontaneity or laziness or what it is.
It's okay in my world, but I don't want it spilling over to other people's worlds. 

September is the change month.  We have Fall arriving the 22nd.  Officially anyway.  Then soon October.  I saw on Facebook- "This is the beginning of the Ber months."  What a pun!

I guess I have procrastinated enough.  Time to get spinning.  I am almost through with this plying.

Happy Labor Day!  I am still going to wear white if I want to.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Light Is Changing

It is the second week of August.  I noticed that there has been a shift in the light and that there is a change in the yard.  Sometimes I can complain continuously of the rainy-ness that makes lawn  mowing a necessity.  I know that we are blessed to have rain.  I know intellectually that rain is a blessing.  It isn't a blessing to wait until 7pm or 7:30 pm to mow because of the heat.  Taking a shower can't take the stickiness away. Rain also equates higher humidity.

Yet, the light has shifted.  The cicadas and crickets are noisy.  The web worms are making bigger and bigger messes.  Leaves are beginning to break away and fly around through the air.  The robins have migrated back.  I have seen large groups of blackbirds migrating through.

All these minute changes that one takes for granted.  It really sneaks up on us.  We are so used to summer and we isolate ourselves in our air-conditioned spaces.  Yet-when one sits quietly on a porch or outside, the changes are all around us. 

I don't want to be one of those people who suddenly realize it is time to get the woolens out.  I want to notice all the changes that move us towards the woolens. We only have about six weeks until Autumnal Equinox.  I want to feel and hear and smell and see the changes.

So, I finally finished the second pair of Roxanne's socks.  I told her I am taking a break from sock knitting.  She has a fantasy going that I am going to be her personal sock knitter.  I am going to figure out a way to get out of this gracefully.

I started knitting Persian Tiles, but I am not doing much knitting.  I also picked up the Striped Blanket again.  It is going fast.  It is worsted weight yarn on bigger needles.  I find that larger needles make my hands tired.  So really not a lot of knitting.

I went to Fiber Christmas in July, and I was really good.  I did buy two braids of roving of different colorways.  I am combining them into a really pretty yarn.  I finished my book on tape, and so I stopped yesterday at the end of that.  It is satisfying to me to listen as I spin.  I love my library loaning system over the internet.

I have also been watching some of the Olympics.  I finally realized what it is about the televised mess that was off-putting the last Olympics.  The commentators pick and choose what they show to their audience and they tell all these stories. I love when they build up all this crap about the athlete and then interview them after an event.  The poor athlete is trying to catch a breath and normalize his body systems.  The silly cow sticks a microphone into the athlete's face and asked a stupid question. Last night she asked Michael Phelps about pre-race jitters with his opponent doing something stupid right in front of him.  Michael Phelps looked perplexed and looked at the monitor. "Oh, I wasn't even noticing that.  I was just watching the race before mine on the monitor."  He smiles and walks off.  No drama there.

I finally had enough and turned on Netflix.

Noodles is beginning to show signs of change.  I am trying a state of denial and making up excuses for his silly behavior.  I am also beginning to get glimpses of truth edging in.  He is much more needy than he has ever been.  He is still killing, just not eating as much of the wild.  I guess it is inevitable that his age is beginning to show.

I am going to stop now.  I need to shower and get ready for an appointment in town today.  I decided to combine several errands that can be done in that part of town.  Ugh!  I hate traffic in Fayetteville.  It is just going to get worse as the college students trickle back for Fall semester.  Another sign of age creeping in on me, I guess.

No new news on the brother front.  B is still traveling with his job.  He also spends a lot of free time on his boat with his dog.  K hasn't  shared anything more about L.  She is so extremely secretive.

CJE and AE are going to Sante Fe for a week.  Time for AE's birthday trip to the Opera.

CF is thrilled that I ordered her a new practice book on her flute.

And my LYS should be back from holiday. 

Nothing else new on the home front.

It is time also for the Tontitown Grape Festival.  Will have to stay away from that part of town.

Stay cool and get out to notice changes around you.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Independence Day Eve!

Some days messages arrive in the strangest ways.  I watched an amazing movie last night, August, Osage County.  It makes my dysfunctional family seem like nothing.  Of course, my dysfunctional problem was holding it all inside so we were not confrontational.  That's why I created anorexia as my control.  I don't like to think about it too much. 

Then a sweet young woman that is someone I have watched grow up and develop her own anorexia problem sent me a link on Facebook.  It was about questions to ask yourself when you grow up with a non-loving mother.

I won't go into my deepest thoughts.  The message is there; I will explore it today in private.

I did discuss some with one friend who said, "Both of our mothers are dead.  Shouldn't all that stuff just go away, too?"  Hmmmm.

So we had the most wonderful rain this morning.  Lots and lots of water and cool air.  It was so nice to stand at the back door and just smell the cleanness of the air.  That's an awkward sentence.  Should it be cleanliness?  I don't know.

