As the week ends

The car still sits in the lot at the mechanic, no diagnosis nor estimate provided yet for us to make a decision on it’s fate. The pen is still missing. Unless it fell out of my bag and is the car at the mechanic, it is truly AWOL. The snow from early in the week is mostly gone except in shady areas under trees, north sides of hills, and the north shade of the house. Today’s forecast calls for snow flurries turning later to rain, but so far, no precipitation of any form has begun. The windshield leak on the older car was sealed after it had dried, but in the snow early in the week, a drip from closer to the center of the windshield top edge was seen, so it was parked in the garage to fully dry and more sealant was applied farther across the top. I think that when the windshield had to be replaced many years ago, it wasn’t set in enough sealant. If it does rain today, we will see if my repair has taken care of it. If not, it will be pulled back in the garage to dry again and another attempt made to fill the gaps with silicone.

So far, there have been no further disasters this week. Early in the week, hubby registered for the first vaccine for COVID and yesterday he received a call and within 90 minutes had received his first shot. With his age and immune compromised system, I am glad he was able to get it. Hopefully they will get to my group, the next down the list before too much longer. The federal guideline dropped the age to 65 for now, but the State is still going with a stricter schedule.

The mitts that I partially ripped out and started a reknit are done. They need to be soaked and blocked, but it got cold overnight and is headed into a cold snap for many days, so that will wait so I can wear them. Twenty or so years ago, I broke my right wrist roller blading with my daughter. It healed 15 degrees out of whack and has caused issues since. The resulting arthritis sent me to a hand specialist about a decade ago and he performed a Trapeziectomy to remove a bone in my wrist to help with the pain. It may have helped briefly, but overuse from knitting, gardening, or just about any other activity causes pain in my wrist that moves up to my elbow and then to my shoulder. I know that as it begins, I tense my shoulder that contributes to the pain. Either the poorly healed break or my arm’s musculature to compensate causes a circulation issue that causes that hand to be extremely cold when the weather is cold. I tend to wear a fingerless mitt even in the house except when cooking, so I’m glad for the thicker, warmer ones that I just finished yesterday.

They are longer than I usually make and with the 2 x 2 rib the entire length, they are thicker and more comfortable. The fibers pictured with them are some I purchased for my breed blanket and three lovely 2 ounce packages of different wools I got in trade for one I had that I wasn’t planning on using. They arrived in yesterday’s mail. I now have 18 breeds of wool lined up, some dyed, some natural so I can work on my breed of the month and another that can be used to create additional blocks or added to the log cabin pattern to separate dyed ones from each other with solid natural colors.

Sometime ago, I wrote a post about “the chair.” Well, the chair wasn’t the only furniture mistake we have made. We bought two reclining loveseats, one didn’t quite match the living room furniture so we moved it to the loft and bought a second that looked better. And we bought me an imitations “stressless” chair. These weren’t all purchased at the same time, they were added over several years, but all were made of “pleather,” a nasty product that shouldn’t be on the market. The loveseat in the living room deteriorated first because of it’s heavy use. I tried covering it, but the cover would not stay on and you couldn’t recline it with the cover. The one in the loft went next, it was used fairly heavily at times too. Eventually, daughter and I hauled them out of the house, loaded them on our utility trailer and removed them to the dump. This week, I realized that my chair is beginning to fail in the same way, the plastic “leather” separating from the fabric it is applied to. It will flake and more will fail until the chair is as disreputable in appearance as “the chair.” Hubby’s chair was replaced with a real leather chair, the love seats were not replaced with additional furniture, just rearranged some rocking chairs to provide seating. I guess my chair is going to have to be replaced sometime in the future, but “pleather” will not enter our home again.

Maybe I will get a real leather Ekornes stressless chair this time. It will last the rest of my life.

A Rough Start

This week start has not been a smooth one. For some time, we have observed the “newer” of our two vehicles, it is only 13 years old compared to the almost 16 year old one, has been not running well and leaking oil. We wouldn’t drive it farther than town and kept our fingers crossed that if it broke down, that daughter would be available to get us home or to a rental car location. Because it is the larger vehicle, we loaded the trash and recycling in it yesterday morning to take down to the “Convenience Center.” Don’t you love that as a name for the fenced in area with the dumpsters and recycle trailer boxes in it? As soon as hubby put the beast in reverse, I could smell the clutch and suggested we take both cars and leave the Xterra at our local shop for diagnosis and state inspection. The decision was made to take it the next time we had to go out and not yesterday. The garbage was dispatched, the package I had that needed to be dropped off at the USPS was dropped off, we drove into town to get lunch and a birthday card for a grandson, but didn’t make it home. As we started up the first hill, the smell got stronger, the car got slower, and before we got to the top, there were no gears that the car would go in. A call to daughter, but she was an hour away headed home. A call to the local mechanic and he sent a masked driver in their “Shuttle” van and another driver in the tow truck to haul it in. Once we get an estimate, we have to decide if a 13 year old car, leaking oil, with 246,000+ miles on it is worth the repair, leaving us at least for the moment with the 16 year old car with 240,000 miles on it as our sole transportation.

Last night as I prepared to address the birthday card, I realized that one of my favorite pens was missing. I can’t find it anywhere. Usually it is clipped to the small leather notebook cover that I carry in my bag, but it isn’t there. Isn’t in the bag. Isn’t stuck down the cracks of my chair. It has at least temporarily gone missing. I’m sure it will turn up at some point, in a car, a pocket, or some place I normally wouldn’t set it down.

