Sunday, September 21, 2014

WOW...Has it Really Been That Long??!!!

Holy buckets....has it really been that long?  2 1/2 months since I've written.  I read your posts every day....just didn't have the time or the subject to write about.

Things have been pretty busy here these past weeks.  Nothing exciting...we didn't go anywhere....just muddling through.  BH decided to do the logging and get all our wood ready for this winter.  He finished last week; now he'll start gathering wood for next winter.

After a few bad experiences, we decided not to sell the house; we're going to stay right here.  Our contract is up in February with the realtor.  We'll see it through, but then, that's it.

So....I've been doing all the seasonal house cleaning, fixing, painting, re-organizing and re-decorating. 

The one thing I never got to last year was the dining room.  It was driving me NUTS!!  So....that was our major project.  Now I can relax.....till next year...shhhhh.....don't tell BH.   So....Ta-Daa.. here's the before/after looks:

Old look with the wallpaper (13 years!)


And here's the new look:



Switched the placement of the dining table;  and that area rug!!  Mmmmmm.....I fell in love with it the moment I saw it!!

We didn't want to rip up the wall-to-wall (too much trouble and aggravation right now), so I thought maybe an area rug on top...one to match the blue.  Already knew I was painting the walls "cocoa brown" and making cream colored curtains.

It took us about 10 days to complete.  First order of business was removing the wallpaper and border. OMG, how I hate stripping wallpaper.  But BH helped with it, so it went fairly quick.  Now he jokes (?) with me that this is our "Viewing Room"....no entry allowed.  Little does he realize, that's exactly my plan!!

My sister and our dear friend came for a visit at the end of August.  They were here for 3 days.  We had a great time....spent a whole day at the Casino, then a day with our daughter.  They went to the Cities and spent the day with our sons, granddaughter and grandson, and then visited my brother and his family.  Wish they could've stayed a little longer.

My very dearest friend from NY and her hubby are coming to visit us near the end of October.  It'll be her first time here.  Can't wait!!!  I hope they stay for a week.  We've never met her husband...they've been married of just a year and a half.

No spinning has taken place since last I posted.  I have been knitting; started another vest in white w/iridescent firestar, but ran out of yarn.  I blended another pound and it's waiting to be spun.  In the meantime, I knitted a pair of socks and now working on a scarf and hat.  It's a slow.....go.......

I saw a comment somewhere that Christmas is less than 100 days away.  Why do people insist on writing such depressing things??!

We got our propane tank filled a few weeks ago.  $1.65 a gallon!!  It ain't going any lower, folks.  We have a 500 gal. tank.  This should carry us through till next summer....thanks to all the wood BH has ready.

Our daughter continues to have health problems.  Her right knee has been swelling, aching, sometimes giving out on her.  She's been to the orthopedic doctor and physical therapy.  She's also fallen a few times....on the same knee.  The problem comes and goes.  I don't even want to think what's coming down the road......a knee replacement, possibly.  She's not a good candidate for surgery to begin with.  I keep saying prayers.

Well, I think that's all the news from our little corner.  I'm so happy Fall is here....my favorite season!  We'll be cutting down the perennials and putting all the yard ornaments, lights and such away in another month.  Then batten down the hatches and get ready for our hibernation.  Maybe I'll be able to get some spinning in before the holiday rush of activities and preparations.





Friday, July 11, 2014

Why Do I Think My Life Is Boring??..........

Wow, time is flying by.  2nd week of July already.  Well things have been happening over the past month or so.  I tend to fall into a funk every once in a while.....thinking "I'm soooo bored; same-ol-same ol every day".  Then I start to reflect, like when I'm planning this post.

Here's a quick (?) rundown.

Well, the realtor called at 1:00pm on Father's Day to say a gal wants to come see the house.  She'll be at the office at 3:00 and they'll head over.  Ok.  Father's Day.  Who looks at property on a holiday?  Whatever.

I planned a nice dinner; it was just BH and me.  Told the boys...no. no. no visitors this weekend; we just want a nice quiet weekend to ourselves.  So....steaks, baked potatoes, salad, garlic bread and raspberry cheesecake for dessert.  Plan to eat between 4 - 4:30 so we can enjoy the rest of the evening.

