Fly Over

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I live in a town with a National Guard base. It’s the Air National Guard and when they fly, they fly. They fly re-fueling planes out of Bangor and other large aircraft too, I think. I only know that when they rev up their engines for take-off, it is loud. And I’m miles away from the airport. They must be training this week. Last night, late, a huge plane revved up and took off. I swear the glass in my windows rattled.

Today some big jet of some kind, which could have been commercial, went flying over my house. It sounded like the roar of doom. I don’t know if it was a military plane or just had a differing flight path than normal. When we looked at houses, we stayed away from those in the direct path into the airport. At one place we were looking, I  was standing outside (I didn’t like the house at all but my husband was checking it all out) and a passenger jet from overseas came in for a landing. I could have shaken hands with the people on board, I swear. There was no way I was living there.

Other than listening to large planes land and take off, I’ve been rolling yarn into a ball. I don’t have a ball winder and a swift, nor am I liable to get them. I have a chair and my hands. It works out but just takes me longer. I’m really good at winding balls of yarn now. I wound one ball this morning and poof that’s it for me. I find I’m in the middle of spring fever and I need something new to get stuck into. But who can settle? Not me.

We’re melting like crazy here – I’m so pleased because now I’m not freezing to death inside. Since it’s warm out, my heat pump is putting all sorts of nice warm air into the house. And I’m loving it because it’s so much cheaper than oil. Let the season of mud begin.

Spring cleaning may have to happen, but let’s face it – it isn’t the most fun thing to do when you’re antsy. I found years ago that I clean really well when I’m pissed. Well, shoot. I’m not pissed anymore ……. so the interest in cleaning is like nah. I’ll have to think of something that really pissed me off so I can get in the mood. I can handle that – piece of cake.

I have some knitting books coming my way and I can’t wait to read them. And look at the pictures! And think about whether or not I’m ready to tackle something different. I think I can do stranded color work and these books will give me the directions. Plus they’re full of projects that won’t take forever and won’t cost an arm and a leg. Since I don’t have spare arms and legs ………… And I need to decide if I’m going to get a different needle for my sweater or if I’m going to knit it on the circular needles  I have. I have been spoiled by Signature Needle Arts needles and I use them all the time for socks. I have two circular needles by the company and they make knitting so much easier. Someone said it’s like  knitting with a piece of jewelry – so true!

Ok times up. Time to get back to these gorgeous socks –

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We All Like It

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This yarn is rarer than um, something I can’t think of right off the top of my head.  Rare as heck actually. This is Malabrigo’s new Mechita yarn – a gorgeous single ply in unbelievably bold colors. This color is called Diana. I don’t care what its name is, I want it. All of my normal suppliers have Mechita. None of them have it in this color. I want this color. I wanted this yarn the moment I heard it was coming out …… all of  my mittens are knit in Malabrigo and I did a sweater in Malabrigo worsted over the winter. It seems I’m not going to get this yarn. Nobody has it anymore. That color – among a few other contenders – is gone. Maybe. There are thousands of places to look …… and I will look at them all.

Do I want this color because I love it or because I can’t get any? I’m contrary that way. I must have been hell to live with (I can hear my husband laughing from the other side right now saying “MUST?”) My son doesn’t seem to think so,  but then again we don’t get on each other’s nerves. Being a lot alike helps I think. Or a lot non-alike. One or the other.

Since Friday, I have been searching for some store, any store, any website anywhere that had this in stock so I could buy it. I just can’t imagine living without it. I have the perfect cardigan pattern that I am willing to try if I can just get my hands on this stuff. And I would rather knit socks the rest of my life than make a sweater. Sweaters take a long time.

Luckily, I am on an austerity program. I can sit here and pat myself on the back that I can’t find this yarn because I’m being really good. I can’t afford to be anything else. But I do have to have stuff to do …….. so hard to rationalize my way into spending money when I just keep thinking “groceries” “oil”, etc. I did promise myself that next month no yarn will enter the house. I have plenty of sock yarn and if I run out (not possible in a month) I can just wait until May to make more socks.

Speaking of socks, I found myself knitting green socks on St. Patrick’s Day. One of them was done, one is on the needles …… and how pretty is this?

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It is greener in person, but there are areas of blue-green and brownish green. This is new sock yarn for me, Madelinetosh Sock and I love it. I think this is going to be a great alternative to Koigu, which I also love but the skeins are small in yardage. I’m wearing my Koigu socks now and my feet are warm ……… not an easy thing to accomplish in Maine, where it is 19 degrees right now and the wind is blowing a gale.

We’ve had some kind of winter weather since the weekend and it keeps on coming. We usually (always) get a storm for St. Patrick’s Day and this year was no exception. We’ve gotten so used to snow that a storm with 4 to 6 inches doesn’t even leave an impression. I will be glad though to see green grass, to go outside without boots on and without a coat. I want spring. Now.

