Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy First Holiday Weekend of the Summer!!

Well, here we are! Another Summer season is upon us. Can you stand it?!

And it's the opening weekend of Bass fishing! I am officially a fishing widow. Son came up last night loaded for bear -- no. no. Bass.  He is so confident of the catch today that he brought up everything to prepare a trout dinner.  Yes. I said trout.  He is an obsessive avid trout fisherman.  Tomorrow is Bass.

Last weekend he was up here for fishing.  Caught 4 trout in 15 minutes! But released them because things were too helter skelter.  Ah, but trout won't be so lucky this weekend.  Dinner.

Also last weekend I was still nursing a bad hip, so moving around a lot was not in my game plan.  The pain didn't really subside til Monday.  By Tuesday, I was ready to rock and roll!  Oh yeah!  Finally got into the flower beds. Cleaned, weeded, mulched.  Wednesday got out all the lawn and garden ornaments, solar lights, birdbath.  BH finished cutting all the grass. I weedwhacked like a crazy woman.  NOW I'm ready for summer!  Except for the pool --- if the weather co-operates, that will be going up this week.  If it's not up by next weekend, that plan will be scrapped.  Won't be enough days for the water to warm up and keep it's warmth; not worth the water bill and the hassle.  Here's hoping!

We also went to the home center and bought another A/C.  The big kind that you vent out the window and can roll around (?).  I never understood the concept of "rolling" around an air conditioner.  Anywho, we already have one that keeps the main house cool, but needed one for the big house addition.  We used to have a window A/C for the family room, but since the new windows went in last summer, it doesn't quite fit without running the risk of denting the window frame.  Sooo ----- another "rolling" one will do the trick.

Problem is - we can barely get out of the 60's for day temps.  The A/C is still sitting in the box.  The other one is not hooked up.  And there are no fans in the house either.  Oh, yes. I still use fans.  One in every room.  For a total of 7.  I do not like heat!  Even in the winter.  I need to keep the bedroom window open a couple of inches. And sometimes, the window next to my recliner in the FR. when it gets too warm in the house.  Even if it's 20 below 0!

Went to the garden center yesterday and bought annuals for the pots.  Of course, it's raining today - and tomorrow - and Monday, so heaven only knows when they'll get planted.  We also went out last week and got 8 bags of red mulch.  There's a HUGE flower bed in front of our mobile home that currently has Lilies of the Valley. Has had for 18 years.  It's time for a change.  Especially since they only last for about a week and then I'm fighting weeds and dying plants for the rest of the summer. 

So the plan is to cut them all down, dig out what we can and then put down black plastic with the red mulch on top.  Then I'm going to place different pots with the annuals on the mulch.  I'm very excited about this.  Can't wait for those little buggers to bloom and die off.  I hope I can remember to take "before and after" pictures to post here.

Techie son is also supposed to come up today for the weekend. He doesn't fish, so we spend the days yammering, eating, drinking and playing with his bunny, Lambchop.  I love her!  She's soooo much fun and has a great personality!  But very, very high maintenance!!  It's like all the other grandchildren --- you love to have them come up, but you love to see them go home!

Haven't done any spinning in over 2 weeks - due to the hip.  But have been knitting.  Got the yoke done on the poncho, but put it aside because now starts the lace patterning.  Need to have a clear, conscience mind to start that - and that's not now.  So went back to the "ugly" socks.  Almost to the toe on the second one, but it looks like I'll be running out of the striping wool for the toe.  I'll have to go back and rip out the one on the other sock and re-configure the striping.  Geezzzz.

Well, I better get my arse in gear.  Planning on making  cherry and blueberry pies-one of each.  And better pull something out of the freezer for supper ---- just in case.  Can always have it tomorrow!

You all have a happy and safe holiday weekend!  God bless our troops, near and far, young and old, living and deceased.  May we never forget.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Shhhhh......Pretend I'm Not Here..........

Don't make any noise....I'm supposed to be cleaning the house today.  Haven't done a thing in......3 weeks.  Except clean the bathroom (that's a given - there is, afterall, a man in the house), the kitchen and change the bed linens.  No dusting, no vacuuming.  Well I have reasons......

