Thursday, September 27, 2007


I've been working a little at a time on getting Dominic's bedroom and bathroom cleaned. At this point, I have only to clean the bathtub and put a comforter on the bed. I found two comforters in one of the Rubermaid storage bins on wheels that Dom has some of his stuff in. I searched high and low for one of those comforters a couple of years ago; Dom had no idea where it was at that time. Alyssa was here for a couple of hours yesterday to use the Internet, and she helped me with some of the cleaning. I really appreciate that.

Of course there have been several loads of laundry. as well, - sheets, blankets, shower curtain, etc.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I have to be different

So, everyone else is hitting possums (no possum stew, Renee), I hit a shunk. Now my car reeks!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

And He's Off!

Here's Dominic yesterday morning at the bus station in Paducah, ticket in hand, ready to board the bus on his way to New Jersey. From Paducah, he went to Nashville, Knoxville, Richmond VA, Washington DC, and finally Philadelphia. His friend Bob met him there. He'll be working with Bob and living at Bob's mother-in-law's house. Dom has known Paula since he was in his mid-teens, so it's not like he's meeting someone new. I hope this all works out well for him.

So now I'm alone - most of the time anyway. I had only been home long enough to put away the groceries I bought on the way back, when Alyssa called and said she'd be here in a few minutes to drop Alexis off. Having Alexis spend Saturday night with me gives me incentive to drive thirty miles each way to church on Sunday morning. She really likes my church. I do, too, but by myself it's very easy to say that I don't feel like driving that far.

Does she look comfortable? When I got a new computer with Windows XP a year ago, her mom set us four 'user spaces' - Adele, Dominic, Alexis and Guest. In Alexis' space, she put links to three web sites she approves of, so Lexi can go to them when she's here, and play games, etc, designed for her age group.

The headband fell off, and she put it back on differently. Which brings me to head sizes. The T-top I knit for her a few weeks ago (there's a picture of it a few entries back) won't go over head. Today I pulled out a tape measure and measured her head - straight around just above her eyebrows. 22 inches!!!!! She's only six years old! My head is 23 inches, and I've always believed it was large. I took the tape measure along when I took her home, to measure her mom's head. Before I even had the tape completely around Alyssa's head, she said, "I have a big head; so does Alexis." Alyssa's is 22 1/2 inches. No wonder the top won't fit. I don't know whether to take the top halfway apart and re-knit it, or to just do a new one and put that one in the charity knitting box. A completely new one would probably be easier.

FYI: The roadkill of the month for September in far western Kentucky is possum.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My Loom Came Home

Last October, my church put on a small 'Renaissance Fair.' I took my loom and Kimberly, who usually weaves on a table loom, wove on it while I spun on a drop spindle. At the end of the day, I asked Kimberly if she would like to borrow the loom for a while. She said she would, so it has been at her house since then. A few weeks ago Shirley asked if she could use it to weave at The Homeplace 1850, a living history museum in Land Between the Lakes on September 15. LBL is the area between Lake Barkley, created by a dam on the Tennessee River, and Kentucky Lake, created by a dam on the Cumberland River. They have a big loom at The Homeplace, but it is in a naturally lighted cabin that is rather dark. Shirley wanted a portable loom that she could put on a porch and weave in the bright light. Last Monday morning, we went to Kimberly's house and put the loom into Shirley's van. Shirley brought it back Sunday afternoon, so now it's in its usual place.

My loom is a Kessenich folding loom that is about a meter square when set up, so it is pretty easy to move. I bought it about ten years ago. I don't know how old it is, but the nameplate on it has a zone number rather than a zip code. Zip codes were started in 1963. I was in Germany that summer, and wondered what those numbers were that Mother started putting on the end of her return address. I didn't find out until I returned to the US in late August.

This is some of the weaving that Shirley did on Saturday. Kimberly had left a bit of warp on the loom, and Shirley used that. It was threaded in a Rosepath pattern (I'm not much of a weaver, but they both knew what that is), so Shirley used that. She said she lost track of what she was doing several times - you know how it is when you start talking to people, answering their questions. Anyway, there are breaks in the pattern. She said there's still some of the green thread on the bobbin in the shuttle, so I can finish it off with a few picks of plain weave and cut off the piece.


