Friday, September 16, 2016

Country Wedding, Country Life, Country Miles

Hello!  Well, we returned from NY last Thursday.  Our oldest son got married.  We're so happy for him; I'm "over the moon" happy!!!  After 23 years of marriage and 2 sons, his previous wife decided she didn't want to be married, never did, and left them last year to persue a career in NYC.  But enough about that.

Our new daughter in law is wonderful.  She makes him laugh, smile and really enjoy life.  He never had that.  She kisses him, hugs him, looks after him.  He never had that.  And his sons, 24 and 22,  are as happy as we all are.

They had the wedding in the backyard of the country house they bought in April.  They moved in in July and have been renovating everything.  Both of them have always wanted to live in the country.  Their dream has come true.

The reception was held in the backyard, also.  Tents, tables/chairs, dance floor were all rented; DJ was hired; food was catered, wedding cupcakes and a small cake for them to cut were ordered from the bakery.

All the family members and friends spent 3 days before the big day setting up, preparing, running errands and enjoying each others' company.  It was truly wonderful!  My sister, friend and I decorated the arch and bought the runner for the ceremony outside. 






So they left last Sunday for a honeymoon in Vegas......Vegas, baby!  Due to come home today.  I am sure they had a great time; hope they won some big money!!

We had a bit of a setback on the day we were to leave NY and come home.  The serpentine belt broke on our van.  Thank goodness newly married son is an auto mechanic....and we have AAA.  It was towed to his work place, he fixed it and we were on the road, just a 1/2 day later than planned.

The ride home was uneventful....except I missed the exit we always take to avoid Chicago AT ALL COSTS!   So....we wound up going through Chicago...for 2 1/2 hours....just through the city.  The suburbs were no picnic either.....construction all the way.   Traffic was brutal!!   Then we hit a deluge of a rainstorm heading to Wisconsin.  But we made it to our destination and hotel before the final leg of the trip the next day.  Whew!

So happy to get home....to OUR place in the country.  Until we opened the door, walked into the kitchen and had a big surprise!!   It seems while we were gone, a bunch of mice decided to move in and have a party of their own!!  We don't know how many, but from all the damage and signs left behind, you'd think there was dozens!!  OMG!!!  Never had this happen before.  (No pictures were taken, needless to say).

So I spent that night and the next 3 days cleaning and disinfecting.  They even found BH's cought drops in his armoir, took about 8 of them into the bottom drawer of his dresser and proceeded to chew the wrappers off and eat some of the cough drops.  They also left a bunch behind the armoir.  So....that drawer of clothing had to be washed all over again.  Besides the 6 loads already on the agenda.  Aaaaarrrggghhh!! 

2 days later, on Sunday, we traveled down to Minneapolis (150 miles one way) to take our "City" son some kitchen supplies and small appliances to his new apartment, and then a trip to my brother's to pick up all the stuff son wants to store here.  Took a van-load down, brought a van-load back.  Stopped at the big box hardware store and picked up 4 heavy duty mouse traps.  Caught 3 of the little buggers, one each night.  Nothing since Wednesday.  Hopefully that was all of them, or at least the message got out to the rest of the hell-raisers.  Keeping my fingers crossed!

Miles and miles and miles.  One more trip this weekend to pick up the other son from the airport....in Minneapolis.  He's been in Switzerland for the past 2 weeks visiting his daughter, her husband, son and all the inlaws.  First time he's been there.  He's planning on moving there permanently after the holidays.

Then the youngest son bought a house....in the 'burbs of Mpls.  Closing is Oct. 5.  I'm expecting that we'll be going down there again to help him move and see his first home. 

My brother's Irish band is playing at a bar in the northern 'burbs on Oct. 1 and wants us to come down again.  They played there, and we went, at the end of August.  They've been invited back for the bar's 1st anniversary of it's opening.   Well, Oct. 1 is my birthday.  We're not sure yet if we're up for another 2 1/2 hour ride, a party, a stay-over, and another 2 1/2 hour trip back home.   We're pretty much traveled out!

And that's what happens when you live in the country.   Lots of doings, lots of privacy and pleasure.  Lots of unexpected turmoil.   And. an. awful. lot. of. MILES!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wedding Bells are Ringing!

It's been quite a ride on this merry-go-round lately.  2 1/2 weeks ago, our son back in NY called to say he is getting married.....on Sept. 4.  Yes, the day before Labor Day.  We received the mailed invitation last Friday.  We are over the hill excited for him and his new bride.  This has not been an easy year for him.  But... they bought a house in the country back in April, and despite the unforeseen problems that come with buying a country home, they are loving the life. 

