Saturday, October 10, 2015

This Can't Be.......

It's almost the middle of October!!  Whaaatttt......????   We have 1 more month....1 more month, chickies....till the hurrying, scurrying, nerve-rattling, mind-blowing holidays start rolling an avalanche.  Already the stores are bringing out the Christmas decorations.  WAIT!! Fall just started!!  The kids are back in school barely a month.  I don't even have the Autumn wreath on the door yet.

There's still apples to be picked, perennials to be cut down and lawn ornaments to be put away.  I'm behind schedule already.  We've been waiting for a couple of heavy frost nights for the apples.  I think we've had one.  A hard frost came through the other they will be picked tomorrow, regardless.  As for the perennials....well, they haven't quite died back yet.  Maybe this coming week, at least the yard paraphernalia can be gathered up and stored.

But Fall Festivals are everywhere!!  Every little town, village and burb is having a celebration.  Craft shows have begun and the apple cider is flowing.

For 2 weeks we've had temps in the low 50's for daytime highs; mid to low 30's at night.  Today....71.....tomorrow....83!!   83 in October is more than I can bear in northern Minnesota. No. No. No.  It's just not right.  A/C's were removed last week; the fans were cleaned and stored away this week.  Of course.  At least BH didn't get the "bug" to put up the storm windows yet!

BH is happy.... he's back to logging.  So every afternoon, I get a tally of how many trees, how many cuts, how many total pieces are stacked for next year, how many more trees he needs to cut, how many more pieces that will give him....yada,yada,yada.  You get the picture.  But at least it gets him out of the house for a few hours.

I've been knitting and spinning like crazy.  For no particular reason other than I really want to get as much fiber spun up as is humanly possible from now till next Spring.  There's a LOT of fiber.  I should live so long.

Just a few things off the needles this summer/fall.  Haven't taken any spinning pics for some reason.  Hmmm......

We took a trip back to NY to see family over the Labor Day holiday.  Stayed for 10 days.  It was good seeing family again.  We haven't been back in 5 years since my parents passed away.  It sure was a different feeling, one that was uncomfortable and makes us realize, yeah, this will never be the same again.

Daughter and I have been spending a lot of Saturdays out and about.  Traveling around to different areas, just having a good time.  Today, we're going to a craft show in the next town.  First one of the season for us.  It'll be fun.  She really enjoys our time out together.

Skyped with granddaughter earlier this week.  She tells me that rumors are going around they'll be home for Christmas!!  She's in Kuwait, been there since June.  Their tour was supposed to be till the end of January.  Don't know what happened; don't care.  Just bring her HOME!!  We're soooo excited....I pray this comes to fruition.  She tells me the took a lot of tools to another base to be re-calibrated; they were told to inform family no more packages or mail is to be sent to them after Oct. 15 and the troops will be moving from barracks to tents next week, making room for their replacements coming in.  

Son bought a new car a couple months ago.  So he's in 7th heaven!  It's his "dream car", he tells us.  My caveat to him:  "if I hear you bought 1 replacement part, I'll never speak to you again!"   He likes to "soup" up his cars.  His apartment is loaded with boxes of new parts...including a transmission and 2 engines.  It's a sickness.  Kind of like someone buying pounds and pounds of wool, stored in large totes

Well, that's about all the news.  I think we're caught up now.  See you before the snow flies.......I hope.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Absense Makes the Heart........

SING!!!!  Yeah...that's right.  Retirement 24/7/365 is not all it's cracked up to be.  Can I get an "amen"?  

So....BH is going to son's for the day.  They're going to chop wood (but it's raining now, and supposed to all day).  They'll probably sit and yammer all day.  I gave him a warning:  "DO NOT come home by noon!!"

We spend a LOT of time together.  Every day.  Every hour.  The only time I have to myself is when I get up in the morning at 4am till he rolls out of bed at 6 - 6:30.  Sometimes he's up at 5am....don't get me started.

I love him dearly!  Don't know what I'd do without him.  We've been together for 28 years...married for 26.  But COME ON!  It didn't used to be so bad....when I was working.  But then I retired.  Now I'm just tired.  Badabing, badaboom.  (old joke).

