Saturday, December 29, 2012

PCB's are Setting In........

P.C.B.......Post Christmas Blues.  It started yesterday, ramped up last night and today, fully reared it's ugly head.

For the 4 or 5 days after Christmas, I can deal.  Little chores here and there.  Cleaning up a little.  Making phone calls to those we didn't talk to on The Day.  Laundry (3 days worth now).  Get to the store...because I forgot this, this and this for New Year's and more guests.

Ah, but today.  Buggers.  I'm melting.  My energy level is zapped.  I want this over.  How many more days till I can undecorate the house?  Till BH and I can get back to our normal routines?  Till I can pick up the long ignored knitting and really make some progress.....more than just 3 rows at a sitting?  Till I can prepare supper for just the 2 of us?

Son and fiance are supposed to be arriving today, possibly with the 3 grandchildren following.  And another grandson maybe here for a day or two.  Son is staying until Monday or Tuesday.

I have the next 2 days meals and snacks planned.  Made a huge pot of Cheesy Potato/Broccoli soup yesterday....supper today.  Tomorrow will be assorted meats and cheeses on home made hard rolls, potato salad, beans and chef salad.

If we celebrate New Year's tomorrow night, there will be cheese (I am big on cheese!), pepperoni and crackers, chips and dip, shrimp cocktail, nacho cheese (see?) and salsa with tortilla chips and chicken wings....hopefully 3 kinds.....Buffalo, BBQ, and Teriyaki.  But I have to get back to the grocery store today.  They were out of wings on Wednesday.  They'll probably be out today, being that I waited till the last minute!

Son and fiance reserved a room at the hotel in town for 2 nights.  So if grandchildren are here, it will alleviate the sleeping space dilemma.  That's a plus.

And daughter who's been with us since last Saturday will be going home tomorrow.  A bed freed up.

But in the meantime, I just keep telling myself "it's almost over", and counting the days.  I love the first couple of days after Christmas, but then the rest of the days just grate on my nerves.  I'm all for normal.  I want to get back to normal.

Now, depending on who you talk to, that may be like going back decades to reach that kind of normal!

Have a very safe, healthy and Happy New Year everyone!!  Remember.....it's almost over!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Are You Ready??

This is it.....the hours are upon us.  Time is running short.  Why am I posting today?  Well, actually, I'm waiting for my turn in the bathroom to get cleaned up and dressed.

The 2 grandsons have just finished their showers; daughter did the same.  I may be able to get in there before granddaughter...because I need to get dinner going.

Anywho, so far, so good.  Except single son left for home after dinner last night.  Big disappointment.  He brought the kids up (granddaughter followed him in her car) and left about 5:30.  He did leave grandbunny here for me to bunnysit.  Tomorrow he'll meet us half way to have the kids follow him back home.  And grandbunny will be going home, too.  I think.  I hope.  It's like having a toddler in the house again.  She wants to play all the time and if she's being ignored, she gets over to the gifts under the tree and starts ripping at the wrapping paper!

So, in case you're feeling a little stressed......or have a few minutes to kill before you're on to the next duty,  here are a few little things to brighten your day and hopefully put a smile on your face.  Relax, enjoy.


 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all!  Yes, 2 days and counting, but this will probably be my last minutes with the computer until after the festivities.

All is done. Whew.  Except, of course, for the cooking.  Which some of it will be prepared today and frozen.....hopefully.

Slipper boots....done;  tree up and decorated...done; meals planned for the next 4 days....done;  wrapping....done;  house cleaned...done.  Just need to do 1 load of laundry.

So yesterday, with one more slipper boot to crochet and feeling giddy with myself for accomplishing a major feat....I start thinking maybe I can get this and this done before The Day.  Then I mentally slap my face.  I tell BH, "you know, the trouble with being on schedule and finishing everything needing to get done is now I have time to think of other things I could do".  "Yeah", he says, "that's a dangerous situation".

But I am still thinking I can get another pair of boots done for another grandson....especially since we won't be seeing him until New Year's weekend.  Hmmmm.........

The Nativity figures were set out last week, always on top of the entertainment center.  It's quite beautiful, I think.  Only, the Baby Jesus doesn't get placed in the manger until Christmas Eve.

I am doing something in the kitchen the other evening, when I hear BH yell from the family room......"where's my Baby Jesus?  Someone stole the Baby Jesus...the Baby Jesus was stolen".......over and over. Because.....that is my favorite SNL skit with Cheri Oteri.  She's this little Italian lady, who comes out on her porch to find kids throwing snowballs at her and then she discovers....her Baby Jesus is missing from her outdoor Nativity scene.  So she starts yelling at the "little bas...ds"......."who stole the Baby Jesus?  I know where you live....bring my Baby Jesus back here, you little......."

It's hysterical!  I gotta look that up on youtube.

So BH picks up daughter today (hopefully....she called last night to say that her stomach has been queazy all day, she's going to bring 7Up with her).    Tomorrow, single son will be here; granddaughter will follow him as this is her first trip driving up here by herself, with 2 grandsons (her brothers) in her car.

Other son and fiance won't be coming until next weekend.  And, with any luck, so will our daughter, mother of granddaughter and grandsons.

Granddaughter has to be back home on Christmas Day.  She's catching an evening flight back to NY to spend time with her dad's family.  He passed away a few months ago.  She'll be returning to MN next Saturday.  She wants to come back up here for that weekend, as she won't be with us next year for the Christmas/NewYear holiday.....she'll will be in the Armed Forces.

My stomach is a bit topsy-turvy.  Nerves.  Hoping that everything goes smoothly, the weather co-operates for the next 10 or 12 days; that everyone gets along and we all have a wonderful, happy Christmas/New Year.

May all of you have the same.  Enjoy!  Be safe.  Stay healthy.  And may God bless all.




Monday, December 17, 2012

The Countdown Begins......

One week from today.....we should have a full house.  Lots of laughter, gifts, food and maybe a little anxiety....on my part.  It comes with the territory.

But, a few glasses of wine...and I'll be fine.

Returned from daughter's yesterday afternoon, spent 2 days there.  Her apartment is all decorated; she purchased and has wrapped her gifts.

I still have a few things to wrap and 3 pairs of slipper boots to crochet.  Boxes for the 2 kids in NY need to be packed today.  It would be great to get them mailed out this morning, but actually, that's on the schedule for tomorrow.

As is the Holiday grocery shopping.  BH has helped me decide to have a sit-down Christmas meal instead of the buffet.  However, said buffet may take place next Sunday as some of the kids are coming up then.  The sit-down dinner will take place on Christmas Eve day.  We'll have our big celebration and gift exchange.  Most of the kids (Hah! kids! They're in their mid 30's!) will have to leave for home in the early afternoon on Christmas Day.  They all need to be at work the day after.

Our granddaughter and twin grandsons will hopefully be here and will stay with us for most of their winter break from school.  She got her driver's license a couple months ago and has her own car.  From the sounds of it, she's planning on spending Christmas with us no matter what.

