Monday, February 27, 2017

Spring!?!?

    The birds woke me up this morning with their glorious song.  Sounds kind of pretentious, doesn't it?  But it was a bright, sunny morning with clear blue sky and as long as you didn't go outside or look at the thermometer you'd think it was spring!  The birds were tweeting and singing their little hearts out!  Don't know if they were finding much to eat...still kind of cold for bugs and worms and not even the forsythia outside this window has started to develop flower buds yet.  Actually, the temperature is above freezing at 38...not bad for February 27!
   Well, I finished my baby sweater last night and cast on for the hat and then put it all away because it was time for The Walking Dead and that is one program I can not stand.  So I surrendered the remote control and retreated to my bed and the last of my library books.  It didn't keep my interest and I soon fell asleep...until Fanny wanted to go out around 11pm.  She got a snack and headed back to bed and I looked at the sock.  The thin blue stripe in the middle of the foot on the 1st sock has not appeared on the 2nd one so the stripes are not going to match...they're about 1/2" off.  Doesn't look too bad and Jeff will always be able to identify his socks.  I'd like to do the hat to finish the baby set this morning and then go back to the socks.  I just might get the socks finished in time for his birthday.  Keep those fingers and toes crossed!   But first some mundane chores: fold laundry, wash dishes, sweep the floor.  I am not a happy housekeeper but sometimes those things just have to be done.  Oh, and there are a couple of large semi-frozen 'gift' piles from Fanny on the driveway between the stairs and the car that should be picked up.  Someone should get them before it rains and they turn to mush.  (And Jeff says 'she's your dog....')

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Spring?? Winter???

       Our 'spring' weather has disappeared and winter has returned.  Temperatures dropped from low 70's Friday to just barely 40's today.  Ah, the great Northeast.... We had wind and thunder-with lightening and heavy downpours yesterday afternoon and early evening.  The lights flickered once or twice but stayed on!  Jeff had gone to town for bread et al and he said it sounded like the roof at Walmart was going to collapse!  
    Fanny was frightened and crawled between
the backs of my legs and my chair...under the afghan...with her head in my yarn basket during the worst of it.  I was working on Jeff's birthday socks and wasn't too pleased with the weather myself.  After Jeff got home Fanny deserted me and sat by him as he watched a movie on his PC.   I watched TV alone all night...a marathon of 'As Time Goes By' with Judi Dench on PBS...and actually finished sock #1!  Had him try it on to make sure the top ribbing wasn't too tight.  Perfect fit!  This morning I started sock #2...the stripes are in the same rotation but the
Birthday socks in Felici's Lost Lakes from KnitPicks
first one wasn't as thick so they're not going to match exactly up the leg.  He says he doesn't care...but I do.  I'm really disappointed but I just realized it may self-adjust because that narrow blue stripe in the middle of the foot may not repeat in the 2nd sock.  Just have to wait and see.
   Jeff's started collecting starter trays, bags of seed
starting soil and of course, seeds!  He's even had me

collect and save the seeds from some red
peppers he bought at Hannaford's last week.  They looked like Bell peppers but they were longer and just generally larger.  They were very tender, too.  This is what
I gathered from 2 or 3 peppers...not much, huh?  I think they may have been hybrids.  We'll dry the seeds and plant them and see what happens.  Hope we can get some to grow.
   In the meantime, I'll just continue to knit...gotta get those socks finished by Wednesday-Jeff's b-day...and get back to knitting for the shop which reopens in 38 days on April 6th!.  I want to finish the size 6mo baby set I've got started in Mary Maxim's Baby Blankie Strawberry yarn.
Baby cardigan
It's a self-patterning acrylic yarn that has 2 patterns and 2 stripe repeats

besides the solid color.  I've had to cut yarn several times but more than 1 pattern in a sweater that small was too much!  The hat will have the same pattern, too. I'm about ready to do the bottom ribbing and bind off the sweater.  The Baby Blankie comes in a 10 1/2 oz skein so even with all the cutting I'll be able to do 2 or 3 sweaters with just 1 skein of yarn.  It's also available in yellow, green, lavender and blue so I think I have be ordering more of it! 
  (Oh, Jeff bought us both new Tracphones for his birthday!  Remember, he had mine with him when he fell into the pond when night fishing alone last fall.  But he didn't wait for the first of the month so he only had enough extra cash on him for 2 phones and 1 time card. My phone is still in it's box waiting to be activated! I guess I'll have to get a time card the next time I go to Walmart.) 