3:00....no show.  3:30....no show.  3:45 I start seasoning the steaks; wash the potatoes, salad is made.  4:00.....realtor calls and says the gal got delayed, but she's on her way; they'll be here at 4:30.  I'm doing a slow burn.  How should I delay the dinner?   4:30....no show.  5:00, they arrive.   Yadda, yadda, yadda......and it's over.  Oh,  the prospect LOVED the house and the property, asked about the bank, who to contact, what arrangements, blah, blah, blah.  And they left.

We ate dinner at 6:45.  Yeah.   And.....not one further word from the realtor.  Pffftttt.

A few weeks ago, we're going grocery shopping at the BIG store...25 miles away.  BH says....lets take the van.  OK; I was thinking the same thing.   Off we go.  5 miles down the road, I pulled over and stopped to let a logging 18-wheeler pass by.  Pulled back into the road and.....the speedometer starts jumping all over...it's reading 100mph!!  But we're not going any faster, thank God.  BH says "pull over; turn off the engine and start it again".  Ok.   Apply the brakes......no brakes!!   The ABS light is on, the speedometer is still dancing the hoochie-koo, and the brake pedal is as hard as cement; won't depress a hair.

So we coast another couple miles until the engine can be turned off safely.   Call the tow truck.   Long story somewhat shorter.....it took almost 2 weeks for our mechanic to figure out what the problem was, concluding with the computer.  New computer (actually, one from the junk yard....saved us about $400!!).   So, coming home from the repair shop, 1/2 mile down the road, the ABS light is on.  Sonofabitch!!  Pull in the driveway, turn off the engine, wait a few seconds, turn it back on....the light is off.  Whew. Must be the computer was re-configuring.

Last week, we're going to the grocery store....in the van.  You guessed it.  Pulling out the driveway; stop before pulling into the road.....the ABS light is on.   No. No. No.  We're not taking this anywhere....I don't trust it, I tell BH.   So....we pull back into the driveway and take the car.  The van has been sitting ever since.

In the meantime, the car has been making funny noises, acting weird.  It needs to go to the repair shop....it also needs shocks all around.  This will be many $$$$.  A big hit to the budget.  Next week we'll see about getting it into the shop.  I want to scream.

Here's some good news.....I finished the raspberry vest.....turned out very nice, despite being ripped 4 or 5 times.  AND  the Aran sweater is done!!!  I can't believe how great it turned out....especially since the pattern was for a child's sweater.  I had to tweak the stitches, measurements and patterning a few (HAHAHAHA!) times.  But it's done.  There was enough dyed yarn to finish it (whew!).  And it fits beautifully!   And the buttons for it....wait till you see the buttons!!  Hope to post the pictures next week.  Right now it's blocked and drying.  Ohhh, I can't wait till Fall to wear it....everywhere!!

I started spinning the wool for another Aran sweater.  This one for my brother, who has been asking me for the past year if I could make him one.  "Hey, could you make me an Irish sweater like the one you made for Pop?"....."ehhh....sure."  "How much would you charge to make me an Irish sweater?"......."ehhh.....you don't have  THAT much money!"  
"How long would it take to make me an Irish sweater?"........"ehhhhh.....about 2 years".     "REALLY??!!" ....."ehhh....you don't understand; there's a lot involved to spinning and preparing yarn for knitting".

Well, anyway, so the guilt has gotten the better of me.  Over the winter, I purchased more of the wool for the purpose of his sweater.  Then I start thinking.....maybe I should just buy the acrylic yarn and get it done.  For one thing, I can see the wool sweater being thrown in the washer and dryer.  Neither he nor the wife have any concept of "WOOL".   Butttttt.......the sweater  will be made of wool; spun, plied and knitted by his sister and will come with a forceful warning....."DO NOT WASH THIS SWEATER; GIVE IT TO ME; I WILL WASH IT FOR YOU.  IF ANYTHING HAPPENS TO IT, I WILL NEVER SPEAK TO YOU AGAIN!  DON'T EVER CALL ME AGAIN!"  I'm thinking of having the clothing label made with that warning.

