Monday, October 31, 2011

Housework Be Damned!...........

You can probably figure out what that's all about. This is going to be my new mantra.  Actually, it's always been my mantra. I'm admitting it to all the world right now. Yeah. Didn't do it. I did manage to thoroughly clean through the place on Thursday.  That felt really good.  But that's it.

I did finish spinning the navy blue merino. Then started on 8 oz. of painted roving - Targhee.  Never spun Targhee before. Despite that it felt kind of felted as I was stripping it apart, rolling the strips into coils, it drafts and spins beautifully.  Nice and soft.  And the colors!! Omg!! It's called "Indian Corn"; deep red, orange, peach, navy blue, dark teal and brown.  I have a project in mind for the yarn when it's done.....when it's done .....

I'm going to ply it with the navy blue and a copper that I recently purchased.  Gotta spin the copper.  Hope to get pictures posted sometime this week.

My 2 shades of blue still need to be plied; 8 bobbins full.  I think I'm going to attempt a sweater with a white Norwegian design across the chest and shoulders.  Never done that before, but I love the designs.

I washed the poncho, the black shawl and a pair of socks.  Had the shawl all pinned and blocked.  Going to take a picture.  Then son is coming up for fishing.  Had to fold it up and put it away.  It was laid out in the spare bedroom.  I will get pictures this week.

Yesterday I got off my arse and made 2 chicken pot pies.  One for supper; one for the freezer.  The freezers are getting well stocked.  Nothing makes me happier than thinking "what to have for supper? Let's see what I can pull out of the freezer".  Love it!!

Today BH and I are going to the casino!  I have birthday coupons for free plays and gifts!  He says we won't spend any money, just use the free dollars worth the casino is giving us.  Yeah.  We'll see how that goes.  Here's hoping we walk out with more than we walked in with!

Son from the Cities and his friend were supposed to come up for fishing this past weekend.  Didn't happen.  His company was moving to a new building and everyone was helping.  Plus both he and friend's finances were stretched somewhat; so they decided it was undoable.  But we didn't get a phone call on Friday or Saturday morning informing us of such.  And I didn't call to find out if they were coming up or not.  I just kept my fingers crossed and hoped for the best.  I have not been in the mood for entertaining for quite some time now. 

So that's the end of trout season for them.  Try again next year.

Anywho, spinning for at least an hour every morning; got another pair of socks started; bed made, dishes done, laundry put away, garbage wrapped up to be taken out.  Some breakfast, get dressed, gather up my coupons and we're off.  Just for a couple of hours; we won't spend any of our money.  And hopefully come home with a bundle!!  A girl can dream!!

Hope everyone has a great day.  Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

New Beginnings.........

It's the beginning of a new week.  Not to be deterred by forces beyond my control, new plans are in order.  Well, not new plans.  More like replanning what took a detour last week.

Because of BH's injury last Monday, my schedule of things to get done --- didn't. I spent the week keeping him company and waiting on him.  As of yesterday, though, he's been up and about.  Not too much, just what he can endure.

Saturday I put on a big pot of chili.  Turned out pretty darn good, if I do say so.  Cleaned the coffee pot ( you know - the vinegar and baking soda thing), changed the bed linens and straightened up the house.  Oh.  I also had to go get a couple of boxes of firewood and bring it in the house.  And take out the accumulated recyclables to the storage boxes.  Not my regular jobs.  Of which I informed BH:  "I don't like doing your jobs; I don't like going outside; I don't like 'messy' things to do; I have enough of my own work to do".  I did say it with a smile on my face and a chuckle in my voice.  Seriously, a gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do.

Oh yeah.  Son who was coming up for fishing this past weekend (and unknown to him, the aforementioned "man's work", wound up with some health problems and a doctor's appointment.  Remember --- "it's always something".  So a call was placed to other son who lives up here.  Set to come out Saturday and take care of the firewood for us.  But ---- no show.  He called yesterday to say that he's been down with some bug for a few days.  "It's always something".  Gotta get a t-shirt made with that slogan.

Yesterday it rained most of the day.  BH was taking his hike around the house. Ever so slowly and with much caution.  Hanging onto walls and furniture.  But he did ok.  He even managed to sit at the dining room table for breakfast, which hasn't been done in almost a week.

