Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer, Socks & Leftovers

Apparently it's been Summer in the Lower Mainland this past week but I missed most of it. Oh, I saw some of it coming & going from two jobs but that's about all I've seen. The Office Staff at the Motorcycle School banned the boss as of Tuesday morning. We ordered him out for a week & a half because he & his family need to spend time together. And, far, far away from us!! We need to do some Student cleanup that he doesn't need to stress about!! We have all kinds of Student problems like Assessments, missing Road Rides, missing documents & where we can stuff people to finish off their Course. And, damn it, schedule who's now going to teach/hold down the office for the oversold Day School!! Then I get to go home & work in the home office. Feast or Famine, the curse of the Self-employed.

And then ther
e's my second job. I've been doing data entry for an old client for a few months to get his paperwork caught up & finished by the end of July. Two weeks ago, I found out my thumb drive had failed & I lost all the work done to that point. You don't want to know what I screamed at that point . . . So, I've been putting in non-stop 8+ hour days to get it all back on the computer when I'm not at the Motorcycle School . . . luckily, most of it is organized & has spread sheets attached so there's less Thinking & just plain Donkey work left to do! I also had several new Murders, Thrillers & one SciFi to listen to which makes the days go faster. I've been coming home Blind & Brain Dead to eat cereal & blueberries & fall into bed. By the way, I recommend the 'Island in the Sea of Time' by S.M.Sterling!! A mind boggling listen or read that was so real I know it's a possibility!!

Do I have tim
e to knit?? Well, a little. I've actually finished a second pair of short socks in the Saturn colorway - had to find another ball of yarn for part of the foot & toe. A second pair in some Sock it To Me stripey yarn which left me enough to start another pair but I know I'll be lucky to get the heels turned before I run out of yarn. A blue pair, from several small balls of leftovers I found while looking for something for the Saturn socks, which reminds me of the Mexico colorway in Denim, which are on my feet as I type! I have a pair barely on the needles in some other leftover stripey yarn - probably another Sock it To Me - because I am incapable of sitting in front of the tube without knitting in my hands . . .

My Taro plant now has three leaves
& I recognize it. Isn't this called 'Elephant's Ear' if you buy it in the Plant Department???

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Another Blast of Summer

It's here!! Summer again for a couple of
days . . . I have been up before 5:30 in the morning the past couple of days because it's so bright out there!! I was up & out to Starbucks this AM to meet an old customer for tea at 6:45 - he's the guy who used to bottle his beer at 6:30 on Sunday mornings. Today, we visited for a couple of hours in the sunshine. And then in walked the youngest kid of a friend who died several years ago - he was always one of my favorite kids!!! Always a big grin & too much thick, white blonde hair. I didn't even recognize him. The kid's now bald & grey!!! How time flies when you're having fun!!

Haven't been spinning much but I sure have been knitting up a storm. I've knitted up three pairs of summer socks in the last month or so & another's already on the needles!! One nice thing about summer socks, they're so short I can usually get a whole pair out of one 50gm ball!! The socks in progress in the last post are finished & a new pair - I found an odd ball of the very same stripey yarn in a different colorway - are already on the needles! I believe the yarn is "Sock it to Me" from Elann. And, since the day was so warm, I washed all the summer socks & hung them outside in the sun to dry. I must be losing it though, seems I took two pictures of the same bunch & neither shows the new socks!!

Oh, by the way, the new Super Krill Oil has arrived! I've been taking it for four days now, morning & evening. Haven't noticed any improvement in the joints but I really, really HATE the lemon/lime burps! It's also giving me morning sickness. I've been so nauseated that I had to take Gravol the past two mornings! I read the bottle this afternoon & it appears to contain extract from shellfish shells. I bet that includes crab shell. Crab & I don't get along very well . . .

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Just Another Sunday

My little Stinker hasn't been around to knock over the garbage can since I caught him in the act on Monday! My old cat's orange buddy came sneaking through the door though. I guess the two of them were out battling the racoons together for years & he still comes around looking for her occasionally. He used to sit outside the open door & yowl but now he just sits out there. Poor guy.