He's a good guy, my brother.  Always been there for me; always there for our sons when they need help.  He's also in an Irish band, so I can't wait to hear what the other fellas say about his sweater.  There are 6 bobbins of plied yarn so far.  Another thing....this will be no quick and easy task.....my brother is 6'2" and weighs about 270#s.  A big beer gut, to boot.   Why, yes.  That would be Irish beer.  This is going to take about 8#s of wool.  I'm definitely going to have to buy more.

 This weekend both our boys from the 'burbs are coming up to visit.  BH's birthday was Wednesday.  One kid is bringing steaks and the trout he caught; he'll cook dinner tonight.  Tomorrow is my turn.  More on that later.

So we've got the new charcoal BBQ grill all put together; used it last week when other son who lives closer was here.  And we finally managed to get the screen house up, as we had a few days reprieve from the constant rain.  Now.....just to get out there and actually use it!   Hopefully this weekend....but the weather report says......rain off and on.   I think there are more mosquitoes in Minnesota than people right about now.

And the humidity has been a killer.  I suspect the electric bill will be 3 digits this month.  Just can't catch a break.  I really gotta get outside and take care of the flower beds.  Noticed that the marigolds in the wheelbarrow look like they're dying.  No....it's just that there's soooo many  dead ones.  Really need to dead-head them.  But this weekend is calling for......rain.   More rain = more mosquitoes.  If Einstein were alive and living in Minnesota today, I'm sure he could come up with a mind-blowing equation for this!

Wishing you all sunny skies, beautiful temperatures and pleasant days!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Update......

Not breaking news or anything like that.....just what's been going on in our neck of the woods.  This might be lengthy.

Well, BH and I went to the Lake Elmo Fiber Fest; had a good time; bought some roving in beautiful shades of mottled greens, burgundy and brown.  It's stashed away right now.  Also picked up a pair of hexagon circular needles.  Hexagon!  Husband and wife started the company; they've been in business for 4 years, he told me.  I know I've seen these advertised somewhere, but they weren't familiar with anything I said.

Anywho, I was looking for circulars with a shorter connecting band than you can find.  And there I was.  They also make hexagon straight needles.  Well, these cost me $30.00! For one set.  Yikes.  But...what the hell.....I'll get plenty of use out of them.  I deserve it....my yarn deserves it.

Kind of disappointed, though, that there didn't seem to be as many accessory vendors.  I wanted stitch markers, but saw only one vendor with them.  After perusing the buildings a few times, I forgot where that vendor was.  C'est le vie.

We've been keeping up with the yard work, keeping the house clean, just in case a prospective buyer should appear.  We had 1 person go through the house, gush and squeal about how beautiful everything was, said she would bring her husband back the following week; was thrilled at the price.  2 weeks went by.....nothing.  We chalked that off.  Then, Monday, our realtor called.  Yeah....well, the looker started telling her this is wrong, that's wrong, "the roof leaks",  "there's asbestos shingle siding on the old farm house",........yada, yada, yada.

Here's a little background.....the gal is the granddaughter of the lady we bought the house from.  She knows all the "ins and outs" of the property; we have been good friends with all the family over these 20+ years.

First off, the roof DOES NOT leak!  Anywhere.  I don't know where she came up with this.  Second....the old farm house has been sitting on the property since the 1950's; it's used for storage....no one lives there.

BH says the realtor hinted that because the family knows what we paid for the place almost 23 years ago, they think we're trying to make a big pot of money on the sale.  So....BH added up what it cost us for all the remodeling and updating we've done....near $20,000; not to mention, we have an equity mortgage on the place that needs to be paid off.  We think our asking price is very reasonable.  We've never cheated or taken advantage of anyone .....ever.  For this family to think that of us makes me downright sick to my stomach.  I was soooo pissed!

BH told the realtor in no uncertain terms that we're not giving the house away...for nobody.  I say, even if they come back with an offer, or decide to meet our price....we will not sell to them, no matter what.  We'd hear nothing but complaints and problems  and they would probably besmirch our name all over town!

Last Sunday, the realtor calls to say she has a guy who is really interested in the property and wants to see it Monday evening when he gets off work.  We set up the appointment.  She will call when they're on the way....between 5 - 5:30pm.