These are our 3 grandkids we haven't seen, spent time or Christmas with in 3 years.  Our daughter, their mother, and I had a falling out back then and she opted to remove herself from the family.  Very sad.  That, on top of my parents being deceased now for 2 years, has made for  half-empty Christmas seasons.

But, with God's blessings, she  started communicating with me a couple of months ago.  I have been talking to granddaughter regularly.  So yesterday, I called daughter and asked her to come up for Christmas...or anytime during the Holidays....whatsever good for her.  She agreed to do so.   Fingers crossed and prayers being said, we'll see.

Our granddaughter has joined the National Guard.  She leaves for basic training at the end of July.  She graduates from high school this coming June.  Being that she's the oldest and only daughter, I know my daughter is having a very hard time with this.  They've always been "joined at the hip".  It's causing a lot of stress and bad feelings between the 2 of them.

Here's hoping that celebrating Christmas as a complete family again will be our Christmas Miracle.

Anywho, we've got plenty of snow outside thanks to a wicked snowstorm last weekend and a mini one this past weekend, so it's definitely a Winter Wonderland.  And there's the expectation of a bit more snow every day this week.  As long as it stops by Friday so all those traveling will have a safe go of it.

BH has agreed to us renting a couple of hotel rooms for most of the kids and their families.  Seriously, no matter how I try, I just can't find enough sleeping space for all of them anymore.  Everyone is getting older, they all have some kind of back pain, neck pain, sleeping disorder; and the grandkids are no longer little ones that you can put 2 or 3 of them in a full size bed.  (The twin boys are 15 yrs old, 6' tall, and each weighs over 200 lbs........yeah, that ain't gonna work anymore).

We live in a 2-bedroom mobil home with a huge addition that is our family and utility rooms; a full size bed, a single bed and a full size pull-out sofa bed.  The rest is a full size blow-up mattress and various sleeping bags and comforters.  In the summer, we can accomodate a couple of guests in the camper.  But not in the winter - there's no heat.  Though my youngest son (again - mid 30's) insists he can sleep out there when it's 20 degrees with a sleeping bag.  Ehhh.......not on my watch!

So, thank you very much, my darling husband.  You have alleviated a big stress ball from me!

Now.....about the wine..............







Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I Have a List........

Yes...you know what I mean.  It's the season, afterall.  Actually, I have 6 lists.....so far.
*A few things yet to pick up next week for gifts.

*A shopping list for my daughter.  Gifts, decorations and such.  Spending 2 days with her next weekend to decorate her apartment and go shopping.

*Groceries.....for the Christmas buffet.  No sit-down dinner this year.

*The cooking schedule....when to make it, what to make, what can be frozen beforehand.

*Supplies need for baking....as I seem to be running out of something every day.

*My daily planner.  This is the most important.  Without this list, I would be scurrying "willie-nillie", forgetting to do this and that until time is running out.

BH has been telling me every day since Sunday that I'm way ahead of myself; I'm in good shape......list wise.

Ehhhh....yeah.  I just looked at the daily planner.  I'm already 2 days behind.  The house decorating should've been finished today.  It hasn't been started.  I've been baking breads. 

And apparently, I've lost my ability for "dove-tailing"!  I used to be the best at "dove-tailing".  I could do 3 or 4 jobs at once.  Bread takes an hour in the oven; put the lights up on the windows.  Next batch in the oven; put the garland and lights above the cupboards.  Another batch; wrap the slippers that were just finished.  Cookies in the oven; clean a room.  More cookies; add more decorations. More cookies; do a load of laundry.  Etc., etc., etc.

None of this has happened.  Except the bread.  But in defense of myself, it's been one batch after another.  One's in the oven, another is being whipped up, pans being prepared.

So...I'm thinking......yeah, everything's humming along smoothly.  Then I looked at the daily planner.  The decorating has to be done by Friday in order to catch up.  And Friday afternoon, we have to meet a dear friend for lunch in town because she's going on a cruise during the Christmas holidays.  Won't be here; we won't be getting together at that time.  So, that'll take care of most of the day. 

I think it's best if I don't look at the daily planner for a few days.  Since I left myself a 5 days before Christmas with nothing to do, that should give me plenty of time to catch up!



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tis the Season...........

Yep.  It's here.  In full swing.  So far, so good.  We're off to a good start.

Sunday after Thanksgiving, we took daughter home and proceeded to do the Christmas shopping.  I know! Right?!  Got 98% of it done; just a few small things to pick up.  That'll be in 2 weeks when I go to daughter's for the weekend.  We decorate her apartment, take her Christmas shopping and we manage to go out for a breakfast one day, and a dinner the next.  Just her and I.  This year, dinner will be at "Olive Garden".  It just opened as a new restaurant in October, a few miles from her home.  I absolutely love "Olive Garden"! 

Last Monday I wrapped all the gifts.  And I've been working on crocheting slipper boots for gifts.  8 pairs on done; 4 more to go.  But maybe more.  I'm thinking 4 more pair for the guys who never had them and 4 more pair for daughter and granddaughter who seem to have come back into the "fold" recently.  My daughter removed herself from the family over 2 years ago.  We've had no contact whatsoever.  Until last month.  Christmas miracle? We'll see what this month brings.

Said granddaughter has joined the National Guard.  She graduates high school this coming summer.  But she's all signed up.  Last week she took all the aptitude tests, agility tests and a physical.  She passed all with flying colors.  And was promptly inducted into the Guard on Friday.  She leaves for Basic Training at the end of July...for 36 weeks!  Hopefully we'll have a couple of months to spend time with her.  I know our daughter is going to be lost without her.  Maybe that, too, will bring us close again.

Today I start baking.  Breads first; 3 different kinds; 9 loaves each.  They are part of the Christmas gifts to the kids.  I planned to start decorating the house today.  That might be put off til tomorrow.  There are bills to pay today....on the internet......and that's no fast endeavor.  Technology!.....pffttt.  And laundry to do.

So, breads today and tomorrow.  BH wants to go to the casino on Thursday.  We'll see.  I know he feels like he's been cooped up, too much helter-skelter been going on, too many mundane chores.  He needs a break.  He's also been fighting some kind of gunk in his throat for a couple of weeks.  Sounds like it might be traveling to his chest.  I'm going to have to keep on eye and ear on this.  I worry about  how pneumonia settles in without too much of a warning for people of his age.  I might have to hog-tie him to get him to the Doctor.  He gets quite beligerent when I suggest it.

Sunday, the outside temp was almost 50.  So I took adavantage of the day and decorated the deck and railing......boughs and lights and the wreath. Son came up to work on his car; BH wangled him into climbing up on the roof to clean out the stove pipes.  First time. For son, not cleaning the pipes.  He did A-Ok.  Despite the fact that he's afraid of heights!  But he said it would be ok, being that it's a relatively flat roof.

