Monday, August 22, 2016

Canada Post Came Thru

Mail call!! I don't get much in the mail department so I don't check the box that often. But, I fell off the wagon & bought a couple of things in the dead of the night with my handy dandy credit card, Ooooops.

And so what did I buy??? A couple of books I've been wanting for ages. Sometimes, you don't need or want just another book about Techniques or Patterns. I also love the Stories & the History of the tools in my hands.

I bought 'The Old Hand Knitters of the Dales' by Marie Hartley & Joan Ingilby in paperback. I'd seen it on Sale for $500 in hardback & almost that much in paperback on eBay but it was always out of MY price range. I finally found a copy I could afford. This is not new stuff but an updated version of the original book published just after WWII. I haven't had a lot of time to read it yet since I opened the other one first, but what I have seen looks very interesting! It's a history of knitting in the Yorkshire Dales. A story of the local people & local wool that helped make England rich before the Industrial Revolution.

I also bought 'In the Footsteps of Sheep' by Debbie Zawinski which I'd wanted since it was published last year. I wanted it so badly that I opened the package as soon as I got home on Friday & sat down with it to look inside. And then spent the rest of the evening reading it. And I continued to read it the next  morning as I ate my Cheerios & blueberries. In the end, I spent the whole weekend, to the detriment of everything else, reading the book.
And I love the book. I love that it's the story of people, of traveling & wool; of finding bits of fleece on the peat or in the bushes; of spinning that raw fleece into yarn on a stick & knitting it into socks as she meandered from place to place. I love that it has little hand drawn maps showing the route in each chapter, the method of travel & interesting spots along the way. It's not really a knitting book although it has patterns for socks, but it isn't a spinning book either, although Debbie writes about the characteristics of the wool she finds & the Scottish breeds it comes from. It's more of a Sock maker's travelogue or a Spinner's rustic walk-about in several of the Wooly Meccas of the world. You don't have to buy the book  but you do have to read it, especially if you spin, love fleece & knit socks.

My second package didn't even get opened until Saturday morning!! Inside I found a new Project bag & a cake of sock yarn. They were from the Yarn Harlot's Karmic Balancing draw for goodies for everyone who contributed to the annual PWA(People with Aids) Ride she & her TEAM make from Toronto to Montreal. Love the Bag & the yarn which matches the bag. Woohoo

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Summertime & the living . . . .

See those Jades peeping thru?
Most summers, I turn on the oscillating fan at the foot of my bed a few times in August when we usually get a week or so of really high - for us on the Wet Coast - temperatures. This summer, I've used it a lot. I think the day before yesterday was the hottest day so far & I even tried out the "Hurricane" setting. "Hurricane" is great for a quick cool down but waaaay too loud, cold & fast for more than a couple of minutes!!
Usually it cools down enough at night to keep the old basement cool enough without a fan but this week, it's too hot in here to think. It just doesn't get any time to cool off. I'm glad this only happens for a week or so so I think I can cope.

My Petunias are packing it in & I've had to move all my hanging baskets to the back my patio because they're cooking in plastic pots. Spider plant babies that lived in a jar of water on a window sill for several years, got planted this year. I found an empty space in the fern trough at the back of the patio where they'd get lots of light but no full sun. They didn't do much until it got hot & suddenly they're TEN times bigger!! This morning, I noticed they're now sending out stems with babies in all directions. They seem to love the heat. So does my old Jade. It got chopped almost to it's main stem this year since it got really leggy. And I chopped it back hard, then put it into it's favorite place under the patio table with lots of light but no direct sun. And tossed all the cuttings into the long fern planter & a pot of Blue Fescue. I should've known better .  .  .  most of the cuttings took root. Some of them, tossed in the side of the Blue Fescue pot in full sun, are growing like stink!!
All in all, I have to say it's very pleasant out there all morning till about 2PM and again in the evening after 7PM when the sun goes behind the trees. So, I sit outside with my sock knitting or spinning or read a book as much as I can while I can. Retirement is actually not too bad if you have enough money to live on.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Summer in the Basement

It's summertime & the damn living is supposed to be easy. Especially when you retire. Sun, sand if you really want it, shade if you don't, iced coffee, Passion lemonade, salads galore, summer murder mysteries & all the knitting you can stand. Right??  Well, it ain't. And I'm not.

I struggled for almost three years to make enough money to live on after I injured myself & my school closed, only to find my little business taking off right around the time my pension started. I even qualified for a non-taxable Supplement because my income was so low when I applied. I could be sitting on the beach doing nothing except frying naked white skin & drinking iced coffee. And what am I doing??? Sitting in the Office doing paperwork with a mug of hot tea. That's the problem with the Paperwork business, it takes time to build one & when it produces, well, it really produces!! But, enough of that.

Haven't been knitting much except Frankensocks for the last couple of months & the
old scrap bag is decreasing quickly. It's amazing how many leftovers I accumulated over the years!! Although I've still got a full box the size of two Japanese orange boxes, I've made 7 pairs of scrappy socks in the last three months - mostly in pinks & purples - & decreased my scrap load. I have a large, garter stitch blanket on the go from another big bag of mostly tan, ecru, ombre, beige & other muddy brown yarn that will go to a new home when it's done. A couple of other projects are in the planning stage & I have even bought the yarn for them. I definitely have to stop taking new jobs & knit more BUT apparently it's very hard to find someone to do multiple back years income taxes & like a broke streetwalker, I just can't say NO.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Happy Birthday Marlow

My old husband - referred to as the Ex although we're not divorced, merely living apart - turned 78 on Friday. We married 29 years ago because he thought it was a terrible sin for us to live together but he wouldn't let me move out. So I caved & got married for the second time - even though I swore, yes swore, that I would never do it again after the first time around. He's a nice man, really likes women & gets along well with them, he's steady, stable, loves animals,  putters in his yard, saves his money, doesn't drink or smoke but I can't live with him. He wants to be joined at the hip, I need my space. So I moved out, just up the road, 18 years ago. We get along very well these days. I take him to most of his medical appointments & sometimes we go grocery shopping. We meet every Friday for lunch in a little truck stop cafe where everyone knows us & a couple of times a month we go for Chinese food on Sundays. He paid my rent for two years when I was unable to work &  I gave him a spousal Visa card. A truly modern marriage.

There's nothing much I can buy him & his sock cupboard overflows. So for his birthday, I took him for Chinese food, ordered some things he would never try on his own & made sure he took enough home for two more meals. It was great. And he found out he actually liked Tofu Hot Pot. Happy Birthday, Old Bean.