BH cuts the grass....4th time in 2 weeks.  I go through the house, dusting, vacuuming, straightening up.  Monday evening.....5.....5:30......5:45......6:00.   Call the realtor.  Oh, she just got back in the office and was just about to give us a call.  Yeah....the guy called to say he's stuck at work, can't get out, doesn't know when he'll be leaving;  we'll make it for another time.

This weekend came and went without nary a word from the realtor....or her supposed looker.   I give up.  I want to take the house off the market.

And that's the name of that tune.

Today is my "baby"s birthday....he's 35.  I don't know which makes me feel older....him or my first born, who turned 46 in February!!  Where does the time go??   And how can these kids keep getting older when I feel the same age (almost) as I did 25 years ago???

So....Father's Day is Sunday.  We're planning a nice, quiet day at home.  Just the 2 of us.  One of our boys called Tuesday asking what we're doing for the weekend.  He thought he'd come up with some steaks and trout for a cookout.  Nope.  We want a nice, quiet weekend; just the 2 of us.  But thank you, anyway.

We have a new screen house to put up....and a new charcoal grill to be put together. I thought we could do this Friday or Saturday, have our quiet little cookout (bought steaks for the occasion) and.....shhhhh.....bought BH  a new chaise lounge.  So he can nap and relax in the screenhouse....out in the fresh air.

But......Friday will be the only nice day, weatherwise.  Rain is in the forecast for the weekend.....with Sunday being the worst.  Now I can't even take him to the casino for the day....because he wants to be here for the phone calls.

I spent 5 days with daughter last week.  She was scheduled for a colonoscopy and a stomach scope Monday.  The original plan was to go there Sunday evening, spend the night and take her into the hospital the next morning.  Until I got the word that the doctor ordered injections for 5 days to take the place of her Coumadin that they wanted her off of before the procedures. 

So....Thursday off I went.  Friday came word that her doctor was going to order 5 more injections for this week after the procedures.     Oh no....I can't stay another week!!  So....I started showing her over the weekend how to give herself the injections.  She's been giving her cat insulin injections 2x a day for the past year, so I knew she could do it.

Well, when it was all over, the surgeon said he didn't see any reason why the injections would be necessary if she started back on the Coumadin the following day.  He called her doctor, the doctor relented....so no more injections.  And I was on my way home Monday evening.  Hallelujah!!

I haven't touched a spinning wheel in......2 months?  I am itching to get back, hopefully starting today.  But knitting.  The raspberry vest is almost done.  Have one more front side to do (V-neck).  I'm happy with the way I planned out the purple/white combination.  And I could increase it to my size!  Because.....I had too much raspberry yarn left over from a smaller size.  Yeah.....that meant ripping out the whole back and starting over.  Again.  For the 4th time.

And the Aran vest has been sitting for a month.  Almost to the decreases at the top of the sleeves.  Still not sure if there will be enough yarn or have to dye more.  Time....and knitting.....will tell.

Talking to my sister a couple weeks ago.  She said she's planning on coming out for a visit at the end of June.  This will be great!!  Haven't seen her in almost 3 years.

And  son who's birthday is today.....got hired on at the company!  He'd been working for them through a Temp agency for the past 8 months.  So now he's a full-fledged employee with benefits!!  And a raise in pay!!

Well, that's about it.  Sorry about the rant about the house.  Today is rain all day.  Good day to get the wheel back in action.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Still Waiting.......

May 16.  It's still not Spring yet.  Not quite.  Oh, a couple of teaser days here and there.  But in the long run.....we can't plant flowers outside yet;  can't take the storm windows off; can't totally turn off the furnace;  can't cut the grass; can't do any painting or replace the screens; can't leave the windows that are accessible open....nor the door.

It's still cold during the day for the most part and near freezing at night.  There is rain 4 - 5 days out of 7.  And the winds!.....don't get me started.

But there's plenty of spinning and knitting.....mostly knitting.....going on.  I've finished the back and sides of the Aran sweater, and I'm about 5" into the sleeves.  Knitting both at once. There haven't been too many hiccups (read: rip-outs) along the way, so that makes me very happy.  There is, however, still the question of enough yarn.