Cleaned the house yesterday.  This Saturday I should be able to start baking the cookies.  Decided to cut down on the varieties this year.  Only 4 or 5 instead of 8 or 10.  The price of baking supplies has gone through the roof!  It seems as bad as the gas prices!  What the hell is up with that?

Oh geezzz.......I gotta get the Christmas CD's out.  Nothing like playing Christmas music while baking and decorating.  It truly soothes the savage breast.

Well.....onward and upward.  Hope the Spirit is beginning to overtake you all, and that all your plans and work, preparing for Christmas, move along peacefully and smoothly.

Carry on.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

To All!!  May your day be filled with love, fun, family and many, many reasons to be thankful!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

There's a Nip in the Air......I Could Use a Nip Right About Now

Wow, almost a month since the last post.  Time is flying! The weekend before Halloween, the TV stations started running Christmas commercials!  Now that's downright depressing.  I have to muster all my energy, brain cells and money just to get through Thanksgiving.....which is less than 2 weeks away.  But I digress.......

So 3 weekends ago, son came up to visit with us and spend time with his 15 yr. old son....who lives up here with his mother.....not with us, just in the same town.  2 weekends ago, same son and his buddy came up for a long weekend....Thursday night through Monday morning.....for the last weekend of Trout season. Temps: 20 degrees in the early AM, high 30's/low 40's during the day.

Then youngest son came up that Saturday to visit....us.....he has no kids. No human kids, that is.  Just the bunny.  Our "grandbunny". Actually, he was leaving one of his cars here to do repairs the following weekend.  We drove him back to the Cities on Monday morning.  Why didn't he hitch a ride with his brother?  Well, because brother borrowed his father-in-law's pickup truck.....which was filled to the hilt with fishing gear......and younger son also had our "grandbunny" with him....to be transferred back home.  It's a long story.

Lots of cooking, dish washing and cleaning up.  Lots of drinking in the evening.  Oh yeah.....and grandson (the human one) was also here for most of the weekend.  Full house.

Last weekend, youngest son came up to work on the car.  Changing the whole rear brake system from one car to the other;  drums to discs.  Not a quick or easy job.  Few glitches here and there, but he finally got it done.  Temps:  high 20's/low 30's in the early AM; low 40's during the day.  More cooking, dishes and cleaning up.  And babysitting.....the "grandbunny".



This weekend, son was going to come up again and work on the front brakes....same switch.  But....it's cold!  We're expecting high winds, rain and some snow showers.  So that job has been put on hold for now.

We finally got the woodstove up and running a couple weeks ago; today BH plans on putting up the storm windows.  I discourage him from this for as long as possible.  If it were up to him, the storms would go up at the end of September!  I can't bear the feeling of being totally closed in like that until I'm sure we're definitely on our way to winter.  It's bad enough that it'll be 5-6 months before I can open a window again!

In other news, I did finish the white beaded tam for the second time.  Now I just have to get it posted on Etsy.  Anyway, these are the blue "tweedy" socks with an off-set cable that went up for sale last week (finally!).....


That makes a total of 39 items for sale.  Hopefully get the tam and fingerless mitts on there today. That'll make 40 items.  If you want to check it out, my name is HomeSpunHandKnit  on Etsy.com.

Now I'm knitting a vest with the copper/navy/brown/red painted Targhee/Merino that was spun up a while ago.  The vest is turning out pretty good.  I've had the pattern for years.....I've made the vest before, but only used the stitch count as reference, using my own patterning.  This time I decided to actually knit the vest as written!  Hey, so far, so good!  I think I'll make another....as written.

And the last of the black Shetland roving is being spun.  Holy crap.  I didn't realize there was that much.  Actually, I found 2 more balls of roving after I thought all was spun.  But that's ok.  It's destined to be plied with the rest of the wine colored Merino. 

That's my downfall......when I see a color I love, I gotta buy as much of it as I can.  Visions of what it will become, what it can be plied with, how it's going to feel....I can't help myself!  But when it takes me 6 months to spin it all up, or think I have, only to discover another pound of it hidden away, I swear I'll never do that again.....1# max for all colors.  But.....then I run across another color that I just love.....and......it happens all over....again. 

Anywho, it occured to me early this week that I really need to get started on crocheting the slipper socks for Christmas gifts.  Crap!  Put the spinning and the vest aside for a month.  Need to make more pairs this year because they've been requested.  Wednesday I bought 2 skeins of (ppfftt) acrylic yarn to add to the stash.  The pattern calls for working 2 strands throughout.  So colors can be mixed and matched.  I still might need a few more skeins though.

I think that about covers it.  That's all the news that is news.  Hope your Fall is as beautiful as a Norman Rockwell painting and the season upon us fills your heart with joy.

God bless all those who have been victims of Hurricane Sandy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

So......What's New?.......

So, got all the grape colored merino spun; plying it now with the dyed Shetland.  Blue socks are done; re-knitting the beaded tam. 

Put the zipper in the blue sweater only to discover that one front panel is longer than the other by about 1 1/2".  How the hell did that happen??  Oh, I was soooo disgusted!  Are you kidding me??!  This sweater was knitted in one piece, sans sleeves.  Crap.  Crap.  And not to mention, the sleeves are about 2" too long.  Triple Crap.

So when the tam is finished, I will be doing some serious alterations.  Hey, but the zipper went in like butter!! 

Yesterday I finished the outside work.  All yard ornaments, lights, fencing put away for another year; perennials all cut down.  A couple Saturday's ago we had a good dusting of snow - like maybe 1/2".  And just this weekend, we had 19 degrees overnight!  I might've just made it under the gun.

Saturday we went to a fiber festival in Cambridge, MN.  It was a spur of the moment thing.  It was just a one day affair, and I asked a lady there how many years it's been going on.  She said this was the first year.  I certainly hope there'll be many more and that it grows like Lake Elmo.

A nice mix of vendors, a lot of alpaca.  But I did score 2 bags (8oz. each) of Border Leichester from the same gal I got 2# from last year at Elmo.  Only this time it's roving; the other was batts.  And get this......$1.00 an ounce!!!   It's beautiful wool; white; spins great; feels great.  I commented to her about her prices, saying I can't believe she sells her wool at such a great price.

Her response was,  she's not looking to get rich doing this, she has a lot of sheep and just wants to make the fiber affordable for everyone.  Then we got to talking about how the price of wheels, accessories and fiber has gone through the roof over the past years.  We both agreed that the fiber craft has really taken off, more and more people getting into it.  Why do the prices have to be so prohibitive for those who also have a burning desire to learn and create?  So sad.  Do most suppliers want to be rich?  Is this their "gold ring"?  Sad. 

Anyway, she was a woman after my own heart.  I've been preaching the same ideal since I started crafting and selling some 20 years ago.  It should be affordable for everyone. 

