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.

Monday, March 24, 2014

What Is Up With That??.......

What is going on with the blog?  When I have to sign in, I get an error message saying that the browser is unsupported, telling me to pick a supported one, giving me a list.  One of which is XP/7.....which is what I use.  Then when writing the blog, sometimes and error message pops up at the top saying "sorry cannot be saved; try again later".  However, the blog is saved....no problem.  Whaattttt??????

Anywho......


Exactly.  This has been too much.  Way too much.   Last week, we had a few days of beautiful, melting weather.  Spring is on it's way!!  Not so fast......Friday, we're supposed to take daughter to doctor.  It was snowing.  At 7 am...snowing pretty hard and fast.  Left the house 1/2 hour earlier than planned.  Got 5 miles from home, told BH  "this isn't good...we should go home"; he agreed and so we did.  Couldn't see a mile ahead, couldn't see the sides of the road; kept hitting the "rumble strips" in the center lane.  Snow was piling up that fast.

And it's still here.  Minus below 0 temps at night since then; low 20's during the day.

About daughter.....a couple of weeks ago, she called to say she was having trouble.  I'll spare you the gorey details...but the signs were all there for Diverticulitis.  Gave her some instructions; she carried through for a few days; signs came back, things got worse.....call the doctor.

She (Doc) put her on 2 antibiotics; told her what to and not to do; took a white blood count, which came back normal, and sent us on our way.

All last week symptoms came and went.  Then came and stayed for a few days.  Call the doctor.  Well, Friday had to be cancelled, but daughter was feeling much, much better by the afternoon.   Fingers crossed....we'll see how this goes.

Yesterday was a "banner day" for me!!  While I haven't done any major housework in almost....a......month......I decided to bake and make a great dinner.  So....2 mixed berry pies were done (1 in the freezer) and a batch of chocolate/peanut butter chip cookies baked.  For granddaughter.  We send her a package of goodies every other week.   And some for us, of course.

Ah, then dinner.  Chicken breasts done in the electric fry pan (to save on the propane) with a new spice I came across....."rotisserie flavor".  Deeelicious!!  A side of rice done in chicken broth instead of water, with stir-fry veggies that were.....stir fried.....and added to the rice with a few dashes of Teriyaki sauce.  A nice salad and crescent rolls.  Mmmmm....mmmmm.   Of course, pie for dessert.

Granddaughter graduates from Army Tech school on April 10.  We're heading to Virginia earlier that week to pick her up and bring her home.  Can't wait to get her home!!  I miss her so.  She's my spinning and knitting buddy.

On the fiber front.....yeah.....the raspberry vest.  Well, it's 4" to finishing the back.  And....yeah.....there won't be enough yarn.  It'll have to be frogged.....again.  New plan.  I'm in the process of plying white yarn.  So the next time the vest is started...it'll be raspberry/white.  I'm thinking every other stitch white.  I know it's probably going to be a hassle, but what the hell.  It can always be frogged.

Still working on the green.  3 more bobbins of single ply done; maybe 2 more ounces yet to be spun.  2 bobbins of the grey are done.  So when the white is finished, it'll be back to plying the green/grey.  That should give me another 6 bobbins plied.  12 total.  Maybe 30 - 36 ounces of yarn. Then maybe the Aran sweater can be started.

To quell my rattled nerves and frustration from the vest, I started a hat.  Blue heathered/tweedy; Merino wool.  Doing a slant ribbed stitch.  So far, so good.  Plan on mittens to match.

Trying to talk myself into starting some housework.  It seriously needs to be done.  At least the bathroom and kitchen are always kept clean; the bed linens always changed, the TV dusted off every few days and the sweeper ran over the carpets every so often.  But the dust bunnies swirling around the floor and gathering noticeable amounts on the furniture are really starting to speak to me.  And I don't like what they're saying.  Time to "clean house".   Seriously.  Clean the damn house.  Yuck.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

It's My Own Damn Fault.......

So, I'm not a fan of swatching. Never. Or reading yardage, ounces or grams on the cakes I so carefully weigh and tag.  I fly by the seat of my pants.  Well, my pants are on fire.

I was knitting a vest of raspberry Shetland.  Got to the arm holes, roughly 17" into the thing, when I realized.....I'm not going to have enough yarn. Now I start reading all the tags on the 7 cakes.  Yeah....this isn't going to work.  So, what to do.......I'll try the next size smaller and use smaller needles.  Yeah. That'll work.  That's the ticket.

Off I go.  Put the 17" on the needles aside, pick up a smaller set, mark the smaller size and begin.