Right now I'm just about finished spinning the light grey, which will be plied with 2 bobbins of the variegated green.  And they're not full bobbins.  So, there might be a small problem.  But I'll just salley forth until the very end.  If more wool has to be dyed, so be it.

We took a trip to the "big" city this week.  No, not that BIG city, but the one 53 miles from our home.  We need a new BBQ grill.  A charcoal grill, not propane.  And sure enough, the big box hardware store has them on sale for the month.

Oh....it's a beauty!!  Much bigger than our old one.  With tables on either side, 6 hooks for utensils and pot holders, a warming shelf inside the grill, a deep charcoal well and a thermostat on the lid!!  Our old grill is about ..14 years old....and the bottom is starting to rust out.  Last year we kept it on the ground instead of the deck.  Because I could just see the bottom giving way as something was cooking..full of hot, hot coals....and setting the deck on fire!!

Both sons are supposed to be coming up for the holiday weekend. So I said to BH:  "hey, if we have sandwiches and snacks on Saturday, Ryan can put the grill together for us; then we'll have a cook-out on Sunday".   BH thought that was a great idea.  It saves us from monkin' around with it.

I also wanted a screen house that was on sale.  Haven't had a screen house in maybe 4 years.  This year I really want one.  So nice to be able to sit outside, day or night, and not get all bit up....or burnt up.  Anywho, the one that was on sale was very nice....12' x 12'  but it had a polyester "floor" inside.  Never had one with a floor.

Upon further discussion, BH says: "do you really want one with a floor?"  Ehhhh.....not really.  If you don't have it pulled taught, you're gonna get ripples in the poly.....and somebody's going to trip over them......like you....or me.  Nah.....that's an accident you don't want to see happen.

So, we forego the screen house for now.  But still keeping an eye out for other stores.....other sales.

This weekend is supposed to be gorgeous!!!  In the 60's!!!  I'm planning on getting the flower beds in shape (thank goodness they are perennials), spot painting the propane tank, and got some painting to do on the roof of our conversion van.  Yeah.......

Whilst in Virginia for granddaughter's Army graduation, our hotel room was on the 2nd floor.  One evening, looking over the balcony to the parking lot, I see the top of the van.  OMG!!!  It's rusted right along the rain trough.  Crap.   Bought the Rust-o-Leum a few weeks ago.  This weekend may finally be the time to get roof painted.

We also bought a deck brush.....for scrubbing the deck, of course.  Last time I did that (a couple years ago), it was on my hands and knees with a household scrub brush.  That's something I don't want to do again.  So....the deck brush with stiff bristles and a long handle!  So that job is on the "TO DO" list.

Then there's the siding on the house.  Put on about 10 years ago, it's never been washed.  I can't stand it anymore.  It needs to be scrubbed and hosed.  BH never heard of such a thing (men! pfft) and thinks I'm either crazy or making this up (he's probably leaning towards crazy).  I don't care.  I'm sick of seeing the streaks of dirt...or whatever.....and there's some kind of funky growth that I noticed last summer.  Little bits here and there.  Looks like a mold....or bug eggs....I don't go poking around, just know it looks like hell.

The rest of this week is ice making and 2 dozen more hard rolls to be baked.

Oh.....this weekend is the Lake Elmo Shepard's Harvest....a fiber fest; just northeast of St. Paul.  Oh geezzz.....I forgot about that.  I love that fest.  Not too big; not too small.  And.....I do need different knitting needles.....I could use a blue "Firestar".....more stitch markers and holders...and always...more white wool;  maybe the lady from Wisconsin who sells Border Leicester for $1.25 # will be there!!  She wasn't last year; I was disappointed.  And BH will most definitely try to talk me into buying more bobbins.  'Cause I always need more bobbins.  And the price keeps going up every year....what's up with that?!

Yeahhhh.......those projects will have to wait another day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Baby, the Rain Must Fall......

(Remember that song from the 60's?)  Yeah....but every day??  Every...frikking....day???  It's a bit much.

So, we had 5 or 6 (who's counting) days of pouring rain....and cold.  Yesterday was gorgeous!!  The next 3 days.....yeah.  Rain.  I don't even know if the ground is thawed out; can't get out there to try and dig in the dirt.  But on the bright side....no more snow!!  (shhhh).