Also yesterday as I continued to knit on my fingerless mitts, I realized that somehow, I had crossed yarn balls and both mitts were knit from one ball, linking them together with a piece of yarn too short to just cut and weave in, so I had to begin tinking (knitting backwards) for a row on one mitt and another row on both. After doing that, I decided I didn’t like the thumb gusset on the fingers down pattern as I tried one on for fit, so I pulled the needle and frogged (ripped out stitches) for many rows to get back to where the thumb stitches were picked up. Then tediously and carefully picked up the stitches again in an order that would still allow me to knit two at a time, knit a couple of rows to make sure there were no missed stitched and all the stitches were turned the right way and decided to work the wrist up vanilla pattern I always use with a classic thumb gusset that will allow me to knit a real thumb. I am probably back about to the total length I was before yesterday’s error.

During this reknit project, the television was on to the news and talking heads that analyze everything going on and I was appalled at how a congresswoman who had been in the Capitol during last week’s siege would throw a toddler tantrum over not being allowed to carry a gun into the chambers, and how dozens of the rioters from last week and people interviewed at Trump’s bazaar charade of a visit to the Alamo and his incendiary speech there yesterday, exactly parrot his language to the exact phraseology. And they call those who don’t agree with them sheep. They call themselves patriots and true Americans, yet they attack our halls of government and threaten our lawmakers.

Next disaster, a relatively minor one today. Lunch was prepared, just grilled cheese sandwiches still sitting on the griddle pan on the stove, the plates with pickles served out beside them and I called hubby down to eat. In reaching up to get a glass for my water, he knocked another to the Silestone counter below the cabinet and it exploded sending glass shooting across the stove top, the adjacent counter where the plates were waiting, and all over the floor. After glass was cleaned up, lunch tossed in the garbage, counter tops and griddle and dishes washed, I started over.

On the positive side, the hydroponic herb garden that Son 2 and family gave me for Christmas has sprouted all 6 herbs. I check each day to see how much growth has occurred. The dill, thyme, and parsley are putting out secondary leaves, The mint and basils are above the rims of their planting baskets. That was such a great gift for a gardener suffering the off season doldrums that houseplants just don’t satisfy.

Back to chores, knitting, and spinning. Hmmm, I wonder where the pen is?

Yes, I am alive and well

A friend reminded me that I had been silent for a few days. Time spent with hubby and via phone and video chat with family, time spent finishing my December spinning challenge, trying to finish a shawl as a finished project for the same challenge, and getting ready for the start of the new year, spinning challenges and mentally preparing for even more isolation as we are seeing about a dozen new cases of COVID in our county each day (56+% of the cases in the county since December 1) and between people travelling and gathering for Christmas and New Years, it will get worse.

When I went to the Farmers Market on the Saturday before Christmas, part of my goal was to obtain a Christmas roast for our Christmas dinner, we still have Thanksgiving turkey in the freezer. The vendor apologized that his abattoir had not gotten his latest beef back to him, but he expected to pick it up on Monday. He made a stop on his way home and let me buy a 3 pound rib roast. It was a much more expensive cut than I would usually purchase and wanted it to be cooked perfectly. When we have family here or that we can visit with, we usually have Italian food at Daughter’s on Christmas Eve, and Turkey, ham, and all the sides on Christmas day here. As a younger married, I would prepare either Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, my Dad doing the other and extended family gathered. The Christmas dinner was always on Christmas eve and we grazed on left overs and other goodies on Christmas Day. Traditionally, I make Huevos Rancheros for hubby on Christmas and New Years Day mornings. Because it was just the two of us, I did prepare the breakfast then later in the day, prepared the roast that I had seasoned the day before. It was perfect and delicious. We have eaten about half of it over two days, the other half frozen to be pulled out in a week or so and enjoyed again.

We woke to a white Christmas with continued snow showers all day. Gifts had been exchanged with our children and grand children via distanced meetings or mail. We celebrated with just the two of us. My gifts included items lovingly chosen based on my interests, fiber to spin, a Jumbo flyer for my wheel, a travel Lazy Kate, a leather tooled pocket notebook cover, counter top herb garden with grow light, hand made pottery planter made by DIL and bee barn from them as well, wool socks and a wool tee shirt to keep me warm. It was a calm, lazy day filled with too much food, but no in person family except hubby.

My December spinning got side tracked when I started knitting the Peacock shawl, but I still finished with plenty for the challenge.

Yesterday was spent plying yarn, the “Redbud” ended up about 450 yards of light fingering weight and the Jacob (the gray) is this month’s and last month’s plied together to about 115 yards of light fingering weight.

The fiber hubby gave me is the left of this photo and will be the breed I begin my January challenges with, both the “Something New” challenge and a Breed Blanket.

After several frigid icy days, the sun is out and the snow and ice are melting, the temperature finally above 40 degrees, so we ventured out to take a walk, figuring the paved rail grade being the safest path. For the most part it was clear or wet, but there were some areas like this below.

Some of the areas that looked wet were black ice, but it was good to get out and stretch our legs and get some fresh air.

I have about half an ounce of yarn left before I have to use the rest to do the picot bind off. I’m hoping it is enough to finish the repeat I am on.

I’m very pleased with how the gradient blends until it gets to the purples and the gradient isn’t as subtle there, almost like the purples were reversed, but I spun this yarn on spindles and was very careful to keep them in the order they came off the braid. It is still a pretty shawl. Once finished, washed and blocked, it will go in my shop.

I hope you had a safe Christmas and will have a safe New Year.