Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day whatever of deer widowhood...who keeps count?

Marginal improvement is still improvement.  I got a load of clothes on the line and took one off.  It's still in the basket though because I haven't gotten around to folding and putting them away.  I'll take them down tomorrow as I really prefer to let them soften with the morning dew.  Last load got a bit or rain to help soften them last night.  Not too much though so they were dry this morning.  I wonder how long I can hang them out this winter.  I need to pick up one more indoor rack and then I'll be good for the winter.  I'm just not buying a new dryer or paying to get this one fixed.  It may be that it's just a lint buildup but I can't take it apart to find the lint.

I still haven't cleaned house this week.  I mean, we're not in danger of the health department kicking us out by any stretch of the imagination but it's not tidy and that bothers me.  I hope these past couple of days taking it easy will allow me to get it done before Tom comes home.  In time for me to enjoy it, too, though.

I managed to get some new projects started last night.  I found a crochet moccasin pattern in one of my old books so I started on that and got two soles done.  I also started a shawl from another old book that I had wanted to do many years ago.  It's a very plain pattern, single and double crochet with an almost filet look to it, but I love the opening which is like a V.  Most triangular shawls don't stay on my shoulders so this one looks like it will.  I'm using the brown Caron Eco that I got on sale a year or so ago.  So far it looks pretty good.  Then I managed to get some more knitted on the plain sweater.  I'll get some done on the poncho today.

I also did some work with my pencils.  It's not great but does make me feel a bit better about drawing again.  It's completely from my imagination so it's not that good and it's too symmetrical and uninteresting but the point is, I'm drawing again.  And that's what is important.  It's based on a tree in the backyard but the tree is a lot younger than the one in my picture.

I hope to keep to it.  One of my biggest problems is finding a subject matter to draw but I've decided to work on the themes for the month on John Howe's site.  Not to submit just yet but to use the ideas.  Next month is Night Wings, things that fly in the night.  I'm planning on taking it seriously as if I were going to submit something by researching and drawing different kinds of flying night creatures.  The artists there are incredible and I don't have the confidence to face their loving, gentle, but strict criticism just yet.

And someday I will get my paints or colored pencils or pastels out and work with them.  I do think pencils are my first love out of the various media though.

Off to cook up some supper and then many things to watch tonight.  I got season 2 of New Tricks from the library and the first season of A Touch of Frost again.  And much to knit and crochet.  It's good to be excited about knitting and crocheting again.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mid week deer widow

It was a beautiful day today and I got one load on the line and ready to come off.  Unfortunately someone had a tissue in their pocket so there are bits of paper over all the clothing.  How does one bitty tissue manage to cover a whole load of clothes?  Nothing out there that is what I would think of as dress clothes so I'm not taking extreme measure, such as running them through the dryer on no heat, but I do have that option.  Well, maybe the jeans.

I'm debating about whether to hang another load out tonight but since it's whites and the googleplex of socks, I think I'll wait until tomorrow.  I'm still fighting the fatigue and depression so I think I will just bring the clothes in (or dare I leave them out to soften with the morning dew?) and then go to bed to watch tv and knit.  I decided against the Mario blanket as you can't really see the design in the square at all.  It just looks like random purls over a stockinette background.  I'll come up with something else to knit for Zach.  His birthday is next month, less than 3 weeks actually, so it will have to be something small and easy to knit...or crochet.

I'm making progress on the plain sweater and the poncho but I'm getting bored with them.  I need something a bit challenging.  Without buying more yarn.  I'm re-thinking the blanket again except I'm not sure I have enough yarn of one color to make it now.  Maybe just another blanket that is challenging and doesn't require one color.  I found a pattern in my old crochet books from the 90s (why does that seem so long ago?) of a round blanket.  Now to decide between Caron or Vanna's Choice.

I had a phone call last night from a pollster for the election.  The bias of the questions led me to believe this was a Republican poll because there were so many questions about the Democratic candidates that were negative with no positive answers to them.  And only one semi-tough question about the Republican candidate.  I knew polls didn't reflect the real questions.  Now I know for sure.

My blood sugar was still high this morning but not outrageously high.  But only my fasting tests are high.  Everything else is fact, mostly on the low end of what is acceptable.  I don't get it but I'll dig through my book to see if I can find an answer.

Professor killed one of the chipmunks last night but this morning saw another one just out of reach.  I hate to see him kill anything but they are pests and we would be knee deep in them if he didn't.  I praised him but he didn't seem to notice because his blood lust was up and he was looking for more.  

I'm going to leave the clothes out there to soften since I'm so stinking tired from errands that had to be done today.  Tomorrow is going to be a day of many at-home chores though.  I haven't gotten anything done this week and I'm wasting an opportunity here.

One can only do so much though.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Down on Tuesday

Today has been another one of those days when I feel like I'm working underwater because every effort seems magnified.  I woke up exhausted in spite of getting more sleep than I've gotten all week.  I washed a load of clothes but the sky clouded up with some dark, heavy gray clouds and although the forecast said no chance of rain, I don't trust them.  So I'll wait until tomorrow.  In the meantime, though, I hung out my winter clothes to air out.  If they get rained on, I don't care.

I think Tom's jacket is ruined though.  The sun isn't helping at all and I suspect if I tried to wash it in the washer, it would fall apart.  It's about 15 years old.  He'll be very unhappy about this.

I'm stopped up for some reason.  I don't know if I'm coming down with a summer cold or if it's allergies.  The leaves are falling and with it the seeds and such from various trees.  I haven't taken anything for it because, while I feel sluggish and achy, that's not necessarily from a cold.  I often feel that way from the fibromyalgia.

I got Asian from the store last night for supper tonight so all I have to do is pop it in the toaster oven.  Otherwise I haven't eaten much at all today.

I put my new bird feeder up and have attracted a lot of nut hatches today.  My cardinal is a regular but the nut hatches I've only seen now and then.  They seem to like the new feeder, which is made from recycled materials and looks plastic.  It's gazebo shaped so leaves more room for the little feet.  And of course the sparrows and finches.  I love my little birds.

Not feeling good so I'm going to go lie down before supper.  I might just have Zach fix it instead.  Nothing he can't handle.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Must be day 3 of my bow hunting deer widowhood

Yesterday was another bad day.  I got next to no sleep...saw the sun rise before I finally made it to sleep and then got up fairly early to let Professor out for a wee.  So nothing got done and my sugar this morning was back to being high again so while I'm still watching what I eat, I'm not being so restrictive about it like before since it's tied more in to my well-being than what and how I eat.  I plan on not doing the deprivation thing anymore and just add exercise and activity to my life plan.  I think it will be more beneficial since any time I deprive myself of a food or calories, I end up bingeing and gain weight.  I've gained nearly all of my weight from dieting.  When I don't diet, I don't gain weight.  You'd think I would learn after all this time, but I don't.  I continue to stress out and try to frantically lose weight when I'm nagged about it.

Zach got the yard mowed today and I got a load of clothes dried on the line.  I didn't have enough for two dark-colored loads so I'll finish that up tomorrow because I have enough to make a load now.  Then I've got some light colored clothes to wash as well.  And I need to make more laundry soap and get busy on the house.  I managed to get my room straightened up today.  I have so much yarn and no place to keep it beside my closet but things are falling out of it every time I open the door so I'm not sure where else to put it.  I can't put it upstairs because Tom smokes up there and the basement is too damp and mildew-y.  I looked at Tom's old flight jacket from his Navy days and it is covered in mold.  Not mildew.  Mold.  And it's dry-clean only.  I put it outside in the sun and hopefully the dew and sunshine will kill the mold and I can then hand wash it in some bleach water and soap and dry it on the line.  I have no idea why his jacket did that.  Nothing else that was hanging up next to it has a hint of mildew or mold on it.  Just the jacket.

