Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Nothing but Paperwork

I recovered from my re-entry into the yellow haze of smog that encases the Lower Mainland - every time I leave for a few days I wonder why I bother to come back to the wheezing, coughing & sneezing!! If it wasn't for my clients, the Motorcycle School, my stash & friends, well, I'd stay in Hope! I keep telling the Ex that we should sell the house & most of our junk, combine forces & move to Hope!! Why Hope?? Close enough to emergency services should we need them but out of the Transit Tax, Air Care, Hydro levy, traffic jams & yellow smog. Gas & housing is cheaper & we can zip to Chilliwack or Kamloops for groceries if we need too!! Since Hope got a Timmy's & a Mcdonald's, I can get my Steeped Tea & he can have his low fat muffin & Senior coffee! I think Hope needs a Dollar Store/Yarn Store too. Lion Brand yarn should sell in Hope. Gives me an excuse to order the good stuff for me & my pals & spend the days spinning in the store. I figure we need a nice little DUPLEX with a garage for his toys on one side & a nice covered porch on the other for me. My adopted child is now working for the Hope RCMP. A nice "IN" for me . . . But, I'm still paying off that damned loan so I guess I'll be in town for a couple more years . . . .

I have two more birthdays in the Motorcycle Office. My little buddy Bryan had his 34th on Saturday. We let him leave early for the Family Bash but I had no idea what to get him for his birthday other than Corona Beer. I was thinking about a 'Manly' pair of socks when he came in & told me he wanted WILD socks for his birthday!! Great minds think alike! Okaaaaaay. I have just the yarn - Regia - in one of the Nations colorways of Yellow, Black & Red! And he asked for KNEE SOCKS. He intends to wear them in the parking lot when he teaches in the summer!! He isn't getting knee socks because I only have 100gms but I can make em come halfway up his leg!! When the batteries in my camera recharge, I'll include a picture of what's on the needles so far!! The Boss turns 50 in May. We all know what to get him. I have my order in for a nice single malt scotch from the Misty Isles because we're teaching him that Johnny Walker isn't the only action in town!!

Haven't spun a thing since I came home. I like to get outside with my wheel & it's rained every day except when I'm stuck in the office cranking out tax returns or working in the office at the Motorcycle School!! Tax Season slows down on April 30 but small business stuff continues for a month or so beyond. At least I can take the afternoon OFF & sit in the sun - if we ever get two days in a row!!! WHEN summer finally arrives, I'll be out on the patio every day spinning the last of the 'bumps' I bought from the Sheep Shed Studios. I'm getting so close to finally finishing them that it's kind of exciting. I have the light grey fleece in the closet that I want to spin this summer too. And that lovely 'shades of purple' superwash wool & nylon roving I got at the Retreat to spin for socks!! I want to knit a couple of pairs of Barn Socks for a friend who will be 60 in September!! She has two huge pooches, two enormous horses & a pond full of migratory birds, herons, ducks & frogs in the yard. She's out in boots for more than half a day shoveling stalls, walking dogs, exercising horses & shooting bullfrogs. She needs warm feet.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Surprise!

There's nothing like a little adventure
once in a while! To my surprise, I got a phone call asking which bed I wanted at the Desert Mesa Spring Retreat. This was Tuesday & the Retreat started Friday . . . apparently my friend Gail sent an email a day or so before saying we were coming - if there was room at the Inn . . . Oh yeah. It's payroll week - 5 payrolls in fact. And it's Payroll Remittance week & three weeks before the tax deadline as well. What the hell, why NOT Go?? So I did what I could, threw a few things in a bag & AWAY WE WENT!! Had a good time, met some people I've been corresponding with for years but never met & spent too much money - as usual. Did NOT spend all my money on fibre this time - I bought a lovely bracelet & earrings in COPPER with an Indian motif - more Southwestern I suppose than local but very nice all the same!!! Laughed a whole lot - isn't that the reason we go to these things??? & got to see how our Blanket for the Bishop turned out!

Spent most of my time spinning up the remaining 'egg' shaped wool knots of the GRAB BAG I bought umpteen years ago from the Sheep Shed Studios in the States. I've decided to have a merry dye session later this summer on the patio & dye all the skeins at the same time! I've been slobbering over Kimonos since I bought the KNIT KIMONO book a coupla years ago & the Knit Kimono Too this year. I don't have enough handspun in any one colorway or type of wool to make any of them yet. But, I have seven or eight skeins in the basket & probably three more on the giant bobbin on my Indian Head spinner. I believe I have half a grocery bag of 'egg' shaped lumps left. There will be more than enough wool - I think it's Polworth - to make any of the short Kimonos!! Not sure what I'll do with the dye or what color I'll use yet but they'll be done all at the same time. I'm leaning towards a Kimono with a patterned yoke & sleeves with a plain body.