Monday, February 13, 2017

snow, snow, SNOW!

     We had an old-fashion snow storm this weekend.  Got about 10" of that white stuff between Saturday night and Monday morning...and it's still snowing now...off and on.  Forecast is for another 1" or so today...and for every day this week.  Ok, enough is enough.  I give up!
   Jeff had another steroid procedure scheduled for this morning so we were up and out by 10:30am.  Luckily, it was in Herkimer.  I sure didn't want to drive to Cooperstown.  I wasn't sure the doctor would even get to Herkimer from Cooperstown but she did! Rte.28 had been closed in a couple of places yesterday due to blowing snow...you know, 'where the wind comes sweeping cross the plain'...near the Jordanville Rd. Jeff usually doesn't allow me to accompany him into the treatment room so I brought my knitting and sat in the empty waiting room.  After an hour or so, a nurse came out and asked me to come in.  Boy, that scared me!  What had gone wrong???   Nothing, he just wanted to me to come in and keep him company while he waited until they said he could go home.  When she took his bp for the last time and said he could get dressed and leave, I helped him get dressed and took this photo. I wanted
those yellow slipper socks!  So instead of putting them in his vest pocket I put them in my knitting bag.  I think they'll make perfect bed socks.
   Fanny's been acting
stranger than normal these last few nights...since the hutch fell over.  She would come into my room and walk around the bed until she found the hutch where it's sitting on the floor and then leave.  She slept with Jeff a couple of nights, in the chair next to my computer another night, and back and forth between our beds another.  Last night, Jeff picked her up and put her on my bed and told her to go to sleep.  She stayed put until he left the room and then she followed him.  This morning I woke up to find her asleep by my legs.  I guess the falling hutch has got her spooked. Or else she finally figured out following Jeff around in the middle of the night when he gets up to fix a snack doesn't get her a share of it!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Will it Snow...or Not?

     While NYC and the rest of the east coast is getting heavy snowfall today we are...not.  We've got maybe an inch or so of new snow and nothing seems to be coming down at the moment.  But, it's cold!  The last few days temperatures have been in the 40's but today it's not even above freezing!  We had quite a lot of broken branches the other day when there was freezing rain. And something would pound on the house periodically thru the day...it sounded like the screen door was slamming against the railing...but we couldn't see what was hitting.  Jeff even went outside a couple of times to check but couldn't find anything.  And it only happened on the east side of the house.  The screens in the east facing windows were coated with ice, too.  We found only broken branches.  None of the stuff that Jeff didn't get put away, just stowed under things, had moved.  They couldn't...they're frozen to the ground! Right now I'm being serenaded by birds!  And firetrucks... that have just gone by heading east on Rte 5.  (Remember, this time of year, we can see the traffic moving up there!)
    I'm bored with working on baby sweaters so I decided to switch to something else for awhile and I've stayed busy the last few days working on shawls.  I had some yarn, Caron's Simply Soft, an acrylic that I used to make Jeff's sister, Sherry, a couple of cowls for Christmas.   I really liked the way it draped so I decided to use up what was left and and just buy more yarn to finish the shawls as I needed them.  The 1st shawl is called Gallatin's Scarf and I'm doing it in jade.

