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Friday, April 30, 2010

Lost Library Book, Overdue Fines!!!

$24.05 worth of fines, $16 for a lost book I am quite sure I returned. However, if, by chance, I haven't, paying for it always lets me find the curse-ed book. We have been spoiled: for 43 of the 44 years we have lived here, there WERE no overdue fines, but the library levy failed, so now we have those fines. (SIGH!!)

I need to mark down when the books are due, maybe on a sticky note on each book; I can renew them online, but not if there is someone else who has requested the book. It's fair; I just need to GET ORGANIZED!!!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

JD Monkey, Gardening

I almost forgot JD Monkey's tail!!! That wouldn't do at all, as all monkeys have tails. So I knit on his tail at Knit Group today and almost finished it--used ten stitches, five on each circular needle--it's boring to knit a tail, but necessary. Just about forgot to make the end of his tail white, too, until one of the others asked me if I was going to. Yikes, I am SO forgetful, it scares me sometimes---but then I remember teaching first grade and how forgetful six and seven year olds are, and I feel much better.

Today was a typical spring day on Grays Harbor: rainy early, then dry but with threatening clouds and sunny moments the rest of the day. My greenhouse gets nice and warm--I finally put a thermometer in it, and it was in the 70s in there today. It would have been warmer, but we have had a really cold wind lately---feels as if it's blowing over a glacier before arriving here!!! BRRRR!!!

But the good news is that it was dry enough to work outside a little this afternoon. I got a plastic colander at SA and used it to sift some of the lousy potting soil I bought last year--it's full of wood and rocks!!! (You get what you pay for, folks!) Anyway, once I sift it, it's very nice. I planted some over-germinated tomato seeds that I'd forgotten--we'll see if they do anything. I also planted two Armenian Cucumber seeds, and germinated the rest, and put some lavender seeds to germinate, too--I had almost no luck with last year's lavender seeds (purchased) this year; I will research harvesting my own lavender seeds before they flower this year.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Clean Kitchen Table, the Confessional, Motivation

Well, the kitchen table has now been cleaned off for THREE days, and I am patting myself on the back. I am FORCING myself to refrain from placing ANYTHING on its surface for more than a minute or two. I'd put a "BEFORE" picture, except I didn't take one. I DO have one from last November (yes, it has been cleaned off since then, but always reverts to the same dismal state in a day or two or three) that was very similar, but I'm too embarrassed to show it--just imagine a table piled as high as possible with laundry, junk mail, and assorted items and that will pretty much be an accurate image.

The reason I have a picture from last November is that I got so disgusted with myself for letting things get so cluttered and disorganized that I took a picture of every spot in the house that looked terrible. Then I put them in a notebook with a "Before" label on each one. I intended to systematically clean each messy spot up, photograph it, and label that picture "After." It was an attempt to motivate myself to do what I knew I should, and also have a record of how bad it was (probably not for public view, just for myself) so that I could look at it, see what I'd accomplished, and NOT go back to my old ways. The picture of my table will go in the book, as soon as I find it :>( .

I am making a promise right now that every Monday, I will post a new picture of this table (I'll put a small card with the date on it in the photo, so you'll know I'm not cheating, and I will put it on my Google Calendar so that I get nagged about it). If that doesn't make me keep stuff off this table, nothing will, I guess. I call this the DeGaulle Method, as when Gen. DeGaulle decided he wanted to quit smoking, he announced to his entire staff (immediately on making the decision) that he had quit; then pride did not allow him to return to the habit, as he would have lost face in the eyes of everyone. It worked for him. If I forget to post, you may also nag me.

For anyone else who tends to be disorganized, like I am, don't give up; find what works for you. If anything I do helps you, too, then hurray, and feel free to share your tips, too. Some people are so neat and organized they don't even need to THINK about it (how I ENVY you!!!), and then there's people like me................................................

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oops!!! Mistake on yarn for JD Monkey

Yarn is Lion Brand, Vanna's Choice, color 302, TAUPE mist. Sorry!!!

J D Monkey is Finished

He now has ears, two, even though it appears in the picture that he has only one.
He has a John Deere logo on his hat, too--I'm hoping they WON'T sue me!!! (Please don't sue me!!! )
He was fun to make, but turned out a little bigger than I wanted him to be. I had to buy a second skein of yarn to finish his second arm and ears. When I write the pattern, I will want people to be able to make him out of just one skein of yarn.
BTW, the yarn I used was Vanna's Choice, mauve mist. I think it worked very nicely for monkey skin. So, if you want the pattern, stay tuned. I don't much like writing patterns, but if I want to have one to sell, then I have to do it.
I used "toe up sock" method for his body, and I'm not sure I want to use that for the pattern because a lot of people are unfamiliar with that method and it will take a lot of explaining which I don't really want to do. So that pattern may very well begin with the Monkey's socks and go up from there.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mr. John Deere Monkey is Almost Done

Mr. John Deere Monkey, the prototype for a pattern is almost done. He now has arms, as well as legs, and ears. When I write the pattern, I will need to make it a little smaller than this prototype, as I had to buy more yarn just to finish the second arm and the ears. I want to make one that will not require more than one skein of the yarn.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Six Free Balls of Pretty Purple Yarn, Gardening

At a rummage sale Saturday, there was a large purple sweater in the FREE box. I took it, w/o looking at it carefully, thinking if there was some small thing wrong with it, maybe I could fix it and donate it to the clothing bank where I volunteer. We are always short of clothing for large people, both men and women.

