Sunday, July 27, 2008

Knitting, Books, etc

I left the house before 7:30 yesterday morning and drove to Paducah. I joined a few others of the Ewe-nique Knitters at the Market Square Coffee shop and knitted, drank coffee and talked. I left there about 9:30 and went to the Paducah Library's semi-annual used book sale. I filled a large paper grocery bag with books and only had to pay $2. I was just scanning the titles and authors, and dropping books into the bag if they sounded interesting in some way. You know - "Oh, Pearl Buck - I haven't read anything by her for years." Same with Catherine Cookson. "Ah, The Far Pavilions - I'd like to read that again." Then there's a Mrs 'Arris book by Paul Gallico which should be fun, and one that has a piece of knitting on the needles on the front - I thought that was a good enough reason to drop it in the bag. When I got home and took them out of the bag, I discovered that I had 18 books for me and three for Lexi. That should keep me in reading material for a few months.

After that I went to the drug store to get a refill on my Coumadin, then to Hobby Lobby for yarn for a special project. That was the first time I bought yarn (except two or three balls of sock yarn) for over a year and a half.

From there to J C Penney. They were busy! I stood and watched Alyssa working for a while. When she got home, she said that it never did slow down. I bought some capris - only I tend to call them pedal pushers. I guess that dates me, doesn't it? Alyssa's been asking me what size I wear, because sometimes they have things marked waaaaay down. I've told her I didn't know, because I hadn't bought any clothes for six or eight years and I've lost about 25 pounds since then. Now that I've tried some things on, she'll know what size to look for.

By that time, it was about noon and I was tired and just wanted to get home and sit down to knit.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bottle Lady

Wednesday, Lexi and I drove down to the WalMart in Funton KY (South Fulton is in TN) to buy cat litter. That store is about three miles farther than the one in Mayfield, but I like the drive. On the way down we counted bridges; there are ten of them. On the way back, we counted graveyards; there are five, most of them either beside or across from churches.

We shared a Pepsi on the way home, and this is what Lexi did with the bottle and a few craft supplies. What looks sort of like legs and feet on the back picture is actually part of the label that wouldn't come off.

She's with her daddy now for the last week of summer vacation - school starts the first week of August. Then she'll be back to every other weekend with him.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I did a bit of Knitting In Public yesterday. Monday afternoon, when Alyssa returned to work from her lunch break, she heard a POP and liquid started leaking under her car. She left it in the parking lot overnight and had her boyfriend fetch her home. She had yesterday off, so we went up there in the afternoon and called AAA. She and Lexi went into the store, while I waited outside for the towtruck. I decided I might as well be comfortable - it was too hot to sit in the car. I took one of the camp chairs I carry in the trunk and my knitting and sat in the shade of a tree beside the building. There was a pleasant breeze and I was quite comfortable. I was almost disappointed that the truck came so quickly.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Three More Blankets

These are tha latest three baby blankets I've completed. The one on the left is a simple alternating mitered square one in pale green and off-white. At least off-white is what the ball band called it, but I call it palest yellow. I like it with the pale green though.

The middle one is also mitered squares, but very small ones. I think I managed to do random colors in this one - random always gives me problems. Lexi keeps on calling it a quilt, even though I've told her that it is not, and have tried to explain what a quilt is. That reminds me of an incident a few years ago. My boss at the Senior Center needed a baby gift for friends of one of her sons. One of the Center regulars said she had some baby quilts for sale, so she'd bring a few in for Pam to choose from. I don't think Pam has ever done any quilting, but she certainly knows what a quilt is and what isn't a quilt. She was dismayed when the 'quilts' the lady brought in were crocheted blankets - Pam could have done them herself. She did buy one, but she wasn't really happy about it.

The third one is the one I'm going to enter in the Community
Exhibit at the Mayfield Art Quild. That's the reason for the hanging sleeve on the back of it. When I showed it to Dana and Paula at the Guild on Thursday, they said I need to name it and they suggested a price way more than I had thought of. One of them said, "Most people can't do what you do." Well, yeah, most people don't even knit, much less design their own projects. I do think that anyone beyond a rank beginner knitter who can't figure out the seed-stitch background - cast on an uneven number of stitches and work knit 1, purl 1 until the piece is the desired length - is pretty dumb. Am I being too acerbic? I have to bite my tongue a lot, and refrain from replying to posts on the knitting and crocheting lists I follow.