I finished the first pair of socks for RB in California.  I am waiting for her to get them, try them on, and then she will decide to reorder another pair.  Of course, I have already cast on a pair and I am almost finished with the cuff of the first one.  I love the colorway in the yarn.  I am tempted to keep them, but I already have so many pairs.  It could be a hoarding problem.

Noodles did the funniest thing last night.  I leave the back door open until I go to bed.  He has a thing about going out on the deck in the dark.  It is "his deck".  I am watching the movie, knitting on the sock, and he steps around the corner and stares at me.  "What?"   He only said one "Meower!" and turned around and left.  I kept knitting, and he returned, stared and another yelp.  Only one sound.  In my imagination I was hearing, "Mooooom!" the way teenagers say can stretch it out into three or four syllables.  "Let me get to the end of the row."  I kept knitting.  He returned once more and was much more insistent with this yelp. "MOOOOOM!"  So I threw down the knitting, and rushed into the kitchen. 

All I could see was that Mr. Stinky, the wild kitty, had come in the back door and emptied his food bowl.  I assured him that I would refill his bowl and that it wasn't a tragedy.  He glanced out the door.  That's when I noticed Mr. Stinky was on the deck.  He slithered over the edge to escape.  I stood at the doorway telling him to just leave Noodles' food alone.  He needed to go away now.  Then I assured Noodles that Mr. Stinky was gone and he was okay to go out to his deck.

Animals are so funny.  I guess since I have lived with mine for almost 16 years that I know his communications and he knows mine. 

I also finished my hat. 

It is a traditional Fair Isle Fisherman's Kep.  I am waiting until it dries before I put the tassel on. It is a project to support the museum in Shetland.  I bought the basic pattern from them, and you are free to put whatever patterns you want on it.  I used some of my handspun and some leftovers from my Spindrift stash.  Bits and Bobs.

So right now I am only working on the blanket and this new pair of socks.  It seems odd to not have a major project going on. 

I finished my Targhee roving.  I used two different colorways, and for some reason there is more brown in one skein.  I am pleased with the results.  I made it a bit thicker than I normally do.  I only got 588 yards out of it all.  Enough to do a small project.  I have been thinking I want to make Harmonia's Rings.  I bought the pattern about 8 years ago.  Maybe.  I'm thinking.

I just like the blues in this batch.  The color is correct in the photo.  A bit of dark, a bit of medium, and an almost turquoise light.  Then the golden brown mixed in.  If one searches enough there is a slight bit of green where the yellow and blue touch.  I like it.

I guess I should get on with my day.  I have been totally lazy with the rain and coolness coming in the windows.  It is time to move and get going.  YAWN! 

Have a good 4th of July!  Happy Independence Day!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Whole Lot Nothing Going On!

I guess we sailed through May.  Perhaps literally.  I think that was the wettest May in a long, long time.  Luckily I live on a dried up hillside of carst limestone.  It all percolates down and filters into the aquifer.

Then June arrived, still coolish and wet.  The second week of June, summer arrived with heat advisories and the meteorologists talking about dew points and humidity.  Thank the man who invented air conditioning. 

Of course, there is absolutely NOTHING on t.v., so a lot of time is spent reading and listening to audiobooks.  Netflix is not all that interesting either.  I love to spin while listening to an audiobook.  I find that I continue the practice while I am knitting in the evenings.

My health is finally almost back to normal.  I am getting more yard work accomplished, and the yard is fairly trimmed.  I know it isn't to my neighbor's standards, but I am pleased at the work I have accomplished this season.  The sad thing is the push mower I use for trim work is deceased.  It didn't survive hitting the crosstie.  I did buy a new battery for the weedeater, and it is working like a charm.

I am noticing that I don't seem to have a lot of honeybees.  Most bumblebees.  Hmmm. I also don't have a lot of hummigbirds.  The downy woodpeckers drink more syrup than anyone.

The feral cat that was eating me out of house and home found the cat door last winter.  I started locking the outside door on the porch to keep him from coming in the house, eating, and spraying.  Of course, now that summer is here, Noodles wants to go out and be in the cool hunting time of the night.  He yowls and protests and tries so hard to get me to let him OUT!  Even though he is almost sixteen years old, he is an active hunter.  He also still fights and he and Mr. Stinky got into a fight the other day.  I try to explain to him that if he gets an infection from the nasty cat, he could get very sick.  He just yowls.

I have slowed my knitting on the Fisherman Kep.  I am knitting a pair of socks for someone and I want to get those done.  I don't know why I have such a hard time with the second sock.  It isn't Second Sock Syndrome.  It is more like, "This is boring, I just want to get this done, why isn't it going faster, oops, that doesn't look right, " and then I slow down.

That leads me to all these internal dialogs one has with oneself.  I find that I talk a lot to myself, I comment to myself all the time, and I find that I have to be really careful when I am in the grocery store.  Sometimes I suddenly realize I am singing out loud to the music overhead and discussing my grocery list with myself.  I only realize it when someone is staring at me.  Oh, well.