I'm making progress on the poncho and the sweater so I added another project.  I found some dishcloth patterns on Ravelry that have Mario characters on them, so I printed them out and am making Zach a blanket out of the squares.  I'm using spare yarn in blues and greens so I hope he's okay with those colors.  I really don't want to buy more yarn right now.  I found some Woolease when I was cleaning out my yarn, enough for some really funky and non-matching socks.  I also have yarn to mend the socks I've already made. I should get to that soon.

It was warmer today but the nights are really cool.  I could see my breath last night while I was outside with Professor untangling him.  I put a blanket on my bed and used it.  Professor is hiding under blankets during the day now instead of just during the evenings.

Tomorrow I need to tackle the kitchen and the living room.  It's really cluttered in here and makes me edgy.  I sleep much better when things are in their place but this fatigue is kicking my butt and I don't have the energy to put in a good day.  We also have to do some work outdoors since it's trash day and I want to put some things in the garage in the trash.  And put away much of my gardening stuff, including tons of pots and buckets and things.  And the lawn chairs.  They will go in the basement because I'm afraid they will freeze and crack in the garage.

Well, I'm off to crawl into bed and knit away while watching Destination: Truth episodes that were on Syfy today. And El Mariachi that I dvr'd last night.  I've got that one on save in my inventory.  I love that series of movies.  And I'm almost done with The Two Towers documentaries.  I watch every single minute of the extended versions at least once yearly.  If I watch it too many times, I'm afraid I'll become bored with it.  I'm also ready to start reading the series again.  I used to read them every year and got bored with them.  Then I waited a few years and try to read them every few years instead.  I'm trying to get through the Silmarillion this time.  It doesn't have the excitement that LOTR has, but it has the history and background so I'm looking at it like the history book to go along with the stories.

Off I go.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Deer Widow bow season-day 1

I thought I had some good news on the health front last night but I was wrong.  My blood sugar has been high for the past week in spite of efforts to watch what I eat, rigidly, and exercising.  It occurred to me that it might be my meter since when I bought a new box of test strips, the numbers went through the roof so I bought a new meter (trust me, the meters are dirt cheap, it's the test strips that will bankrupt you as the insurance company won't pony up a penny for them) and the first sample I took was perfect.  In fact, my numbers were very low.

Not so fast though.  This morning it was high again.  Not as high as previously, but still too high for my comfort levels.  And by that I mean, not high enough for medical intervention or insulin or anything like that, but high enough that the doctor would lecture me for an hour on not taking care of myself.

So I'm sticking with trying to make better choices and getting on with the exercising.  My blood sugar this afternoon was well within normal ranges, even if at the top of the scale.  I'm getting there.  I even tried to make better choices when we went out to eat tonight in honor of Tom leaving to go bow hunting.

I can only do the best I can and if the doctor thinks I can do better, she should try to walk in my shoes for a week or so.

It's definitely a wake up call.

Tom headed north this afternoon but the house is now trashed because it's impossible to clean with him around.  He has presence and gets in the way a lot, after telling me today that I wouldn't last on board a ship because you have to learn to do things in small spaces with lots of people around you.  I bit back a reply that I didn't have to because I was no longer in the Navy and this wasn't a ship.  But I smiled and let it go because in the scheme of things, I get my own way eventually.  I'll do the cleaning this week while he's gone.

It's getting cooler.  Tonight will be in the 40s so I have the windows on this level shut.  Not the basement or the upstairs but I might if it gets too cold.  I wore the vest Tom bought me for my birthday. I really didn't get vests until I wore it and am now appreciative of them.  Plus I like how it looks on me.

Tonight will be spent sorting through a huge black garbage bag full of mostly Red Heart yarn that will either go to the thrift store or the trash depending on how tangled up it is.  I decided this was a priority when I went looking for something in my closet and the bag spilled out all over the hallway and every time I tried to stuff the multitude of balls back in the bag, more would spill out.  It's time to downsize my stash and get rid of things I just won't use.  I plan on saving some of it back for window snakes for the winter but the bulk of it will go bye-bye.

I ripped back the sweater again to the ribbing and am just knitting a plain stockinette sweater because that's what the yarn wants to be.  It told me in no uncertain terms that it wasn't interested in either color work or texture so I will listen to it and make it simple and plain.  And if I don't, it won't be ready this winter at all.

Well, I'm off to do some step aerobics while I watch tv and then spend the night going blind sorting yarn.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Starting the day with a walk

I'm trying to spend more time getting healthy but days like yesterday when my fatigue levels were in the basement, actually below the basement, don't help.  But I did wake up at 7:10 a.m. and took Professor for a walk.  He's limping on his right front leg and I can't find any obvious injury so I'm guessing it might be arthritis or something like that.  He managed to do very well most of the walk but toward the end was slowing down considerably and his limp was more pronounced.  I hope to take him walkies twice a day from now on.  And treat myself to a solitary walk where I'm not stopping at every tree or lamp post.  I've got some podcasts to listen to while walking and it would be nice with this lovely autumn weather.

I had to frog the hat I was making Zach because I discovered my size 6 (16") circular needles were actually size 5s, making the hat way too small.  That was annoying.  You expect something to be what the label says it is, but since I bought those several years ago, there's no hope in returning them.  StuffMart has little in the way of circulars or dpns so I went online to look at Lion Brand's selections since I'm somewhat of a fuddy duddy and like Boye needles very much.  They had them but they didn't have any size 8, which I also need.  And at over $5 a pop, nothing I can afford right now.

So I'm knitting the hat flat and will seam it later.  It goes much faster this way and I can seam it fairly invisibly but there is something about knitting in the round that I really like.  But the end result is important, too, so I will plod along and get 'er done.

I finally found a pattern for the sweater I can live with.  I wasn't happy with the way my color-work looked.  I need to practice with some spare yarn because the transition from one color to the other doesn't look even and in spite of carrying the yarn as loosely as I can in the back, still puckers as if the yarn is pulling too tight.  I plan on digging out my reference books or going online to figure out what I'm doing wrong or if it evens out in the finishing.  I have seen some work by some knitters who are very experienced and I've seen puckers in their colorwork so I wonder if it's just the stitches getting too lose while knitting, making the floats pull too much and will settle in after a wash.  I'll try it on a smaller object that I haven't invested months knitting.

Anyway I'm going a twisted purl stitch which is very similar to a stitch I used on a baby blanket.  Minor differences and I'm not changing colors because I don't like horizontal stripes on me, but the texture is really lovely, the pattern is so easy to memorize and most of it doesn't require a lot of tedious attention.  I should be making progress now and hopefully be done by Christmas, although Thanksgiving would be even better, but since I'm also working on a very long poncho, I doubt T-day will see anything done.  Aside from several hats for Zach.

Tom is leaving tomorrow to go bow hunting.  I'll admit I was sweating out the cost of the trip which I don't begrudge him and would rather trim down something rather than him miss out.  Lo and behold, I got a birthday card in the mail from my aunt with a check for the socks I knitted her.  It took my breath away because it was more than twice what I thought was fair.  So now I don't feel anxious at all about the trip, although we still need to do some trimming of expenses because heating bills will be showing up eventually.

