Thursday, May 29, 2014

My rose bushes are blooming so beautifully.  They have almost doubled in size since we planted them.  I am now looking around for other places to put them.

I am running on very little sleep today.  It's all "woman getting older hormonal issues" and there's nothing I can do but cope with it as best as I can.  I know I will eventually get back to a more normal sleep schedule but for now 2 or 3 hrs a night seem to be all I get.  It goes nicely with the sudden power surges.  My whole body just feels off.  I have warned the people around me that today is not a good day to push my buttons.

There is a bit of positive news.  Peter Kevin had what sounded like a good phone interview yesterday.  The interviewer said she was suggesting he be called for a face to face so we're crossing our fingers and trying not to get too excited.

Memorial Day was such a nice day.  Valley Forge is such a beautiful park.  We sat in the shade and talked and ate and generally had a nice low key day.

On Monday I tried a recipe for Nanaimo Bars.  These are evidently quite the sensation in the Pacific Northwest and Canada.  They are delicious but oh so sweet.  More like candy than cookies. 

I also used up all the left over bread and rolls from the Memorial Day picnic and made a pan of bread pudding.  I love this stuff and could eat it by the bowlful.  Pk says it's for "poor people" and he won't eat it.  I imagine it was originally just a way for people to use up stale bread and maybe some extra eggs but nowadays, bread pudding has become a gourmet dish in some places.  This one is plain, just egg custard and bread.  I didn't even wait for it to cool off last night.  True comfort food.

I finished the middle square of my shawl and have had to rip out the edge stitches once to make sure I have the correct number.  I didn't want to do any fudging.  Last night I managed to get all 600+ stitches put back onto the needle extension and it's ready to start the edge lace. 

Pk and I also found some time to go see Godzilla on Tuesday.  It was as entertaining as all get out.  It was a pretty good remake.  Just enough of the original flavor to make it fun but enough new material to make it interesting.

And now I am off to jump into my (hopefully) interesting day--or at least interesting enough to keep me awake.  No easy feat that.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May.  I haven't gotten used to writing the date with a 5 in front of it and May is almost gone already.

I wish I could make a list of many exciting things we have done in May but in all reality, we have done nothing out of the ordinary.

I did get to experience my first rose.  Isn't it pretty?  All three bushes are now almost covered with blossoms (and if I weren't running late this morning, I would have taken a photo of them on my way out the door to work).  They are so pretty.  I love the way the little bushes are sprouting out all over the place willy-nilly.  They will look all wild and natural and not manicured. 

And now that I've seen how easy they were to obtain and to take care of, I may want to go and get some more. 

Our weather has been typically springlike and odd.  One day will be 86 F and sunny and the next will be in the low 50's and windy and cold.  At one point, we had both the space heater and the window fan in the bedroom.  Usually when one comes out, the other one goes away.  This year we're just not sure which will be needed on any given day.

I have been knitting with the Deschutes  (60silk/40merino) singles I bought at MDSW and have been loving the feel of it.  The Fir Cone Shawl is huge (as you can see) and is a shetland style shawl.  The center square is knit first and then the edge stitches are picked up and the borders are knitted.  One lace pattern for the center and then three different sections on the edges.

It's a sport weight yarn and so it grows more quickly than a laceweight.  There are 12 repeats of a 16 row pattern (which is easily memorized) and I  am through 6.  Look how odd it looks.  That's the back and it looks like an egg carton or some of that sound proofing material they use in sound proof rooms.  It's mindless enough to be able to work on it while watching some television but complicated enough to require some attention so it's not boring.

It's also eating up the yarn so fast that I called the farm that sold it and ordered two more skeins, just to be on the safe side.  The woman, Sunny, who owns the farm was so pleasant.  I emailed her on a Friday night and she emailed me back early Saturday morning and when I called Saturday afternoon, I got her on the phone and she said she would try to get it into Saturday's mail.  I said there was no hurry and Monday would be fine.  Nice lady, good service, beautiful yarn.

This was my other fiber purchase that weekend.  It's Coopworth roving in the Violet colorway.  I love violets and it thrills me to see them popping up in the middle of the lawn.  This looks just like a patch of violets. 

It's Memorial Day weekend coming up and I tacked on a vacation day at the end so I could have a bit of a longer weekend.  We have no big plans.  Peter Kevin is planning to man the table for the Wood Workers' Guild on Saturday at their town's Fair.  I told him I would bring a spinning wheel and keep him company-as long as there is no rain.

Sunday we are planning a picnic at Valley Forge Park with the girls and their families.  Valley Forge is an important part of the American revolution story and seems like a fitting place to picnic.  The rest of the weekend will probably fly by in a haze of chores and relaxing. 

Happy Hump Day to everyone.  I'm off to a mandatory 2 hour "compliance" training.  Every year.  2 hours.  Boooorrrrinnnngggg. 

But Mandatory.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Saturday I wore this shirt.  Kate gave it to me last year for Mother's Day (I think).  It's one of my favorite Dr Who episodes (the one with Vincent Van Goh).

I got so many reactions to it!  It was amazing.  I used to have a sweatshirt that said "All this and Brains, too" which got a lot of responses but this one beat that.

One young man yelled "Allons-y" at me.  It sure was a conversation starter.

But, once again, it was all about the sheep (and their by products).