Found a home for two of the bags in the Office closet. The mohair curls & the best Border Cheviot fleece will go north to Quesnel. The seedy fleece will stay to become hanging basket lining. And, should there be any more fleece in there, it will go north as well. Thank you Lou for taking my leftover, forgotten fleeces!! I will de-clutter, de-stash & gain some storage space in spite of my hording ways yet!!!!

Today, I spent part of my first morning back sneezing, wheezing & watering whilst waiting in line to renew my Driver's license! What a picture I presented!! I decided not to wait one more minute since my license actually expired on Saturday & I had to drive sans license to the Driver Service Office. Some of the Nervous Nellies at the Retreat were telling me stories of rewriting the Exam & taking the Driving Test once more because it had expired. But, no one even looked at my license except to verify my address, mother's maiden name, height, weight, eye & hair color - somehow I shrunk 3 inches in the last 5 years!!! But, I'm legal again. And, the picture is now black & white - good thing because my nose & eyes were bright red! It looked about as good as my Costco picture. Whoopie - I just can't wait to whip that one out for ID!

Friday, April 08, 2011

April Already!

I've been mostly Lost in Taxland with the occasional venture into Motorcycleland lately - tis the season for both! And how do they connect? Every boy & more & more girls, want to get their taxes done early so
they can buy a bike. A big bike with a motor on it! And of course, they want one NOW. All the paper dust & testosterone makes me realize that I'm rapidly crossing the line into OLD AGE. I just don't care WHEN I do my taxes & the only bike I want has at least three wheels, a heater, cup holder, a radio & a trunk!

And speaking of OLD AGE, I got my Official Bank Letter yesterday - the one that says," Happy Birthday Senior!" OUCH Apparently, they're switching me to the No Fee Senior Account. I don't have to do a thing! I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad. I know I've been looking forward to the NO FEE courses at the local University and Senior's rates at the Rec Centre! Woohoo. But, the bank letter sort of set it all in stone.

So to honor my Aging self
, I've been trying to clean out some boxes, closets & piles
in my office. I found boxes of paper that belong to a client who DIED three years ago as well as boxes of documents that should've gone home with their owners even earlier. And in the Office closet I found FOUR BAGS of fleece! There's one bag of mohair curls/2004 - 6 pounds it says, two bags of very dirty & somewhat seedy, Border Cheviot/2005 - probably 3-5 pounds altogether & one bag - 2 pounds - of anonymous brown/grey fleece with tan tips. I suspect there's another bag hidden in the big wicker basket in the back. I found a box with dry grey roving in it last year - I think it's the remainder of some Romney roving I bought years & years ago when I wanted to knit a grey sweater. The roving was so dry it was like spinning Dryer Fluff. So, it didn't get used. I sprayed it with spinning oil - still have half a bottle from the 70s - & tucked it into a plastic tub. I'm hoping it will be spinnable outside this summer!! Sigh, AND I was going to go to the Fleece Sale this summer!!!

Before I change my mind & give it a toss, the dirtiest BC is going outside to become hanging basket fodder. I have a wire basket that's usually lined with coconut fibre but the water just runs through as fast as you pour it in. Only succulents can live in that basket! I intend to line it with dirty wool this year & replace the succulents which have become thin & weak looking. I have several baskets which hold petunias, fuchsias, geraniums etc that dry out & bake unless they're watered twice a day - they will also be lined with dirty wool to keep in the moisture this year. And the rest? I'm going to wash some of the Cheviot & see if it's worth the effort. All this wool was given to me. I took it because I thought I could just wash it & use it. Free wool after all & I was poor . . . but I've been exposed to luxury fibre by other spinners at Spin Ins, Fibre shows & the Desert Mesa retreat. Because of them, I even tried to spin cotton fluff, dryer fluff, unspun nylon, rayon & even the anonymous fibre that the hairdresser puts around your hairline at perm time! I still DO love spinning right off the fleece but the wool has to be GOOD wool to start with & I've been spoiled by a small Shetland sheep from Alberta named Arvik.