The weather is cooling off although we did have a few very warm days.  Not Indian Summer because we haven't had frost yet, but more like August weather.  Today is supposed to start out fairly warm and end up fairly cold.  It was a bit cool and misty when I walked Professor which was very nice.

I still have a lot of tomatoes in the garden.  I picked three yesterday and there will be at least that many more by tomorrow.  Plus all the green ones still on the vine.  I'm keeping an eye on the overnight temps but so far there is nothing to worry about.  I bought a Farmer's Almanac for next year.  My grandfather used to farm by it and my mother used a lot of the folk remedies and went by a lot of the folk tales.  We do use herbal medicines for some things but I don't give up my pharmaceuticals. I'm not anti-modern medicine at all.

Well, time to get busy. It's another errand day and I've got to find some semblance of order to this house.  I get really antsy when it's cluttered like this.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another year older and deeper in debt

For those of you who don't know the reference, it's from a song sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford from my childhood called 16 Tons.  Except I changed the word day to year.  Because I can. is my birthday and I have to subtract to find out how old I am because I've been known to remain the same age for 3 years running before.  Just a memory lapse, not an attempt to seem younger.  Really.

Yesterday was just a crap day.  Tired, achy and depressed.  More about my lack of determination to get healthy than anything else so I psyched myself up last night and am set upon a course to get healthy, get my blood sugar down and enter into Autumn with a new outlook on life.  Because, dear friends, today is the last day of Summer.  Autumn arrives at 10:09 p.m. and offers up a new season, freshly unpacked and unused. 

I managed to get some knitting in last night but it was mostly unraveling because apparently knitting when I'm dead tired isn't a good idea.  I had to frog back two pattern repeats on the poncho because the leaves didn't look like leaves at all.  I made it back where I was when I had to rip back but no more.  I also had to unravel Zach's hat because I dropped a stitch and couldn't pick it up again.  I'm knitting it in Nature's Choice Organic Cotton from Lion Brand and it's less elastic, less give so I couldn't just fix it.  It's also harder on my hands knitting it but it will make a nice hat for him to wear.

Normally Zach and I go out to eat on my birthday but I am loathe to spend that much money on a restaurant, plus I'm trying to do the South Beach Diet for a while to get my lab numbers where the doctor won't yell at me and since my physical is due next month, I'd better get busy.  Instead we're just hitting a fast food place where I can have a salad and chicken, which is pretty satisfying and will inflict less guilt all the way around.

Tom is leaving this weekend to go up north for bow hunting.  It's his first season for it so he's pretty excited.  I hope he gets a deer but I'm going to have to rearrange the freezer to make room for it.  I plan on getting some heavy cleaning done while he's gone.  It's not time to winterize the house yet but I can do the pre-winterizing stuff okay.

I'm watching the weather because I still have tomatoes and zucchini out in the garden.  I don't want them to freeze and although that's not a worry this week, it has been known to happen in October and that's not that far away.

Well, I'm off to get some work done before we leave.


Monday, September 20, 2010

The pre-birthday party

Another day of nothing much done.  I haven't even done any reading today except for the brief few minutes Zach was in the credit union.  I started a hat for him but I can't find my size 8, 16" circular needles so I don't know if I can go any further until I find them.  I could probably do a magic loop thing with my larger ones but I'm not that crazy about the method.  I'll give it a think or two and decide by the time I crawl into bed.

My birthday is coming up Wednesday but Zach and Tom decided to go ahead and have it yesterday.  They bought me a quilted vest with fleece lining, a nice gold candle in a jar, and a beautiful necklace with a skeleton key on it.  It's really delicate so I'm afraid I'll break it but I love it.  It's also so difficult to get on that I don't dare take it off again.

I had planned on doing some drawing today as well but I got to talking to a dear friend online and, well, that went by the wayside.  Friends are important, after all, and I'd rather be talking to her anyway.  Besides, I can always do some drawing tonight instead of knitting.  Heresy, I know.

Zach and I decided to stop eating out as it's not fun anymore.  I got some ideas for some more elaborate lunches than peanut butter and jelly so if I make it more interesting at home, we'll end up saving money in the long run.  We don't eat out often, but often enough.  And it's just not that enjoyable anymore. I love sitting talking to Zach, which we don't really do at home, but we could do that with just a $1 soda.  Don't need a meal to do it.

I'm making progress on the poncho and the sweater.  The sweater is slower because of the color changes but it's still looking pretty good.  I haven't got that much experience in knitting with different colors so I'm enjoying the practice, even if it takes me longer to knit the sweater.  I am a process knitter, after all.

Well, short but sweet today as I've got supper on the stove and need to finish it up.  I hope my fibromyalgia eases off pretty soon.  I'm taking pain pills during the day now, which I hate to do.  Still not exceeding my normal dosage, although I have the doctor's permission to if needed.  She told me that most people in real pain don't get addicted so much as they hoard their meds because they always think it will be worse later and they'll need them then.  I know I don't get a buzz on tramadol, but it sure is nice when the pain finally goes away for a while.

Off to eat supper, then dishes, then bed.  I am getting older, you know.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

That didn't last

I'm back to no energy and no ambition.  Tom is asleep on my bed so I can't watch tv or read since all my books are in there, too, so I went online.  Trouble is, he'll sleep for about 5 hours and I don't want to stay online for that long.  I want to knit.

I finished up the doily and will try to get a picture of it this weekend.  I didn't do the long points because it would have taken another 2 skeins of yarn and I already spent more on it that I wanted to.  I was trying to use up some yarn I had left over.  It looks okay and would have been too big with the long points on it anyway.

Which leaves me more time for the sweater and poncho and that makes me happy.

I'm not staying online much tonight because I'm really, really tired so I'm going to just sit on the couch and stare into space for a while.

Oh, and I lost the gamble last rained.  Heck, it stormed!  But the clothes almost dried out.  I'll get them tomorrow morning.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Hoping it's the start of several good days.

I'm having a pretty good day today.  I didn't get a lot of sleep but it was uninterrupted until 7:30 a.m. when Professor wanted to go out and sit on the porch to admire his domain.  But I got back to sleep after bringing him back in and slept for another two hours.  Then I got up for good and hit the ground running.  I had to hang out some laundry because there is a chance of rain in the forecast and wanted to get as many loads dry as I can before it happens.  I've got two loads out and another in the washer.  That load will overnight on the lines because the chance of rain is low but more importantly, I don't want them to reek when I pull them out once the threat of rain is over.  I'm gambling that it won't rain, actually.

Which probably means it will.  But at least the rain water will soften the clothes.  I stopped using fabric softener a long time ago, using white vinegar instead, but after forgetting it in a load and noticing no difference, I stopped using it, too.  Morning dew is the best softener anyway.

I'm making progress on the doily.  I'm ready to start the points but I had to get more yarn.  I'm not sure if one more skein will be enough but it will be enough for now.  I also went back to argyle on the sweater because nothing else satisfied and once I'm done with the doily I can spend more time on it.  I only got a couple of rows done on the poncho though because my eyes were crossed from lack of sleep.  And yeah, it makes sense to go to sleep if you're that sleepy.