Anywho, took the free time to scrub out the refrigerator and freezer.  Took all the drawers and shelves out, washed everything, threw away questionable condiments.  Then I made a pan of apple crisp; went to the store for a couple of things; made BBQ pork chops, boiled potatoes, green beans and applesauce for supper.  Yum!  Did up the dishes, cleaned up the kitchen and we settled in to watch the mystery series on PBS.  Nobody does mysteries like the British!!  I try never to miss one.

Today, on the agenda --- I'm seriously going to attempt to get the utility room scrubbed.  I've gotta get back to the Fall cleaning.  This is my last big, laborious room to do.  Then it's just the hallway, bathroom and small guest/wool room.  Oh, and then to go back and do regular cleaning in all the other rooms that haven't been touched since they were power scrubbed some weeks ago.  Dust?  Oh yeah!

I'm still working on the navy blue merino.  Thought I had just a couple of ounces to finish spinning last week.  Then, low and behold, I found another 4 ounces that had been set aside.  Crap.  So I try to get an hour and a half at the wheel each morning.

Then there's the burgundy socks.  I finished one using a complementary burgundy/grey for the heel and toe.  Ah, but I put the toe stitches on holders.  I've learned this lesson some time ago.  So, onto the second sock.  Get to the heel, start with the bur/grey, and realize that the heel is way too thick.  I really don't like this yarn.  Plus, I don't think there's enough of it to complete the heel and toe.  Crap.  Rip.  Yep.  Rip the first sock too.  Continue with just the burgundy for the whole sock - both of them.  So the one that was done is on stitch holders at the leg, and continuing on the second sock ---- which will now be the first sock to be done.

The poncho, shawl and another pair of socks are still sitting on the coffee table, waiting to be washed.  Maybe next week.  After the house cleaning is done. Hehehehe.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's Always Something........

"As my father always used to say: Roseanne Rosanna Danna, it's always something".........Gilda Radner character on Saturday Night Live

Thinking of that character and the skit cracks me up every time.  I even repeat it when things around here get nuts!   And nuts they are.

Monday was the day I planned on getting back to the housecleaning.  And I did.  Worked on the kitchen all day.  Scrubbed the ceiling, walls, countertop tiles, cupboards.  Moved out the fridge and stove, cleaned behind them, washed them both down.  Washed the curtain and odds and ends.

The stove was the last to be moved's the worst.  Never know what I'm going to find back there and what spills have accumulated down the sides of the thing.  I have to muster up some courage.

Not too bad, actually.  Being that I just did this last Summer, not bad.  So all washed, I proceed to wiping up the floor behind it.  Wait a minute.....there's a strange smell.  I'm sniffing all around like a hound dog on the scent.'s coming from the connection of the gas pipe into the stove.  A very small whiff of gas.  Sniffing down the gas line, the in-house connection.....definitely coming from the stove.  Panic.

Go explain the situation to BH.  He never panics.  Everything is ok; don't worry; what're you going to do about it; where's the money coming from......yada, yada, yada.  Surprisingly, he was very supportive.  "well call the gas company if it'll make you feel comfortable".  And so I did.

Well, the tech can't come out until Tuesday.  What should I do in the meantime...the stove is sitting in the middle of the kitchen.  "Is there a shut-off valve?"  Yes there is.  "Go ahead and turn off the valve".  Okey dokey.

He came out yesterday afternoon.  Checked everything.  Took the whole oven apart, saying sometimes the oven valve doesn't close all the way when you turn the oven off.  Nothing.  No leaks.  Checked all the connections, using his handy-dandy soap mixture.  Explaining that any leak would cause the soap mixture to turn black.  Nothing.  Well, that's a good thing.  Except now I look like a nut job.  I tell him the smell of gas makes me very nervous.  Still don't know where the smell was coming from, but I will definitely stay alert.

Now I had planned on attacking the utility room Tuesday.  That was put on hold.  Another day that puts my plans behind.  Ok. Ok. No problem.  There's plenty of time.

So, finished with the kitchen, it's time to clean up and relax til supper.  As I'm walking out the door to empty the cleaning bucket, I hear this crash.  What the hell fell over?  Look around the corner.......there's BH laying on his back on the kitchen floor.  Stunned, dazed and a bit shocked.  Oh my God!  Oh my God!  "I'm ok", he says.  "My leg fell asleep but I thought it would be ok if I got up and walked.  Just let me lay here for a minute.  I think I twisted my ankle".