First and most importantly - I HATE housework.  Been doing it for near 50 years.  I believe that at this point in my life, I have a right to do with my days whatever I want.

Second - I've been spinning and knitting like there's no tomorrow.  Just started a poncho yesterday (and immediately had to frog it twice before the pattern finally made sense.  Btw: there is a mistake in the pattern, so it wasn't my ineptitude).  And I'm continuing on the "ugly" sock. Got the heel flap almost done.  Spinning the red wool.  Which turned out to actually be a burgundy.  Very nice all the same.

Third - my body has been suffering post-fall problems.  From the fall I took last Saturday at the wool festival.  I was pretty achy and sore that Sunday and Monday.  Felt much better Tuesday and Wednesday.  A little sore again on Thursday; Friday, having trouble moving and sitting.  This Saturday - holy crap!!  I could barely move at all!!  My hip.  The same hip I seem to always twist the wrong way. 

But I attribute this relapse on the fact that I've been spinning like there was a deadline!  Don't think the constant motion on the treadleboard was conducive to the hip repairing itself.

We were supposed to go to daughter's Saturday.  BH and son were going to put in her air conditioner; I was going to help her put away the winter clothes and put the summer ones in place.  And then we were going to go shopping for a few more summer outfits and new sneakers (for her).  Didn't happen.  BH didn't want to leave me home alone, so plans were cancelled til  yesterday.  I stayed home; he and son went and did their job, she did the clothes switching herself.  Shopping is left for another day.

BH waited on me all day Saturday.  What a guy!!  And the heating pad was my closest and best friend for 2 days.  Today it's much better; a little sore, but more of an annoyance.

So I figured if I was a bit active today, it would work out the kinks.  So I guess I better get at it.  Still haven't cleaned out the old farmhouse - and city cleanup day is this coming Saturday!!  Yikes.  And the yard --- oh man.  I really need to get out there and weedwhack!

Haven't touched my wheel in 3 days.  I think I'm getting the "dt"s.  I need to treadle!!  But I don't dare.  At least for a couple more days.

Here's hoping my plan works and my activity today will have me back to feeling like my old self.......I mean, my younger self.  My "self" already feels old!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Just Hanging In There..........

So, this is the second day since my unfortunate fall at the festival.  Still sore; trouble sitting then standing, bending. Crap.  BH makes me put the heating pad on whenever I sit in the recliner (which happens to be a lot!)  Trying to keep the house looking neat; doing as little as possible. 

I pulled steaks out of the freezer yesterday morning for supper.  But by mid afternoon, I knew that wasn't gonna happen.  So asked BH if he minded DQ for supper.  We go with the cheap menu - 3 for $4 - each.  Ok with him.  The steaks will be on the menu for tonight, though.  They're a cheap cut, but food is food; don't want to have to throw them away.

Right now we're waiting for the big thunderstorm to come our way.  Lightening, hail, winds, heavy rain.  It's getting darker outside.  I hope it gets here soon - and passes - because I intended to get into the shower this morning!  Won't do it with the threat of lightening looming in the air.  Just won't do it.

I haven't touched the second brown sock for days now.  But have been spinning.  Finished the white singles and a bump of black that was still lurking in the tub.  So, the white is now being plied - 2 Shetland, 1 Merino.  Feels like a fingering/sockweight yarn.  Not sure what to do with the black; there's maybe a couple of ounces. Don't really want to NP it.  But I do have a navy blue roving and a tub of grey Shetland.  Now I'm thinking maybe I'll spin equal amounts of those 2 and then ply all 3 colors together.  Should be interesting.

Also remembered there's about a pound of the red I was working on some months ago.  That's next on the list; finish up the red.  Then I'm done with all the colors (except the grey, of which there's about 4#s!) I started months (last year??) ago.  Then I can move on to different, exciting colors!  Hey, maybe I'll get around to dyeing the BFL just purchased - and some of that grey, too!  Oh Happy Days!

But first things first.  I have to get rid of this pain in my lower back.  It's not conducive to spiking my energy level!