I haven't been dyeing.  I want to set up an indigo dyepot, but my get up and go hasn't gotten up yet.
I talked to CP from my LYS about sprinkle or speckle dyeing.  Maybe I should do some for her.  I think I will call her next week.  Maybe that will get me going.

I have been doing a bit more sketching.  I am following a class online, and that is fun.  I also have been doing a bit more weaving. 

Although it seems I have a lot of things going on, I don't seem to be getting anything done.  I think it is part of the summer time heat doldrums.  I don't know that I need an excuse, tho'.

My friend CJE has made a most beautiful jacket from her handwoven fabric.  It is a challenge piece from an exchange within the guild.  I think she did a really great job.  I am rather envious that she can see the project completed and done.  She can use it when she goes to Sante Fe.

My friend Beth Brown-Reinsel is teaching at the Taos Wool Festival this year.  So we have plans of meeting up and visiting for a coupla days.  I am really looking forward to that.  It will be a fun trip.

So I guess that sorta catches me up.  I feel like a slug because I am not getting a lot done.  I am happy to be able to still manage my yard work.  That is satisfying.  I will finish the second sock this week.  I will start decreasing on my Kep.  So I do have goals that are manageable. 

Stay cool.  Stay happy.  Stay healthy.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Every Day Is Earth Day!

 My new pedestal sink in the hall bathroom.  Perfect size!
 The new flooring in the hall bathroom!  Perfect!
The bedroom flooring.  Perfect!
And now there is a match of the flooring in the bedroom and bathroom.  No more carpet and linoleum!  That was pretty gross!  Now it is perfect!

My neighbors wanted to get new flooring.  She had already replaced one room-the family room-and she wanted all of it to match!  Of course, I don't understand the matching stuff, but I was the recipient of their old flooring.  What a wonderful gift and a wonderful way to recycle the old. 

We had some major hiccoughs along the way with the contractor company.  What was going to be a two day job at their house and a two day job at my house turned into three weeks.  I will not go into that ordeal.  It will ruin the good feelings I have for my clean new flooring.  I am so happy to have that nasty carpeting up. 

So recycled flooring is in.  I have a bit of work to complete everything.  I need to caulk the baseboards and paint them.  Eventually.  Today I am tired and I am just going to look at the pretty new floor.

I am on the toe of the first sock for my friend OSM.  Her house burned and I can't go to California to help.  I can knit socks.  So I am making the prettiest purple socks that can be found anywhere.  The color is gradated subtle-y from deep purple to a dark burgundy purple to purple to lilac to pinky purple.  Really nice dye job.  The colors are in short stripes that make dashes around the foot instead of stripes.  I love it.

I also started knitting a blanket in a striped chevron pattern.  I like it too. 

So maybe my knitting blahs are abating.  I did get the pattern booklet from Shetland for The Fair Isle Fisherman's Kep Pattern.  I am kinda getting excited to start that.  I want to finish the socks first.  Of course, I am thinking of colors and imagining the colors I want to use.  When I get to actual color choosing, it will all be different anyway.  I am thinking I want it made with handspun.  I don't know, tho', I have a whole lot of Shetland Spindrift.  Hmm.....  See how this works.  A lot of thinking and thinking to do. 

I mowed the yard last evening.  This is the period I call creative mowing.  This year I have left patches of bachelor buttons, but they are few and far between.  I don't know why that is.  Some of them have spindly stalks and look sad.  So I guess attrition has reached that population.  The hollyhocks are not doing so well, either.  I don't know why.  The Solomon's seal is doing great!  The irises haven't bloomed yet.  The comfrey is doing exceptionally well where I moved it last year.  It is quite happy.  I noticed the catnip has a bunch of little black bugs on it, and it is also covered with lady bugs.  I can't spray it with the lady bugs there and Noodles eats the leaves regularly.  The tansy is now officially gone feral.  The mugwort is not as thick as it has been in the past.  The lamb's ears I got last year are exceptionally happy.  The Echinacea and the coreopsis are slowly growing along.  I haven't seen my milkweed this year. I don't seem to do well with that.  I had an exceptionally pretty display from all the violets this year.  I know that a list of all the plants would bore anyone to death. 

It is such an odd Spring this year.  I don't know yet how that has affected the plant population. I have something new in the weed world this year growing in the back yard.  It grows thickly and quickly.  When I mowed it last evening, my eyes burned and tears streamed down my face.  My mucus membranes were telling me pepper plants of some kind.  You know that feeling you get when you are processing hot peppers and want to get the seeds out?  That's how my eyes were feeling.

I have gotten about two-thirds done on the second bobbin on the spinning wheel.  I am spinning some pretty blue targhee.  I will probably have enough to do something with when I complete it all.  I think there is close to eleven or twelve ounces of wool to begin with.  I divided it into 6 balls to make three skeins all total.  I'll see how it turns out.  While I was sitting patiently (not) during the flooring ordeal I was able to spin and listen to an audiobook. 