I got him up and into the family room, to the recliner, with much effort.  He definitely was having a bad time walking.  Within an hour, the ankle and foot are swollen 3x it's normal size.  What's that?  Take him to the doctor?  Maybe even Urgent Care? ............Don't be silly!

He had a very uncomfortable night Monday.  Yesterday he spent in the recliner, leg up, ice bags and ibuprophen.  I went to the storage house and dug out the walker.  So he used that to get to the bathroom.  We'll see what today brings.

The background to this is he was diagnosed with polyneuropathy some 4 yrs ago. The sheathing around the nerves in his legs is disintegrating, leaving the nerves exposed.  Doctor said it's like stripping the insulation from an electric cord and having the wires exposed.  So sometimes the nerves don't make proper connections.  All caused by his body producing too many antibodies. He underwent 6 months of plasma pheresis (using a dialysis machine).  Did not work.

So for the past 6 months, there have been changes.  He falls a lot more now.  He also has a "dropped foot" as one of the effects; he has to remember to pick his foot up when walking, or he trips on his toes.  And his hands shake a lot.  He has to concentrate when picking something a cup of coffee or dinner plate.  It will shake right out of his hands.

I sat with him all day yesterday; helping him get to the bathroom, bringing food and drink, changing the ice bags, keeping the woodstove fired up.  Today I'm going to attempt cleaning the utility room.  Because it's off the family room and I can watch him and hear him from there.  Wish me luck.

Son is coming up for fishing this weekend.  So he thinks.  Little does he know he's going to be enlisted to do some work outside.  Bring more wood into the house, put the lawn furniture away and maybe start putting the hay down around the house.

Thursday I have to go into town for a meeting with daughter's helpers.  I had planned on spending the day with her, doing a few things around her apartment.  That ain't gonna happen.  I'll have to get home as soon as possible.  So.....that means another day will have to be set aside and another trip.

It's always something.........

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Random Thoughts.......

Friday, Oct 14:

***I've woke up at 4:00am; 3 1/2 hours of sleep.  This is getting to be a regular occurance.  Don't know why.  So I spin for about 2 hours.

***Thursday I brought out the dehydrator, cleaned it up, washed the trays.  It hasn't seen the light of day in....12 years or so(?)  And proceeded to wash and prepare Gala apples.  They were on sale this week.  10# for $10.  I bought 5#s because my best intentions somehow get way-laid.  Dried 5 of the 12 apples, because that's all that would fit on the trays.  It amounted to a couple of handsful.  I will do another 5 apples today.

***I made a huge soup pot full of beef/barley soup also on Thursday.  1/2 is now in the freezer.

***Today my plan is to make Chicken Chow Mein for supper, freezing 1/2 again.  Maaaayybbeee......Apple Struedel.  I also want to put all the fans away; A/C's went out some weeks ago.  And bring out the winter clothes, put the summer ones away.

***Monday I will make a soup pot full of Chili.  Same procedure.....1/2 for the freezer.  I also want to get started on finishing the Fall cleaning.  Nope. Haven't done it yet.  Hopefully it won't turn into "Christmas" cleaning.

***I am now knitting the edging of the shawl.  6 more rows to go.  And it's done.  Then wash and block, along with the poncho and a pair of socks that have been patiently waiting for..... weeks.

***Just about done spinning the navy blue Merino.  Maybe 3 oz. more to go.  Intended to be plied with 2 shades of blue.  But the more I look at it, and the blues, I'm thinking there's a painted roving that the navy could be better plied with and just do the 2 blues together.

***However, that requires spinning the painted roving.  Which I'm really getting psyched about spinning.  It's a beautiful coloration.  It'll make great socks.

I had to put this post on hold Friday.  Now it continues:

***I did not make the apple streudel.  But I did make a pan of fudgey brownies with delicious chocolate buttercream frosting!  Mmmmm.

***Did not put summer clothes away or bring out the winter ones.

***Not too sure about the Chili tomorrow.  Maybe later in the week.  Did do the Chicken Chow Mein, though.  Leftovers tomorrow.