I'm having problems with my blood sugar for some reason.  It's been high and going up instead of down while I'm trying to fix it.  I cut out all sugar and it didn't help so I'm going with exercise and a South Beach type eating plan.  I'm going to try to stay away from all high glycemic index foods from now on.  I'm on metformin but don't want to go on anything else.  I am watching my sugar diligently.  I guess this is my wake-up call to get busy and get healthy.

My knees are giving me a hard time.  I walked in the back door and had to hold onto the door frame to get my leg lifted enough to clear the threshold.  This cool spell has woken up all my various aches and pains.  I've started taking two tramadol at night instead of waiting to discover that one pill isn't enough.  I get relief within an hour instead of waiting it out for 4 hours and still being in pain.  I just don't like to take them during the day because while I'm still in pain, I can occupy my mind and it doesn't debilitate me.  Unless I want to use my knees for something, like going up and down the basement steps.  I mostly just hobble up and down them.  It's the main reason my bedroom is in the living room...I can't handle going upstairs (or down) anymore.

Hopefully I can get some of this weight off, which will bring some relief to my poor knees.  And maybe this year I can avoid slipping on the ice and landing on them.  I didn't last winter.  Last winter, I landed on my head.  I'd like to avoid falling altogether this year.

Well, off to work in the kitchen and dining/living room.  I've discovered I get a lot more done if I don't go online first thing.  I just started the computer up a half hour ago and I don't plan on staying here long.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Not my best day

Today was a day in which I got next to nothing done again.  I got little sleep last night.  Professor was wired and every little sound out there set him off in a barking frenzy.  I was too tired to dig out the barking collar.  Part of me hates using it.  It's a mist in his face but it obviously traumatized him because I only had to use it once.  Last year.

Anyway, I washed another load of clothes but it's been looking like rain all day so I didn't hang them out.  I could have put them on the racks but it's supposed to be nicer tomorrow (with rain in the evening) so I thought I would put it off.  Besides, I took a 2 hour nap.  Now I'm dragging worse than before.  I'm going back to bed as soon as the supper dishes are done.

I am making progress on the doily though although each row is now over an hour long and I need to get two rows a day done if I'm going to finish in time for Autumn Equinox.  The sweater got frogged down to the ribbing again, too, when I found a mistake I had made.  I hate that I can't seem to commit to a particular pattern on this.  I'm going to need that sweater soon enough so I'd better decide.

I knitted a few more rows on the Sweeping Statement poncho.  It's not mindless knitting because I have to watch for the pattern, but it's not rocket surgery either so it's pretty relaxing to knit.  I love how the leaf pattern is standing out in the center section.

We're having chili tonight because the weather out there just looks like chili weather.  Overcast and pretty cool all day.  I had to shut the windows and I'm in a sweater and sweat pants.  I love it, actually.  Now if I could just get my energy back.

Well, supper requires my attention now so I'm off to finish it up and get those dishes done so I can crash.  I've become my grandparents!  They used to get in their pajamas at 4 p.m. every day.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It only sounds like I'm doing a lot...

I finally got the light colored clothes dry on the line.  I had put them in the dryer although they were smelling a bit sour, but I thought I could hang them out on the line after they were dry to air them out.  Unfortunately the dryer didn't dry them at all.  They were just as wet as they were when I put them they were really rank when I opened the dryer door.  So I re-washed them, but I did use the bucket of water from Tom's shower (the water that comes out the faucet instead of all of it going out the shower head) so I did save a tiny bit. 

Tonight I had enough water in the bucket for both the wash and rinse water for the dishes.  I'm kicking myself for not doing this sooner.

Had to make a trip to town again because of library books and medicine in.  I'm taking a meat break in order to get my numbers down (in preparation for my annual physical.)  I got a thing from the insurance company and it has denied payment for something else that happened on the day of my mammogram.  I'm thinking this might be the radiologist this time.  I don't have $500 to pay for this so they'd better shell out.  I don't think Tom has done anything about it yet.  I laid the paper out for him to see when he gets home.  I'm not always awake to talk to him and usually forget by the next day.  If he had gone straight to the mediator this would have been finished but he goes to the HR guy and he doesn't care about it since he's not losing any money.

We got the car cleaned out tonight.  It was in really bad shape from the trip down to see my parents.  It's not great now but at least you can see the floor and the risk of fire from all the paper in the back floorboard is lower now.

I looked the garden over today as well.  The tomato plants are wilting away but I still have plenty of green ones on the vine.  I can use them if they don't ripen up.  Fried green tomatoes are heavenly.  I see one bloom left on the zucchini and a few green beans straggling the bushes.  I need to chop down the tobacco plants.  They have flowered but I have no idea where the seeds might be.  I'm going to chop the heads off and find a paper bag to keep them in.  I read that's the way to get seeds out of flowers.  Hope it works but if it doesn't I have some seeds left over from this year.

I had hoped to clean up the back yard but we took a while in town and I was already tired when we got home.  I still had to get the clothes off the line and cook supper and do the dishes.  I still have the clothes to fold and put away.  It took me 45 minutes to hang them out yesterday because of the socks and smaller items.  I was so achy that I was tempted to just quit.  But I had to get them done.  The dew was so heavy last night that they were soaked this morning so they didn't dry in time for time to practice with his bow before he left for work.  I'll wait until he leaves before hanging out clothes tomorrow.  I probably won't get but one load dry before night and since it's pointless to leave them overnight anymore (and since rain is predicted Friday morning) so I'm going to be using the racks as needed.  I decided (because I had forgotten to put the vinegar in the fabric softener ball) that it makes no difference at all right now so I'm leaving that step out.  If I need it for static cling in the winter, I'll use it again but I'll just save the money for now.

I went back to the original design of the sweater which is a plaid pattern.  I was mad at myself for not pushing through and improving my skills instead of just quitting.  It's much better this time around. I don't know why though.  I am back where I was on the crocheted doily/altar cloth and really do need to work on the poncho since I haven't knit a stitch for nearly a week.  I mostly have all my work done for the day so I'm going to slip into my pajamas and get down to it.  I'm nearly done with the Midsomer Murders set I got from the library.  Saw Cully get married.  That was the one I wanted to see. 

I'm also working my way through the stuff I DVR'd.  I've got Knitting Daily on my list but I'm not terribly impressed by the show.  It's mostly mini-segments of about 5 minutes each until you get to the main event and that's not very long at all.  It seems  mostly like a show designed to sell yarn or patterns.  But it's knitting and I must watch it.  It's the law.

I'm almost halfway through The Pillars of the Earth again.  I'm also re-reading the book so it's good to see what the differences are.  There is a sequel but I haven't heard good reviews of it.  I'll read it anyway.  I'm just that way.

I'm off to finish up the dishes and then off to my favorite time of the day.  I do intend to do some drawing tomorrow though.  I'm setting aside time for that and other things first so I don't wait until I'm done with my work before I sit down to do it.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Today we vote

I ended up spending a great deal of the night reading because the pain woke me up and kept me up.  Watching tv didn't help either so I turned it off and read Pillars of the Earth.  I also watched two episodes of the mini-series, which apparently didn't stop being shown on the date they said it would.  I feel better but stiff today.  My arthritic knees are complaining about the coming winter and spending time on my knees scrubbing the bathtub yesterday didn't endear me to them so they complained all night, along with the burning pain in my legs and back from the fibromyalgia.