I am really loving this new computer! It's so fast and easy!  Wow, it's great to be in the 21st century!  The Geek tech was here yesterday to check everything out and connect the printer for me.  He said all the connections and downloads were fine.  The printer worked beautifully.  Of course, that was just with a test print.  I haven't actually printed anything on my own yet, nor scanned anything.  But geezz, it looks purrty!!

Well, I'm off to do a little straightening up around here and back to the plying.  Wishing you all a great day!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Not Quite My Day..........

Well it all started out good.  Got up at 4:00am; felt great.  Did a few things.  BH got up and we started to get ready to go to the wool fest.  Grabbed the camera, my tote bag with wheels, the brochure, map, my list of things to buy and put on my knitted sweater.  BH gets the GPS ready.  My son gave this to me for Mother's Day ---- last year!  Never used it.  First time.  Off we go.......

Down the road, BH hooks up the unit and starts reading directions.  I'm driving.  The readout is in Arabic; he can't figure out how to change it to English.  It's giving us roads in Saudi Arabia.  Can't get the US.  Ah, finally got US, but can't get out of Illinois - in Arabic.  Pick a different language.  There all foreign - can't find English.

We decided to stop and grab breakfast on the way down.  It was a gorgeous sunny day with expected temps in the 60's.

Ah, but the powers that be had different plans.  And so it starts..........

I ask BH "do you want to stop at McD's or can we hit BK down the road from the gas station (we need gas), right next to the thruway entrance?"  (McD's is past the entrance, which means going backtrack to said entrance).

BH: "doesn't matter to me; whatever you want to do".  (Really? I want to blink twice and be at the festival).

Me: "well, I don't know what they have for breakfast menu.  I don't know if they have sweet rolls or danish."

BH: " I just want the hashbrowns and coffee".  Okey dokey.  BK it is.

To make this incident short, the little girl at the counter was a bit -let's just say-not with it.  Had to explain the order to her 3 times.  Still, I didn't get my hashbrowns with the "meal deal", and I believe we were overcharged.

So we're on our way.  Eating our breakfast as we go.  I mess with the GPS while he pumps the gas.  Got English!!  Can't get out of Illinois.  Turn the damn thing off.  We got the atlas with us; we know where we're going.  Onward.......

  Somehow, took the route planned, but ended up a bit south of the destination, so we had to backtrack anyway.  No biggie.  Made it there.  Excellent parking spot.  Grabbed the tote bag and off we go.

Just as we get to the first building, I ask BH "did you bring the brochure from the back seat?"  No. He forgot it. (He was looking through it as we drove, and HE put it in the back seat, not back in the tote where I had it -- just saying).  "They'll have other ones there; if they don't, I'll go back to the car and get it"  he says.  Okey dokey then.

About the third vendor booth, in the first building, an older gentleman comes up to us and says  "I think the wheel for your bag is laying outside in the gravel".  My brain is trying to register this info as my eyes are blinking and I pick up the bag and look.  Yep. One wheel is missing.  BH says he'll go out and look for it.  Finds it!  My hero!  But as we attempt to re-attach the wheel, we discover it fell off because  the lock nut came off!  BH dutifully went back out and looked through the gravel - no luck.  So, take the camera and purse out of the tote; he takes it back to the car.  Now I have to walk around with a camera slung around my neck (which I transferred to BH's neck in short order), and a purse that weighs 30#s -- as all my purses do.  Onward and upward........

The plan is to go through all the buildings, then go back to the one's satisfactory to making my purchases.  In one of the buildings, we come across the rabbits.  Giant, fluffy, beautiful Angora rabbits!  One is on the table, the owner showing her off to the crowd.  This bunny is huge!  It must have 2#s of fiber on its body!  "Take a picture", says BH.  "Ok! Let me get the camera".  I quickly walked over to the table/bunny, only to discover the owner is now putting it back in the cage.  Oh well, I'll start taking pictures of the whole festival.  Turn the camera on.  Batteries are dead.  Okey dokey then.  We continue on our journey.........

To be specific, I'm looking to buy knitting needles of a certain size and length; some straight, one set DP.  And white wool.  I need white wool, some to spin, mostly to dye.  Many choices on the wool.  Only 2 vendors do I see that are selling needles.