The fish on the front are another matter. I did sort of follow a chart I found in a book by Edina Ronay, a British actress/knitwear designer for the yellow and orange one, but the others are all my make-it-up-as-you-go designs.

Lexi's favorite is the pink starfish. Not surprising. As a typical seven-year-old girl, her favorite color is pink, and her middle name is Starr. I think my favorite is the red and orange one - maybe the shape is similar to mine, but I also like the blue and turquoise ray fish - especially the tail.

Now we need to decide on a name for the piece - and a price. Lexi thinks it should be 'Fish Sticks' but I think 'Coral Reef' would be better. I'm open to suggestions

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Recycling walkers

What do you do if you come into possession of old, non-folding walkers? Here are a few suggestions. A rack for a water hose. This way I don't have to carry the hose from the faucet which is near the northeast corner of the shed to the tomatoes which are near the southwest corner of the shed. I've run it along the north side of the shed, behind the hosta and across the back of the shed, then wrapped it in a figure eight around the walker. It's only about another twenty feet from here to the tomatoes.

And here is the tomato garden, with marigolds. You can see one of the walkers being used as a tomato cage. The other two plants are in genuine tomato cages. None of my tomatoes have ripened yet, but my neighbor gave Lexi some from his garden yesterday to give to me. I think we'll have BLT's for lunch (Lexi says she'll just have a BT - she doesn't like lettuce). I didn't get my plants in as early as the neighbors did.

And another use: to mark baby trees so my legally-blind neighbors don't destroy them when they mow my yard. Robbie suffered a brain injury in a motorcycle accident three years ago, which left his vision extremely impaired among other things, but he likes to use his riding lawnmower, and often mows some of my yard. The first time he did it last year, he did cut down one of my baby trees, which I had not protected with a walker. That tree has come back and is now doing very well. I still have a walker around the smallest, thinnest of the trees. And there is a tomato cage around the one you see in the background. I should pull that one up (the cage, not the tree), but I need to wait now until we get some rain to soften the ground around it.

Note the differences in the walker designs. This one would not work well for hanging the hose on.

In the front yard, I have one walker by my crepe myrtle, which is blooming now. Unfortunately, I cannot see it from the house because the tree which blew down in February is still lying between it and the house. I need to start cutting that tree up, branch by branch, and dragging it to the burn barrel, but I'll probably wait until October when it gets cooler. I put the walker by the crepe myrtle a few weeks ago when Melissa asked if they could mow the front yard for me, too, and asked if there was anything there that I needed to protect. Actually, the bush is large enough that I think I didn't need to put the walker there.

Melissa's poor vision is the result of an inoperable brain tumer. She's at her parent's farm near Frankfort this week, and is seeing her doctor in Lexington. They're afraid the tumer has grown.

Here are a couple more pictures of my yard. First my herb garden from another vantage point, showing the south end of the house. The double window is over the kitchen sink. It's great for look out of when washing dishes. (There's a dishwasher here, but I don't like dishwashers.) There was euonymus planted under this window when I moved in that was blocking the light and the view. I trimmed it back, but within weeks it was back up in front of the window, so I got rid of it completely. I want to transfer some of the daylilies there, but haven't gotten around to doing it yet. The two small windows on either side of the chimeny are in the living room. The fireplace was at one time a working one, but now has gas logs in it. However, the valve in the gas line has a problem, so I can't use the logs. That really doesn't bother me.

And in front of the house, there is plenty of pennyroyal and goldenrod.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Not Quite Boring

When Dr B first came into the exam room this morning, I told her about writing that the visits were getting rather boring, and that one of my sisters (maybe both of them) said she hoped they remained that way. Dr B agreed that boring is good. Then she looked at the results of last month bloodwork and said, "Be careful what you wish for; God will give it to you."

My kappa lightchains number in April was 9, which is good. In May it was 13 - up a little but still good. In June it was 39 - not good. She kept the treatment the same, but if it is still up when they do the tests on today's blood, there will be changes. She will order x-rays of my back and take bone marrow for biopsy, then determine how to proceed. It may mean an IV drug twice a week for two weeks then a week off, etc. I wasn't wishing for excitement! I agree that boring is good.