I had to rip back 4 rounds on the doily/altar cloth last night because I missed a stitch on one pineapple and it's not something I could fix.  I'm almost back to where I was before.  I am working on a tweed type pattern on the sweater.  I need something that doesn't require a lot of concentration and isn't tedious. It's not a bad pattern and looks well with the color.  I haven't worked on the poncho much lately but it's an easy pattern to pick up.  It's just that the Autumn Equinox (Alban Elfed) is coming up and I'd like to have my altar decorated for it.  So I'm giving the doily priority.

I've been using the water that drips from the faucet in the bathtub while taking showers for various uses.  I got one full dishpan to wash dishes, I used one nearly full bucket for scrubbing the bathtub and today I used a nearly full bucket to add water to the washer for a load of clothes.  It's amazing how much water was just wastefully going down the drain for the past couple of years.  We never used to have the problem but Tom, uh, fixed the shower head and ever since then we've had problems with it. It's not a problem if you use the run off but we haven't for two years.

I've had to put off hanging clothes out because Tom is practicing his bow skills before his hunting trip the end of this month.  But I have to get some clothes out now before the weather turns.  Not that I've seen the forecast but we've had some lovely days that I didn't get clothes hung out.

I have plenty of green tomatoes so the supply will keep up for another month or so.  The peppers were a disappointment.  I had two plants that didn't give me a single pepper.  I've heard about problems with pollination this summer but I saw plenty of bees out there so I don't think that was it.  I think it was location water.  And maybe the seeds.  I think next spring I'll buy them from a nursery instead of Stuff Mart.  I've always had mixed success from SuffMart.

The birds are playing on the garage roof right now, which is even funnier because they're looking over the edge at Professor who seems oblivious to them.  I've had to refill the feeder nearly every other day so I wonder when winter is going to arrive if that is any indication of it.

We got some new neighbors two doors down in a duplex that normally I'd ignore but their cat is in our yard nearly every night and we can't let our cat out because of it.  Our cat is on a leash and while we keep a good eye out on him, not letting him get tangled or reach the trees he could climb, he's never been aggressive so I'm afraid another cat would wipe the floor with him.  Professor tolerates the black cat but I'm just not keen on someone else's pets in my yard.  They also have a huge dog, looks like a mix between a rottweiler and a boxer who they don't keep on a leash.  He stayed in their yard but I don't know if he would take off after another animal (like Professor with the barkiness) and eat him up.  Also their kids play in the streets and three times now I've had to stop the car to wait for them to mosy out of the road with their baseballs, soccer balls and bicycles.  They have a huge backyard, bigger than ours, yet they play in the streets.  I don't make official complaints but there are people in this neighborhood who do.

Well, off to vote in the primary.  Saw a blurb on the tv about a woman who said she only votes in presidential elections because she's just not interested in anything else.  I wonder what she thinks Congress and her local politicians do. But I'm going to be lazy and drive there today and give my knees a break.  I'll take Professor around the block later tonight.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Mondays are the first day of the week for me

Taking a break from the internet was a good move yesterday.  I did a lot of cooking and crocheting although any knitting that took place had to be undone.  It was just one of those days.  In fact, the argyle sweater is no more, mostly because I got tired of untwisting the yarn as I was knitting.

I'm completely in love with the DVR.  I have missed a lot of shows that I couldn't tape because they changed the times on me or because I forgot to set the timer on the vcr so it's nice to tell the thing to tape all shows and it does.  Yesterday was a Ghost Adventures marathon so I've got several episodes waiting for me.  I managed to watch 4 of them already.

Also this weekend I watched District 9 and 2012.  Tom hated 2012 but I loved it.  Basically it was your standard disaster fact, I told Zach it was The Towering Inferno and the Poseidon Adventure rolled into one movie.  But still good if you like that genre, and I do. 

I'm on round 31 of the worsted weight doily/altar cloth.  I had to unravel back two rows...twice...because of mistakes made.  It's not like knitting where you can just work down one stitch to fix your problem.  Nope.  You definitely have to go all the way back.  Finally I just gave up and turned the light off and went to sleep.  Immediately.  When you're making that many mistakes, it's time to give it a rest.

The car is fixed.  The battery lives underneath the air filter and something else (not sure what right now) and you have to turn the front wheels sharply to the left to get the battery out through the wheel well.  In fact, Tom just takes the tire off because trying to get it through with the tire on is a task.  So when he finally pulled the battery out, the negative terminal connection crumbled into dust.  He installed a new battery because the battery in there was the original factory-installed over 10 years old.  Not bad for a battery, but in such an idiotic place.  Hopefully I can get some money saved before spring so we can replace the car.  Tightening the belt even further.

Hoping to get a lot more accomplished today, like scrubbing the bathroom, cleaning out the fridge and baking some bread today.  I'm not going to use the machine because you can only bake one loaf at a time and it uses up electricity for the kneading, which I can do more cheaply. 

And speaking of cheap, I put the bucket under the faucet while taking a shower last night and got more than half a bucket full of water.  It filled the dishpan and was nice and hot so I washed the supper dishes in it.  When I was down visiting my parents this summer, I thought my mom would really appreciate the things we do to be frugal but she kind of curled her lip at them and told me I was being ridiculous.  But then they ran their air conditioner full time and left the front and side inner doors open all the time.  I can only imagine how much cool air was escaping through the storm doors.

Well, I have things to get to.  In addition to the cleaning, I'm planning on starting a course at Open University (not for credit or anything) so I can exercise my mush brain.  Plus I have many books from the library and at home to read.  And today I am going to work on my drawing, too.  I keep putting it off until  I've got my work done, but I never get my work done, so I never pick up my pencils.

I"m off to have a good day.  I hope you do, too.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Crocheting, knitting and frugality

The pain seems to be easing up a bit although the weather is staying pretty much the same.  I'm okay on just ibuprofen today.  It still hurts.  Heck, it always hurts, but it's tolerable.  I can work around the pain.  Yesterday I took my full dosage of tramadol.  I tend to hoard them against the day I don't have them anymore.

I'm making progress on the crocheted doily/altar cloth.  I couldn't make heads or tails out of the instructions so I got the magnifying glass out and scrutinized the picture.  I decided to go back to an earlier row and do the same thing I did there to close the pineapple.  It's not exactly what the picture looks like but the end result is the same so I went with it.  There was one other dicey instruction that didn't make sense so I had to work each step over and over until I figured out what they meant.  These books are so old, I have no access to any errata so if I run into something that just won't work out, I'll have to wing it.  On the plus side, this is making me push my crochet skills beyond my comfort zone so it's all coming back to me.  I used to crochet much more than I knitted because I didn't know a lot about knitting even though I had been doing it for over 20 years.  We didn't have access to the wonderful books and videos that exist today.  I learned more from Knitty Gritty than I ever did from my home ec teacher.

So I think the doily will be done by the Autumn Equinox.  Hopefully.  If I work harder at it.  I'm making progress on the argyle sweater and the Sweeping Statement poncho as well.  Minute progress at this stage, but progress nonetheless.  I am determined to spend less time online in the future though.  I have much frugality to work at and many things to get to on the craft front as well.  I may have to limit myself to weekdays on the blog though so I can play catch up on the weekends.  I'll play it by ear.

I ended up using the dryer for the light colored load in the washer.  Unfortunately they sat in the washer too long and now have an odor about them.  I know the dryer didn't dry them all so I'll hang them outside tomorrow.  We had a threat of rain yesterday that didn't come to fruition until early this morning and it was threatening rain all day.  The fresh air will take care of the odor and finish drying them.  It occurred to me this morning as I was dragging from no energy that frugality has to take place even on those days I don't feel like it.  Maybe especially on those days I don't feel like it.  At any rate, I'm trying to work through the fatigue and get it done when all I want to do is go lie down.  The feeling of accomplishment is a nice reward but it does get old living your life like you're wading through water all the time.