I have a new phone.  So great!  Another computer to deal with.  It is amazing what one can do with a phone!  Mine is just an entry level phone, but it is more than I can deal with most of the time.  I haven't figured out how to access voicemail.  That's the only glitch-so far.

Well-off to knit a toe.  I am taking it somewhat easy today.  I had a restless night, and I awoke tired.  Noodles is so insistent that I feed him and open the damn door-right now!  It is almost time to think about some lunch.  I am eating a lot lately.

Oh-I had the echocardiogram this past week.  I will have to wait until I go to cardiologist to find out the results.  Since he took me off statins, I have been feeling really energetic and almost normal.  Yay!

I am still walking on the treadmill daily-except on the days I do a LOT of yardwork. 

So lunchtime.  Yum!  A piece of chicken is waiting on me.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Flooring, Cleaning, and First Weavings

My neighbors have generously offered their old flooring when they replace with new flooring.  It is laminate, yes, but they have cared for it and it is still in great shape.  It is a floating floor, which is nice.  I know 15 years ago I would have installed it myself.  I will now explain why I am going to hire an installer.

Last evening I went over to their house, retrieved the measurements of their rooms - yes rooms- and I roughly estimated my rooms.  I think I have enough for all three bedrooms, my studio room, and both bathrooms.  Yes-all that!

I stood in my studio space and just sighed.  It is so crowded and junked up.  I have been procrastinating organizing and doing a good cleaning.  Hmmmph!  Now I will do for a reason.  I think I am going to do some purging of fleeces and some of the wool I keep ignoring.  It is time.  I am going to pack all the books so they will be easily handled.  The shelving can be taken apart.  Sigh!

So I started today on my bedroom.  There are only three pieces of furniture and a stool.  I put all the books that were under the nightstand in a box.  I finally got the chest of drawers unearthed.  I moved it into the sewing room. 

I washed my sample piece of overshot I had on the nightstand.  I don't remember a story to go with it.  I held onto it because it is pretty.  Just a sample.

The one piece of weaving I do remember a story is the Navaho woven piece.  It is a "first weaving"  I was at a labor day event.  While wandering around the vendors I saw a Navaho lady with her rugs.  She seemed out of place with all the kitch stuff surrounding her booth.  I started talking to her.  I kept looking at a weaving.  "Oh, you don't want that.  It's a first weaving."   I told her that was why I wanted it.  The beating is uneven, the edges aren't straight, and the pattern is basically a simple geometric. 

It is very, very stiff.  It is standing up all by itself for the picture.

I am having a terrible time with Blogger today.  Oh, well, I just wanted to share these two simple weavings-one is mine, one is a "first weaving" of an unknown weaver.

I did get three skeins of yarn dyed.  It was a mess for two days.  I like the cheery Pantone color of the year.  I would not have known that, but fortunately there are people on Facebook who follow those things. 

I also wanted to share a picture of the roadrunner on the roof, but I am having a terrible time posting pictures today.  I was in the back yard, heard him call, looked around, and there he was.  He was cuckooing for love.  He and I had a great conversation until he finally left.  I am sure he went over to the neighbors and visited them.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

I Have Almost Recuperated

This past week I have had to ride a roller coaster of emotions and deep down feelings about blood family, obligation to said family, and solutions to these rambling regurgitations of memories.

For the most part I have settled my Life to have my chosen family and my chosen circle of friends. I do talk to the older brother periodically.  It is to assuage his feelings that he is the elder in the family and he should know what is going on.  He knows me, but he doesn't know who I really am or what I really do.

So I found out that my younger brother has not been "doing well" through a Facebook message from his wife.  Essentially this has been going on for a while, but he was getting worse.  So she took him to the ER and they admitted him to the hospital.  He had a stroke.  At the discharge I found out this is his second stroke.  The undiagnosed stroke evidently occurred 4 or 5 years ago when I questioned K. She said that was when he changed.

I will not go into the details of everything.  It is too boring to talk about how to educate the spouse about the changes that occur with strokes.  Luckily he did not have hemiplegia.  I did assess his basic ADL's and he was able to dress, shower, brush his teeth, and shave with an electric razor.  He tied his shoelaces.  His greatest loss is cognitive.  He has a flat expression on his face.  I am not sure about his ability to read and comprehend.  This brother was the brainiac in the family.  He was reading Edgar Rice Burroughs at age 6. 

So I visited with my former SIL AT one night.  She is in a great depression since her husband's death last Fall.  The next night I stayed with R and H and their two dogs.  That was joyful and made me very happy to see their Life.

I essentially was comatose on Friday.  I almost fell asleep in the lounge chair around three o'clock.  I couldn't think.  I just managed to be awake, eat, and then back to sleep.  I tried to follow my normal routine. 

Yesterday was a joyful day of seeing some friends from the weaving guild celebrate their first book signing.  They researched coverlets, blankets and quilts in the archives of the Shiloh Museum in Springdale.  They published a book through the museum.  It took three years for the book to be birthed- that's including their time in research.