I do manage to get out with our daughter, taking her grocery shopping, to appointments and occasionally, we have a day out together.  One time, he suggested that he go grocery shopping with us so he can pack the bags (our grocery stores don't do that for whatever reason) and carry them.  Aaarrggghhhh......NO....that's ok; it's not that bad; I can manage.  Whew...escaped that one.

The poor thing.....he used to bowl every Thursday night.  But we had 2 teenage sons at home then.   He used to play softball every Monday night; quit that at 65 and became an Umpire.  That was great!!  He was gone 2 nights a week, just about every weekend....for.....hours!!  He gave it up at 69 years of age. Fishing in the summer, too.  Just about everyday he would be gone...from 5am till sometimes 5pm or later. 

But health problems started rearing their ugly heads.  Neuropathy in his legs and hands.  He can't run any more and his hands shake so bad, it's difficult to manage fine motor skills.  No more fishing.   OMG!  I just realized....I sound like a real Bitch!!  Complaining about him being home all the time.  Well.....I feel like a Bitch today.  Sorry. plan is to clean the house today.  But I'm trying to talk myself out of it.  I haven't won yet.  Who wants to waste time cleaning house when you have the whole day to do whatever.....just relish the day.

Well, we're taking a trip back east in a week and change.  Visiting family.  Haven't been back there in 5 years.  It'll be fun.  Just the 2 of us.  Together.  24/7.  Again.  I'm thankful for small blessings.  No. Really. 


Monday, August 10, 2015

The Good....The Bad.....and the Aggravating !

Well how've you been?  Oh things are just great here (note: sarcasm).

We've been bopping right along.  After a bout of hot, humid weather, we finally had some decent temps, no humidity last week.  It was heaven!!  I got to bake 4 dozen hard rolls.  Good thing, too, because we were on the last dozen.  This week's temps look pretty comfy, too.  We had a couple of nights in the 40's.  Yeah...bring it on!

Finally got to Skype for the first time with granddaughter last week.  What a kick that was.  Never used a web-cam before.  It was great seeing her face to face.  We talked for about 20 minutes.  She works 2nd shift, finishes at midnight.....which is 8 hours ahead of our time.  Well, by the time she ran to the PX, then went out in the yard to be under the flood lights so she could see better, it was 2:30am her time.  She's always been a "nightowl", so this is right up her alley.  

She sounds good, looks good (just a little tired, maybe), but everything is going along well for her.  She loves her job and is enjoying the camaraderie with her fellow soldiers.  6 more months, God willing.

BH and I have been keeping up with chores around here.  We finally emptied out all the boxes we packed a couple years ago for the big move.  Last week we got over to the old farmhouse (used for storage) and re-arranged everything else and cleaned up a bit.  Whew.....that's done.

So far the lawn mower is working great (fingers crossed every time).  And it was repaired with no charge to us.  A new pull cord and somehow the throttle spring was missing.....that's why it wouldn't start.  They replaced that too.   BH is in his element again, and all is right with the world.

I finally got into the totes with the hand knitted wear and pulled out the pieces that needed to have photos taken.  That's done.

Last week, I was visiting my very favorite fiber supply website when I see they're having a sale.....a 2 day sale.  Choice of merino, corriedale X or cheviot X.  OMG!!  I've been waiting for this!!  Told BH about it....."order 10 pounds" he says.  He's sooooo easy.   "no, that's too much; I'll just order 5....5 pounds will do it".   Ohhhh but merino!!  Ohhhh but I really need corriedale.   After a few minutes of discussion, it was decided by him and I......4#s of corriedale and 4#s of merino.  Yes!!

So, now I had to go through my stock and see what can be re-packed to make more room.  This is not an easy task.  But it was done.  Thursday the fiber arrived. Mmmmmm......luscious fiber !!

I love to dye the corriedale.  The merino is for a special project.  Well, 1/2 of it anyway.   I've been thinking for months.....I want to make our granddaughter a Wedding Shawl.  I have some silk that's been waiting for the perfect project; and a LOT of crystal beads.  I've been perusing websites and books for shawl patterns.  I have a handful to choose from.   In a month or so, I will start blending the silk with the Merino and prepare it for spinning.  Probably start around the holidays if not right after.  Granddaughter is scheduled to come home at the end of January.  And it takes about 6 months to plan a wedding properly, right?