Six-year-old Alexis spent Saturday night with me and we went to church on Sunday. I told her mother that I'd like to have her resume spending Saturday nights here frequently, partly because it gives me an incentive to drive the 30 miles to church. Like many kids that age, Lexi is missing her two front teeth. The bottom ones are about half-way in, but the top omes are completely missing. When she brushed her teeth Saturday night, I noticed that she was mainly brushing across the vacant space. I told her she was brushing where there were no teeth, and she said, "But there will be." I couldn't argue with that.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It Works!

Do you think it's bright enough! It kept me from going back to sleep after I awoke shortly after six yesterday, I wanted to sleep another hour or more, but got to thinking about making a holder for my large water bottle to attach to the lawn mower. As my friend Shirley said on Tuesday, thinking is not conducive to sleep. I dug out all the tiny balls of veriegated yarns left over from other projects (mine or someone else's) and crocheted the holder.

I had a slight disaster with it yesterday. You can see the extra knot in the cord, and my solution to the problem. The holder slid around a lot with the vibrations and movement of the mower and got caught in the space between the two sections of the handle. It continued to swing, of course, and the cord broke. I've now tied a dishcloth there to keep the bottle holder from going into that space. The towel (actually 1/4 of an old bath towel) on the other side is for wiping my hands after I clean out the discharge space when it gets clogged. I can now bend down far enough to do that without pain in my hip. Another piece of that towel is around my neck while I'm mowing to wipe my sweaty brow.


Last night Dominic noticed that my light was still on about 11 o'clock, so he came back to check on me. This is what he found. I had gone to sleep reading. The book is On, Off by Colleen McCullough. I've been reading a lot of mysteries recently, but of what I call the fluff variety - quick, easy reads that you don't have to think about, with 'girl sleuths' who cook or knit or have herb shops. The books include recipes or knitting patterns.

On, Off is NOT fluff. Colleen McCullough is a wonderful writer. I was not aware that she had written any mysteries until I saw this on the library shelf. One of my favorite books (I've read it at least three times) is her The Ladies of Missalonghi. It's short - under 200 pages - and delightful.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I'm Out of My Gourd

Of course my children (and perhaps my siblings) would probably say I always have been.

The Mayfield/Graves County Art Guild is hosting All About Gourds, its sixth annual juried exhibit of gourd art, with entries from gourd artists from around the country, now through the end of October. I was there today for the weekly fiberarts group, and took a few pictures of works by local people that I could ask permission to put their work on my blog. Ronn and Fred happened to be in the building, which made it very easy to ask them, and I figured Fred could speak for his wife.
In July, Margaret Merida brought a box of these squares and circles of gourd to one of the Tuesday morning fiber-art groups, and sat there sanding them with a spongy sanding block. She wasn't sure just how she would make something wearable with them, but that was her intention. She makes wonderful vests and jackets using quilting techniques, and dyeing much of the fabric herself, so a vest was a natural project for the gourd pieces. I wish I could have gotten a picture of the lining - it's a beautiful fabric.
Margaret taught art in a high school in Louisville for years, and retired to Graves County several years ago. Her husband Fred had an art gallery in Louisville, and is very knowledgable about art. He also is very creative. Last year he had a full size replica of their dog (I forget what breed it is, but it's one of the big ones) made of gourds in the All About Gourds show.
Here are two of his entries this year. This woman is full size. The taller giraffe is Fred's, while the shorter one is by Ronn Moyers, who has a BA in art from Murray State University and is very active in the Art Guild. He was there today helping prepare for the Gourd Patch Festival which will be held on Saturday.
This is the third year for the festival. There will be people demonstrating various crafts, including wheel-thrown pottery, wood carving and gourd crafts. Last year I demonstrated spinning, but I don't think I feel like doing it again this year. There'll also be activities for children, live entertainment, food and other vendors, etc.
This is what I've been working on for the last several days. Nice small, easy projects using up leftover yarn from my projects or someone else's. Each headband/earwarmer takes about two hours and uses less than an ounce and a half of yarn. They are all acrylic; I plan to donate them to the Paducah Cooperative Ministries for the people they serve at their homeless shelter or otherwise.
I'm slowly decreasing the stash - about 32.5 pounds so far this year.
Yesterday was my monthly (actually every four weeks) visit to the oncologist. Still responding well to the treatment. My blood is about the right consistancy, so I'm to continue the Coumadin at the current dosage, and don't need to have it tested again until I go there for my regular visit on October 8.
It is now 14 weeks since my hip replacement. I'm still walking slower than I did a few years ago, but I'm improving. I can also bend a little farther without discomfort - not all the way down to the floor, but close. I managed to cut the nails on the right foot yesterday (I did the left one, the easy one, a few days ago), so I was able to wear socks and loafers today - my feet were chilly this morning in sandals.
We've had some rain most days for the last week, so the grass has resumed growing. I hear my neighbor out in her yard now mowing, and it sounds like the guy across the road is baling hay in his mini-meadow there. The temperature has started dropping, and it's getting dark a lot earlier than it did in high summer. I have the A/C off and the windows open. I hope I can keep it that way for the next several weeks.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Gone to the dogs