Off my soapbox now.  Anywho, BH is planning on getting the woodstove up and running this week.  Good thing.  We have one more day of warm weather and then it'll be back  to the cold and dank.  And even though that stove has saved us tons of money for heating all these years, I do hate the damn thing.  Always hated it......except, maybe, when it's -30 outside with 25mph winds.....then maybe I like it...just a little.  Well, one more winter after this one and we'll be in our new apartment!  Yep, we'll be joining the 21st century...... with all the modern conveniences! Utilities be damned!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I Done It!!

Well, it's done.  All my knitted items are listed on Etsy, with more to come hopefully.  If you'd like to take a gander, just type  in HomeSpunHandKnit in the Etsy search bar.  

We went to the Casino last week...my birthday celebration.  Had a coupon for 2 free nights!!!  And.....2 free dinners...one at the Buffet and one at the restaurant.  How could we pass that up?!  Of course......in reality......nothing is "free".....if you get my drift....."casino".   But we had a great time, very relaxing.  BH and I both agreed on the way home that it seemed we were gone for more than 2 days.

Frost has been hitting us every morning.  Of course all the flowers have been dead for over a week now.  I just haven't been able to get outside to clean up.  It's either too cold and windy, rainy or I've been busy with things in the house.  Ahh, but Monday and Tuesday next are supposed to be in the high 50's.  I will make a serious attempt to get to the gardens.  Before there's a heavy blanket of snow over everything.

BH asked me the other day "what's the harm if things get stuck outside for the winter and the flowers don't get emptied or cut down?"    Nothing, says I.  Except it reminds me of people who leave a dried up Christmas wreath on the door and Christmas lights up around their house through July!!  Oohhhh, that bugs me!!   Or when you can see curtains or drapes in someone's window and half of them are hanging off the curtain rod.  Yikes!  I want to go knock on the door, push myself into the house and rehang the damn curtains!!

I think my OCD is showing.

Well, it's back to knitting and spinning.  I've been working on 2# of a wine colored SWMerino (whew!) I'm on the 6th bobbin and will probably get another 1 and a half.  I love the color (obviously!).....it reminds me of Concord grapes.  Got big ideas for this yarn.....which may not see the results till sometime next year!!

I'm just about done knitting the 2nd blue "tweedy" sock.  Boy, those have taken me forever!  And then they'll be up for sale.

Gotta re-do a beaded tam.  The first has a couple of stains that will absolutely not come out...with anything.  And since I have fingerless mitts to match....well, the tam has to be knitted again.  Crap.

We have not started the wood stove yet.  Been muddling through with the infrared heaters.  BH has intentions of getting the stove ready and firing it up next week.  It does feel like we're going to have an early, very cold, very snowy winter this year.  Time will tell.

Son informed me that he and his buddy will be coming up here the last weekend in October.....from Thursday night through Monday morning.  Yes, they're taking 2 days off from work.  It's the last weekend for Trout fishing, don'tcha know.  Good grief!  Gotta get my "Chuck Wagon" personna and menus in the ready.






Sunday, September 23, 2012

It's Heeerrrreee..........

20 degrees this morning!!  Yep.  Friday night the local tv stations ran a banner across the bottom of the screen warning of the hard frost, saying this would end the growing season for the year.  Ya think?!  Yeah....we in the north country take our freezing seriously.

So I guess it's time to cut down the perennials, empty the planters and put the yard ornaments and lights away.  Good bye, Summer.  Can't say I'm sorry to see you go.

Anywho, it's been the regular doings around here.  Baking a lot more, spinning somewhat and knitting.  Though it's been a chore to force myself to get at the last 2.  Don't know why.  Maybe other things on the brain.

I have got to get pictures posted.  Got plans to put a lot of knitted goods up for sale on Etsy.  Though I'm not thoroughly convinced.  I did open a "shop" 4 years ago.  Sold for one season.  Now I've been reading comments on the forum; actually, I've been keeping tabs on this site for all these years.  Don't like the fact that there are so many problems encountered by the sellers.  And it takes so long for them to get resolved.  But then a new crop of problems pop up.  And it seems Administration moves at a snail's pace.  I don't know.  Lots of problems, lots of complaints.  Something I seriously do not want to encounter.

 So, I'm considering other options. But time is flying by.  And I sell only for the Christmas season.   We'll see.

I did order a sewer's dress mannequin last week.  It should be here sometime this week.  It sure will help display the sweaters, shawls and vest I want to sell.  It'll definitely be better than trying to get good pictures laying these things out on the floor or the bed.  Never works well.

Today is lasagna for supper with cheese cake for dessert.  Both of these are very time consuming.  I gotta get at it.

Hope you all are getting ready to hanker down.  "Got yarn??"

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Can You Say "Hibernation?".........

It's coming...definitely coming.  As we drive down the 2-lane highway, the trees are more and more turning crimson.  What a beautiful sight.  This morning, I sit contemplating if we will put the A/C's away this weekend.  I think so.  39 degrees this morning.  Daytime highs predicted from high 60's to high 70's for another week.  The fans should definitely do the job, should some very warm air find its way into the house.

Daughter had her "sleep-over" at the sleep institute Tuesday night.  Her doctor is concerned that she has sleep apnea.  We arrived there at 7:15 yesterday morning to collect her and hear what the sleep doctor had to say.

Why, yes.  She does have sleep apnea.  And from there, he described the results of her testing, what can happen if left untreated, how the machine works, etc.   So, from there we went to the medical apparatus department so daughter could be fitted with the "Darth Vader" head gear.

I need to interject here that upon hearing the results, BH asked me as we were driving home, "I'd like to know how many people who go for this test are told they don't have sleep apnea; that there must be another cause.  I'll bet everyone who submits to this overnight test is told they have the disorder".   To which, I absolutely agree.  C'est le vie.

An hour later, we're walking out of the office with travel case in hand, holding all the paraphenalia.  Now we just need to stop at Walmart to pick up distilled water, a surge-protector electric bar, non-alcohol baby wipes and baby shampoo.  All tools for the cleaning and operation of the aforementioned head gear.

Back at her apartment, I hooked everything up, reminded her how to clean all the pieces, how to put on the aparatus, blah,blah,blah.  And we left for home.

Oh, I forgot to mention.....we stayed overnight at her apartment.  I talked BH into coming with me.  Sometimes, I just get anxious about being alone.  He didn't fight me, he readily agreed, but I know this is not his thing!  He does not like sleeping at other people's homes.  So, needless to say, neither of us got a good night's sleep. 

Daughter and I were talking about this in the technician's office.  The tech asked me "do you think you should be tested for sleep apnea, too?" (It seemed the question was dead serious).

"Ehhhh, no.  I know what's causing my not getting a restful sleep.  Anxiety, too many thoughts running through my head, and not sleeping in my own bed".

Thanks anyway.





Friday, September 7, 2012

Definitely Not My Week........

So, after dealing with the "invaders" last week, we were looking forward to things getting back to normal.  No sign of anything.  But I still have all the lights on when we go to bed.  Except for the bedroom.....but the bathroom (right next to the bedroom) light stays on......til the sun is high in the sky!