Kate and I went with the idea that we wanted to find 2200 yards of sport weight yarn to make shawls out of the Folk Shawls book (Cheryl Eberle).  She's making the Irish Shawl and I am making the Fir Cone Shawl.  They are large squares.  She bought the first two skeins of a lovely light grey color and I bought 2400 yards of a merino/silk single that is softly spun and has a lovelylovely halo.  You can almost see the softness.  I rolled one skein into a ball (it's way too big for the ball winder and took forever by hand) and started my project last night.

Jacob sheep

I am in the middle of a very dark shawl but because it's so dark, it's difficult to work on if it's not daylight.  This is not laceweight and it's such a lustrous cream color that it's easy to see. 

big sheep

There were sheep, of course.  These were a couple of moms and their very young babies.  There were baby Jacob sheep.


There were big sheep and small sheep and Katahdin Hair sheep.
(I borrowed the image from Wikipedia, I couldn't get the Katahdin to look at me).  They aren't sheared but just shed in the spring and the birds use the shed hair to build nests.

We bought some Kettle Korn and some honey and some cookie cutters.  I got a giraffe and a brontosaurus.  I chose a tiara cookie cutter for Em and a tyranosaurus for Kate.  It's time for the Spring Dinosaur cookies parade.

We had to park almost a mile away from the fairgrounds.  There are policemen directing the parking and every few cars they would send a group over to the other side of the road and waaaay to the back of a field.  We couldn't see the fairgrounds from where we were parked.  An older gentleman drove up in a bus and drove us to the road and then we caught a wagon ride to the fair.  I was very thankful for them at the end of the day!

Yesterday we did the laundry (and watched the soccer games) and all too soon the weekend was over.  Those 48 hours just fly by. 

And now here I am back in the real world.  Work is busy and we'll have new doctors soon so there is a period of adjustment and then hopefully things will settle down.

Happy Monday y'all!

Friday, May 2, 2014

So, we've had a bit of rain this past week.  My office mate (who is inclined toward exaggeration and extreme curmudgeonliness) said he heard that we got the equivalent of 7"/hour of rain.  I have a feeling that while it did rain long and hard (enough to cause a 4' wide river to run down the sides of the street), it wasn't truly that bad. 

Of course, since our house sits at the bottom of a hill, all the water runs down toward us and through our crawlspace to get to the storm drains in the street.  We learned a long time ago not to leave things on the floor in our rec room.

The sun came out briefly, just enough to send the humidity through the roof (and you can imagine how lovely it made my hair.  I get lovelier and lovelier as the humidity rises) and then it rained some more last night.  Pk dropped me off at the train this morning and then started running the pump.  All this moisture has rusted some of his tools even though they are not in the water.  Just the added moisture in the air.  He has old tools (planes and turning tools) which don't have the rust resistant coating that more modern implements are equipped with.  He's been applying Rust Go Away (or something like that) to clean them up.

And speaking of my unemployed spouse, he has been Getting Things Done Around The House for the past month (has it been a month already?).  Two years ago the lines that connect our house to the power grid came loose and caused a power surge that destroyed some appliances (but not the computer which was plugged into a surge protector.  They really work.  Who knew?).  We replaced the refrigerator, the power strip for the computer, the microwave and the computer module for our stove.  We left the dishwasher sit because it was not a necessary thing. 

Fast forward to now when Pk has some time on his hands and it's too damp/wet to spackle.  We got the parts to fix our ice maker (and it now makes ice) and we got the new computer module for our dishwasher (and it now washes dishes).  The old module had melty parts inside and some copper parts had vaporized in the power surge.  We are getting used to having it back and I must say, I love it (but probably not as much as Elanor, aka The Dishwasher, does).

And here we have neon socks.  Here's one of Pk's neon green socks.  To show how bright it really is, I posed it next to a more subdued green sock. 

It's a pattern I made up on the fly and he likes it.  Sock number 2 is otn and will be done soon so he can wear them if he gets job interviews (it will show potential employers that he has a fun side and is not old and fuddy-duddy-like.  At least that's what I tell him). 

image - 2014 Catalog CoverWe passed our inspection at work and are breathing a sigh of relief because citations from this particular entity mean giving back money.  We don't want to do that.

This weekend is Maryland Sheep and Wool.  I always forget it's in May.  Pk remembered and insisted we go.  "It's an Adventure".  He and I (along with El and Kate) are driving down tomorrow morning and going to spend the day petting sheep and admiring llamas.  Pk will look for the Broom Making Guy and the Honey Making People.  He appreciates the sheep, but he really likes the Broom Guy.

The weather is supposed to be sunny and perfect.  I love a good Adventure.

I'm looking out my office window and I can see the morning sunlight reflected off the still wet leaves on the Ornamental Pear.  Trees amaze me.  Just yesterday, these leaves were buds and almost overnight Shazzam!! There are leaves full grown on the branches.  How do they do that?  I am wonder-struck (I am making this word up because it fits) at how fast they grow.  It is so cool.

Well, duty calls and the message light on my phone is RED and BLINKING which means someone needs me for something.  I guess that's a good thing.  Job security and all.

Have a Good Weekend!

Happy Sunday!  I am sitting here working on my sweater made with the cashmere yarn my husband gave me for my birthday last year. I’m further...