OK.  So you know that into every life a little rain must fall.  Well, it came our way on Saturday afternoon....through the night....all night.  Only it wasn't just rain.  No sir.   It was a friggin' monsoon.  It was so bad, daughter and I went on a shopping excursion an hour away in the morning.  By 3pm as we were on our way home, it hit.  It took us 2 hours to get home.  We stopped twice because I couldn't see the road and the highways were flooding.  What an adventure!!  By the time we were a couple miles from home, we could laugh about how crazy it was.  All the streets in our neighborhood were getting flooded.

Well, yesterday morning, BH takes some things over to the storage house, comes back and tells me there's water all over some things; he had to wipe it up.  WHAT???  Did it come through the windows??  No. He didn't think so.  Did it come through the door?? No. He didn't think so.  "Come over with me and take a look; you'll know what I'm talking about", says he.  Well. Well. Well.  What the hell happened???  The ceiling is buckled and water is dripping through in large areas, in numerous places.  There's a 2nd floor on this building.  But how did water get through to the first floor if there's no water upstairs???  Aaarrrgghhhh.

Well, we cleaned up, covered up, moved things.  And then we went outside.  And I looked up at the roof.  And there it was.   The torrential winds and rains had ripped up the roof right over the door, about 3 ft. wide and long.  Oh the wood is still there.  Only it's in splinters and raised up (ripped up).  Ok.  Now what??

After a cool-down, gathering of thoughts, we discussed and concluded that a new roof was going to have to be done.  So we called our son.  This is his profession.  He told us what the options will be.  We're going with a steel roof.  He's going to talk to his boss and get his input.  Because the roof is at least 75 years old (that's right....75), and no one can, for sure as hell, stand on the roof without fear of breaking through somewhere.

We're praying for good weather all this week, because it probably won't be gotten to until the weekend.  And then I hear on the radio this morning......possible rain showers tomorrow night and Wednesday morning.  Oh what the hell. 

And I live by these words:   "Nothing's so bad that it can't be worse".  It's my mantra.

And now for something completely different:

Blue/grey twisted rib tube socks

 Brown ombre watch cap and scarf
 Green/grey twisted rib tube socks
 Maroon/grey twisted rib tube socks
 White Border Leicester/w iridescent Firestar  Cabled vest

 Embossed, brass-tone buttons

I LOVE this pattern!  It's my 4th(?) vest, different colors of course.

The tube socks are really fun to knit, too.  I've gotta do more of those. 

Wishing you all a fantastic week!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Is It Over Yet??............

Summer.  I'm not a big fan of summer.  It's ok for the first few weeks, but now we're into the middle of it.  The beginning of the worst of it.  The heat.  Humidity.  Bugs.  Incessant weeds and grass mowing.  Ear shattering thunder storms.  Torrential rains.  And the ever present  tornado warnings.  No thank you; I've had enough.  Let's move on to the next season.  Fall.  How I love Fall.

Anywho, so since we last visited, some housecleaning and yard work has been done.  Unfortunately, it needs to be done again.  We'll get to that.  The hot, humid days have been upon us with a reprieve or 2 in between.  That's a good thing.

All boxes that were packed up for the "big move" 2 years ago are now unpacked and most things have been put back in place.  There are 2 boxes marked "Keepsakes"......things I definitely don't want to throw out, but don't want to be dusting off anymore either.  Then there's 2 boxes marked "Donate"....which will go to one of the SecondHand stores here in town.   One of these days.

Yesterday was a gray day, threatening rain all day (which didn't arrive till we got into bed last night), so I spent the day setting up a page on FB, supposing it to be a link to my Etsy store.  Hoping to get things back in there for sale by the middle of September.  Since it's all woolen apparel, I didn't see putting it in now, paying the fees and have it sit there.  Am I wrong?  Hmm.....How many people realize that, yes, there will be another winter;  yes, there will be another Christmas shopping season.  And it'll be here quicker than you can say "Bob's your uncle".   So.....plan now?  I know there's such people out there....but I've never really been a stalwart.  I do admire them immensely, though.