I actually had the old spinning wheel outside a couple times this week. My thumbs are better so I was able to spin for a half hour or so - don't want to make them too sore since you NEED thumbs to do EVERYTHING!! I remember last year when I tried out that Spin Gym thingie & inflamed them so badly that I couldn't even get dressed for two days. Yes, you NEED thumbs to get into a bra!!! I have been able to knit so I finished off the second pair of summer socks in the 'Saturn' colorway & started a new pair in some yarn that's been laying about for a very long time. After using the thick Regia, this unknown yarn feels thin & splits at the drop of a hat! But, it's very light, colorful & I like it!! That's all it takes to knit socks for moi.

My container garden is doing just fine in this weather. The strawberries are not only producing big, juicy berries but they're sending out runners in all directions as well! Good thing since I was down to THREE plants! I guess I'll be filling up the old Strawberry pot with offshoots this year & should have a huge crop next year. These ar
e Ever Bearing so they produce from early June through to the first frost.

I have my
first cukes!! The one cucumber plant that I bought got taken home because it looked so sad & neglected. I originally only wanted another Rosemary plant to add to my big herb tub but that cuke looked bad. I got it for free because we didn't think it would survive. But, survive it did & it is now producing fruit!

And then, the Hen & Chicks have gone nuts. Some of them have grown long stems & are producing flowers! Maybe it's because the pot
has become too crowded?? I originally planted one chick that got kicked out of the hanging basket by a bad squirrel burying a Hershey bar. Now where he got that Hershey bar, who knows, but that nasty little rodent tried to bury it in my Succulent hanging basket. I planted one displaced chick in the side of the old strawberry pot. That chick grew into a huge Hen & produced so many babies it took over. One lone strawberry plant remains poking out from between the closely packed chicks.

The Ferns love this damp, warm weather & so do the Spider plants out there. The Taro has actually sprouted!! Which you can see in the top picture. About the only thing that doesn't love this dampness is me. Or rather my joints, that is. I wish that Super Krill Oil would hurry up & get here! Yeah, I fell for a smooth talking Snake Oil dealer who promises results in 5 to 7 days! I'm not paying anything but the $4 shipping. I'll try anything & who knows, it might just work. Its cheaper than moving . . .

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Garbage Can Mystery

For several months now, I've been finding my green garbage can kicked over & the garbage strewn about. One evening, I even heard someone go down the back stairs quietly - my office window is beside the stairs but the blinds were down - AND HEARD the can kicked over!!! But, I didn't get out there fast enough to see the bugger who did it. I spoke to the Landlord & he's been getting his can kicked over too. I told him about someone sneaking down the back stairs the last time but he doesn't think it was his kid. He's blaming the kid next door! Guess we just have to catch him at it . . . Last night was Garbage Night - Pickup is sometime on Tuesday & if you wait till the morning - well, sometimes they come barreling through at 7:00AM when you're in the shower! Haven't had the can kicked over lately so I was surprised to see it on it's side waaaaay under the stairs. Dammit!! I had to get the broom to help me get at it & ran into the can kicker inside the can. Yup - waaaay inside with his head in one of the bags of leftovers! A half-grown Skunk. A real Stinker. He'd figured out how to get that thing on its side & jumped on it so the top would blow off - it's old, plastic, with split sides & the lid snaps on both sides just above the handles. I line it with double garbage bags but I guess he can still smell the goodies inside. He's been feasting on the fruit peels, veggie stalks & chicken bones for months. Then he gets to have a wash & a drink at the big bowl of fresh water I have under the plant stand & ferns for the local critters. And I suspect it was he, who left the stink under the stairs last week - probably met the local raccoons at the water dish. Perhaps it's time to buy a new garbage can with a hooked lid. Removing the water dish is not an option.