So I am off to bed to crochet some more and maybe do a few rows of knitting.  I also have some other projects I want to work on.  I decided against an Etsy or online store because of the problems in getting a business license (and probably a home-business license with the city) not to mention dealing with sales tax in our state and any states with reciprocal agreements.  Plus having to also do tax returns on the business as well.  I truly have never wanted my own business anyway.  I think what I'll do is just work on an inventory of things and look at getting a booth at the various craft fairs in the county or maybe a flea market.  You only need a license for those.  I'm not sure about the taxes but I can figure that out later.  A smaller circle of customers, but it's a start.

I probably won't be posting tomorrow because I need to get a lot of things done before Monday.  Tom is planning on replacing the battery and hardware tomorrow.  He's still working 6 days a week, 12+ hours a day so has to get all the house/car stuff done one day a week.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cabin fever gone

I made it to the store this morning.  Zach and I got up bright and early...well, for us.  We were gone by 9:30 a.m., hitting the library by way of a sausage & biscuit at McSnacky's.  It's the event, not the food really so we're back to dollar menu stuff and getting more satisfaction from it than eating the combos and such.

After the library we headed out to StuffMart where I priced batteries (affordable) and bought the groceries for the week.  I've gotten the grocery bill down by about $40 which is nothing less than miraculous although we eat less meat.  I bought some soup mixes, which I normally wouldn't have done but they are hearty soup mixes and can be fleshed out to make a meal for less than $5 for three of us.  Pretty healthy too.  Or is that healthful.

I made progress on the Sweeping Statement poncho, with the center panel being a wefted leaf pattern.  I'm pretty much right back where I started on the design but it's moving quickly and easy to memorize, which is a criteria when knitting something that big.  I haven't worked on the argyle sweater for a couple of days so I should make a point of it tonight.  Nor have I worked on the worsted weight doily/altar cloth since hitting that bump in the pattern.  I probably won't work on it tonight either but I must get back to it tomorrow for sure.  Or else I'll lose my place.

I re-filled the bird feeder today because the greedy things are really consuming a lot more than they have in the past few months.  Someone mentioned on their blog that it was a sign of an early winter.  It may be as we're already having cooler weather.  Although I'm positive there is another heat wave or two ahead of us.  I've shut the windows but the window fans aren't far away if I need them again.  I put up the smaller feeder, too, and re-filled the bird bath.  They are so bold that they don't fly away while Professor is out there.  Hannibal, too.  He was out in the yard yesterday sitting on the hill watching them.  That made him eye level with the feeder but they didn't seem to care.  Today with both feeders they were all over the clothes line and the grapevine.

Professor killed a mole this afternoon.  He doesn't mess around and play with them like Hannibal does.  Hannibal will play, lose interest and they scurry off.  Professor gets down to business and kills quickly.  I hate the thought of an animal being killed but I don't need a mole in the yard.  This is his third mole in as many years.  He kills mice and baby rabbits, too.

We've got a visitor from a couple of houses down.  A black, long-haired cat has been coming over.  Professor barks at him but doesn't get hysterical like he does with dogs and squirrels.  And of course the rat-bastard chipmunk.  They've been nose to nose before without hissing or hackles raised.  I don't have a problem with said cat visiting but we need to keep an eye out when Hannibal is outdoors.  He's territorial and won't let another cat on the property.  Dogs, yes, but no cats.

Tomorrow I hope to get a sourdough starter going because I want to get back to baking my own bread, but if I use my bread machine it's not cost effective at all since I only make one loaf at a time.  I can use the oven; it's just not the most convenient thing to do with the door falling off and all.  I'm also going back to making our own tortillas and snacks.  That's been one reason why our food budget has gone down a bit.

I'm just not sure I can give up Gobstoppers though.  Although they've been out the past few times I was at the store.

Well, time to get busy knitting and finishing up Northern Exposure.  I finished up The Pillars of the Earth last night and loved it.  Not as good as the book but I don't actually measure them against each other, being different media and impossible to translate equally.  Movies and mini-series have different dynamics that make them work so to compare is really unfair.  At any rate, if it comes my way and is affordable, I want to own this series.  Most likely though it will be out of reach.  I just hope the library picks it up.

I'm also hoping my poor aching body will adjust to this weather change.  I'm so achy that I'm taking tramadol during the day, which I don't normally do.  I must get outside and get the yard work done though so I will have to work past the pain and fatigue and get it done.  We are the neighbors everyone wishes didn't live on their block because of the yard and junk we have on the back patio.  Plus I have to get ready for winter.  I'm not one to wait until the snow falls to have everything in place.

Off to crawl into bed and have at it with my knitting.  And reading.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Getting cabin fever

I just took down two loads of clothes from the clothesline, fresh and ready to fold.  I have a load of light-colored clothes in the washer but I'll get those tomorrow.  I did some work upstairs, clearing out some plastic drawers Zach is going to use for his clothes.  His dresser is huge and bulky and takes up so much space.  Plus the drawers are hard to open and close so he tends to keep his clothes in stacks around his room.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the dresser now, but we'll take it out of his room tomorrow morning.  Maybe Tom can put it upstairs to use for his hunting supplies.

I found a stack of crochet books while I was cleaning so I quickly went through them this afternoon while watching the third part of The Pillars of the Earth.  They're did such a good job on it.  I had started re-reading the book but of course, the movie is long past where I am in the book.

Now I'm ready to straighten up the kitchen and hie off into my bed to knit, crochet and finish up the series if I can.  It will no longer be available on the 10th. 

I'm making progress on the argyle sweater but I frogged the Tree of Life afghan.  I just didn't like how it looked.  My reverse stockinette isn't very good looking at all.  So I'm back to knitting the Sweeping Statement poncho but I've got to figure out what design I'm going to put in the center.  I don't want to do the honeycomb cable, mostly because it's too tedious.  Something that doesn't involved using the cable needle every few stitches for 100 stitches a row.  And yet something that draws the eye.  I'll be looking through my Barbara Walker book later.

I'm muddling along on the doily/altar cloth.  I ran into a problem, not understanding the instructions.  It calls for a cluster between two shells but I can't figure out what they mean by the cluster as the instructions seem really vague and not what I'm used to for a cluster.  The picture doesn't look like a cluster at all, but a double crochet stitch.  I might just use that instead.  It's not like I'm going to be graded on it.

I've got to run to town tomorrow morning because the car isn't working so I have to go while Tom is home with the truck.  And as usual, he's working this weekend so I don't know if he can fix the car before Monday.  I have to locate sales on batteries, although I don't know how to do that from here.  We don't get circulars anymore and the local paper only has that stuff in Saturday's paper.  He wants me to go to all the stores' websites and look for specials.  I hate it when I don't have transportation.  This happens far too often for my liking.

So I'm off to do that, clean the kitchen and then go to bed.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Long weekend over...finally

I got up bright and early.  Well, early.  The cable guy was coming to change out our receiver because our two years was up and it was time to decide on another plan or to downsize.  Downsizing didn't save us money because non-bundles are treated as a la carte and is decidely more expensive.  Tom wanted to go back to Vonage, but I wasn't that happy with them and whenever the computer went out, so did the phone.  Not to mention the turnover time between getting the cable phone shut off and the Vonage hooked up.  We lost the whole "promotional" period last time and never saved a dime on their intro plan.  Not to mention their $19.95 plan (this was years ago) cost us $31.00 a month with all the hidden costs included...such as Wisconsin fees and taxes and such.