Now we have not been to this particular festival for 2 maybe 3 years.  I was kind of disappointed because I don't think there were as many vendors as in years past, nor was there a lot of variety in what they were selling.  There was an awful lot of Alpaca dealers.  An awful lot.  Alpaca must be the new "in" thing.  I am not fond of Alpaca.  I do not wish to purchase any more of it.

And it seems that prices for other wool have gone through the roof!  Merino - holy crap!  BFL - what's up with that?  Good grief!  I did find a couple of vendors who were reasonable, but not quite what I was looking for.  Moving on......

And wheels??!!!!  Oh my god.  If I was a beginning spinner, this might be one craft that I would have to pass up.  Good thing this was not on my list.

Seriously, how are those of us who have an addiction a love for spinning and are of moderate disposal income supposed to keep supplied?!  Come on!  Get real, people!  But I digress........

So I purchased a set of DP Brittany needles and 2 sets of cassein straights. 2 different vendors.  Never had cassein before; they look interesting; can't wait to try them.  Then I found the wool vendor.  BFL.  Batts.  White.  Priced at about $1.20 a #.  Perfect!  Bought 2 1/2 #s from her.  I am a very happy spinner!

BH says he'll carry the bags of wool.  Off we go.  But as we're going through the aisles, I see what's happening.  "Let me carry one of the bags."  He shakes his head "no";  "you're hitting people coming in the other direction", I say; and take a bag from him.

Shopping done.  Off we go.....  well, time to head home.  Walking down the road to the car, explaining to BH why the different needles, when it occurs to me that I'm holding the little brown bag with the DP's sideways.  "Holy crap, I hope none of them fell out"  says I.  Looks in the bag.  Yep.  "There's one on the ground"  says BH.  Run, pick it up.  "Wow. That would've been bad"  says I, putting errant needle back in the sleeve.

"Wait a minute.  I think there's supposed to be 5 needles.  There's only 4 here".  (Looking at the packaging, yes, 5 needles).  Looking back down the road - there's the other needle!  "Whew! Can you imagine getting home to find a needle is still missing?!"  So I'm putting the needles back in their sleeve, talking to BH, when all of a sudden..........

I stepped into a hole or on a small rock; my ankle goes out and I feel myself falling forward.  Trying to catch myself, I keep tripping and falling.....falling.....down on my knee......rolling over......face hitting the pavement.....sliding.....and I'm down. "Ass-over-tea kettle", as my father would say. (We never knew what that meant!)   All I remember is BH yelling "Oh no.  No".  He goes to help me up.  I need to sit here for a minute, I say.  Then he helps me up.  I feel a bit shakey.  My hand is all gouged up, bleeding.  I know my knee is scraped; I think there's a scrape on my face.  I need to go back to the grounds to wash my hand off; there's sand in the wounds.  We do that.  A very nice lady pumps the water for me at the spigot and then gives me a bandage from her purse, apologizing that she doesn't have any antibiotic ointment with her.  I thank her profusely!  She was an angel!

Home, at last.  Change; wash hands; get the soaker bowl and peroxide ready.  Look at my prized wool.  Wait a minute.......(holding it under a brighter light)....oh, crap.  2 different shades of white!  "Well, you're going to dye some anyway" says BH.  Yeah.  You're right.  It's ok.

Soaking my hand; reading the mail.  There's something cool and wet on my leg.  Look down on the chair.  The bowl is tipped and there's water dripping on the seat and my leg.  Oh for god's sake!!  As the evening wears on, my hips ache, my back aches, my neck aches.  I must be getting old......

I  know this post is very, very long, but it's been a very, very long day!  Looking forward to tomorrow.  Doing nothing. Tending to my wounded body, but keeping my spirits high!  Shopping list completed!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

What I Did On My Vacation.......

No, not a real vacation......but from blogging.  Not by choice. Yep. The ol' computer finally died.  I did everything in my power for 3 days, day and night. Reading manuals, replaced the power supply (by myself!!) and the battery; messed with OS calibrations.  Nothing.

Finally on Thursday, BH said "don't make yourself crazy over this" (Ha! now ya tell me!), "we'll just go get a new one; let's go".