Gallatin Scarf

 Since I'm using inter-
changeable needles from KnitPicks when I ran out of yarn I just unscrewed the tips, screwed on the
stoppers and put this shawl aside.  Then I screwed the tips onto
another cable and started




Shallowtail shawl

shawl #2, called Shallowtail, in light teal.  I used up that yarn yesterday so I repeated the tip replacement procedure and started shawl #3 which is called Lace Edged and I'm doing it
 

Lace Edge Shawl w/o the edging!
in bone.  I've got almost an entire skein of that yarn so I shouldn't run out of it.  Right now it's a 'non-thinking' shawl...no fancy lace stitches...yet!
(I found these 3 patterns on Ravelry.com).  I'd like to do one more shawl and start the year in the shop with 4 but I haven't picked a pattern...or yarn yet.  Last year I did 2 shawls
and the sister of one of our members bought both!  Hope she's in the market for another shawl this spring!  The shop opens for it's 43rd season in 57 days on April 7th!
   Jeff seems to be doing well with the  steroid injection in his right hip.  He isn't limping and the pain in the hip has decreased...but now he's aware of the pain in his back and shoulder!  He has an appointment for another series of injections (he gets 5 at a time) next Monday.  He may get steroids in his shoulder but he's has had them in his back and I don't know if the doctor will give them again.  We'll have to wait and see.  He's MD has also added Januvia to his diabetes medication.  He's only taken it for a few day so he's still waiting to see if it makes a difference.
   Oh, the sun is shining so bright but the temperature is still well below freezing!  I guess knitting by the fire is a good way to spend the rest of the day.
  (Yarn shelves at Walmart are almost empty!  Got some bullshit line from a stocker that people are buying it as fast as they put it out. Do I believe it?  Not on your life!  I think I'll order the yarn I want from their website.  Another reason not to go into the local Walmart.)3pm, 2/10/17
  

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What Went Bump In The Night

   Jeff and I went to a meeting at the Town hall last night for a home improvement grant.  This was the 2nd round of meetings for this grant and there were about 20 homeowners there.  Because the meeting was scheduled to start at 6:30pm, I had suggested we get something to eat in town, either before or after the meeting.  Since Jeff had run errands in the morning and had stopped at the old Donna's Diner near our house for a late breakfast and was disappointed with the quality and quantity of the food served, we decided to eat before we went and decided to try Roma's Pizza on Main St. in Herkimer... just because it's was around the block from the Town Hall.  I ordered a small pepperoni pizza (what else?) and Jeff got a cheeseburger and onion ring. The pizza was good...thin and crispy. I had to fold the slices in half to keep the cheese and pepperoni from sliding off!  Jeff's cheeseburger surprised him!  It had 2 patties with lettuce and onions, topped with 2 slices of cheese on a toasted bun and his onion rings were real onions sliced, battered and deep fried.  The coffee was Keurig which Jeff considers just fair but he did have 2 cups. I had a fountain Coke.  The bill was $24.  The place was clean and the staff very friendly...even the other customers were friendly!  Since we both enjoyed our meal when the waitress told us about the Friday fish fry we decided we will probably try it sometime this month.
   The meeting was informative and we came home with the application which I will fill out and collect the information it asks for.  Visibility was low because it was still snowing when we came out and we took our time going home, getting here in time to see the President announce his choice for SCOTUS.  We watched all the hoopla from the liberals trying to discredit his choice but honestly, it sounded like a bunch of elementary school kids arguing.  Jeff continued to watch but I grabbed the book I'm reading, Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, and climbed into bed. After a few minutes Fanny was curled up next to me.  I read for a couple of hours, Jeff came in and said he had heard enough and was going on the computer.   Eventually, I got tired of moving the book closer and closer to my face to keep the print in focus (Jeff has already lectured me on having my cataracts taken care of and I called last week and am now on the waiting list for the new optometric surgeon) and I turned off the light and went to sleep.
   Around 3am Fanny decided she had to go outside, so we got up and I opened the doors for her.  Boy, was it cold!  And she didn't stay out very long.  Once she was back inside I climbed back into bed and waited for her to finish her inspection rounds (the TV was off, no food in her bowl, Jeff was quiet) and come back to bed.  As she paced around my bed deciding where to jump on, my hutch started to sway and, as I sat up in bed and watched, fall over...off of the 3-drawer stand it's been on since we bought it in 1968!  It looked like someone had pushed it!  It fell with a loud crash and I screamed.  Fanny got out of the way as everything on the hutch hit the floor and Jeff came running in.  He righted the hutch and I sent him back to bed.  Fanny went with him!  When I stopped shaking I got up and got the broom and started to investigate what had broken.  A Royal Daulton Brambly Hedge Tea Mug(winter) that I bought when Mom and I made those stuffed mice in Victorian-era clothes, a pressed glass mug that I bought in the 70's at some antique store (maybe the last time Ro visited?), a plaster dog bank that was also circa 1970 and a dog statue I made in Art Class at SUC Brockport.  Most of the other things on the hutch were soft (a lot of dogs and Eeyore's) and books.  All in all, I was lucky.  The Tea Mug was the most expensive...according to Amazon a replacement goes for $59. 
It was a clean break. I think I can glue it back together.
And Fanny could have been serious hurt if the hutch had fallen on her.... I think Jeff may have to get some metal braces for the back of the hutch and fasten it to the drawers.  I don't want to have it fall again.  Oh, it was over an hour before Fanny would come into my room, and almost 2 hours before she would get on my bed again.  I guess having an oak hutch nearly fall on you can upset even a dog!