We're going to be spending about $25.00 a month more than we are right now but we get all the premium channels and a DVR, which I'm thrilled about since the vcr won't rewind without popping the tape out anymore.  If we had taken the lower package we would have paid about $5 more a month for the same package minus the premium channels, which I could live with because we have a fantastic library, but Tom knows that I never just sit and watch tv; I always knit, crochet, draw, peel potatoes, sew, shuck name it.  So he's looking at it as an investment.  Of sorts.  Plus, we don't do anything for entertainment and he takes his vacations away from home (deer hunting, fishing, etc) so it's company for me while he's gone.

When I got up, first thing I did was pop a load of clothes in the washer to hang out on the line before I saw that we had a wind advisory.  I had to wait for the phone call to confirm the appointment so I couldn't hang them out until I got that, and once I did, I didn't have time to hang them out before the guy pulled up out front.  It took him less than 15 minutes, including tracking down why our premium channels weren't showing up.  He showed me how to use the DVR and then was out the door.  I left by the back door to get the clothes out on the line.

And almost got blown away by the wind.  I watched the load closely and they got nearly dry in less than an hour but started pulling off the clothes pins so I hurried out and took them down.  I've got them on hangars and the wooden rack drying.  My dryer isn't working efficiently anymore so I'm not using it for anything beyond de-linting or fluffling winter stuff.  And it's not winter yet.  I have room in my bedroom now for the racks so I plan on not using the dryer anymore unless there is an urgent need.

The wind is gusting up to around 40 mph.  While I was out hanging out clothes a gust blew the shirt out of my hand (I had one clothes pin attaching it to the line so it didn't go anywhere) and it blew the birds out of the neighbor's tree.  It was funny to watch them fly against the wind to get back in the tree.  They stayed away from the bird feededr while the clothes were flapping but congregated as soon as I brought them in.

We haven't seen Miss Piggy for several days.  I think it's too cold for the toads and they're hunkering down for the winter.  I'm inclined to do the same except we haven't seen the end of hot days yet.  We've got a cool week ahead of us but I know before October we'll be back in shorts and the windows all open.  After that I'll start putting plastic on the windows, getting the reflectors out for the heat vents and getting the throws and blankets out.  And the winter clothes.  I need to air them out first.  I don't wash them anymore.  I used to whenever we changed seasons because they smell like the attic or the basement.  Now I just hang them on the line for a day or so and they freshen up.  They were clean when I put them up so there's no need to clean them again.  Just air them out.

I've got tomatoes cooking on the stove.  I don't have enough to do a lot with so I'm making some spaghetti sauce and hope that's enough for tonight.  If not, Zach and I will have sauce-less spaghetti (which we prefer anyway) and leave the sauce for Tom.  I have to cut the corn off the cobs (that he got from a co-worker) and freeze it before it goes bad.  I just can't eat corn on the cob every day and the guy gave us plenty.  So as soon as I'm done with the tomatoes, I'm doing the corn.  Next autumn should be a lot busier with blueberries (I hope) tomatoes, corn, green peppers, green beans, peas and lots of lettuce.  And even more the year after that.  I hope.

I've got the living room to clean so I'm going to get busy with that while the tomatoes cook.  Tom likes to sit at the dining table and watch tv so it gets very cluttered on the weekend with his stuff.  To the degree you can't see the table anymore so on Mondays (or Tuesdays when we have a three day weekend) I clean.  I've given up having a table4 that looks like a table.  It's the way he was raised, I guess.  I never say his mother's table cleared off, except for the few meals we ate there, then it was right back to being cluttered.  They are a family of pack rats as well.

I'm putting off the deep cleaning until tomorrow since I have to catch up today.  The car is dead until we can come up with a new battery (and I hope that's the problem, but I doubt it) so I'm stuck at home until at least Sunday because he works on Saturday again.  Except the books are due back at the library Friday so if I can't renew them I'll have to take the truck and do that before he leaves for work.  I hate having one vehicle.  And we never seem to have two for any significant length of time before one of them is down.

He'd better get it fixed before the 25th because he's going up north bow hunting for a week and I won't be left behind without transportation for a week.  We have no stores here besides a convenience store so no way.

Well, off to get some stuff done and the tomatoes cooked.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day is for...resting?

There isn't much going on here this weekend.  We had a huge storm this morning that woke me up (but didn't keep me up) and it doesn't look like I'm going to be able to hang clothes out on the line today.  Tom worked on the car yesterday and when he was done it wouldn't start but this morning when he went out to work on it, it started up again.  Apparently that means he's not going to find out why it won't start intermittently.  But that is the way things always go around here.

I'm seriously considering going back to bed.  Not because I don't feel good but because I did a lot of knitting yesterday (and crocheting) and I liked it.  Plus all the reading I did.  I felt better spending less time online and got a lot more accomplished.  And felt better about myself for doing it.  I think I will trim out some of my online reading and get to work on other drawing, painting, writing, and looking at crafts I can sell.  I need to read up on the legalities of owning an etsy shop or doing flea markets or craft know, taxes and do I need to register in my state as a business, do I need to charge sales tax in Wisconsin...stuff like that.  It's one of the biggest reasons I haven't done anything yet. Wisconsin is horrendous and squeezing the last tax penny out of you and charges us for our online purchases even if the business doesn't. 

But I don't plan on blogging less.  I just needed a break this weekend.  Plus I didn't have a thing to write about.  In fact, I still can't think of much.

The crocheted doily/altar cloth is coming along nicely.  One thing I love about crocheting is how fast things progress.  I've got some other projects I'd like to do from some crocheting books i got at the library, using crochet thread instead of yarn.  And I'm making progress on the Tree of Life afghan although it's slow progress, not like knitting mindlessly. In fact, I had to fix a few mistakes last night (without ripping back) so it was time-consuming.  The sweater apparently wants to be an argyle because I started knitting it and no problems with the carried yarn pulling and making vertical lines at all.  It looks good, too.

I'm getting really antsy to draw again but I'm so far behind that catching up to where I used to be that I feel like a failure.  All my efforts are worse than what I was doing before I started drawing in the first place.  Frustrating.  I know that I need to look at it as a starting point but it feels like going backward.  Still...I need to just do it and keep doing it.

Well, at the very least I need to go make my bed.  Then I'm taking the rest of the day off and doing what I want.  It's Labor Day after all.


Friday, September 3, 2010



I don't think it got much above 60F today and I like it!  I'm in my sweatshirt and Danskin long pants (trousers) so I'm toasty warm.  Zach and I made a trip to the library where we hauled home a bunch of stuff.  I kept putting books and dvds in my bag which by the time we left, was pretty heavy.  Tom has a three day weekend and plans on replacing the car battery and changing the oil in his truck.  Then I think we're going to take a day trip up to his brother's cabin.  I don't sleep away from home if I can help it.

I know the weather will change before it's all said and done and that's good.  I'm not ready to turn the furnace on yet.  I try to hold off until Thanksgiving and I usually succeed.  Usually.  It depends on how well I can slap Tom's hands away from the thermostat.