Now this is where it gets crazy.   So....for about a year now, I've had it in my mind to create a Bridal Shawl for our granddaughter, who is engaged but they have not yet set a date.....thankfully.   Well, then crazy thoughts occurred to me during the spinning for the yarn....."hey!  Why not make a shawl for a future daughter-in-law, or 2 or 3....how about one for a future granddaughter-in-law?  And what about one for a future sister-in-law??  Yeah!  Why not!!

Needless to say, 4 skeins of yarn have been finished totaling about 2,000 yards.  But no shawl was started.   Until 2 1/2 weeks ago.

So.....knitting is in progress.  But I'm beginning to doubt that it will be finished in time.  We have to leave on the 30th for the drive back to NY.  I have about 2 more feet to knit.  It's very slow going because there are a LOT of beads being knit into the lace pattern.  A LOT of beads.   Crystals and pearls.  A row with beads takes about 20 minutes to finish.

Right now I'm taking a break.  My eyes are going wonky, my thumb knuckle hurts and I'm starting to get cramps in my hands and upper arm.

The shawl will still need to be washed and blocked when - if - it gets done.

One of our sons here is moving into his new apartment on Sept. 1.  We need to get down to his area to pick up all the boxes he needs to store up here, as well as a Harvest table and 2 benches we gave him that my dad made for us.  He has no room in his new place....it's a studio apartment.

My brother called 2 weeks ago......he wants us to come down to a bar in southern MN to hear his band play.  My other brother is coming in from Washington state for a visit that weekend also.   We'll have to stay overnight.  But he's planning a big BBQ on that Sunday for the family.  I really can't afford to lose that much time from the needles.   Don't know how this is going to play out.

I'm trying to knit at night while watching TV with BH.  It's going ok.  Then I suggested to him I need to stay up later at night to work on this.  The first...and only....night, we stayed up till midnight.   Haven't been able to do it since.  But I've been getting up between 3 - 3:30am and knitting until it's time for breakfast....then going back to it all through the day when I can.

So housecleaning and yard work have been put on hold.  I just hope I can get it done before we leave.  Otherwise, we'll be coming home to overgrown gardens and pushing our way through cobwebs and dust bunnies to get through the door.

But there's more!    The other son is looking to buy a home....so constant phone calls for my input; another son is leaving for Switzerland at the end of the month; daughter still needs to get to the big box and grocery stores, as well as getting out for a day of fun.   BH wanted to put the new motor on the wood stove.....we finished that yesterday after working on it for 2 days.  I have to help because he can't see the screws and has trouble holding, using, the screw driver due to neuropathy.

I have our "dress" clothes to wash and iron; packing to do; get all the camping gear together (yes....my big idea is to camp while in NY.  Put me away now.); make sure all the bills are paid; everyone is taken care of and on the right page; and.....I'm sure there's at least a half dozen more things I've yet to think of.

The weather has been hot and humid!  I'm done with summer....bring on Fall.  Please.  Quickly.   I can't wait till this year is over....I need a break.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

W.H.A.T?????

I haven't posted in almost 4 months??!!!  Yikes....time is just zipping by!  Well....in these past months:

Daughter had knee replacement, which means I stayed with her for 4 weeks.  Thank goodness she lives just a couple blocks from us.  Then it was PT twice a week for 8 weeks.

BH did something to his hip on the very day of her surgery.  He was unable to walk more than a few feet, couldn't stand for any length of time, and had to walk at a 90 degree angle.  He also couldn't lay in bed, so slept for 5 weeks in the recliner.  Until we finally got in to see the ortho surgeon.

I took a run home a couple times a day to make sure he was ok, was eating, and I straightened up the house.

He finally had xrays done, which then led to an MRI.  Yes, his hip is shot, very little cartiledge left, but his back is in real bad condition.  The nerve cord is crushed at the bottom of his spine, he has herniated discs and dissolving cartiledge between the discs.  So....cortisone injections into the nerve cord to ease the pain.  Forever.  Or until it no longer works.  Then we're talking surgery.

So, when I finally did come home from daughter's, there was a lot of cleaning to do.  Yeah....that took a few weeks.   In between Doctor's appointments, lab work, xrays, yada, yada, yada.  We just finished the last of it this Tuesday.  Nothing on the calendar for 3 months when daughter goes for another cortisone shot in her elbow.  Yep.....that's bad too.

Then there was BH's 80th birthday party to prepare.  Which wasn't supposed to happen until September, giving me a breather for a couple of months.  But....circumstances beyond my control, which I won't go into......and.....badabing, badaboom.......I've got 2 weeks to put a big party together.   I was LIVID.   But...sallied forth.   And now that it's over, I'm sooooo happy it went that way.