Monday, January 30, 2017

January is Over! Well, Almost!

      I thought I had done well going to the orthopedist earlier this month and having a shot each of pain killer and steroid for the arthritis in my old broken tib and fib but Jeff out did me today.  He went to the pain specialist and got 3 shots of pain killer and 5 of the steroid in his hip for his arthritis! And after taking it easy for the rest of the day, tonight he's walking much better...no limp!  He goes back in 2 weeks and repeats the procedure.  (I don't get to repeat unless the pain comes back in 3-6 months. And his appointment was in Herkimer, mine was in Cooperstown. No long ride for him.)
   Fanny patiently waited all afternoon for Jeff to play with tug-of-war with her and her new tote bag.  It was one of the toys in this months BarkBox and she's been carrying it around for the last week.  They also play Fetch with it.  She won't play games with me.  I guess I'm just good for putting out food and treats and opening the door.  Even then, after supper she walks by me looking for Jeff to be let out.  He'll stand 'guard' over her when she thinks she needs protection...I just open the door and say "GO!"
    I've been busy working on my stock for the shop.  At first I didn't want to and found all kinds of excuses not to knit but then I finished one sweater and the MOJO got going again.  This hoodie has a crab or
heart cable around the
hood and down the right side of the front.  It needs a back zipper sewn in and 3 buttons...would hearts be too much?...on the Henley front.  It's a size 9mo. and the yarn is
Red Heart's Petal Pink.
(Fanny hit the lamp as I snapped the pix, causing the shadow.)
   I went a little crazy with cables in this cardigan.  It's a size 1 and the yarn is Impeccably Impecable , an acrylic, from Michael's in Butterscotch that I received in a Secret Pal package from California.   Another Secret Pal round will be happening in a couple of weeks.  I had refused a pal in Australia because the postage for the package I had made would have been $30.  As it was, it was $10 to send it to South Carolina!  This time I'm waiting to see where my pal lives before I fill a package!  And I'm
A BarkBox  became a YarnBox
 not going to use a box again...even if it means I can't decorate the outside all the way around. (The best part was the dog cartoon printed on the back of the box where I changed the punch line for knitters.)