I'm getting better.......the lights don't go on now til about 7:30.....vs. 6:30 last week.  Someday.....

Anywho, I finished the first blue cabled sock, put the toe stitches on stitch holders and tried it on.  Yep.  Needs to be frogged.  The heel is too small and tight.  Don't like how the gusset is stretched to the max.  And because the foot is long, very difficult to scrunch up the sock to put it over the foot.  Damn!!

So this morning I picked a size larger needle, re-wrote my directions for the cable ('cause I still want cabled socks) and casted on the stitches.  Worked 3 rows of ribbing.  Have not frogged the other sock yet; just didn't have the heart right now.  Nor did I have the energy to rip and wind all that yarn.

Checked the bank account to make sure all the bills were posted.  Egads!!  4 of them.....all big payments  were posted twice!!!     Our account is in the minus.....by hundreds of dollars!!!  Checked and double checked the bills, the check register....printed out  the statement and went up to the bank. 

Yes, they are aware of the problem.  There was a glitch in the computer system...not on their end.....but on the "Fed's" (Federal Reserve??  I didn't ask).  The report the bank receives from the "Fed" had the double deducted payments on lots of accounts.  The bank officer assured me they are working on it now; we will not be charged overdraft fees; and their phones have been ringing off the hook with other customers.

She did advise me to keep checking our account to make sure that all the payments aren't deleted.....I would have to pay the bills all over again.  Why, thank you.  Thank you very much.

Yesterday was the day I would put the zipper in the long-ago-finished-sweater.  Yep. That was the day.  Got out all the sewing gadgets and supplies, the zipper and straight pins.  Laid out the sweater; put the first half down on the grograin ribbon.  Whaatttt??????  The zipper is 2" too long.  omg.  I must've included the collar when I measured.  Damn!  Now I have to buy another zipper next week when I go to daughter's.  Put the sweater and sewing paraphenalia back.

Every night this week, I planted in my brain that the next day would be house cleaning day.  And that next day has come and gone....every day.  No house cleaning.  The kitchen gets cleaned up; the bathroom sink, tub and toilet get cleaned; the TV screen gets dusted off; the bed gets made and linens changed regularly.  That's it.  No more dusting, no vacuuming, no rug shaking, no dustmopping, no floor mopping. Ehhh, what the hell.

I notice I've been sneezing a lot lately. 

Grandson texted me he's coming over today after school and staying for supper.  Pulled the stuffed pork chops, extra stuffing and buttered noodles out of the freezer.  Gotta get to the store for more stuffing and applesauce.

Then I'm going to sit and knit on the new sock.  I'm exhausted!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

We're On Our Way!........

So Tuesday we had to go to daughter's.....her remote to her brand new flat screen TV......doesn't work!  That's right...2 weeks old.   Doesn't work.  Nothing.  Like it's dead.  Not making connection with the TV.  I called the company....seems we need to test the remote with an am/fm radio.  Okkkeeyyy......I tell the rep we're an hour away from her and her TV, and she doesn't have a radio.  It will have to wait until next Tuesday when I see her again.  Call the service department then.....with the radio.  Aaarrgghhh!

But that's not the topic of this post.  We had an hour to kill before picking her up from work.  BH says "let's take a drive around those apartments again."   We did.  Then he says "let's go to the office and pick up some information."   We did.  The manager explained the layouts, the rent, the amenities.  And she said "I can show you one of the apartments if you would like to see it."   And we did.

Holy crap!!  OMG!!   This is it!  This is where I want to live!  Like tomorrow.  Beautiful place; 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, huge living/dining room, all appliances including full size washer and dryer and A/C!  A little deck off the living room.   I was in heaven!  Underground garage, with storage units, and a car washing station.  AND....it's a 55+ ONLY building!  No young families, no little children, no 20-yr olds rooming with a bunch of buddies.   Now!  I want to move now!

So BH agreed this could be the place.  We make plans.  1 1/2 years from now, we are moving.  2 more winters here; 1 more complete Spring and Summer.  Then come Spring 2014, we will be in our new apartment.  In the meantime, there's down sizing to do, totally clean out the old farm house, and pay down bills.....a lot of bills.   But we can do it!  So, with our "eyes on the prize".....we both agreed to an austerity budget.

I am soooo happy I can hardly contain myself.  Can't wait to tell all the kids..."we're moving into an apartment.  The house is being sold".

BH and I have been talking about this for the last 2 years.  When do we think it'll be time to give up the house;  what would be the determining factor.  Health?  Financial?  Tired of the constant upkeep and "have-to's"?   I think the events of last week really made up his mind.  He was kind of not sold on the idea of apartment living, worried he would have nothing to do, no where to roam, take a walk, have the privacy of his own land and home. 

But with the flooding this Spring, him having to move 3,500 pieces of firewood out of the basement, clean the basement, stack all the wood back in the basement, begin logging again now for next winter, cutting the grass every week (6 acres.....done with a push mower!), the problem all last week and all the other interruptions and necessary deeds.....he's ready.  Thank the Lord!

I am giddy with excitement!  I hope this year and a half fly by.  I hope God gives me all the energy to organize, declutter and prepare for the move.  I hope our budget stays workable.  I hope the house sells fast when the time comes.   I hope my curtains will fit the windows in our new apartment!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bats in the Belfry.......conclusion

So now it's been 5 nights and no sign of the horrid invaders.  We have plugged, taped, insulated and sealed every hole, crack, crevice, vent and pipe we can.  We have moved furniture, swept behind those we couldn't with a broom handle and yardstick;  taken down curtains and checked under blinds and shades.

I am still skitish and apprehensive.  There is a light on in every room from dusk till the sun is high in the sky the next morning.  My eyes still dart everywhere as I walk from room to room.  This may last a week or two or a month or two.  Or never alleviate.  It's sad to be captive in your own home.

From the inspector/exterminator we learned this:

Bats usually don't enter a mobile home.  It's very rare.  They're mostly looking for high places to roost.  (Really??  Hmmm....I think we should change our name to "Murphy")  This does nothing for my peace of mind.

Bats can enter a hole as small as the tip of your pinkie finger, or a space no bigger than 1/2".  Check the tip of your pinkie finger......yep......that's right!

They get in between walls as well as the usual attics and ceilings.  They will hibernate all year long, coming out when they need to drink.

Unlike mice, they don't chew their way through anything to create an entrance, but rather enter through an existing opening.

They will lay dormant in your house until they need a drink, which could be 3 weeks or so;  then come out of hiding, flying around, looking for that drink.  Therefore, the statement from that yahoo who told me "they'll be dead in 2 days" was definitely wrong!

July and August are the worst times.  The young are getting ready to leave the "nursery".  The mother will follow them in flight.  If the young fly into a pipe or space, mother will be right behind them.

Once they leave a nest or nursery, they will return to the same spot to roost.  So getting them out of the house doesn't mean you got them out.....they will come back if they can.