In between all this, I've been knitting and spinning.   More spinning than knitting.  I just don't have the mojo for it.   It took me over 2 months to finish a colorwork patterned ski hat;  and I've been working on a "no brainer" scarf/shawl for the past 4 months.  Just recently have I had the want to pick it up and continue.

I finished knitting my grey Aran sweater before daughter's surgery.  Put all the pieces in a storage tote.  They're still in it.  Waiting to be blocked and sewn together.  I checked some websites last week for Celtic metal stamped buttons for it.  Found them.  Haven't ordered them yet.

We are in our 2nd of 4 days of daily temps in the mid 90's.  With humidity at 120 percent. Yeah....120 percent.  I don't care what the weatherman says.   It's stifling; downright brutal.  Unbearable.  Fans and both A/C's running 24/7.   I can't wait for Fall.

This is the time when I say......ok.  That's enough Summer.  Let's move it on.

Hopefully, my next post will be sooner.  Hopefully, with pictures.   Hopefully, Fall comes very early this year!!!




Monday, March 28, 2016

Is It Spring Yet??..........

First....a belated Happy Easter to one and all.  Days are flying by!  Is it Spring where you are?  We get a morsel every now and again.  Temps still below freezing at night and we've been getting a couple of inches of snow overnight.  Yuk.

Well, it's been busy....but not.  Know what I mean?  It seems like everyday brings its own chores and "have to's", but it doesn't really seem like anything is getting accomplished.  Because I have no desire or energy to to the everyday crap.

Anywho.....I've got 4 bobbins, now cakes, of the laceweight yarn finished for granddaughter's bridal shawl.  I'm still spinning.  And I see by today's assessment that I need to blend more Merino and silk.  Haven't found the right pattern yet; still looking.

On the grey Aran sweater, the back, sides and one sleeve are done; the other sleeve is 1/2 done.  What a time I've been having!!  I've never ripped out so much knitting in all my years.  Don't know if my head's just not wrapped around it or what.  I'll sure be glad when it's done.

Daughter is going in for knee replacement surgery the middle of April.  I'll be staying with her for most of the recovery, I think.  6 weeks says the surgeon.  PT 2 or 3x a week.  Oh boy.  That pretty much takes care of Spring cleaning and the first month of summer for outside work.

BH turns 80 in July.  This is causing a lot of stress.  I originally wanted to plan a BIG party for him.  BIG.  With all the out-of-state family coming here.  But....things being what they are....I'm re-thinking that whole scenario.  I do not like asking anyone to spend money, their vacation, and time to travel half-way across country for a few days. And I fear there would be a lot of "regrets", cannot make it, in response.  Not that they have anything against BH, just that the "family" has kind of fallen by the wayside, if you know what I mean.  How sad.

Well, I will come up with a different plan and it will be a wonderful celebration of his life and the most wonderful, giving person that he is.....come Hell or high water!

We're going to the Casino for an overnight with my brother and SIL this coming weekend.  This will be exciting!  We've never done that before with them.  They seem pretty excited about it, as we are.  It'll be a lot of fun.....win or lose!

Today I have an appointment at the beauty salon to get my hair cut, styled and a body perm. I wanted blonde highlights too, but she said it wasn't a good idea to do it at the same time as the perm, to wait a couple of weeks.  Ok.    Lordy!!  Haven't had that much work on my hair since.....my......Senior Prom!!  48 years ago!.......ouch!...  I hope it turns out the way I see it in my mind.  I'm taking pictures of the "do" that I want to insure no misunderstanding.  hehehehehe.

Well that's enough of that.   Here are some pics for your enjoyment. 

single spun
                                   2 ply




 

The pic of the front is the real color.....don't know why the back looks so washed out.....too much light, I guess. Oh well.




Saturday, February 27, 2016

White Sheets......

When's the last time you bought a set of white bed sheets?  Remember white bed sheets?  So clean, so crisp, so....grandma's beds.  I love white sheets.

I haven't bought new sheets for......18 years or so.  Yep.  The last set was an exchange of flannel sheets we received for a set of cotton ones.  And they were "Martha Stewart" design.  I don't care much for M.S., and would never purposely buy something of her line.  But I liked the pattern and the material....so there ya go.  There are 6 sets of sheets in the linen closet.  A few of them are before the "deep pockets" sheets that came out with the introduction of 10"+ thick mattresses.  So I have a couple sets of the "deep pockets", but they're showing their wear.

I've had it in my mind that I want white sheets.  I'm sick of prints and matching coordinating colors.  White.  It's the way to go.  Can't wait to hang them out on the washline this summer.  Nothing is better than crawling into bed on fresh sheets that have been dried outdoors.  And white is a bonus!  Just like Grandma's.