In honor of the cool weather we're having chili tonight.  One pot cooking and warms us up nicely.  I'm going to add a salad to it this time.  I know we had chili not too long ago but I don't think you can have too much chili.

I started the doily in worsted yarn last night and my skills are coming back to me.  I like the pattern but don't like the huge hole in the center.  I might re-do it with a smaller center chain because it just looks odd this way.  I got some books from the library on crochet to see what else I might want to do.  I need to come up with a pattern for a pet bed as I had to throw the old one out.  I'm thinking of just taking a spare pillow and crocheting a cover for it.  They will run to lie on my pillows when I throw them on the floor to make my bed.  I think it will do okay, but if I can find a pattern for a real pet bed, I might consider it instead.  I have some Homespun yarn that I was going to knit into a prayer shawl but I'm not making those anymore so it will work nicely for the pets.  Especially since it's brown.

I'm making progress on all my other projects, too.  I just have to stop myself from starting too many more.  I seem happiest when I've got a dozen on the needles.  Or hook. 

Next week I'm tackling Zach's room and getting it ready for winterizing.  I'm not winterizing it yet, but I need to see what needs to be done and I need to remove some of the furniture in there.  He has a waterfall dresser that takes up way too much room so I'm bringing down my plastic drawers from upstairs so he can use them instead.  His room is one of the smallest in the house and with that dresser in there you can't move around in it.  I've been spending the past two days figuring out how to better arrange his room.  And of course helping him find a place for everything.  The dresser drawers are so hard to open he doesn't really use them.  His clothes live in stacks around his room instead.

Then I plan on being ruthless and getting rid of stuff so I have closet space and even cabinet space in the kitchen.  I have dishes I have never used in 23 years of marriage.  Do you think it's safe to give them to the thrift shop?  Well, nothing that has sentimental value, of course.  Stuff that was his dad's won't go, but garage sale stuff and things we've picked up here and there can go.

Then clothes.  There are some size 4 jeans in there I will never, ever wear again so the sooner I get them out of here, the sooner I have room in the closet for the clothes that do fit.  I'm also getting rid of stuff that I got off the clearance rack that looks terrible on me but I bought anyway because it was under $5.  I don't need a huge wardrobe but I deserve to wear clothes I actually like and not clothes that make me feel frumpy or crappy.

That should help out a bit and make the house feel bigger.  Well, not the living/dining/room/den but maybe everything else.  Zach is almost done with school so he needs to make sure he has a working wardrobe.  We bought some nice shirts and khakis for him to wear just in case he doesn't need a uniform or anything like that.  He'll need new shoes but I'm holding off on that for now. 

I need to go start supper and finish cleaning the kitchen so I need to get off the computer and get that done.  I'm still spending too much time here.  Trouble is, I don't spend time instead of working.  I spend time instead of lying down trying to recover some energy or sleeping, which I hate to do all the time.  Hopefully if the cooler weather holds a bit, I can get some walking done and that will help the energy levels.

Off to muddle through.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

September brings rain and a cold front

You can't see me but I'm doing my happy dance because I found my crochet hooks.  In one of my knitting bags.  One that I had looked through twice.  So either I'm really bad at looking for things or the faeries have once again played mischief with me.  But I don't care as long as I have them in my hands.  I am missing my G hook so I thought I would pick one  up while I was at the store today and wouldn't you know was the only hook not there.  I'll look next time.

Now if I could just find the phone cord for my cell phone so I can charge it up.

I'm not saving dish water right now because we've got lots of lovely rain.  I did use the dishwasher today because it seemed to be the more economical choice.  It's supposed to be cooler this weekend with a cold front moving in (I still get the giggles when the forecasters talk about a cold front in the summer) so I can get out there to trim the yard and get the clutter cleaned up.  But tomorrow I'm tackling Zach's room.  It has overwhelmed him to the degree that he just can't get going in there so I'm going to head it off and get 'er done.

The insurance didn't pay for my mammogram again only this time I'm fighting it.  We never had a mediator before so I'm taking advantage of it and letting them know they are not going to do this to me anymore.  Because I've had breast cancer they have to pay for my mammograms.  My surgeon told me it's the law.  Now I just have to get a fire lit underneath Tom to get him to get the paperwork to the mediator.

I ripped the sweater back to the ribbing because no matter how loosely I was carrying the yarn across the back, I still had vertical "dimples" where the yarn was being anchored.  I'll practice on spare yarn but I'm not going to stress out over a sweater so I went with a textured pattern instead.  Not sure what the name of it is, but I'll look it up tonight.  I did work on the Tree of Life afghan for a bit, mostly fixing the previous two rows without frogging back.  Time consuming but not as much as if I had tinked back to do it again.

I'm hoping to start crocheting the altar cloth tonight, especially as it's corn dog night so everyone can fix their own and I don't have to cook.  I'm heading off to bed here in a little bit to watch some tv and knit/crochet. 

I started off the day reading in my room before everyone got up and that worked out well for me but once they started getting up it was hard to concentrate because of interruptions.  Not a problem.  I can read again tonight if I want to. 

Well, off to finish up a few more things online and then off to make beautiful things.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's finally September

Tom came home from work last night with a bag full of corn on the cob so we had some of it for supper tonight.  It was lovely aside from two green worms who are now making their home in the compost bin.  I just cut out what they had been munching on.  Much better than store bought corn, for sure.  Bigger, too.  I still have a couple of meals left over so I think I'm going to cut it off the cob and freeze it.  I love it but I just can't eat corn on the cob all week long.

I need to do something with my tomatoes as soon as they're done.  I've got a few more that will be ready tomorrow and probably more the week after that.  I'm going to make some spaghetti sauce and then freeze it.  But even though it was cooler today it was more humid so I didn't notice the difference.  Especially since there was no breeze at all today.

I discovered the best way to calm Professor down when he barks is to whisper to him.  He responds to it with barking in his indoor voice and then looking at me for approval.  It doesn't work when he's in a frenzy but it works for normal barking.  Good to know because he barks a lot.

I tore apart my closet today, dug out all my bags of yarn and still can't find my crochet hooks.  I had crocheted a carrier for them so they're not loose somewhere.  It's so frustrating.  I'm sure I've just overlooked them but I will continue to dig through everything.

I've managed to stay away from the store for a few days.  Not a record but it's a good start anyway.  Tom is planning on getting a new battery for the car this weekend but I think I can make it to Sunday.  Or I hope I can.  Especially with the veg I've got already and the ground beef in the freezer.  And fish.

I'm running a bit low on bread but I can bake bread.  Not a problem.  I did run out of butter but only because no one told me we were low.  I had been watching the price and it was really high so I didn't buy it, thinking we were okay.  I only use butter when cooking but Tom uses it for his lunch.  Doesn't like margarine at all.  I use margarine on my toast or whatever.  But he can use margarine until I get to the store.  I'm not going there just for butter.  I mean...I'm not running to the store to buy a new crochet hook so he can use margarine for a few days.

I still have a lot to finish up before bed tonight.  It was just too muggy to work.  Any exertion and I was sweating.  At least it's September now and I can see light at the end of the heated tunnel.  I should have done the checkbook today but I'll get it tomorrow.  It's not going to be good news anyway so I'd rather face that in the morning.

Well, off to finish up the kitchen and mop the floor, sweep (carpet sweeper and broom sweeping) the living/dining room and get Zach up and moving to clean up his share of stuff on the couch.  Then I'm off to bed to knit and watch Northern Exposure.