We've heard from granddaughter a few times now by FB messaging.  We've got the webcam all set up, got Skype downloaded, ready to go.  Just haven't worked out times we can video chat together.  9 hours difference over there.  And she does spend a lot of free time chatting with her fiancĂ©.   That's quite understandable.  Also, her work schedule is the afternoon shift....from 4 to midnight.   We'll figure it out pretty soon, I'm sure.

Remember the new landscaping lawn mower that I bought for BH a couple of months ago?   The one that made his eyes almost pop out of his head  and me choke when we saw the price?   Yeah....well Monday we had to take it be serviced.   I wanted to throw up.   Right on the show room floor.  In front of all the shiny, clean, brand-spanking-new mowers.

Yeah.  It seems the engine revs started dying the last time he used it.  Quite a noticeable change in the engine sound.  BH checked it out on the "net"....called the service dept.  Yep.  Most likely needs a new air filter.  No, no, you can't rinse out the one in there now.  It's made of'll disintegrate.   A new one will be $5.00.

Now the price isn't bad.  What's bad is he mows the grass every week, sometimes twice a week.  Probably 2 acres at least.  The mower is 2 months old.  So through the season, we're probably looking at 3 or 4 filters.   And for the original price of the'd think they'd have a better, reusable filter, right?  Ppffftttt.

So, not only that, but then I find out the pull cord is stripped of it's cloth covering, right down to the plastic wire core.  How the hell did that happen???  Aaarrrggghhh.   BH is not the most observant or careful person when it comes to .........anything, really.  It was no surprise when he said he never saw the damage being done.  (There's a very funny story of our visit to the DMV for renewing his driver's license and the required eye test....I'll tell you later.  It's hysterical, trust me!)

Well,'s in the shop.  "Can you give me a rough time estimate when it'll be done?"  BH asks the service guy.   "Well, we'll take a look and see what's wrong; probably have to order the parts; we'll get to it by the end of the week.  You should have it back week after next".     Are you friggin' kiddin' me?????   A garage can put a new engine and transmission in your car in less time than that!!   We're not talking a riding mower here; it's a push...ok.....self-propelled...woohoo.....mower!!   Probably 'cause it's under warranty....yeah, that's it.  Not making any money on it, so push it back to the end of the line.

Well, I'm exhausted now.  Get a cup of coffee and see if that restarts my "engine" for the day.   I'll be checking in again soon....unless the heat and humidity do me in.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Holy crap!  This season is going fast.  Not that I mind all that much.  Fall is my very favorite time of year.  So...hurry up, Summer....get it over with.

Whatcha doing for the 4th?  We've got son and daughter coming on Saturday.  A cookout is planned.  Something simple and not too expensive, I'm planning.  Today is grocery shopping day....and other assorted errands.

Good news!....I am totally done with the inside work. The last room was scrubbed and freshened on Saturday.  So,  yesterday I weedwhacked, pulled weeds, fixed the little fencing around the hedges, trimmed the annuals back so they bush out instead of growing tall and "leggy", and Miracle-Gro-ed the gardens and planters.  Yea for me....a gold star!!

Now on to the rest of the outside work.  I want to scrub down the siding on the house.  First time in 12 years.  BH is very nervous about this....he thinks the color of the siding will get all "splotchy".  Oh, for crysakes.  Well, that will be accomplished next week.....great weather is predicated all next week.

Then it's the car.....washing inside and out, preceded by a good vacuuming inside and then shampooing the upholstery and carpeting.  And if time, weather and energy allow.....I just may tackle the van.  And, of course, there will be the old farm house...which needs to be straightened up and re-organized.  And boxes.  Need. to. be. unpacked. ugh.

We're planning a trip back to NY at the end of August to see family.  Did I tell you that already?  Anywho, we've been trying to plan this out since last year.....but something has always come up.  Fingers crossed, it'll finally happen.