I bought 6 sets of white pillow cases last year.  I use them as pillow protectors under the regular cases. 

So now we have a new set of white sheets....and, I'm shy to admit....a set of beige.   Because we all need some color in our lives.  I'm sure my Grandma would approve.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Size DOES Matter.........

So I started another Aran sweater.  Grey Perendale/Romney cross, plied with Corriedale.  Spun and plied a nice 4-ply.  I've never done 4 ply before.  I take a published pattern, for the size, decreases and increases....I hate doing a lot of math.  But then I incorporate my own stitch patterns that I pick out.  It's all good.

Got the back done over the weekend.  I like knitting the back first; it feels like a big accomplishment.  Knitted on size 8 circulars.  I like circulars when there are a ton of stitches.  But not working it in circular.  Then the front sides.  So...started the right side, but went to straight needles...10" in length.  Got about 4" done, but not happy with the feel of the fabric.  Stitches look too close, feel is too dense. May have to go back to circular needle.  So, get out the adjustable set (whatever they're called); find a not-too-long connecting wire, screw on the size 8 tips and begin the other side.  About 3" into it, something's not right.  Oh the fabric is working up beautifully, nice and light.  If Aran can be called light.  But something's not right.

Get out the needle sizer.  Crap!!  The needles used for the back were size 10, not 8.  Aaaarrrrghghhh!   Well, thank goodness, it wasn't the front sides that were knitted up first.  All those stitches on the back....all those cables, bobbles and cross-overs.  Yikes.

So today I will rip out the 2 front panels and start again.  FYI :  I have 2 needle sizer thingies.  One is plastic and I could never figure out which hole was the correct one for the size.  Does the needle have to go all the way through easily, or is it just the tip of the needle?  A needle could give me 3 different sizes.  That can't be right.

But I found another sizer, metal, from Susan Bates company.  Perfect!!  The needle only goes through 1 hole easily.....not too big, not too small.  And that's the size.  Why can't manufacturers develop a way to permanently mark circular needles??  C'mon.....really??!!  With all the technology today???


The now completed back.  With raglan sleeve openings.  I love raglan.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Of Mice and (Wo)Men...........

My day was planned as of 5:30am.  Lots to do, lots to do.  Lots of wool things to do.

I have this black wool, purchased at a yarn store for cheap!  Because the owner says there's no call for fiber anymore.  People want yarn.  ok.  $10 for 8 oz....it's got blue glitz in it!!  Sold!

It's terrible stuff....lots of VM, nepps and second cuts.  But I sallied forth because I have 2 lbs. of black top that I want to ply with it.  Already I'm thinking of making a felted, Fedora-style hat with it.

Then I happened across 3 bobbins of white Corriedale that I forgot about.  Hmmmm....well let's get those babies plied and I'll have 3 empty bobbins.  That's going well.

2 days ago I started blending Merino and silk for granddaughter's wedding shawl.  I've had the silk for about 4.....yep....4 years.  Waiting for the right project.  The Merino was purchased this Fall when it was on sale from my favorite fiber place.  Also iridescent Angelina.  So, one single is with silk, the other, Angelina.  A beautiful 2-ply yarn will be the outcome.  At least, that's what I see in my head.

I've also got 1 more inch on the back of an Aran sweater being knitted.  A 4-ply grey and white.  Looks very nice.  Love the patterns.  It's just the beginning.  4 more sections to knit.

So, housework has been hit or miss for the past month (or so).  If I can see it, it gets cleaned.  If it isn't noticeable, it's good for another week or so.  So far, it's working.  It's winter, afterall.  And my penchant and energy for housework is nil.

Got the blending board set up this morning, ready to go.  Working on the 3rd bobbin of Corriedale 3-ply.  1 bobbin of black top is done, another needs to be.  The crappy stuff with the glitz is all spun up.

Going into a drawer in the kitchen, I discover little.....black.....dots.  Ovals, if you will.  Yeah.....we all know what that means.  Especially those of us living in the country.  Damn!!!  Go to the spice drawer, one of their favorite eating establishments......yep......they got the dill.  Dill.  Who knew?  Checking all drawers.....2 more with evidence.  Clean the drawers, get rid of all the damage.  Tell BH, "we had a mouse in the drawers".  He says "well, better set some traps tonight.  You want to go pick some up later?"  Sure.....there's a new thrift store in town I'm dying to check out.  Not for mouse traps, mind you.  Just for fun.

We do have these little sonic thingies all over the house.  Plugged into the outlets, they let off a low hum.  We've had them for 3 years now and they seemed to be working just fine.  But...there's always that one little son-of-a-gun that thinks he's Mighty Mouse.  We'll get you, my pretty.....we'll get you.  Warn your friends and family.