Thursday, November 30, 2023

Wood Work


On this last day of November I'll be out doing yard chores. Yesterday I got the last of the leaves up. The trees appear to finally be bare.

At least I hope they are the last of the leaves. There are a few pretty stragglers here and there but nothing the wind can't take care of and we've had plenty of that. 

What made it so much harder this time were these guys. I don't know what they are or where they're coming from but there's like a billion of them all over the place. Half of them are in my house and when you step on them they hurt. 

I was feeling pretty good about everything I accomplished....until, against my better judgement, The Mister had a truck full of wood delivered. You know he's not going to be hauling it all around back on our unlevel ground with that knee. That would be me today. Sigh......

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Wednesday WIPs


I had to drive down the county to this ominous building yesterday morning. I was dreading it. I had to re-new my driver's license and it was always an awful experience. Not this time. I was in and out in 9 minutes. I timed it. The one good thing about Covid is that no one wants crowds anymore so you have to make an appointment. I was the only person in the place and they couldn't wait to get me out the door. 

I was TERRIFIED that I wouldn't pass the eye exam. I have a retina condition that can't be fixed and I am pretty aware of the fact I can't see well anymore. At first I couldn't even find the row of letters I was supposed to read. I was panicking until I realized I was trying to read in the unlit portion of the screen. Once I could find the row, I was okay and passed. The Mister knew how worried I was so we celebrated my victory with a Panera take out for lunch. He even bought me a baguette and some mini scones. 

Going blind or not...this old dog did learn some new tricks this week. I've been double knitting the front bands of The Big Gray Blob. I had to learn the Italian cast on to do it. It took me a lot of tries to get it right and it's not something I am terribly comfortable with but it's getting done. 

I also had to learn the Closed Toe cast on. I don't do toe up socks but if I wanted to particiapte in this year's Arne and Carlos holiday KAL I had to figure it out quick. It starts on Friday and you needed to have the toe done by then. That also took me a lot of tries but I got it done. 

I would like to have Number 24 done by then and I'm getting close. I started joining all the pieces yesterday so now I only have the yoke and the turtle neck to do. Those necks always do me in but knowing this is the very last one might just be the thing that gets me going. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday


I don't have much to show for this week stitch-wise. I have to fill in all that green that I ripped out last week so I outlined it thinking it would now make a good project for when I'm sitting in the car waiting for The Mister to come out of therapy. 

I attempted to at least get that last leaf on before I pack Patchwork Autumn away but I now have to rip it out. I started one stitch down too far and now it hits the bottom of the frame. hard would it have been to just count to 3 correctly? I could kick myself. 

I did do a lot of stitching on the binding on the fall batik hot pads. I have two of them done now.

I finished machine quilting the placemats yesterday. Those are some mighty big placemats. Sewing on their binding is NOT going to be fun.

And......that last batch of soap turned out just fine. The honey color could have been a bit more honey colored but other than that it is a win. I made 17 batches in all. My new shelf system holds a lot more than my old system so I kept making soap trying to fill them up. That's 85 bars if they all turn out. Yikes.  

Monday, November 27, 2023

Big Batch


I hate to leave leftover soap supplies laying about so I've been on a quest to use everything up so I can clean the room. I need the space to make Christmas cards. I thought I would make one big batch of soap and that would be the end of it. Spoiler Alert: I was wrong. 

I used my biggest containers and mixed up a 64 ounce batter and then split it in half so I could make two different loaves out of it. Different is the operative word here. I am perplexed at how different they are. The pink one is still a bit soft, like most soap is when it comes out of the mold and the green one is already rock hard. How? Why? Same batter, same everything but color and scent. I did stack them on top of each other in the cooler I use for an incubator so maybe the green one, that was on the bottom, got cooked more and went through a gel phase? I dunno. It's all such a mystery.

The green one is Avocado. No hemp in this one. I'm out of it. Just plain avocado-oil and butter. 

This one is Harlequin Romance. It's the same avocado batter-just pink. The colors on this one are interesting. The ends are pretty, the middle plain. I seem to be doing that a lot lately. It's annoying. 

I thought that might be the end of it but I had just enough to whip up some non-dairy Honey and Lemon with my leftover coconut milk. I don't care what this one looks like because it smells heavenly. When it is cut and on the drying racks tomorrow I can FINALLY give the room a good cleaning. 

I've got work to do. 

Sunday, November 26, 2023

November Finishes


Ta da....the giant Regia man socks are done..... are these itty bitty Felici lady socks. I used the smaller of the size 1 needles for some odd reason and they came out pretty tiny. 

Here's my grand total for the year. Nine pair in the gift box and one pair that I made for myself last summer. Ten pair is not too bad. I was going for 12 but considering the year I've had it's a wonder I got any finished. 

There won't be anymore socks on the needles until January. I've got to finish Number 24 and......

...the Big Gray Blob first. 

The problem is that I have to have some travel knitting because sometimes I sit in the car for a long time waiting for The Mister to get out of therapy. Pup and I usually walk for the hour and then head back to the place in time to pick him up but last Friday I sat 45 minutes after pick up time waiting for them to get done. If I hadn't had those man socks with me to finish I would have lost my mind. None of my other projects are very travel friendly so I guess that Riddari sleeve is going in the bag for any knitting emergency that may arise. 

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Comfort and Joy


On Wednesday while everyone was cooking and cleaning their houses I was making soap. Lots of soap. I was not happy with Comfort and Joy so I remade it first. 

I dialed it way down this time. Less color, less fragrance. It's much better. Except for that eggplant color that always turns grayish. I keep using it and I keep getting disappointed. I really need to find a better dark purple. 

Then I used my tall and skinny mold to make some Double Butter Face Bars and...... 

.....I took another stab at the vanilla bars I've been experimenting with.