***Still working on the navy blue Merino.  Getting there......

***BH worked on the car all yesterday.  It quit on me when I went into town Wednesday.  Luckily, across from our auto repair shop!  Our very nice mechanic came over and jumped it; it started; "thank you so much" and off I went, on to the grocery store.  But when I turned the corner, all the dash lights came on, blinking wildly, and the annoying "ding-ding-ding" of the seat belt alarm wouldn't quit.  I turned around, went back to the repair shop and told him we better make an appointment.  Thursday, 1:30.  Came home, turned the car off, turned the key --- nothing.  Deader than a doormouse (whatever that means).  BH put the slow trickle charger on it for hours.  Nada.  Thursday he did it again for longer.  1:15 ---- nothing.  Call the shop and cancel.  We just might need a new battery.

***Today we took off for the big town, to the farm/feed/auto store (it's not the Cities!)  and bought the battery.  Tomorrow he will install it and hopefully we'll have our car again.

***I finished the shawl this afternoon.  Just have to weave in the ends.  It looks good! Can't wait to wash and block it.  It will relax the lace pattern and probably be a lot bigger than it looks now.

***On to finishing the socks.........oh. yeah. Tomorrow is Monday.  Back to Fall cleaning.  Crap.  Maybe something else will come up that will call for us to make another trip.  Somewhere.  To kill most of the day.  And then I'll knit tomorrow night while watching "Castle".  And reschedule for Tuesday.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Another Chapter Ends...........

Yesterday BH and I drove 40 miles to drop off his "fishing" car.  A 1984 Olds Custom Cruiser station wagon; purchased 7 years ago for the purpose  Something to throw the 12' row boat on top of the roof, load all the gear in the back and off he would go.  This was his 3rd fishing vehicle over the past 20 years.  Sadly, it's his last.

It also did double duty for hauling logs out of the woods.  Stacked to the inside roof, back end just a few inches from the ground, BH would come home with a few weeks worth of wood to be cut and split, keeping us toasty warm during the unrelenting winter.  So proud of himself!  He's my Hero!

And then there was our son and grandson.  When their car was laid up for one reason or another, or totally out of commission needing to be replaced, the 1984 wagon was loaned to them....sometimes for months....many times.

All it ever needed in the years we had it was a couple of tires and a battery.  But then things started going wrong.  Wipers no longer worked; radio, nada; brakes were questionable; A/C non-existent; 3 of the 4 windows no longer powered down.  The interior was torn and tattered, dents on the body were showing signs of extreme rust, moulding was missing from many areas.

A few months ago, we had a serious discussion about selling the 14' motor boat and trailer.  His fishing days have taken a nose-dive this past season, and I sensed that something was amiss.  He hadn't hitched the motor boat up at all this past summer, and he finally admitted that it was getting to be a chore to put the row boat on top of the car, take it off, put it up and take it off again.  I still don't know what the deal was with not wanting to hitch up the bigger boat.  But some things are better left unknown!

Last week I heard him on the phone with son discussing the boat.  When he got off the phone, he told me son's friend would give him $100 for the car.  A few days later, BH tells me son's employer would give $150 for it.  He intends to strip it down and sell for scrap metal.  The deal was set.

So BH spent Wednesday and Thursday cleaning the old girl out, wiping down the interior (I had to turn away, lest he hear me chuckling when he told me this) and preparing it for the final ride.

We dropped it off; he removed the license plates, and said his final "thank you" for years of service and a last goodbye.

We talked of all the things she had done for us on the way home; how what we paid for her, spread out over the 7 years, had given us our money's worth many times over.

When we got home, I immediately called the insurance agent and had her delete it  from our policy.  The agent and I had a good laugh when I told her the car had finally given up the ghost.  "Finally" was the word that gave us both belly laughs.

Now we'll see what next Spring has in store.  It just may be that the motor boat/trailer are the next to go -- to be sold.  And BH will be with me every day......all day.  No getting away; no reprieve.

It will be the end of another chapter and the beginning of a new one......the 2 of us.....24/7.....all year.  I wonder if I could interest him in joining some sort of Senior Citizen's group that goes on day trips.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cancelling a Negative with a Positive........

So, we didn't go to the Wisconsin Apple Fest.  It was very windy (30+mph) and rain off and on.  Besides which, I think I'm coming down with something; little sore throat, congestion, achy.

That's the negative.