Well, it's been a while.  Last month we drove to Virginia for granddaughter's graduation from the Army training.  She graduated top of her class in helicopter repair and maintainence; was promoted to PFC; and got an award for excellence in her courses, her PT (highest of the women's scores) and her leadership (squad leader for 3 months).  And she got her Wings!!  We were so proud of her and so happy to be part of this milestone in her life.  And....we brought her home.

Now she is with the MN. Guard out of St. Paul.  She hopes to pursue the training with the Aviation Regiment.  When she called the base to inform them she was here, the sergeant said "we've been waiting for you! We definitely need your abilities; yes, we know who you are!"  That made her feel sooo much better.

And it's also time to look for employment and an apartment.  She's a bit nervous about it all...kind of overwhelming, especially for an 18 year old.  But with her determination and "grit"....she'll be just fine.

On the homefront, not much has been happening.  With a few good days, BH has been out gathering, sawing, chopping and stacking wood.  A chore he's been chomping at the bit to get back to since.....March.  If he ain't busy, he ain't happy.  Crazy.

Not much spinning going on.  I started the Aran sweater with my hand dyed painted green Shetland.  Got the back done; knitting both front panels at the same time; 16 more rows before the raglan shaping.  God, I hope I have enough yarn for the sleeves!  Because of my increased body volume over the winter (ahem), I had to add on extra stitches at the sides of the largest pattern size.  But if you've ever done Aran knitting, you know those sizes are always smaller than a regular knit.  You know, all that cabling takes up a lot of yarn and pulls the stitches in, making the sizing much smaller.   That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!

Our daughter-in-law is graduating from college this Friday.  6 years of schooling....while raising 2 boys and working 2 jobs.....and she finally made it....a  BA in Social Sciences.  We're planning on having a dozen red roses delivered to her Friday, and sending her a gift card so she can indulge in something that doesn't have to be figured into their budget.

She's the type of person who doesn't like to be in the limelight; no accolades, no parties, no fuss, no recognition.  She just wants to keep it quiet...it's just everyday life.  That's just how she rolls.

I can't believe Mother's Day is this Sunday.  The months keep flying by, but the seasons are having a hard time keeping up.  Like we're in a time warp or something.

Our son from the Cities is coming up with his buddy.....because it's "Fishing Opener" this weekend.  So....guess what I'll be doing.....cooking and entertaining.....and not for my benefit.  I was kind of hoping that the lakes would still be iced over.  I know....that's bad. 

Today we're going to take a ride and look at some apartments....at least from the outside.  We found a few areas that we didn't know about last year.  One in particular is what they call a "patio" apartment.  One floor, like a little ranch home, with an attached garage and a bit of ground right out your door.  Just what we're hoping for.  Of course, we're still waiting for some action on the sale of our house.  But....a girl can dream, can't she?  That's one thing the rain can't stop!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

 
A Blessed Easter to All
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What is the Meaning?

When we moved to Minnesota 22 years ago, we learned that "Minnesota" was a Native American word meaning "land of sky blue waters".  Whether this is the correct translation, I'm not sure.

I am sure that if it's relatively close, the meaning is all wrong.  It actually means "winter that never ends".  That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

This past Monday, we received another 6" of snow.  Not just snow....but high winds...blizzard conditions.  This was followed by a night of moderate temperatures and pouring rain.  Temps dropped, rain froze and the snow and winds began.  This lasted till about 11:30 Tuesday morning.  The temp reached 34 - 37 for the rest of the day.

The week has been uneventful since, with temps in moderation again.  Ahh....but starting this evening.....another major snowstorm is about to slap us silly.  Depending on where you determine the demarcation line to be, we'll be looking at  3 - 6 inches, or 6 - 12 inches.  Lovely.  This "hiccup" will last until tomorrow morning sometime.  Then we're projected to be in the 40's into next week.

We're leaving Saturday for Virginia.  BH and I are both tickled pink!!  Which is a big improvement from being ticked blue....with the cold.  However, upon perusing the weather system, I see that there are major rain, wind and tornado systems coming in from the deep South, traveling.....you guessed it.....to the east.  Across the Carolinas to Virginia.

Mother Nature is on some sort of vendetta.  And we just can't get out of her way.