My friend CJE came over early, we ate lunch, and then we went to the museum to watch the opening.  It was a fun day.  I finally feel like I am back on schedule.

Noodles is happy to have his slave back to follow his feeding schedule.  And to have someone open and close doors-even though he has the cat door.  And to have someone to warm up his feet when he has been outside and he is cold.

The birds are ecstatic to have their feeders filled.  I noticed that the cardinals are eating suet along with the woodpeckers.  I guess egg laying is happening.

The weather has turned again to cold.  It was strange to be in Little Rock in 87 degrees in March.  Everything was in bloom, including the azaleas.  I noticed as I drove down I-49 it was gray and wintry looking.  There were pockets of white from the early bloomers.  By the time I got to Ozark on I-40 things were greener.  By the time I got to Clarksville it was green everywhere.  It was such a difference than up here in the mountains. 

My redbuds in the front are in full bloom.  The ones in back are partially open.  There was a Facebook memory posted today from 3 years ago.  My redbuds were just showing pink and were still in tight bud.  So we are early this year.

I am spinning the prettiest blue targhee yarn.  It is a mixture of pale to dark blues and some golden yellow mixed in.  It is making me happy to watch the colors develop.

My knitting is flagging.  I am on the second sock for K.  I just got the yarn I ordered for my friend O's socks.  I think I am going to start knitting squares for a blanket.  I don't want another sweater right now.  I don't need another hat.  I don't need another scarf.  I am not motivated to do a lot.

I am binding the quilted table mat for H and R.  I thought I would finish it while I was in Little Rock.  I didn't.  They are remodeling their kitchen.  So this will be a little something for them.

I am getting interested in dyeing soon.  As the warm weather approaches, my interest rises.  I saw some pretty indigo dyed pieces on Facebook, and that gets me excited.  It is almost time to dye. Come on warm weather.

So today I get back to walking.  I have missed walking every day.  I just couldn't do it the last two days.  Today I feel as if I am almost recuperated from my discombobulating week.  Surely my days will return to the same boring routine that I have established as my normal life.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Sweater That Took Too Long

Yes!  It is finally finished-except for buttons, of course.  It took too damn long to make this thing.  It should have been a quick and easy project.

Everything I make has its own story.  Some stories just linger around in my head, but they are there.  This sweater began a long, long time ago (?two years ago).  A weaver in our guild died and her sisters put her things in an estate sale.  Luckily for us, they brought a LOT of her yarns and tools to a sidewalk sale for our guild prior to a meeting a coupla years ago.  I felt like I had fallen into a fantasy land and I couldn't imagine this much stuff.  Then I realized all the others around me were grabbing things and holding onto things.  Kick yourself into gear, girl!

Have you seen those videos of the brides that go crazy at the wedding dress sales in NYC?  Well, it was like that.  Grabbing, holding onto, and pushing aside others were just part of the action.  I spotted something in one box I wanted.  I started grabbing and pushing yarns aside.  I wanted everything I could find of this yarn.

The red is much deeper in color-a dark red.  First off I have to confess I don't like worsted weight yarns.  These were.  So I got them anyway.  The color, you know.

So milling around in my head all this time is-what am I going to do with these yarns?  I decided a sweater, perhaps.  This is how my brain works.  I put ideas in there, it mills around forever, and eventually an idea will shape itself.  Sometimes it doesn't.  I don't put a lot of faith in the system, but it works for me.

When it gets closer to making a decision-this is a coupla years later, mind you- I peruse Ravelry and other pattern sites.  I look through books I have.  I look at all kinds of things.  The thing holding me back was the yardage I had.  Of the blue there was only 875yards; the red had 346 yards.  Not really enough to make a sweater.  Combined there was 1221 yards, which is enough, but how to decide to combine the two colors.  I thought of color-stranded.  Discarded that idea.  I thought of all kinds of things.  I was just so afraid I would run out of blue.  The blue yarn is Tahki Wools Windsor Tweed.  It is a discontinued yarn.  This was it for the blue.  I was pretty sure I could get more of the red if I tried super-duper extra hard.  Hmmm.

So here I am with my friend CJE at The Yarn Barn in Kansas.  We are just like little kids in a candy store.  I didn't have anything I HAD to have.  Suddenly I was in the Tahki and tweedy yarn area.  I saw some red that kinda looked like what I remembered mine looked like.  I started picking up balls of yarn and laying them around.  I was really thinking hard.  It was like the puzzles were beginning to slide into place.  I decided it would be a simple, top-down raglan cardigan.  It would be simple to make.  It would be plain ole sweater.  I would make stripes with the red and this brown and this brown.  I had my idea in place.  So I bought the two browns-knowing fully that they were a different yarn and a lighter weight.  They also had mohair in them-so I knew there would be a fuzz factor.

So now I have a rustic throw- around and throw- on type of cardigan.  It should have been a fast knit. Stockinette is boring.  I kept putting it in the pile and knitting on something else.  I would pick it up and work some more.  I would put it back in the pile and knit something else.  I finished it despite all that.