While I’m waiting for spring, I’m going to look for that yarn. Hard.

Mega Dirty Dishes Supper Tonight

photo credit food network.com
photo credit food network.com

Here’s the link to the recipe http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lemon-fusilli-with-arugula-recipe.html. It does dirty quite a few dishes ………

I cannot even describe in just words how luscious this is. I even leave out the arugula and the tomatoes – we just do it with broccoli. It has garlic, heavy cream (I do half and half because I just have to hold the line somewhere), parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice and tons of pepper. We love this. We don’t make this super often, but when we do WE EAT IT.

With all the lemon zest and lemon juice, this pasta dish tastes like spring. And since it FEELS like spring out there – I’m eating things that taste like spring!

48

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It’s going to be 48 degrees tomorrow. All of this “stuff” (I wanted to put in a rude word here) will start running down my driveway to the street. A lot of it will end up in my basement. I don’t feel so bad though, because a lot of it will end up in everyone’s basement. I am not alone.

This is the time of year when I start to feel “antsy”. Crawly, get me out of here, please give me something different to do antsy. I clean obsessively for about 5 minutes because I hate house cleaning. I do want it done though and I’m it in the house cleaning lottery.

It’s way too early to plan the garden for this summer – it will only make me crazy picking out plants and dreaming about sunshine and green things. Green things are much nicer than white things. I’m not going to go shopping either, although I could – I have promised myself that I will never be out of money again – not ever. Imagine Scarlett in the scene from Gone With the Wind as she digs up that lonely carrot – screaming about how she will never be in that position again – well, that’s me. So I’m not going to go out and look for kitschy stuff for the house ………… I’m going to stay here and be good and be bored. Good and bored.

I have another sock on the needles …….. my sock knitting time is being cut back by the lure of sunshine and warm temperatures. My feet are currently ensconced in beautiful Koigu socks that feel so comfortable it’s like wearing air. There just isn’t enough yardage in a skein of Koigu for me though. I had to add toes in a different yarn. If I absolutely must have Koigu, I will have to buy a solid to go with it to make heels and toes. I cannot spend $42 for a pair of socks which is what 3 skeins of Koigu would be. No. Sock knitting, like everything else, will not break my budget. I do think I have knitter’s elbow though …… I’m thinking about learning scooping instead of doing throwing. That might help. And my Signature needles are SO sharp I have a little hole in my finger.  It doesn’t feel good. I try not to hit it again every time I move a stitch from one needle to the other ………

I could bake. That’s possible. Maybe a couple of loaves of bread would be a good idea. Or some pita which are great with salads and the homemade kind makes those in plastic at the store taste like discs of sand. That might happen ………

 

Lunch (with plenty left over)

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I don’t make this as often as I could. It’s Excellent Apple Salad from the Tassajara Cookbook. The only thing I do differently is leave out the mint. I never have any and I don’t miss it.

This is a wonderful bowl of healthiness with apples (I used two Ruby Frost, a new variety for me and one Honey Crisp), celery, chopped walnuts, dried cherries in a dressing of lemon juice, honey and a teensy bit of apple cider vinegar. Add a pinch or two of salt and you have lunch ……

One Done, One To Go

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Taking a photo at night doesn’t give you the best idea of what this sock looks like. It’s much darker than in the picture, but I had to kill the flash and turn on the overhead light just to get a photo that wasn’t washed out pink. My photo-editing software is out of commission for a bit.

You can tell this is one big sock. They’re for my son – somehow I’ve gotten into the habit of one for him, one for me, one for him, etc. I don’t know how I fell into that. I gave him a pair and all he could do was rave about them and now he wants no other socks but ones I make.

Today, being the day of big relief, I got my phone live again. It has been pure torture living without my iPhone. It just didn’t make sense no more than what I actually use it. And it helped keep the wolf at bay while the government decided I was alive. As I said, whew.

I have one more red sock to knit ……. and I understand second sock syndrome a lot. It isn’t that I don’t want to finish a pair, it’s just that I want to see how the next yarn is going to look … so I’ll rush that second red sock out and get on to my next pair …….

For you sock knitters, this is the Regia Colormania in the color way Fiesta. I saw it in the color way Night on Susan B. Anderson’s blog and had to have it. When I found the red – I had to have that too.

For my son I just knit the sock with the same pattern only on a US 1.5 instead of a 1. That gives him all the room he needs. I’ve only had one pair of socks be too big for him and I think that was the yarn. And I love both my Signature Needle Arts sock needles and the Knitter’s Pride sock needle set I received for Christmas. Both brands of needles are great although I do usually reach for my Signature needles first.