Other than that, nothing new going on.  Tomorrow should be a very relaxing, puttering around kind of day.  Maybe I'll get pictures of the latest vest and get them posted.   Oh.....a coconut/banana cream pie will be in the making tomorrow for Saturday.  At the request of BH.  His birthday is the a little extra celebration is definitely called for.

You all have a very safe and happy July 4th!!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

In Case You Were Wondering.....

What am I doing right now?  Well.....dinner is on the stove, staying warm.  It's 4:50pm.  BH is out in the back 5(acres), behind the old farm house, throwing the rest of his chopped wood into the basement.  He said there was about 200 pieces left.....out of the 5200 he had stacked outside.  You read that right.....5200 pieces.  Which is our wood supply for next winter.  "It'll only take me a half hour or so".

I'm assuming there should have been an underline in the "or so".  We had no lunch I'm starving.  I wanted to eat before 5pm so the kitchen would be cleaned up at a reasonable hour and we could relax for the evening.  I think I missed that train.

What's for supper?   Grilled (in the house) salmon, rice/w stir fry veggies, Waldorf salad and wheat bread.  Jello for dessert.  I haven't made Waldorf salad in many moons.  Can't wait to have it again!

Well, they're calling for thunderstorms tonight.  I opened the windows about 4:15 after having the A/C and all the fans running all day.  85 we had for a temp and a bit on the humid side.

I also blew a fuse.  The second one in 2 days.  The first time in about 20 years.  I guess I need to watch what's running on the same circuit a bit better.  I think it's because we moved the higher BTU  A/C into the family room on that line. 

So I guess the A/C, 2 fans and the dryer can't be used at the same time.  Ohhhhh.......Oleeever......Oleeeever..........(my favorite saying from "Green Acres").   Remember how Lisa had to unplug the coffee pot to plug in the toaster?'s that kind of thing.

Ok.  He's here.  Time for supper.   Mmmmmmm........

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Pretty much this month.   So we took son to the Martina McBride concert last Friday.  It was amazing!!  She is a great performer.  We thoroughly enjoyed the evening......and son is still talking about it.  I took videos with my camera and converted them to a DVD for him.  He got to shake her hand at the end of the concert...he was the first and only one at the edge of the stage for the last song.

Yep...that's him in the first photo.  He says he'll carry this memory with him doubt!

Got the word from granddaughter 2 days ago.....her unit will be leaving for Kuwait on June 30.  There's talk they'll be serving in Iraq as well.  God bless them all.

I've got 1 more room to do for the annual cleaning.  Plan to get at it today.  Then I'm done with all the inside work; time to move outside.  Not my favorite the summer.  The heat, humidity, bugs......LOTS of bugs....of every species.  Of course, no shortage of mosquitos.....the state bird of Minnesota.

No knitting has taken place this month.  Lots of spinning though.  However, why does it always seem that the closer you get to finishing a fiber, the longer it takes.  It seems like there's no end to this particular color.  And my patience is running thin.  I want to get it done and move on to another.

Grandson's graduation party is today.  We will not be attending.  A very, very long story.  Lots of drama from our son and his fiancĂ©.
They have pulled us into a nasty situation which we have nothing to do with.  And now there's a lot of anger on their part at us, and a lot of hurt on our side. The fact that invitations were sent out a couple of weeks ago....but we received ours just Wednesday.  Grandson was supposed to stop by our home Sunday to invite us personally, but never showed nor called.   It makes us feel like it was never intended for us to be part of the celebration; a last minute thought or decision on their part.  Oh well.  We've been through this before with another adult kid.  This is NOT the family I grew up in.  This is NOT my parents' family.   Never will be.  What a rotten shame. today; taking daughter grocery shopping tomorrow.  That takes a few hours.

More rain in the forecast for tomorrow.  We've been getting quite a bit of rain.  I wanted so bad to douse the flowers with MiracleGrow to make them "thicker and lusher" as the advertising says, but they're wet enough with Mother Nature's help.

Still don't have the screen house up yet.  BH promises it'll be up by the Fourth of July.  We'll see......

And that's all the news from Upnorth, MN.   Hope you all have a great weekend!!