I'm almost finished with another baby blanket. I decided last night that I want to enter it in the annual community show at the Mayfield Art Guild next month, so I took it with me today and picked up stitches along the top to knit a 'sleeve' for them to hang it with (I can easily unravel the sleeve after tha show). Actually I want to do a 'show and tell' for the nurses in the treatment room, but this made it less obvious that I was doing that. I'll take a picture when I sew the last fish (a starfish) on and post it here. I had to go from Paducah to Mayfield to the bank, so I stopped at the Art Guild to find out how big I need to make the 'sleeve.'

After filling the gas tank ($47) and making a bank deposit, I went to Wal-Mart. I needed some things from the pharmacy department and from the grocery department. I went to pharmacy first and then went to the back of the store to get the cold groceries first. They have taken out all of the fabric and most of the yarn. The remaining yarn is not discounted, so I didn't buy any. They've also removed the bed and bath linens. I can't believe they're getting rid of that, so maybe they've just taken it out to remodel. I'll check next time I go there.

I splurged on some Starbucks Java Chip ice cream - rewarding myself for losing 2.7 pounds in the last month. The checker commented that her husband would kill her if she spent that much on ice cream (that's one of the advantages of not being married). I love coffee ice cream and it is very hard to find around here. On the east coast, all the stores carry it. I think this Wal-Mart may have some by Bryers, but I never look at the Bryers, because I don't like many of their products.

I need to change clothes and wash dishes. Alyssa just called and said she was still int the store (J C Penney in Paducah). She was supposed to get off at four and it is now 5:30. She said she had called Lexi and told her not to eat at Nana's, because she's going to make taco salads when she gets here. We'll be eating a bit late, that's all.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Garden

This is the one quadrant of my herb garden that has herbs in it so far. The thyme on the right and garlic chives in the middle have been there for about three years. The cilantro in the back, which is pretty much finished, reseeds itself each year. I also set out parsley (I think it has died), lavender, camomile, oregano and stevia this year. In the pots, the basil and rosemary are doing well. I thought I had killed the rosemary last year by not watering it enough, but it's looking great this year. In another place I also have regular chives in a large pot. The chives and rosemary have been in those pots for about four years. The marigold plant is one Lexi brought home from school for Alyssa for Mother's Day.

In the background, you can see the yellow patch in the lawn. That was caused by the solar cover for the pool. Someone removed the cover from the pool one night and also let a lot of water out of the pool - over the side. When Alyssa and I picked up the cover we had to let a good bit of water run off it. Then I spread it out on the grass to dry. It was there no more than five hours, but it sure browned-out the grass.

If I sit in the right chair on the back porch, I can look across the herb garden and a section of lawn and see my day lilies, which were here before I was. The flowering crab apple tree doesn't look very healthy, does it. The leaves are supposed to be sort of rusty looking, but it seems to have lost a lot of them. Lexi calls this her climbing tree, because it's the only one she can climb a little. All of the others that are big enough to climb do not have branches low enough for her to reach yet.
I was sitting on the back porch yesterday and noticed that the cypress vine has started climbing up a table leg. It's a plant I want in some places, like on the fence and climbing the rough 'trellis' I made for it out of tree limbs and twine, but it self-sows so readily that I have to keep pulling it from the rocks between the porch and garden and in the paths of the garden. Some people call it hummingbird vine, and the hummingbirds do like it. It has small red flowers in the shape that hummingbirds like. When it fills the fence and blooms, it's really quite pretty.
As I was sitting out there, I was also watching the clouds. It looked like we were really going to get a lot of rain, but I think it was only about a quarter inch.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dominic just phoned to say that I needed to post here again. He finds my mentions of Shirley depressing. He knew her, too.

I didn't realize it had been a week and a half since I posted. Most of that time I have been alone in the house. Alexis has been with her father's family, and Alyssa has spent more time with her boyfriend than here. Several days ago I turned off the A/C and opened the windows. I'll need to close windows and turn on the A/C when Lexi and Alyssa come home. With several ceiling fans working, it has been comfortably warm for me. It's summer - it's supposed to be hot!

I've done some mowing, and last evening, after the sun disappeared behind the black locust trees, I weeded the herb garden. I discovered that one of my many walkers, several of which are used like tomato cages, is helpful in getting up and down for weeding. I need to buy a scuffle hoe so I don't have to get dwon on hands and knees.

Mostly, I've been reading and knitting. I'm still working on baby blankets. I finished one this morning in pale green and the yellowest off-white I've ever seen. I couldn't believe Caron called that color off-white - it should be called palest yellow, in my opinion. I have two other blankets on the needles. I think when I finish them, I need to switch to something else.

My reading has been knitting and gardening books