    After 6 weeks of self-testing and having my INR in range, I couldn't do it right on Friday.  Kept getting  ERROR...and used my last 4 test strips, too!  I had to go to the clinic and have the nurse stick my finger.   She asked me to show her how I did it and then showed me what I was doing wrong.  When I'm cold I don't bleed very fast so Sharon, the nurse, showed me a couple of tricks to use.  I was in range...but at the high end and my doctor wasn't happy about that.  Got to go back tomorrow and have it done again.  If it's not back where he likes it*,  he'll probably change my Warfarin dose...and that means weekly tests until it stays steady. Taking Warfarin 
can be a real pain sometimes.  
   (Woke up to find it had snowed overnight.  Got about 1" or so of snow.  Just enough to cover all the dead leaves on the ground again...and the ice spots on the way to the car.  At least it's nicer to look at!
Want to bet the groundhog sees his shadow on Thursday?)8:10am 1/31/17
*INR right where the MD wants it...3.1!  Don't have to test again until 2/17!  Cabbage (coleslaw works better than Warfarin!!)2:54pm 1/31/17

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Snow Emergency


   We woke up to a 'Snow Emergency' today.  The lower photo is the view west from our TV room window looking at Wally's house next door.  Can you see it?  Neither could I but I doubt that it moved overnight.  We were suppose to get 3-6" of heavy wet snow after a coating of ice and wintry mix.  The town trucks were out coating Smallsbush Rd starting around 9pm and thru the night trying to keep it safe.  This morning we had maybe 3" of wet, heavy snow when we got up but the temperature was above freezing and the snow had stopped.  I couldn't see or hear any traffic sounds from Rte 5 although it's only .2 of a mile away!  This is the same storm that had hit Georgia and the southeast with heavy rain and tornados over the weekend.  The upper photo is the last cedar tree that my dad planted across the south end of the TV room.  Wally's dad had given him the 4 seedlings on a visit to their camp in Ontario, Canada. (Yes, we 'smuggled' those seedling across the border 45 years ago!) Wayne Paul had to cut down the other 3 when they got too tall and hung over the roof of the house.  I think my mother cried that day but it was the trees or the roof.  If you click on the upper photo and enlarge it you can see the bend, broken branches in the middle.  I guess it's self-pruning.  Cedars bend very easily but this one broke this time.  Jeff thinks we can save most of it.
   There are branches down around the yard.  The wind was very strong yesterday and that helped by the heavy snow brought a lot down.  But we faired very well.  One of the shop members lives in Forestport and she posted that they're power was out.  Good thing she has a generator! (One of the things Jeff keeps saying we should invest in.)  And, it's been on the news that Ilion has a water main break and a 'boil water' order. Wouldn't want to work for the Ilion Water Board today!   All of the school districts around us...including Utica...are closed again today. (Utica is still under a Snow Emergency...with no unnecessary travel.)  There have been quite a lot of fire sirens this morning...accidents, down wires or trees...one on German St in the village narrowly missed a guy who was shoveling his sidewalk!  It's not snowing and the temperature is above freezing but we're suppose to get another couple of inches today.  
   I got my mojo going (finally) and yesterday finished my 1st sweater and hat for the new season.
Well, I haven't exactly
finished it yet, still have
to sew on buttons and do the embroidery but the knitting is done.  It's a size 2 done on a circular US7 in Red Heart acrylic in a color called  "Pretty 'n Pink".  The hat will fit a toddler 2-3 years old...same as the sweater...and both will have white flowers with light green leaves.  Definitely a spring outfit! If only Walmart would hurry up and get their stock of spring buttons I could clean them out of buttons!  I took my time buying buttons last year and they ran out before I had all I wanted.  This year I have A Plan.  Each week I  will buy all they have of one color.  In 4-6 weeks I will clean them out and have my stock for the whole year!  I hope it works! 
   Time for to get cozy next to the fire and start another sweater.  I got a nice skein of yellow in my Secret Pal package this year that I think  will work up beautifully.  You'll see when I post the photo!
(1/25/17...the cedar tree hasn't 'sprung' back the way it usually does after being weighted down with heavy snow.  That break on the one branch is very clear now so Jeff will have to finish removing it, but if the rest of the tree doesn't straighten up, he may have to do more pruning.  He even bought a new hand saw yesterday in anticipation of the work ahead!)