Now, he's been without the cribbage site, checking the news back in NY, and checking up on the Yankees for 4 days.  How much is a man supposed to endure??!!

I felt sick to my stomach because it was like losing an old friend.  Not to mention that techie son built the system for us, maintained and upgraded it as well.  I was about to lose a part of me.  There must be something to do.  But no.  I could wait one more day until I could call son and have him walk me through a repair, but after 10 years with this old, sometimes troublesome, friend, BH and I decided to take the leap.

So, off we went.  We talked with a very nice, knowledgable young man.  Spent 2 hours going through different units.  Gotta say here that our intentions were to purchase only a new processor.  But wow! There's a "Bundle Package" price that includes the monitor and printer.  AND this one's discounted, that one's discounted, we could mix and match.  Some units had the OS software CD included! (new computers now are already loaded with Windows -- but you don't get the CD.  So if you need to restore Windows, you have to go out and buy it separately! (Good one, BIll!)

OMG!  My head was spinning!  So many choices; so many beautiful pieces!  Well we finally picked the package.  Soooo happy!  Yes, yes, we'll take the Tech Support package too!  Checked out and we were on our way home with our new friend.

But now I needed to rest.  Didn't want to start setting this all up until I could muster up the courage.  So we waited til yesterday morning.  First I had to gather up all the old equipment, clear off the computer desk.  Miles and miles of cords.  In the meantime, techie son calls out of the blue.  I finally got the courage to tell him we bought a new computer.  Yikes. It was like telling him dad and I were leaving the country forever, never to come back.  He was, to say the least, disappointed.

  "I could've built you a computer for less than half the price; put anything you wanted into it".  "Yeah, but you're so busy and far away.  And we always have to call you with problems", say I.  "I don't mind that. You know I love building computers" says he.  Now my heart and stomach are sinking even lower.  I ask if he wants the old units.  Yes, he does.  So I boxed everything up for him, including installation CD's, manuals, backup CD's and such.

Ah, but the new computer!!  OMG!!  It's beautiful!  It's going to take a bit of time to get acquainted with all the new do-dads, though.  But the "Tech Support" guy is coming Monday to walk us through it all.  I Hate reading "How To" manuals!!  Sadly, I did not tell techie son that we signed up for a year of Tech Support.  I fear that would've thrown him over the edge!  So, we're just going to keep it on the "QT".

So, BH is happy --- back to cribbage, hometown news and the Yanks.  And me --- well here I am.  Love It!

And, today is "Shepherd's Harvest" wool festival in Lake Elmo.  I've been up since 4:00am!  Can't wait to get there.  Got my list ready, my tote bag on wheels (don't know what the actual name is for this thing), and visions of new wool and accessories dancing in my head.  I love wool festivals!

Well, here's wishing you all a very Happy Mother's Day!  Hope you find time to relax and enjoy!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Just Thought I'd Tell You...........

There is a dusting of snow on the ground this morning.  More to come today. It's 31 degrees, but the winds are 30-35mph.  Feels like 20 degrees.  I give up.

Seriously thinking about attempting to take the computer apart after tomorrow.  Needs a new battery - I have it - and I noticed the fan is clogged with clumps of dust and not running.  This is a "no-no" from what technie son tells me.  Though he doesn't know the fan has stopped.

Either that, or I let the whole thing burn out and buy a new computer.  I need some entity to raise MY Debt Ceiling!!

BBQ ribs for supper tonight.  Unfortunately, not on the grill (refer to first sentence).  Trying to decide if I want to make something for dessert.

I wanted to get to the store today.  Gotta think about that.

Yesterday is was raining buckets - all day, from the night before.  And the winds!

6 more days to the Lake Elmo Sheep and Wool Festival!!  Oh geezz.  I gotta make a list.

Next Saturday is supposed to be sunny and warm, 60-65 degrees.  I'm going to light some candles and say a Novena.

Started on the second "ugly sock".  Got a feeling this is going to take a lonnngg time to finish.  Crap.

Looked out the kitchen window this morning to see one of the birdhouses blew down - post and all.  Double crap.

Wishing you all a happy, peaceful, cozy day!