What I learned to pay attention to is my process.  It is best to not worry too much.  The pieces will fall into place.  It is the right sweater pattern for this yarn.  A simple rustic sweater.

And...... I have two full skeins of the blue and a partial left over.  I have one full skein of the red and a partial.  And whatever is leftover of the two browns.  Plenty!

Taking a deep sigh to know that I completed another sweater and it is pretty and it is worsted weight.  All my others are either fingering weight or somewhere around a DK weight. 

So right now I only have a pair of socks on my needles.  What to do now?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

February Has Two Birthdays in My Family!

Before I rush off to discuss my family, I just want to give a shout out to a movie on Netflix- Evening.  I had never heard of it, but since it has so many notable names (Vanessa Redgrave and Meryl Streep) I had to watch it.  OMG!  This was the best movie.  I think I could watch it again if I had to.  Why has no one mentioned this movie?

I am really excited about something I purchased last week.  India Flint has spent the summer in Australia thinking of ways to reach people that want to know more about her work.  She knows that folks just can't afford to jet around to places where she teaches.  Most of her workshops in the US and Canada are sold out in hours.  There is only so much one can absorb with books.  Yes, dyeing is practice and practice and practice.  So first off- she set up a private group on Facebook and newest info is posted there.  It is a fast way to get information disseminated.  Then she has created a new card game for dyers.  It is four sets of ten cards.  Three sets will have words or instructions printed on them.  The fourth is for notes or whatever we want to put on them.  When she received them from her printer, she then dyed on a whole lot of them.  That is cool too.  She said the person could use them like a tarot reading-pull one card from each pile.  Then figure out how to use that info.  Or one could just pull one card and do that activity.  The fun will begin soon.  She is preparing them for mailing out on February 29.  She is wrapping the sets in a piece of cloth that she will have dyed.  They are placed in a cardboard box for shipping.  She wanted to do a small wooden box, but the postal service told her she would have to go through a lot of customs crap declaring what is in the box, etc.  She also added an option of a dyed silk scarf for an additional fee.  I chose not to get that.

I think I mentioned that I am trying to walk every day.  My friend CJE gave me a FitBit primarily to monitor my heart rate.  I find that it does not record every step I am taking on the treadmill.  I tried to discuss this with the company without any success.  Nonetheless, it has been entertaining to view my sleep habits and the steps I take.  I am trying unsuccessfully to pay attention to the weight part.  With my history of anorexia, I am really not supposed to even use a scale.  Since I have been dealing with this for over 45 years, I think I can handle weighing once a week.  The weight is not as important to me as the Lean vs Fat part.  I really need to lose some fat.  Don't we all?

I did a strange thing this week.  I decided to go to Devil's Den State Park.  I walked a trail that  I always walk- and that I haven't had any difficulty with- because it is a loop trail.  It is only 1.5 miles. Perfect for a day that was in the 50's.  I really didn't think anything about the fact that it is a mountainous terrain-lots of up and down and roots and rocks and there were downed trees to climb over.  I got about halfway when my gas ran out.  It was a lot of sputtering and then boom! no more gas.  I leaned up against a tree thinking about my options.  Essentially it was a lot of pep talking to myself.  "you got yourself in this, now get yourself out"  "I got down here and I have to get up there" and looking up the bluff line.    As I was climbing up the rock steps to the top of the bluff, I would say "one step at a time"  "one step at a time"  rest, rest, rest  "one step at a time".

Once I was back at the car and leaning on the head rest, I had to plan how quickly I could find something to eat.  I was thinking I needed fuel.  I stopped at McDonald's and got an egg mcmuffin.  They are 300 calories with some protein in it.

After I am home for perhaps 30 minutes, I think that my blood pressure must be sky rocketing.  My ears are ringing.  No-my blood pressure was actually Hypotensive.   So this was perhaps one hour after my episode.  I wonder what my blood pressure had been when I was leaning on the tree wondering how I was going to get back to the car? 

The other thing is my FitBit gave me a badge because I had climbed 25 flights of stairs. 

Well, my body is beginning to fall apart.  I just have a hard time changing with this. 

Now to family matters.  My brother's birthday is next week.  My little grand-nephew's birthday is in 18 days.  Hmmm.

I had a dream about my brother's dog.  We had a great conversation about her sailboat with two sails and how much fun she has sailing.  So I started painting a picture of this for my brother.  I spent the best part of two days working and I hated it.  It was AWFUL!  So this morning I put aside the stupid board I was painting on.  I pulled out a sheet of my watercolor paper.  I did a fast sketch and I loved it.  It was whimsical and obviously just a sketch.  Not a painting-just a quick sketch.  I also wrote a short story of our conversation about sailing.  So those are now packaged with a note explaining it. On the outside of the note I wrote From Sukie and Judy.
.I like it.  It is silly and funny all at the same time.