While sitting, watching TV, BH says, "ya know, we should tell the kids we're going away more often; no phone ringing off the hook today".

It was peaceful and quiet.  We had TV dinners for supper and watched "Gone With the Wind" in its entirety.  Straight phone interruptions.

And that's the positive.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Catching Up.............

Omg, the weather here has been absolutely gorgeous! the 80's??!! No. no. no. Not in the Fall, please!  And so it is.

Last week I finally got all the yard work done.  It took me 3 days to cut down the perennials, put the statues and lights away, empty and rinse the planters and finish the weedwhacking.  3 days!  I used to be able to do all that in a day.  C'est le vie.

Then there were the apples.  About 30#s this year from our tree.  Haralsons. So those were peeled, cored, sliced and frozen.  5 - 1 gal. freezer bags.  A decent haul!  There probably would've been 40#s, but the deer discovered them just as we were figuring picking would be by the end of the week.  They caused us to move picking up a few days.

Last Saturday was my birthday.  You know what that means.  4 more weeks and I start receiving the BIG MONEY!!  I will officially be a "senior citizen on social security"; you know. The ones the government says are ruining the country. Me. A rebel.  Who knew.

I  was reading some topics in Ravelry and came upon a lot of spinners talking about  "The Sheep Shed Studio" in Wyoming.  So I went to the site.  I was blown away!!  I asked BH if I could order some wool; "of course!" he said (I knew he would!!)  So I got 6#s; 2 chocolate brown; 2 copper; 2 black.
OMG! I love it!!  And the price!!  Can't beat the price.  Plus I got a couple of ounces of something free; don't know what it is, but it is sooooo silky!!  I'm going to email them and see if they can tell me what it is.

And to think... just last week I emtied out 2 storage containers, combining different wools into less of them.  I was so proud of myself; I'm really making headway on my spinning!  Good thing we didn't go to any Fiber Festivals this year.  I can finally put a big dent in my supply.  And now.....I had to fetch one of those recently freed containers and put the new roving into it.  So I may never get all the stash spun up.  But isn't it fun?  Don't you just love opening containers and staring at the beautiful colors, feeling that wonderful stuff? Dreaming what the lovely yarn will make?   Me too!!!

That was last Thursday.  It was here on Monday.  Couldn't wait to open the box.  Oh Yeah!!  This is going to be great.  I'm thinking......sweaters, sweaters and more sweaters.  I have to send them a nice "Thank You" note with a rave review.

Anyone interested should check them out.  Also on Thursday I received a package from #1 son and DIL; an e reader!!! OMG!!  And a gift card to Amazon.
So I spent 3 hours Friday morning setting it up and downloading some free books from Google.  This is going to be lots of fun!

We came home yesterday afternoon after spending 2 days in Rochester.  Had to take daughter for some tests.  Everything turned out fine; she's ok.  Thank God.  However, Cha-Ching!!!   Yeah.  Another hiccup in the budget.

We've been  planning to go to Bayfield, WI for the "Apple Fest"  this weekend.  First it was just going to be for the day.  Last week I suggested that we go for a couple of days and do some camping.  Especially since son from the cities was coming up for fishing and spend time with his son.  They would have the weekend to themselves, staying at our house. 

 Well, some minor problems on his end put his plans on hold;  and I'm not so sure about ours.  First, it's supposed to rain all weekend, with thunderstorms and high winds.  Next there's the "Cha-Ching" thing; then there's BH saying he thinks one night of camping, coming home on Sunday should be enough.  He's worried about the money.  I say "if the government can spend money they don't have, then so can we!!"  We try to boost the economy, too!!!

Well, maybe he's right.  I don't know.  We'll figure it out today.  There's always spinning to do, right?  And what's wrong with that!

I started another pair of socks and another shawl.  The shawl is v-shaped, starting at the neck and working down.  The pattern is easy enough....after being ripped out 5 times!  I think there's about 10" done, but moving along nicely.  I'm using the black shetland w/ beads.  Probably be done next......Fall.

Next week I'm planning on finishing the Fall housecleaning.  No. Haven't gotten it done yet.  Next week.  For sure.  Unless I can figure something else out.  Like spinning.  Maybe empty another container.  Because, ya know, "The Sheep Shed Studio"  has this green roving that I just might need.