Monday, October 27

Busy with a Capital "B"!

Even hubby is complaining there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done. I totally agree.

The bathroom project is making progress. The walls are painted, the door is back up, the light fixture installed, and the medicine cabinet is in. The weather this weekend was wet and windy. I'm so glad the tubular skylight was put in a week ago when the weather was much nicer. I spent that weekend handing tools and other items up through a hole in the bathroom ceiling to hubby in the attic and to our next door neighbor who was up on the roof. It's so nice to have natural light in that windowless room. The skylight will also have a vent fan when hubby has time to hook it up. Still to come are the baseboards (painted but not installed), a pedestal sink, and faucets. With the weather turning much colder, hubby spent this weekend readying our wood pellet stove. We'll need it soon. He made a real mess of the family room. I'm proud of him, he cleaned it all up and mopped the floor!

It's impossible to keep the house clean. With only two adults and 3 cats, you'd think we wouldn't have that much mess. That cats cause as much cleanup as kids. This morning I got up to find muddy cat prints all through the house. Guess who was mopping this morning? I was not amused. Time to crack out the rugs to put by the doors. Then I discovered cat barf in several places that I had to clean up. All this before breakfast! Two of my kitties are on barf binges lately. Why do their stomachs go so easily in reverse? They sure do create a lot of extra laundry. Our oldest cat, Solitaire, who is 14, is having thyroid problems. The pills the vet gave us don't seem to be working. Solly is down to a little over 8 pounds. We'd hoped to see her gain a little weight. She's always been prone to barfing and it hasn't gotten any better. I hear her when she barfs as she utters this little shriek when she does it. She will have to go in for thyroid surgery soon. White Kitty, who lived to be 20, had this surgery about the same age. It's a pretty common problem with older cats.

Tuesday, I took a roadtrip to Warsaw to The Shuttle Shop with a friend. I enjoy checking out the not-so-local yarn shops in my area when I get the chance. All of them carry a different mix of yarn and a few unexpected surprises. I only let myself buy a skein of Ty-Dy sock yarn and a ball of Regia Kaffe Fassett sock yarn in purples. I resisted the temptation to buy any of the Rowan yarns on display, the new Shepherds Wool from Stonehedge Fiber Mill (it's wonderfully soft merino in big skeins at a great price), Baby Ull and lots more. My friend fell victim to the scarf and sock kits as well as some yarn. It was well worth the hour and twenty minute drive.

When I got home in the afternoon, I picked all the tomatoes and peppers left in our garden. We were expecting (and got) a killing frost overnight. That's the end of the garden except for brussels sprouts and harvesting the rest of the potatoes. I've frozen lots of peppers bits to use this winter and gave the rest away to friends. The green and ripening tomatoes are in a plastic ripening dome. They're starting to color up nicely and will be used as they are ready. They won't have the flavor or fresh picked but will be much better than store bought tomatoes.

In the evening I met up with my knitting friends. I fell into bed not long after I got home. It was a long day!

This was a week of surprises.
1) I won a blog contest. I never win anything!
2) My 26-year-old, single niece emailed me that she is expecting in April.
3) I found out that a local coffee shop, Bella Vita, is now closing at 5 pm. Like a lot of businesses in this economy, they are cutting back their hours to when they are busiest. This is a disaster for my knitting group as we have been meeting there in the evenings twice a month for several years.

On Thursday, I visited a new coffeeshop to check it out. It turns out that the owner of Jumpin' Juice & Java is a knitter. She was thrilled to find out we might be meeting there. This location has definite advantages. There is ample parking and their menu contains more than coffee and sweets. They offer fruit smoothies, soups, salads, and sandwiches. Can't wait to try it out early in November.

My fiber arts group had a Halloweeny Fiber Frolic on Saturday. We gather several times a year at various member's home for an afternoon filled with fun, food, fiber, and friends. We had a lively group. We spun, knitted, crocheted, and ate until we could hold no more. I baked candy corn cookies to take and knitted up a candy corn dishcloth and 4 coasters as a door prize for the event. Another member, brought decorations, a bunch of the cutest Halloween themed door prizes, and spider webs as a spinning challenge. For the first time, we tried a one skein wonder swap. Anyone who wanted to participate brought a wrapped package that contained a skein of yarn paired with a free pattern to knit. We had so much fun with this that it may become a regular part of our frolics.

Friday, I had a dental checkup and cleaning scheduled in the afternoon. I was barely on time due to all the road construction in my area. Every road I tried to take was torn up, closed, or restricted to one lane. I nearly turned around, came home, and called to tell them I would reschedule when the road work is completed. Don't get me started on road construction. You can't go anywhere around here without running into it. Why do they decide to tear up every north south road in one area at the same time?

For the last month, I've been busily knitting away on a new shawl project that has morphed into 3 new designs. I'm very close to having Fire Bird ready to release and the other 2 shortly after. Most people don't realize how many hours of work goes into writing a knitting pattern. It starts with an idea, charting, looking for yarn, swatching, knitting, scribbling notes, ripping, cursing, how do I finish the edge?, blocking, taking pictures, writing it up, putting it out for test knitters, and finalizing the pattern. Whew! It's a little like giving birth. LOL! From the reactions I've been getting to this new design from knitting friends and yarn shops, I suspect this one will be very popular. My friend, Liz, saw it for the first time on Saturday. She likes it so much that she wants to put together kits with my shawl pattern and her Chocolate Princess hand dyed yarn. What do you think? Reactions? Comments?


Islagringo said...

Wow. I'm exhausted just reading about your week! I envy you your knitting group. What fun!

Teresa said...

The kits sound like a great idea. I can't wait to see you new designs.
Our group is getting ready to plan our first Fiber Fest for lack of a better word. Thanks for sharing what your group does.