MH will be getting a hat from me.  He is at the age that he will probably pull it off.  I just thought he needed a new hat when they go to Colorado.  I have to find him a new book too.  That's what Aunties provide.  Knitwear and books.  Ha!

I am still spinning the mystery brown stuff.  I am still knitting my girlfriend's socks.  I haven't touched that last sleeve on my sweater that is taking too long. 

I also have not woven.  I made a promise to weave every day.  Hasn't happened.  I had another one of my memory jumps this week.  I remember when I was wanting to weave Josef Albers color studies to demonstrate how color works differently with fiber vs. painting.  That was nixed by my art advisor.  I don't know if that shipped has sailed.  I don't know if it is something that still needs to be done.  I just don't know.  Too much happened this week after that epiphany.  I will have to think on it.

I watched a wonderful video with Susun Weed about Artemis Vulgaris-Croneswort.  Most folk call it Mugwort.  Susun's plants told her it does not like to be called Mugwort.  It makes one think of drinking from a mug.  I think I will have to go to YouTube and watch more of her videos.  She is a wonderful storyteller.  She also said that was how people knew where the herbalist lived.  There would be Croneswort growing right by the door.  When folk moved to the city, they would hang the dried plant by the door or paint a picture of it on their door.  I have it growing by my back step.  I have had these plants for at least 20+ years.

Herbs are such wonderful plants.  They have been around for a lot longer than pharmaceuticals have.  It's too bad that alternative medicine is not given more credit. 

Well, I have chattered a long, long time today.  Enjoy the sunshine.  It is a beautiful weekend.

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Random Day-A Random Friday!

Isn't Life the strangest thing?  I can wake up groggily determined that this is going to be the most productive day of my Life.  Then somewhere when the fog clears and I look at the clock and it is 11:00 AM.  Where did the morning go?  I should have a lot of things to account for the time, but there isn't anything to mark the time.

I do start every morning with feeding Noodles and the birds.  He will never ever give me slack about that.  He will yowl loudly if I don't get a move on.  The birds are not so insistent this week. On cold, yucky days they are clamoring over each other to get to the feeders.

We have had the most delightful week of nice weather.  I know it seems that during the winter I complain a lot about the cold, the yuck, the wind, whatever is happening.  This week I wish to declare that it has been a delightful week.  Especially since it is January and it is so nice.  There is wind, yes, but there is sunshine!

I am slowly gaining ground on the second sock for my friend.  I did not touch it once yesterday.  It is a slow down kind of week.  Just sit in the sunshine and warm up the bones kind of week.

It is a week like this that there is hope for Spring.  Of course, I am realistic that winter will return next week.  I have had a glimpse of Spring and I will cling to that.

I always, always have such high hopes for yard work about this time of year.  There is so much to do and so much work, but I am eager to begin.  I won't uncover the hollyhocks yet, nor will I cut all the little weeds.  I wonder why I have so much hemlock in the yard?  I don't think I have ever lived anywhere that there is so much.  The bachelor buttons are popping up in the yard already.  Green onions are sending out shoots. My garlic has tall shoots too.  A friend said he saw Spring Beauties.  It is way, way, way too early for those.

I have started spinning some wool that is a mystery wool.  It was supposed to be Polworth, but it isn't.  It is a short fiber, very soft, and a wonderful chocolate brown natural color. It will be pretty, no matter what it is. 

I have been watching PBS videos while I spin.  It is amazing what one can find on their web page.  I can't get PBS on my t.v. for some reason.  So I enjoy some of the current shows a few days later than they air.  But I love the archived videos just as much. 

My sweater that is taking too long is lingering again.  I really should just get that sleeve finished.  Sigh!  See-nothing done today!

I will have to run a couple of errands, so I will try to sit down this afternoon and get that second sock cuff finished.  That is my goal today.

I have to find a way to reconcile my time on Facebook.  It is a black hole that can suck away a day.

My friend CJE is friending me now on Blogger.  Thanks for your support.

India Flint is creating a wonderful kit in lieu of a workshop.  I ordered one.  She is mailing it out on the 29th of Feb to everyone that orders.  A great thing for a Leap Year gift.  I have been itching to dye something.  This will be a jump start-maybe.

Well, have a great weekend.  Get out in the sunshine and enjoy it while it happens.  Screw "should" and "would".  I am going to enjoy the day of warmth and sunshine first.  Then I will knit or spin.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Yep! It's Gray and Gloomy

Let's just cut through the chase.  It's winter.  It's awful!

Now, to the good stuff.

I finished the hat and mitts for Shelley.  Just need to get into the mail.  I am now working on a pair of socks for a friend.  I hope she likes the color.  It isn't in her normal color range, but this yarn has bamboo in it.  I think with her foot issues, it would be a comfort.  Plus it is microbacterial.

I finally got back to the sweater that has taken too long.  That's it's new name.   I am working on the decreases at the shoulder area.  I just want it done.  I like the rugged, rustic quality of this one.  It isn't all fine and pretty.  It is a basic top-down raglan cardigan, made with rustic tweedy yarn, and it is going to be a hard working sweater.  I am ashamed I have just gotten tired and put it down so many times.