After 10" into the re-configured vest, a horrible feeling comes over me. I'm beginning to think.....I'm not going to have enough yarn. Oh, be serious. Continue.  Now it's roughly 12", a few more rows and I can begin the armhole shaping, and.....I'm definitely not going to have enough yarn.  In the meantime, I have ripped out the first attempt.  The 3 balls are sitting there; there is a cake and 1/2 left for the newly knitted half, and I'm trying desperately to convince myself that it'll make it....probably down to the last 2" of yarn.

I don't think so.  There's a tweedy yarn in my stash....6 cakes.....that just might work as a complimentary color.  I can alternate the solid with the tweed.  There should be enough damn yarn to get this thing done.  Just have to rip the 12" and start over.  My eyes are starting to glaze over.  My brain is on overload. 

There's a lesson in all of this.  Swatch?  Never!!  I should've gone with my first inclination and used both yarns from the very beginning.

Meanwhile, here's this:

                                                  The cursed vest.


                                                        The pattern.


 Finished hat and mitts. Yay!!

 Yarn destined for my Aran cardigan.

 The rolags blended from the hand dyed Border Leicester below.

                                          Said hand dyed BL.

Next time....pictures of the almost finished vest, using the 2 different yarns.  Seriously.  No. Really.  It's gonna happen.  Trust me.  I refuse to be defeated.



Sunday, March 9, 2014

Yeah...About This "Daylight Savings" Thing.....

I'm an early riser.  Like 4 - 4:30am every day, with an occasional 3:30 thrown in just to keep it interesting.  For the past couple of weeks or so, it's been very heartening to see the beginnings of daybreak just before 6:30.

Now it's "Daylight Savings Time".  An hour later for daybreak.  At 7:00am, you can barely notice the midnight black slowly turning to navy blue; barely make out the silhouettes of trees and such.  Don't like it.  At all.

It's 7:00am, for Crysakes.  Daylight should be in full bloom.

On another note.....we're supposed to start warming up, temp wise.  Yesterday was pretty good, even if it never got above freezing.  29 degrees was the max for the day.  Even so, the sun was shining and all was right with the day.  Today...we're hoping for high 30's.  Something on the weather report last night said the cold will return...blah, blah, blah.  I wasn't in the room, so I didn't hear all the specifics.  Not sure I want to.

There's something to be said for having a "Polyanna" attitude.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Putzing......

Tonight will be the first in over 70 days that we will not be below 0.  So says the weather guy on TV and BH (aka: Polyanna).  To me, it remains to be seen.

Tomorrow we plan on doing the grocery shopping because tomorrow night into all day Thursday, it's going to snow.

I've been keeping an eye on the ceilings because there's about 8,000 pounds of ice and snow on the roof.  I can faintly tell where some of the ceiling looks as if it has bowed....I can also tell by the ceiling strips between the panels and some of the moulding that has pulled away every so slightly.  I sure hope it returns to its place when all this ice is gone.

Spinning and spinning and spinning.  Like a mad woman.  Got 7 skeins of the green plied and caked.  Still have half the fiber yet to blend and spin.  I could start on the Aran sweater, but while experimenting, I found I really, really like the 3 plies of the painted green!  It's not as bright as I thought it would be.  And maybe there would be enough left that I wouldn't have to use the light grey as one of the plies.

Then it would just be alternating the green/grey with the green.  I think it would perk up the color a bit more.  But first.....the other 8 oz. of green need to be spun, seeing how many bobbins will be filled.  The first 8 oz. gave me a bit over 3 bobbins.  The 3 singles gave me almost 4 bobbins of 3-ply.  Hmmmm......

I finished a hat and fingerless mitts.  Done in another grey with FairIsle patterning of blue, black and a little brick red.  Gotta get them washed and blocked today.

Started a vest in raspberry Shetland.  It's solid raspberry.  I didn't know what to do with it.  I'm not real fond of solid colors.  I love heathered and ombres!  There's a nice V-neck vest with a cable on either breast side, which also continues on the back.  Never made this one before, so started on it yesterday.  We'll see how it goes.

I've been up since 3:20 am.  Yes.  Three. Twenty. A.M.  Did I go to bed at 8 pm??   No.  I did not.  It was 11:20 pm.  4 hours before.  Don't know why.  But it happens every so often....like maybe once a week.  So I spun for 2 hours, then went to the knitting.  When BH got up at 6:30, I made the bed, got dressed, put the dishes away, watched 15 minutes of Cspan, and fell asleep for an hour.  There will be a few cat naps today.

And a load of laundry.  A little more knitting.  Maybe some spinning later this afternoon.  Homemade turkey pot pie for supper (taken out of the freezer this morning).  Easy enough.

Well, that's all the news that is news around these parts.  Hope to post pictures of the greens and the hat and mitts very soon.  Just too tired to play with the camera today.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Why, Thank You......Thank You Very Much

One negative thing about spinning or knitting....it causes me to think.  Too much.  And not just about what's being spun or knitted.