I bought a taro root almost two months ago for 18 cents. A lady in the veggie market was seriously checking out all the roots & I asked her what she was going to do with them. She told me Taro makes a wonderful house plant. She wouldn't tell me what it looked like but told me I'd recognize it when it sprouted. Well, it takes a long time to sprout. It needs heat & water, lots of water. It can be grown in moist soil or in a pot in a water garden because it also likes to live IN water. I tucked it into a BLACK pot & put it out in the warmest part of my garden spot on the concrete. I noticed yesterday that it had a sprout. It's been out there baking in the heat & FINALLY sprouted. I can't wait to see what it will become! Meanwhile, the Everbearing Strawberries are throwing out runners everywhere!! I suspect I'll be able to fill the Strawberry Pot with them this year!! And I'll have to check out the damage to the ferns where the Skunkette ran to hide when I disturbed his feast . . .

I've been pounding on the computer for up to 7 hours a day for the last 9 days!! Needless to say, I haven't spun a damned thing. My thumbs are not up to the task at all so I've dropped out of the Tour de Fleece. I can knit, barely, but I can report that both pairs of short socks in the Saturn color way are finished. I DID have to finish the second pair feet & toes with an odd ball of dark grey but they're DONE. Another pair are currently on the needles but only just. If I can get through all this work I've suddenly got, then maybe the old hands will get back in shape again. I've even ordered a trial sample of some Super Krill Oil from Purity Products in the US. They advertise on information & talk radio & made me an offer I couldn't refuse - for the total price of 7 bucks US, they will ship me a 30 day supply - & include the Hair/Nails/Skin product as well - which is guaranteed to make my joints better in 7 days or less or my money back. If I like it, they will ship for free! At this point, I'll try anything but heavy duty drugs!!! I have to make these hands work like this for another 10 years at least!!!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Was that June?

Got up this morning to July. I know it's a holiday because no one in my n
eighborhood was up at 5:30 AM loading siding, crashing garbage cans or yelling from upper sundeck to lower car parked in the alley. On holiday mornings like this one, all of the above seems to happen about 10:00 instead. As I sit at my desk, I see the walkers are out, the kids are already playing hockey in the alley & someone IS loading aluminum siding on a truck. And I'm sitting in my old tee & shorts, uncombed, unshowered, pounding on the keyboard & listening to Jean Auel's new book, The Painted Caves. I'm finding it hard to get started this morning even though I have HST reports to file for a couple of small businesses before I start on WCB reports. I have to do as much as possible since the Tour de Fleece starts tomorrow & I intend to spend most of Saturday evening & Sunday morning spinning while I watch a weekend marathon on HGTV!!

When root
ing through my UFOs I came upon the three balls of yarn I spun from Arvik. Arvik was a little Shetland sheep with a lovely fleece that ranged in color from light grey to almost black. I fell in love with that fleece the first time I saw it advertised on Canspin!! I have three big balls of the medium grey with a hint of brown, a big ball of the darkest yarn & the remains of the lightest grey from two small fleeces. Since Arvik has died of old age, I won't be getting any more fleeces, dammit. This morning I had a great idea. I've already made two attempts to knit a work sweater with this yarn. Instead of using my yet to be spun, wildly colored, Paua for a work shrug, I think I should make it with the Arvik instead. Since I don't have enough of one shade to make the sweater I want - I was thinking about using a lace pattern & larger needles to stretch it - I do have enough to knit a large rectangle to make the simple Lion Brand shrug. I could even use the dark wool to pick up & knit the cuffs I was considering as well. It should be warm, snuggly & the color would work in dusty warehouses a whole lot better than Paua. And it would make a really great car knitting project for the summer!!

Haven't quite finished the second pair of short socks in Regia Saturn althoug
h I've turned the heel on the first sock & will turn the second this evening. Summer socks really go very quickly since they're only a couple of inches above the ankle - great for leftovers since half the foot & toe can be in a complimentary or contrasting color! The only part that's really visible is the ankle & ribbing so any other leftovers can be used - great opportunity to make some really wild Frankensocks.