I have been weaving a teeny bit.  I got a new chair, and I think that will help.  I just can't seem to sit and focus.  I like the way it is happening, but it isn't happening fast.

I have a treadmill now and I am walking every day.  It was a challenge to figure out my pace without getting my heart rate racing.  I am actually walking so much slower than my normal pace outside or in a hurry inside.  I have decided to walk to Memphis.  It is going to take a long, long time.  I made it to West Fork and I am now walking down Highway 71 to Brentwood.  Brentwood is just a wide spot in the road, but there is still a community there.  I am heading to Winslow in the next two days.

The wild kitty did not come in to eat last night.  That seems strange to me.  I hope he is alright.

The birds are eating fast and furious since we had this cold snap.  I fill all five feeders twice a day.  I have run out of suet, and the woodpeckers are not happy.

I spotted a Hairy Woodpecker the other day.  I have never seen them here in the time I have lived here.  I am happy they are moving in the neighborhood.  I like a variety.

Noodles has been mostly indoor kitty the last couple of days.  When it is icy and wet and cold, he prefers to stay in.  He definitely is getting older.  I spotted some chipmunks gathering seeds on the ground the other day.  So he hasn't completely killed them all yet.

I may have my electric spinner sold.  I will know in a week whether she has her money together.  I hope it will go.  It needs someone to use it and love it and care for it.

I have been cooking a lot in the crock pot and putting meals away in the freezer.  I just am not inspired to cook much anymore.  It isn't very inspiring, but it plentiful.  I just had lunch of scrambled eggs with cheese and onion.  Not inspiring, but warm and tasty.

I think if we had sunshine, I would not be so gloomy.

Just to check in and touch base.  Nothing new or exciting going on.  Just my new walking program.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Yes, It Is Still Winter!

Well, it finally happened.  We moved into winter.  For real, this time.  This morning at 9:30am it was 12 degrees.  There was sparkly pretty outside due to our brief snow flurries.  It was too warm while it was snowing to stick.  It did leave pretty stuff on the deck that sparkled in the sun. 

I got over the "pretty" part by noon when it still wasn't 20 degrees.  The sun is deceptive.  It is only 2:30 pm- the warmest part of the day- and it is 24 degrees.  Yes, it is still winter, even when we yearn for warm, sunny and comfortable.

It is a good thing I like to wear wool.  It is comfortable, bulky and heavy.  It is WARM, tho, and I will wear it until it is consistently warm again.

This has certainly been the weirdest winter in a long, long time.  It was so warm and rainy and then a brief chilling at night.  So I guess it is good to just get this over with and return to the warmer weather.

I am extremely happy that there hasn't been any ice so far.  I know we have three more months of possibility, but so far......

I haven't been in a knitting mood lately.  I finished a Sockhead Hat for Shelley and I am knitting her a pair of plain  fingerless mitts.  She has to have her fingers to play her guitar.  I also cast on a pair of socks with a strange lattice type of pattern.  It was on someone's blog.  They didn't publish the pattern, but wrote it out on their blog.  So I wrote it out on a scrap piece of paper.  I do have to pay attention to the pattern, although it is very easy.  I think it will only be the cuff.  I don't like to think too hard on socks.  I have my plain pattern in my head.  So once the heel is divided, it will be plain old sock.  I finished one sleeve of the sweater that has been going on for too long.  I picked up the stitches for the other sleeve, but I just haven't worked on it.  I have got to finish this project and be done.  It has been going on too long.

I also finished spinning my green yarn that was dyed with tansy.  I made it a bit thicker than my normal spinning so I can use it in weaving.  I also purchased some Columbia wool from someone in Missouri.  I like to buy from someone within my Fibershed.  I have never spun Columbia.  It is really soft and lustrous.  I like the "hand" of it, so it will be interesting to see how it spins.

I finally made up my mind about what to weave.  I want to finish up the last of the warp threads.  So I hope I can do what I want to do.  Tapestry is a lot harder than one thinks it should be.  One has to have some artistic sense and some imagination.  The skills take forever to hone. 

I also want to get in the sewing room.  I know, I know-too many projects going on.

I also have decided to start walking on a treadmill.  I have to get myself going on this.  I have to develop a habit.  I am comfortable with my laziness.  Unfortunately with this heart thing going on, I decided I HAVE to do something.  It can only go downhill from here.  I will do this, and I will get myself under control.

There is a wild kitty coming in the cat door at night.  I don't mind in the cold of winter, but I smelled something ominous yesterday.  If he is going to do that, I will lock the door at night.  No matter how cold it is and how hungry wild kitty gets.  I am not going to have my house smelling.

The birds are eating in a frenzy today.  I am monitoring the feeders and trying to keep up.

So Happy New Year-the Year of the Monkey!  I hope there are plans ahead for a crafty and artistic year.