The Double Butter Bars turned out just fine. No ugly ring in the middle. 

The vanilla is not the vanilla I am looking for but it's not too bad. I'll keep trying until I get it right. I don't know why I am so obsessed with this vanilla powder and trying to get a fragrance that works with it but I am. This one is not Oatmilk and Vanilla. It's just Vanilla with goat, yogurt and buttermilk. It's a bigger bar too. It was a 36 ounce pour instead of my usual 34 ounce. At the last minute I decided to add some sweet almond oil to the batter and I got a nice fluffy top out of it. It's also a very interesting hanger swirl. It kinds looks like kitty butts, right? 

Friday, November 24, 2023

There and Back Again


We took the long drive to Daughter's house for a Thanksgiving lunch and were home before dark. I'm still doing the driving and because of a retina condition I can't see very well once the sun goes down. 

SIL smoked a turkey again this year while Daughter and I got the side dishes on the table. Baby Grand and I celebrated quite loudly the arrival of Santa at the end of the Macy's parade. 

Somebody was very anxious for us to get the food on the table. The smell of that turkey was driving her crazy. She was not on her best behavior.

The highlight of the day was seeing all the Grands interacting on Face Time. The Big Grands found the newest Grand, who is up in Michigan, hilarious. He put on quite the show for us. I don't think any of us have laughed so hard in a while. It was a short-but very sweet day. 

Thursday, November 23, 2023



The thing I'm most thankful for today is that I don't have to host. We're going to Daughter's. This is her house last year. My house looks like a storage facility in an old folk's home at the moment. It's depressing. 

We won't be all together this year but I am thankful I live in the age of technology. I am a long distance grandmother and it's been nice seeing the Grands grow up even if it's just on a screen. 

I'm thankful that the year of The Mister's surgeries is almost over. It's been rough. He's still struggling physically and emotionally from it. At our age it takes a toll. We don't bounce back very quickly anymore.

I am VERY thankful I live a few blocks from this. I took The Mister to therapy yesterday and Pup and I sat by the water and I just bawled my eyes out. I'm so tired. The Mister is so tired. Sometimes you just gotta let it all out. I felt better and was ready to head back home to another day of trials and tribulations. 

I am also thankful for my great grandmother who passed on her love for things like this on to me. Without it and without the blog to share that love with folks like you, I don't know how I would have survived the year. That's Chestnut btw. It's been waiting for its turn to be finished. I think 2024 might be its year.

Finally, Mr. Turkey wants to say Happy Thanksgiving! I managed to get some of that dark brown background fill done but still have a long way to go. Luckily for Tom, we've still got a week to go before he gets packed away. that I think about it, I don't actually have a Christmas project in the works. Maybe I need to remedy that. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Up All Night


We had cold, rainy weather yesterday and it would have been a perfect day for sewing but instead after just a few minutes of working on the hot pads I gave up in exhaustion. As I mentioned before Mommy cat is sleeping in the house at night all of a sudden and I've been sleeping on the couch to make sure there is no kitty drama. She's not very fond of her offspring and will give them a slap and a good hissing if they get too near. Everything's been going fine until Monday night. Her son decided to go over to the box she likes to sleep in and throw up in front of it which made her hiss and Pup bark-at 3 am. We were all up and no one could get back to sleep. I was a zombie yesterday. 

In the wee early hours I worked on picking up those gazillion stitches around the Big Gray Blob. I put in some markers and them only allowed myself to do so many inches so that I actually do a good job this time. I am using a magnifier and a small crochet hook because for the life of me I can't pick up stitches using the needle. I do it on sock gussets all the time but that's about it. 

Down in the soap room I had a pleasant surprise after a very unpleasant soaping experience. Since I am out of my regular oils I had to re-do my formula. Since this soap was meant for just me I experimented with the ratios and the whole bucket of coconut and oatmilk batter got so thick so fast that all I could do was shovel it in the mold and hope for the best. I did get some of the vanilla powder in the part that I spread out in the bottom of the mold. It looks like cookies and cream ice cream. I did scent it with just a smidgen of my favorite Oatmeal, Milk and Honey fragrance so I'm considering this a win on a day that I really needed a win-and a nap. 


Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday

I spent a ridiculously long time ripping out the old garden this week.......

....and "planting" a new one with better colors. Ripping out all those green stitches that surrounded the flowers was no fun at all. I'm sad to say that I doubt I will get much further than this before I pack it away and get out December's Llama Lump. I started it last year and I think it's going to be a finish if I get an early start on the season. 

The Mister had a late afternoon therapy session yesterday and Pup and I got to watch the town dudes putting up the strings of lights. 

Last week we got to see them putting up all of the garland that hangs on the boardwalk. It's a lot of garland.

They move the big balls around every year and this year they put them on the very end of the pier. I wish I could have been there to see that. 

Some of you asked to see the tree once it was put together and here it is. I'm not sure when they are going to be lighting it this year because the town has decided to have a float parade on December 1st instead of the usual lighting ceremony. They want us all to decorate our cars or trucks with a holiday movie theme. If I had one of those giant skellys I might think about doing The Nightmare Before Christmas. I've always wanted to dress up like 

Back at home I stopped at the mailbox to find some surprises. Karen sent me a tealight advent calendar from Yankee Candle. My mother always gave us a Yankee Candle for Christmas so this brings back fond memories. Her favorite was Home for the Holidays and I still can't smell it without getting weepy. I also have a sweet postcard from Diana. I love postcards and have a big collection of them most of which come from some dear friends in Latvia and Ukraine. Our little blog circle is still missing dear Liana who was such an inspiration to us all with her exquisite stitching. We haven't heard from her since the war began. I think of her often when I start to complain about first world problems. Those of us in places that haven't gone mad (yet) have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I am especially thankful for all of you.