Or rather, the dog keeps coming to us. It belongs to one of the neighbors, but in the last few days it has spent a good bit of time on our porch. It also greeted me when I drove up on Tuesday. It looks really comfortable in that chair, doesn't it? Didn't even lift its head when I went out the door with the camera.

We've been having rain part of each day for the last four or five days, so the grass is growing again. I guess we need to take the gas can to the station and fill it up. Of course it's too wet now to mow, but after we have a day without rain, we'll have to start mowing again.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


We're finally getting some rain! Monday afternoon we had a terrific storm here in Milburn, but in Mayfield, 15 miles east, they had only black clouds and a few drops. The wind and the deluge started simultaneously, so I didn't have a chance to lash the porch swing to the post. I'm always afraid it will hit the window when it is blown that hard, but so far it hasn't. The storm lasted almost 15 minutes. One of the lightweight, resin chairs got blown off the front porch. Everything on the back porch is too heavy to move except in hurricane- or tornado-force winds. It's also a little more protected than the front.

When I left yesterday morning to go to Mayfield, I noticed that the wind had done a lot of damage to my neighbor's patio furniture. Several of the chairs were scattered up to 15-20 feet from where they had been, and the umbrella was up-side-down on the ground. Worst of all, the table had been moved and the glass top shattered. That's going to be very hard to get out of the grass.

There was a little more rain yesterday, and it looks like we may get some today as well. I guess the grass will start growing again, and I'll have to mow. I've enjoyed the two-month break from that task.

Monday, September 3, 2007

September - Almost Autumn


I finished the socks for Lexi, and made a smaller pair for Rose, who will be two in late October. She'll have to grow into them, but that's OK.

Yesterday I knit a hat out of some self-striping sock yarn, and then knit a five-stitch I-cord belt with what was left of the ball of yarn. It is too short for an adult, but Lexi might use it. If not I'll find some use for it as a rope.


Dominic burned the paper trash on Saturday. You can see how dry the grass is behind the burn barrel. We had a brief shower yesterday while we were eating supper. And I do mean brief - about two minutes. Not enough to make a difference to anything.

After burning the paper, I started cutting the tent caterpillars out of the black walnut tree and burning them. Of course some of them are too high for me to reach, but at least I decreased the number somewhat. The pecan tree next door has a lot of them as well, and they're all too high for anyone to reach..

Some of the walnuts have dropped already, but they're small ones - not full-grown. I raked them out of the path from the house to the shed so they won't mess me up when I'm walking that way. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the nuts this year. I still have at least half a bushel from two years ago (it only dears every other year) that I haven't cracked.

I took this picture on Saturday, too. Wasn't that sky beautiful?!. The town water tower is beside the back corner of my lot. My daughter doesn't like that - she's afraid it's going to fall on me.

We had the windows open for several hours on Saturday, for the first time in a couple of months. It was really very nice, pleasant temperature, good breeze, but by mid-afternoon, it got a bit uncomfortable, so we closed the windows and turned the A/C back on. It's good to air the place out every so often.