Anyway, on getting it home, I saw that it was badly faded (to a bright blue color) along the side--looks like it had been in a place where the sun shone through a window onto it. So it was no longer usable as a garment and I went to work unraveling it. I didn't try to cut out the damaged parts--I just rolled all into balls, and if the faded parts don't work in my project, I'll just cut the damaged parts out then--I mean, it just MIGHT work.

You just can't beat FREE yarn! And the landfill was saved from yet another piece of clothing.

Went out to my garden during a brief dry period today and killed many, many baby slugs. They had not partaken of the yeast bath I'd left them last night. I think maybe it's too early for them to want to have that....I guess. (Who knows?!) But I went after them with my 50-50 Ammonia/water mix--it dispatches them w/o killing your grass--use this, not salt! They also don't melt into a disgusting slimy mess either--they just dry up. They say for every slug you kill in April, you save yourself from 35 more in July! Considering that I LOVE animals, it pains me a little to have to kill them, but if I don't, I think they'd overrun my garden. I've seen them eat little sprouting plants right down to the ground. So I kill them to save my garden. Do slugs have souls?!

Friday, April 9, 2010


The grey body of the John Deere Monkey was NOT wool like I thought. And his socks WERE wool, because I made them to match what I thought his body was. SOOOOOOOOOOO, it was back to the drawing board to make a John Deere monkey that is all the same kind of yarn. He is coming along nicely and will go to my friend Karla's grandson. I will take the wool socks off the grey acrylic sock and make a wool monkey that I will try felting.

Sadly, Jessie Lee, the lady that made the (stray) grey sock I was using, and the brown sock from the earlier monkey, died last week. She lived a long life, taught Home Ec, and made many, many beautiful quilts. I didn't get to show her what I was doing with her stray socks. I was going to send her a picture of the one that's almost done. Darn! Some things you just shouldn't put off, you know?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

John Deere Monkey!

Tried to post this yesterday, but Blogger wasn't cooperating. Went to a forum and everyone was having problems, so guess it wasn't just me--you never know if it's YOUR computer or a problem with the site, until you check the forum. My computer is off the hook this time.

I decided this time, with this monkey from a stray sock, to take a little more time and unravel the sock to the point where I wanted the legs to begin, separate the stitches into two legs, and reknit the legs with gray for just a short time (not much left of it--used a big hunk for the previous monkey's sweater), and then add extra long socks so the legs wouldn't be TOOOO stubby.

Then decided, I would put REAL socks on this monkey's feet--rather, his feet ARE socks. That was fun! I just used some old green wool yarn I'd picked up at a garage/estate sale, and it looked like John Deere when I added the yellow stripes. Working on the second leg now--stay tuned.

Offloaded a few more things this morning to the ABATE garage sale that is coming up this month--it feels good to get some stray junk out of here; wish I was done with that, but, alas, there is more; they may get another box or two from me before the actual sale. Included were a few small electrical appliances (coffee maker, crock pot, hair curler, hair dryer) that were turned into the CB (clothing bank) as we don't give out those--liability issues; usually those go to Sally Ann, but ABATE is a good group and I want to support them.

I made a Creamy Pea Salad this morning for a funeral and just arranged for it to get a ride over to Hoquiam where the church is. Planted some tomato seeds I'd germinated from a tomato I put in my salad earlier this week; sometimes I do that and then forget them, finding a yucky moldy mess when I finally remember them. So this time, I left them where I'd see them and checked them every day. No telling what kind of tomatoes I'll get from these, because it was probably a hybrid; but I don't care--I've never met a tomato I didn't like.

It's still gray and cold today, but not as rainy. In last 24 hours we had .32 inches of rain; previous 24 to that, we had 1.33 inches. Eventually, the sun will shine again, and until then we just have to tough it out in the gloom! Such is spring in coastal WA; makes one glad to have a warm, cozy home!

STILL working on clearing the kitchen table, but my half is close to done; the other half has a computer on it--that's DH's task: to take it down to the CB. It was donated to them and why it is on OUR kitchen table, just sitting there, is beyond me. I think maybe I was supposed to reacquaint myself with this IMac, but I haven't felt the urge to do that--I figure it'll all come back to me, and it may as well get used to being at the CB. I haven't yet found software that will do what we want; not even sure I know what I'm looking for, either. Sadly, I seem to be one of the folks with the most knowledge of computers among our CB workers, and that is not saying much for us. I''m no software expert.