They will not fly into a person or attack you unless they feel threatened.  When they're chasing you down the hall, they're really not chasing you, but looking for a way out.  Again.....does nothing for my peace of mind.

Bats can fly through an 800+ sq. ft. home in......10 seconds!!

Signs of invasion are poops the size of mouse droppings.  But mouse droppings will squish when rubbed with your fingers; bat droppings will disintegrate like dust and you'll see evidence of bug wings and such.  Also gray streaks running down the outside or inside walls.....urine.

Putting up "bat houses" outside is a good deterent to keep them from finding ways into your home.  Ehhhh, yeah.  I'm not sold on the idea of providing a place for them to roost.  I'd just as soon they find somewhere else....far, far away.

And that's pretty much it.  I pray that my anxieties will ease very soon and things will really get back to normal around here.  Although, I may never be able to watch another "Batman" movie.......ever!!


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bats in the Belfry......part 2

So Wednesday, after taking daughter to an appointment and back home, I leave for our house.  Thinking, thinking.....always thinking.  There is the opening behind the washer....an interior wall where the drain hose and water supply hoses are connected.  It's an opening about 30" high and 28" wide.  Above the 30", God only knows what's up there.  This needs to be closed off.  What kind of sheet-wood do we have laying around?  How should we cut the holes for the hoses?  What's the best way to close it off and still have easy access in case?  How am I going to present this to BH to make him agree to do this?  (I know he's very, very tired and doesn't want to deal with it anymore).

After a few minutes home and a cup of coffee, he and I are talking when I spring the latest idea on him.  Right away he thinks of some wood he has and he wants to get at it right now.  He finds the exact piece, wide enough, just need to cut about 12" off the bottom.   So we proceed......

He figures out the holes to be cut; I tell him I know where the box of screws are for attaching.  We gather some insulation, steel wool and duct tape.

2 hours later we're done.  It's sealed.  I'm a happy woman!  Now we sit on the deck and wait for the exterminator, discussing questions we want to ask him.

3:30, the Inspector arrives with an assistant.  We explain in detail what's been going on and what we've done.  We ask questions.  This guy is very understanding and gives us a lot of information, some of which is not exactly what we wanted to hear!  And he proceeds with the inspection; we follow behind, hanging on every word.

Start at the top, he says.  They can get in here, here, here.  They nest, they hibernate, they incubate......all year long.  You want to seal this, this and this.  Then he gets the ladder and goes on the roof.  I tell him about this horrible screeching noise a few weeks ago, sounding like metal scraping metal or fingernails on a blackboard....that went on for about 15-20 minutes.  Yeah, they could have found a way between the walls and that's what I was hearing.  Anywho,  he inspects all the vents on the roof.  There's openings.  You want to seal these and put screening over the vent openings.  If all this doesn't alleviate the problem, then continue at the bottom of the house......replace all the skirting.  He was very thorough and while some of his statements peaked my anxiety, we were armed with much more information and the necessary actions that needed to be taken.

An hour and a half later we said our good-byes, thank you, thank you's, good luck, make sure you get that taken care of now, and they left us.

We've been sleeping with all the lights on since Sunday, and I have to stay up as long as possible, till I can't keep my eyes open, before we go to bed.  BH stays up with me.....no, I mean stays in the room with me......he dozes in the recliner while I watch TV.  I wake about 5:00am and he dutifully gets up with me.  We sit in the family room, watching TV, sometimes he dozes, until the sun is up in the sky.  Then I can confidently turn off the lights and start our daily routine.  And open the windows.  Yes, all the windows get closed when the sun starts to set in the evening.

Thursday, we had some errands to run.  Hardware store....more duct tape, more "Great Stuff", more steel wool.  It was hot Thursday.  And we were exhausted.  We agreed BH would get on the roof Friday to take care of the necessary repairs.  And Friday, he did.  While I went from room to room with my tubes of  "Power Grab", sealing up every crack, space and hole no matter what the size.  I don't care if you couldn't get a sheet of paper through it, it got sealed.

And I made supper.  First time we've had a decent meal since Saturday. Had "take-out" 3 times, and of course, BH was on his own one night.

Today I woke up at 4:00am.  Decided to let BH sleep in.  Turned the light off in the bedroom.  All the rest of them stayed on.  Thought I would do some spinning.  Maybe that would calm my nerves.  It helped some.  Still walking around, eyes darting, still aprehensive.  But I keep telling myself I've got to get over this.  Little steps.......

To be continued...........


Bats in the Belfry??......a series

Not quite.  It's been bats in the house!!  Yep.  Sunday morning, 3:30am; getting up to go to the bathroom; walk into the kitchen to see what time it is;  walking back down the long, dark hallway to the bedroom; turn around for something, I forget what, and here they come!!!!........2 of them flying faster than I can run......diving and weaving.

I am screaming like a banchee;  I fall next to the bed.  BH jumps up.."what's the matter???"   BATS!!  THERE'S BATS IN THE HOUSE!! I am screaming at the top of my lungs.  He's holding me in his arms.  "It's ok, it's ok; calm down."   OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! WHERE DID THEY COME FROM?  HOW DID THEY GET IN HERE?!

I am hysterical.  I'm now sitting on the bed, he still has me wrapped in his arms.  There's a window directly across from the bed.  Yep...you guessed it.  "There's one behind the blind, I can see it"  I'm saying low, voice quivering.  "Ok, I'll get it; calm down"  he says.

"What are we going to do, what are we going to do"  I keep saying, wringing my hands, eyes darting here, there and everywhere; still shaking, still hysterical.   "I can't stay here"  I keep repeating to him.

"Do you want to go to Julie's?"  he asks.   "yah, I think I better".

So he walks me out to the car.  "You need some clothes" he says.  "No, no, I'll just go in my pajamas".   "I'll go get you some clothes. What do you want me to get?"      I tell him where to find some pants and a shirt.  "Do you want you're makeup bag?"  he asks.   "No. No".   "OK, call Julie".

I get out the cell phone (I did grab my purse as I'm flying out the door).  Turn it on.  "Oh shit....the battery's almost dead" I tell him.  "Where's the charger?  I'll get the charger" says he.

Call our daughter.  It's 4:00am.  She's not answering.  "I'll just go there.  I'll call when I get there" I tell him.   She lives an hour away.  It'll be easier to wake her up at 5:00am.

He gets all I need and off I go.  "Call me when you get there", he says.  "And call an exterminator this morning". 

In the pitch black, all the way on a 2-lane highway, no street lights, and fog!   Fog as thick as "pea soup".   Fog as thick as the last scene in "Gone With the Wind"; fog as thick as something from a horror movie (which I never make a habit of watching).  All the way to her town.......1 hour away.  The longest hour of my life.

Stop at McD's for coffee, call daughter.  She answers.  I tell her what's wrong, I'll be at her apartment in 15 minutes.