I’m sitting here in my nice, warm house, getting ready to put a few more inches on sock number two. And then I get to decide on my next pair.

Whew

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10 weeks. That’s all it took. I now can pay bills, buy food, order oil – live. I didn’t think I was going to survive that 10 weeks. I was alternatively scared and pissed. Now I’m so relieved I have no bones in my body. Whew.

Step Away From The Sock …………

 

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The socks are making me tired. So far, since mid-December, I have knit 10 complete pairs of socks – I think. It could be more …… and I’ve made a set of mittens for the head snow remover. One of those mittens is odd because I forgot part of the pattern :) in my haste to get them finished. I somehow skipped the line that said “knit until the thumb is 1.5 to 2 inches long and went straight to decreasing. So one of those mittens has a super short thumb. I plan to fix this soon ……. I have another skein of the mitten yarn and I will just knit another one RIGHT this time.

On other fronts, besides being bored to absolute tears with socks and general “waiting” for stuff to happen, I am getting slightly completely hysterical. You see, once your spouse dies, Social Security cuts off his income immediately. In order to replace his income with what I will receive as his widow, I had to wait 30 days from the date of his death to get an appointment just to apply for those benefits. At that time I was told I would hear something within 30 days. Well, it’s been 36 days and I’m freaking out. We’ve done well keeping as many bills paid as we can and having money for food, etc., but this month has been cold and we’re almost out of oil which I can’t buy until Tuesday. I sit and pray that the tank won’t run completely dry and shut down the boiler. Then I will have to have a technician come out to start it again and that will probably be expensive, not to mention the pipes could freeze if it stops dead.

I spoke with the gentleman who submitted my claim for me today and there is a little hope. The department that has it now actually put a note in the file that it was being forwarded for approval and payment. Thank. God. He’s also going to send a high-priority message to them if nothing is done by Tuesday.  I do get a small pension from my husband’s former employer on Monday but that won’t be quite enough for 100 gallons of oil. I hope they will deliver 50. We’ll see.

So all in all, going from grief to extreme fear all in three months has kept me from writing. I tend to not post when I’m not in the best of moods – after all, who needs it? Everyone has problems and nobody needs to hear about someone else’s! But anyway thanks for listening to this group …….. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I will only have to face 2 months without income and not 3.

If only snow were money, I’d be rich. We’ve had over 100 inches so far this winter and that’s a record. Naturally 7 years after I move here there would be a record snowfall. This is almost enough for me to brave the 10 feet long snakes in the south – no, it isn’t. I’ll stay here ……..

Ah-yuh That’s Enough

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I can absolutely and with certainty say that I have had enough winter. We have piles of winter sitting on the sides of the roads. I have huge piles of winter in my driveway. The temperature hasn’t been over 12 degrees in so long I wouldn’t know how to act if it warmed up to 13.

Today, after having been in the house for what seems like a month, I decided to get out. Well, the lack of cigarettes decided me to get out. First, I had to put the tags on my license plates. Thankfully I remembered that because I expired the last day of January. The policeman would not have understood.

The wind chill was around -20. The instructions said “If it is cold out, warm the tags in your hand before peeling them from the sheet.” Ha. Well, since my hands were blocks of ice INSIDE my gloves, I had to do some wicked rubbing on those blasted tags. They’re on the car now. Until next February when I will go through the same process. Paying, rubbing, sticking ……..

I then had to clean off the car. This was after walking in a 12″ wide path from my back steps out to said car. Check, car cleaned off. The back of the driveway was cleared earlier by my son. If only he’d clear the front part more? No, beggars cannot be bossy. So I say nothing.

Everything was okay until I had to turn left at the squirrely little turn from Center Street onto Broadway. I started to slide. Whoops. I put the transmission in 3. Whew. I didn’t hit anything. The roads are not cleaned off. Well, they are cleaned off but the snow has just been packed down like an ice rink would be. Driving is a challenge. I salute whoever invented 4WD.

I get to the store. I get what we need. I can’t find my keys. After 10 minutes of panic, I find them in the wrong place. We’re good. Back home. Somebody is tailgating me on Center. I slow down so he can squirm more. I feel powerful making him squirm. Sigh. Such a good feeling.

I pull back into the driveway which I can barely see over the 7 foot drifts the City has placed at the curb. I carry in one small bag and tell my son that there’s more in the car. I’ve been home now for 8 hours and I’m still tired.

I look at the weather forecast. Seems between now and Friday we’re going to get 10 more inches of snow. That’ll look good on top of the 4+ feet we already have.

If I can take it, we’re out to the store tomorrow. Unless I decide we can eat what we have and just put up with it. Who knows ……… survival in the great white north …………