Saturday, November 30, 2019

I'm not knocking November, but...

It has been an interesting month.

 The weather has been mostly beautiful – dry and sunny, with very little of the fog and rainfall we are used to seeing this time of year. November is usually our wettest month, and this one has been the driest on record (good for cleaning up leaves!). Lately it's been freezing hard at night, and not always thawing out during the day up here on the hill. Hard on the plants, I'm sure; it's definitely hard on the skin. It would be hard on a Christmas tree as well, to be parched before cutting and then brought into an even drier house. But there has been no talk here of getting one this year, so I may not have to worry about that. This year getting into the holidays feels like a side trip I don't need or want to take; that is for people with the luxury of more time, energy and interest. Low-key sounds good to me; "life" provides enough drama!

Take this morning. Rick stoked the fire, leaving the insert doors slightly open for airflow to get it going good. A piece of wood tumbled out onto the hearth – twice – smoking up the house and causing the smoke alarms to sound off. We opened doors and windows even though it was below freezing outside, turned on the ceiling fan and even engaged a box fan to no avail; the ear-splitting beeping went on for over an hour. I finally left, late and cold, for church; Rick and Brian came even later. I've been trying to warm the house back up ever since we got home; Rick has been gone to a memorial service, and Brian napped the daylight away in his room.

The last two weeks have been off-schedule, which is unsettling to my little rut-loving mind. This week Brian was off early on Tuesday for the rest of the week for Thanksgiving; last week he was off early on Tuesday for the rest of the week for a suspension. Next week should be back to 'normal,' then Rick leaves for eight long days. There will be lots of driving to get Brian to and from school and me to work; the first high school basketball game is Thursday night but Brian has to bring up grades in two classes in order to participate (he hasn't been able to practice, either).

Jackson, dear Jackson. After going to town with me a week ago, he made it very clear that he wanted to go with me Monday morning. But he wouldn't have been able to manage the stairs to my second-floor office; so hard to disappoint him! Dozer's only been gone 20 days, but it seems like months....

And so life goes. There are blessings, always blessings, and I am thankful (although never as much as I should be, I'm sure). Life is a gift, even when it's hard. Amen.

That's it for November from . . .

Sunday, November 24, 2019


Yesterday's sunrise colors . . .

. . . are reflected in this slouchy hat:
It was dry, so I pulled it off the dinner plate and tried it on to see if it's giftable. It is, so it was set aside for a friend's December birthday. And that scarf that was in the gift dresser?
I wore it to church yesterday. It coordinately perfectly with my dress and kept me cozy. (Don't worry, that little spindle is cozy now, too, dressed warmly in Shetland top from Jamieson & Smith.)

Today I tackled more outside clean-up, raking and hauling leaves, pulling grass from the iris bed, pulling weeds from the gravel driveway. I didn't finish any of it, but made visible progress which gave some satisfaction.

When my back needed a break, I got Lance out for some exercise – and watched the fog move in!

Or maybe a big cloud enveloped us and then moved on, because by the time I headed back the the house, the sky looked like this!

This evening I got around to roasting three small winter squash I bought last week. These are varieties I'd never seen before so I decided to do a taste comparison. Verdict? They're all tasty, but butternut and sweetmeat as good or better. Still, I'll enjoy them.

That's it for the weekend at . . .

Friday, November 22, 2019

Our used car lot

I took that photo this morning. With the wrecked Ranger in the garage, my VW (which had better be feeling pampered after getting an oil change, front bushings replaced, and four new tires yesterday! 😳) and Rick's vet truck are staying outside, along with Rick's old vet truck/now our general farm truck (the red Ford full of leaves), the previous general farm truck (the long-dead and moldering blue Chevy that my guys won't part with 🙄), and now Rick's 'new' vet truck (navy Ford; same year, make and model as his current vet truck but with 400,000+ less miles on it, purchased from a client). And that's just the BIG stuff sitting around. I admit to sometimes daydreaming about all the things I'd purge if something happened to Rick. I could see myself in a 'tiny house' – with a big barn (or maybe one of these combo jobs.)

Oh, and Wovember? I quit. Every evening my increasingly tired brain struggles with inspiration to meet the daily prompt. Certain others in my life saddle me with enough responsibilities; I don't need another one.

But it was a good day with my BFF (Best Furry Friend). This morning he made it clear that he wanted lap-time, and when I got ready to run to town for a 'Blue Friday' sale at the feed store, he made it clear that he wanted to go along. It's been ages since we've had an outing like that, and he seemed to enjoy it all – the ride, checking out the sights and smells at the store, meeting people and dogs, and of course a special treat for the ride home. 😋

This afternoon I washed the 'Skittles hat' and have it blocking on a plate. I'm not as thrilled with the hat as I am with the yarn, but that's the way it goes. I think I'll go grab another sample of dyed Shetland top from Jamieson & Smith and do some soothing spinning – or maybe I'll just go to bed. 😴

Good night from . . .

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Toil and trouble

Or rather, the other way around: when there's trouble, toil!

Life is chaotic right now; any illusion I may sometimes have about being in control has been ripped away like a fresh Band-Aid. But my mamma didn't raise no quitter, so today I tackled a couple things I could control.

I cleaned my 'sandbox' (arena) again – and then rode in it, since Lance had had two days off.
After a lunch break, I filled the bed of our red pick-up with (some) of the leaves Rick blew onto the gravel driveway awhile back. Thankfully the weather was nice so I could work outside and enjoy the fresh air, because if epoxy fumes could kill you, we'd all be dead. Rick has turned our attached garage into a painting booth in an effort to save money repairing the truck that Brian wrecked. While I appreciate his efforts (Brian doesn't but should, because he's having to reimburse us for all the associated costs), there are a lot of ramifications besides the awful smell. So let's focus on other things!

How about the weather? It's been variable since my last post.

My critters are always good for my soul.

I did finish the colorful hat, with some design 'variations.' I'm not yet sure what I think about it; I'm going to wash and block it before passing judgement and taking final photos.

That's it for now from . . .

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Cast-off, cast-on, and clouds

From all the cast-off leaves on the ground, it's hard to tell that we've already hauled a LOT of leaves to the compost pile.

The trees aren't the only things 'shedding.' Jackson is blowing coat like never before; hair is EVERYwhere in spite of my brushing out dozens of handfuls like this.

Yesterday afternoon while driving around I kept pulling over for clouds. I'm a sucker for spectacular skyscapes!

Today I cast on another hat. I've had this yarn and pattern paired for awhile but other things kept taking precedence. But now that I've started it, I predict it will go speedily; it's a very easy pattern. The focus here is supposed to be my Skittles-colored handspun rather than elements like cables.

That's it for now from . . .