Call BH.  I'm here.  "I'm going to Home Depot to see if they have some kind of sonic repellent", I tell him.  He says he got the 2 bats out of the house and he's been checking all around (my hero!!)  He also tells me he's been searching in the Yellow Pages and gives me the info.  I call the first one at 6:30, it's a "24-hour" service.  I woke the guy up.  Telling him what happened, he's yawning, searching for answers to my questions, blah, blah, blah.  "If they don't find a way out in 2 days, they'll be dead" was his attitude.  "They'll be dead!?", I repeat.  "They'll be dead".  So I agree to an inspection; he says he'll get back to me at the beginning of the week to set up an appointment.  This does not allay my anxiety one bit.

So, 7:30, daughter and I go for breakfast, then to one of the hardware stores.  Of course.  The kid tells me they have nothing.  Off to Home Depot.

Yes, they had something....mainly for mice and bugs.  "I'll give it a try" I hurriedly tell him.  5 sonic wave emitting devices,  a roll of screening and a can of "Great Stuff" aerosol spray foam insulation.
Drop daughter off at her apartment, and I'm on my way home.  Like an army battalion that has just been re-enforced with more ammunition.  I'm ready!

When I get home, BH informs me that he found another one behind the shade in the bedroom.  Not what I wanted to hear.

Armed with screening and "Gorilla" duct tape, the battle begins.  Screen the exhaust vent in the kitchen; screen the vent on the defunct furnace; screen the vent on the A/Cs;  duct tape around the pipes on the wood stove (also notice that there is a 1/2" gap where the pipe meets the ceiling and there is a terrifying amount of creosote pieces on top of the stove.......this is NOT a good sign!)  Tape those pipes up like they can withstand an earthquake! Tape the edges of all the screens that look suspiciously loose.  Duct tape all noticeable gaps anywhere!

BH tells me he was searching on the internet.  Bats can enter a space as small as a dime.  Not the information I wanted to hear.

Sunday night we spend "sleeping" in our recliners in the family room.....all lights on.   Monday morning we feel much more at ease.  At 7:00am, BH says he's going to lay on the bed for a hour.  Okey dokey.  I'm putzing around the house.  It's 7:15, I walk into the utility room......THERE IT IS!!  Another one!!  I run into the bedroom "there's another one in the utility room"  and I proceed to run down the hall, noticing that it has now flown into the family room - around the wood stove, and I'm out the door!  "Where is it?" yells BH.  "By the woodstove...by the woodstove"  I'm yelling through the screen door from the deck.

He got it.  Through the day, I'm walking gingerly throughout the house, making noise, checking here and there, always on the lookout.  So far, so good.

Ah, but after supper, dusk is approaching.  My anxiety is rising with every minute.  The house is getting darker inside. I'm getting very nervous.  "ummm, ehhhh,  uhhhhh, I don't want you to think I'm being ridiculous, but I'm really nervous about tonight"  I tell him.   "Do you want to go to Julie's?"  he graciously asks.  "ehh, yeah".   "If you're feeling uncomfortable, go to Julie's; I'll be ok, but go now before it gets dark".

Quickly I pack my bag, grab my knitting, kiss him, tell him to be aware and careful.....and off I go.

Call him Tuesday morning.  Yep.  2 more flying behind him in the evening while he's on the computer.  Yeah....I'm going to call more exterminators.  One service answers with "you're call is very important to us.  Due to the increasing amount of calls , we may not be able to return your call for 2 or 3 days.....leave your name and number".   I do, but continue the search.  Call another service.  Tell the gal what's going on.  "We'll have the man in your area contact you".  (This is a state-wide service).

3 hours pass, no call.  I call them.  I'm agitated and irritated; I let the receptionist know this.  She puts me right through to the guy.  "Where do you live?  What's the next largest city near you?  Oh, I only go as far as xxxxx.  There's no one that takes care of your area".

Now I'm pissed.  "Why didn't she tell me that 3 hours ago; I'd be looking for another company!"   After giving him the 3rd degree, I call the answering service back and inform her what the guy told me.  She's very apologetic; puts me on hold.  Comes back and tells me she has contacted the owner directly and given him my info.  He will be calling me back today, she says confidently.  Yeah.  I'm not holding my breath.

I call another service.  Yes they take care of our area.  The earliest someone can come out is Tuesday.  I make the appointment.

8:00pm, I get a call from the owner of the other company.  Oh geezz, I've made another appointment.  He tells me he can be at our house tomorrow (Wednesday).....definitely!   Let me call my husband.  BH says go with this guy.  Call him back, set up the appointment.   Wednesday.....Hallelujah!!!

To be continued.......... 

 




 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Leaves Are Falling.......

No, this is not a song title (I don't think), it is a fact.  Yes, they are beginning to fall and change color.  Our birches are exhibiting golden leaves, the willow's are flying all over the yard and the sumac is turning a deep red.  Yikes!  Are we ready for this??  Is that why BH's "pet" chipmunk has been in a flurry gathering peanuts, running like he just had a gallon of energy drink? Hurry, hurry, hurry.....I've got a stash to finish!!  More peanuts..quick!!

I had to turn the space heater on this morning!  39 degrees outside, 58 in the house.  Just saying.

In other news, grandson and girlfriend did show up last Saturday to help clean.  We managed to get the largest room in the old house purged and organized.....6 "contractor" bags of crap to be disposed of.  A good day!  Then Monday and Tuesday, I did the other 3 rooms....and 2 more bags of crap.  And wound up with a ton of stuff for the Yard Sale.  Hoping to pull that off the weekend after Labor Day.  We still have the upstairs to do (there's that word "we" again).  It shouldn't be too bad.....a lot of camping gear to sell as well as baby furniture and paraphenalia from when the grandchildren were....babies.

Anywho, that is on the agenda for next week.  Today I go to daughter's for the weekend....into Monday.  We're going shopping.  She needs a new TV, bath towels and bed sheets.  Hoping to get a day in just walking the downtown area and visiting all the cool looking shops we've never been to.  There's also a new yarn store, I noticed.  Would love to stop in there and see what's what.   Monday, she has a doctor's appointment....a new doctor.  So I said I would take her, meet the doc and make sure she's up to speed on daughter's medical history.

Other than keeping the house tidy, spinning in the morning and still knitting the blue cabled socks, that's about it.  I am now working on the instep of that sock.....but I still have the feeling in the back of my mind that it should be frogged.  eh geeezzz.   And the blue denim-colored sweater is still sitting on my sewing table.  Haven't built up the nerve to attempt machine sewing the zipper in yet.

I am almost done spinning the 2nd bobbin of the oatmeal-colored mystery wool.  I love this wool!!  Man, it is s-p-r-i-n-g-y!!!  Spinning very nicely even though I'm picking out nubs and grit all along the way.  Yep. Again.