One of the "golden rules" when we were growing up was always saying "please" and "thank you".  Everyone of my generation was taught this; all my children and grandchildren were taught this.  What the hell happened??

Even those of my generation seem to have forgotten those magic words.  Magic because they went to the heart of those spoken to; magic because they could lift a person's self esteem, lighten their heart, validate their existence as a fellow human being.  They also related appreciation for another's time, money, thoughtfulness.

It irks me to no end that those 2 magic words are becoming less and less of our daily lexicon.  No.  Actually, it pisses me off royally.

"Please" is still pretty much spoken.  But "thank you" seems to be fading into oblivion. 

In our own family, graduation gifts.....no "thank you";  shower gifts....nada; wedding gifts.....not a word.  Even Christmas gifts are passed over with as little comment as possible.  I'm talking handmade gifts, hours and hours of creation;  I'm talking wracking my brain to figure out the perfect gift for someone....something that has meaning to that particular person.  And if it needs to be purchased, money is (almost) no object. 

It's gotten to the point that I really don't want to be part of anyone's celebration.  I will say a silent prayer, a blessing for you and think of you on your special day.  I believe that's enough.  No thanks needed.  Not that any would be forthcoming anyway.

I always thanked the kids for doing the dishes, cleaning their rooms, taking out the trash, etc.  This would irk BH..."you don't need to thank them for doing their chores"  he would say.

Ahhh....but, I would retaliate,  "everyone needs to know their appreciated, whether it's something expected of them...their job, their chore, their responsibility....or just of their own doing".   Everyone needs to be validated.  Everyone needs to know they matter.   In this crazy, impersonal, dangerous world.....everyone should know they matter.

Sorry for the rant; I feel much better now.   Thank you for "listening".....thank you very much.

Friday, February 21, 2014

It Goes Like This......

So, after 2 glorious days of temps in the 40's...above 0!  We are back to reality.  Anyone in the Midwest knows where this is going.

Yep, it started snowing yesterday afternoon....and hasn't stopped.  The winds are gusting 40 mph.  We have 4 ft. drifts in front of the house and I'm sure, in the driveway.

BH says last night that he's getting out at first light this morning to start shoveling. 

Me: "want me to help you shovel?  I can shovel, you know.  2 shovels are better than one; it'll go quick".
BH: "no, no.  I'll be ok; it's not that bad".

This morning.  It goes like this.........

Me: "so, you're waiting until it's light outside, right?"
BH: "yeah".
He looks outside.  "Maybe I'll be lucky and the snow blew right over the mounds on the sides of the driveway".

I didn't have the heart to tell him that I can see the 2+ ft drifts sitting in the driveway. Without his glasses, he can't see worth a damn.  That, plus my knickname for him is "Polyanna".

Now he's dressed, putting on his boots.

Me: "do you have longjohn's on?"
BH: "nah..I don't need them"

Me: "oh for God's sake, you should put them on"
BH: "I'm not going to be out there that long; I'll be coming in off and on"
Me: "you should wear the scarf over your face; it's blowing pretty bad out there".
BH (slightly agitated): "I gotta keep adjusting it and have to stop shoveling; I don't need it".

Well, alrighty then.

He opens the door.  No. He tries to open the door.  The wind has blown drifts of snow inside the storm door.  He has to push with all his might just to get it open.

10 minutes later, he's in the house.

"I'm going to wait till the plow comes down the street; there's no sense in shoveling it all now; the mail won't come till the street's plowed; we don't have to go anywhere today, right?"

"Yep", says I.  "You should put your longjohn's on".

"I'm ok; my legs are warm enough", says he.   Whatever.

Now, I don't know if he's had a mental lapse or it's the "Polyanna" talking, but when the plow comes by, the 2+ feet at the end of the driveway will become 4 feet...of compacted snow.  Yeah.

"You should see it.  There's 2 feet drifts just on the walkway; I shoveled a path down to the end of the driveway", he updates me.

Our driveway is about 50 ft. long from the deck to the road.  There's another 10 feet along side the house where the car is parked.  We do not have a snowblower.  He shovels....with a shovel.  Refuses the idea of a snowblower.  He'll be 78 in July.   I'm glad the life insurance is paid.

"Do you want me to call around for someone to come plow out the driveway?"  I offer, in my most caring tone.

"No. No. It'll be alright.  This is going to be the last of the snowfall", is his reply.  (remember: "Polyanna")

Okey dokey, then.

So, my plan is to bake chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies today.  I'm going to have plenty of time...alone in the house.  And keep the coffee hot and fresh for his intermissions.

The sun is supposed to come out this afternoon.  But the temps till next Wednesday will be in the teens with the occasional single digits below 0 during the night.

So....is it still warm and wonderful in Alaska?