Skeined and washed 7 bobbins of yarn.  The black Shetland.  And then, while looking in the storage bin, because I could've sworn there was more than 7 bobbins finished.....there they were.......7 more bobbins.....single ply, every one.   How could I have forgotten that I put singles away???  Crap!!  I could've had another 8-9 bobbins of yarn!  You know what that means......another sweater!!

Well, all is not for naught.  Actually, I think I put those singles away because there is Shetland-dyed-cranberry roving waiting to be spun.  Sooo......maybe the oatmeal wool will sit a bit longer and the cranberry roving will hit the wheel.  Git 'r done!.. Ply.....and viola!!  Now that Shetland sweater will be an intarsia Shetland sweater!!  hehehehehe  

 Someday.



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Waiting.....Waiting.....Waiting

So, I'm waiting for BH to wake up and get out of bed.  I've been up since 4 a.m.   Spinning.  Making coffee.  Drinking coffee.  Going to the bathroom.  And now....blogging.

I have a ton of things to get done this morning.  We're going to the Casino today for an overnighter.  Yep.  I have a coupon for a Free night!  Had one for last week too....and that's what we did.  Plus....a coupon for 2 special pull-tabs, guaranteed  $5 to $25, and a coupon for $15.00 free money!  Last week I won $30 on the pull-tabs, had $7.00 free slot play and another $10.00 free bonus cash!!!  But did I win any jackpots on the slots?  Nada.  However, we did come home with all the money from our own pockets.  B-o-n-u-s!!

Anywho,  on today's agenda:  empty the dish drain, put dishes away; make the bed; throw in a load of laundry; pay tons of bills; send daughter a piece of financial information she needs; clip coupons for the store on our way home tomorrow; some dusting and vacuuming;  pack the overnight bag.

And none of this can be done till.....BH is up and about.  Why?  Because I relish the quiet "my" time soooo much, that I just can't bring myself to make noise or otherwise wake him up, even though this is really throwing a monkeywrench into my schedule.

In other news:  I finished the ex-coworker's dress.  Did manage to get the elastic out of the waistband and ease is up a bit.  She was happy.  I don't know if it actually fits her better now; she never called to say.

I have finished knitting a had and almost the fingerless mitts, just gotta knit up the thumbs on both.  Think this will come with me today; I can work on them tonight.

Started a pair of cabled socks.  Nice blue tweedy color.  Got to the heel...might frog the whole thing.  Not sure I like the cabling; doesn't seem to be enough stretch.  I come from a family of big feet.  I base all  my knitted socks on our big feet.  Big ankles, big calves too.

I managed to sew the grograin ribbon in the denim blue sweater.  Now just have to get up the nerve to put the zipper in.  Did you ever machine-stitch a zipper in a sweater?   I put a zipper in the sweater I made for son in NY, but I'll be dipped if I can remember if I hand sewed it or machine (which I cannot remember doing).  I could ask him, but he probably wouldn't know what I was talking about (his wife does not sew! no help there.)

Grandson stopped by last evening.....with the girlfriend.  So we made plans to start cleaning out the old farmhouse/storage house this Saturday.  Weather has cooled down considerably, and no rain in the forecast til next Wednesday.  So we'll be getting that done.

Finally got around to cleaning the car....inside and out.  Inside was vacuumed, washed, QTipped all the little crevices and louvers; washed the windows, shampooed the upholstery and carpeting; scrubbed and hosed down the floor mats.  Washed and waxed the outside.  Started at 10:00am; finished at 3:15pm.  There was an hour break, while waiting for the car to cool down in the shade so the wax could be applied.  BH and I sat on the deck, talking.  I had 2 glasses of wine.  Wanted a beer, but didn't want to get in the car to go to the store, as the carpets were just cleaned!

And I pulled out the batt of oatmeal-colored wool last week.  Started spinning that.  Thinking an Aran sweater.  Might have to buy something similar color for plying.  Don't think there's enough of this wool to 3-ply and knit a sweater.

Ok.  He's up!!  gotta get my arse moving.  I'm gonna need a nap before we take off this afternoon. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Back to Square One........

So, we put the plant hangar high on the flag pole and hung the hummingbird feeder.  Very happy with ourselves.  And the birds seemed happier, too.  Being that the feeder was no longer close to the ground where any 4-legged predator could attack.

All was good for 3 days.  Friday morning,  yep,  the feeder was totally empty.  What the hell??    I walked over and checked the flagpole.  Oohhh yeah......muddy paw prints all over it....and the rope for the flag was pulled out, as well as the chicken wire/clematis trellis that is wrapped around the pole, about 4 ft. high.

A raccoon.   Definitely a raccoon.   My apologies to the deer.   What to do...what to do.....?

Back to square one.....we will now bring the feeder in at night.  The advantage to having it up so high from the ground means no ants (yet), and the bees are generally gone by evening.

Oh, I don't mind (too much) when the wildlife finds their meal at our expense, in our yard, but......the price of sugar???? (I make my own nectar for the hummers).  Not here, buddy....move on!  

Just for the heck of it, I checked the pole (sans feeder) yesterday morning. Hahahhaha......paw prints even further up the pole!!  He must have been looking and looking for that feeder  (it was dark, ya know).

The strange thing about this whole situation is.....we've never, ever seen a raccoon in our yard!   I mean....never!!  Never had any signs of one.  No garbage can opened and trash scattering the lawn.....no remnants from the compost pile laying all over the place.   No cooler left on the deck overnight (son's) opened and ravaged.   Strange.  Very strange.

So, there you have it.  This is the last chapter in the hummingbird feeder saga.   Now for something totally different...........

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ehhh.....yeah.....That Didn't Work.........

Well, the hummingbird feeder in the bucket, left sitting on the deck.....didn't work.  Woke up the next morning to find the deck in shambles.  Feeder empty, rolled across the deck, with dried, colored puddles in it's trail.  Table knocked over, broom laying across the door.

What the hell has been after this stuff?!?  BH and I agree it has to be a racoon.  Yeah. That's it....a racoon.  Sonofabitch.  Now what do we do for the hummingbirds?

A couple hours later, I'm coming back from somewhere, walking across the walkway....when, what do my wondering eyes spot?

Yep.   2 small hoof prints in dirt, on one of the walkway blocks, facing the stairs to the deck.    A deer.   A small deer.     If only there wasn't so much noise in the house (8 fans, 2 a/c's running 24/7), I might have heard all the banging around on the deck during the night.

The creature was back again Sunday night.   But there was nothing in the feeder.  It did, however, knock it out of the bucket and down the stairs.

So yesterday, on our trip to town for many errands, it hit me......I have a wrought iron plant hangar....you know, the kind you screw the back into a wall and then the arm with a hook on the end sticks out....to hang a plant.

Yeah, well, I tell BH  "hey, let's attach it up on the flagpole.  That way, the deer can't get at it, and we can still watch the hummingbirds!!!"  Great idea!  I amaze myself sometimes.  He readily agreed.  Like minds...gotta love it.

So that job is on the agenda for today.  We'll see how that turns out.