Wednesday, September 21, 2011

these are a few of my favorite things...

I have been productive this past week, in spite of the fact that P has been home, and we've spent more than a little time just goofing off doing little in the way of productive activity. Eating out, watching silly tv, grilling meat, walking the dogs...

On Ravelry, I have been taking part in a KAL of knitted objects inspired bythe book series "A Song of Ice and Fire" " called The Knits' Watch. I knitted the Peaks Island Hood, re-naming it the Green Dreams Hood. I'm very pleased, though you wouldn't know it from this silly, overly serious photo of me. But dang, the ultra alpaca in my favorite shade of dark green is soft! The tea-dyed antler buttons are the perfect crowning touch. This is a knit I will wear and love.
Also made for the Knits' Watch, because I was trying for Ranger status, was the Riverrun Shawl, which is actually the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl, for those interested. This is knat from my handspun, about 350 yards of corriedale, from Maisy Day Handspun, overspun and then overplied, so not a very soft knit, but pretty. I edged it in my handspun shetland, because I ran out of yarn a bit early. I wish it were bigger. I wish it were softer. That said, I am enormously pleased to be knitting my own yarn!
Tonight I made sushi. I had some Nova lox in the fridge that needed eating, and some cutiecumber, avocado, green beans and carrots on hand, plus some old nori sheets, so I decided to whip up a few mixed up rolls to munch on. A quickie omelet fried up to add more protein and we're in business. Ugly rolls, but I can't complain. Sushi is a rare treat around here, after several years of eating it as a go-to snack food in Hawaii.

I spent the afternoon at the vet's office with Miss Ella, whose right back leg went out this afternoon. I feared neurological problems as it was jerking and she was unable to walk, but it turned out she had a very deep, infected cut between 2 toes on that paw, which she'd helped along by licking it into a hot spot. A thorough irrigation, a plethora of antibiotics, pain meds and an Elizabethan collar later, and she should be on the mend. My poor good girl... she is not happy, but I am relieved.

I am off to knit with my knittahs, this evening.

Monday, September 05, 2011

slow progress...

...on all fronts. Knee is getting more bendy, by a few degrees each week. I'm more active and able to do things, now, but there are fresh accompanying aches and pains. I have gone, in the space of about 3 weeks, from 60 degrees of bend to about 105. I can now drive a stick shift car again, and make a full revolution on the physical therapist's bicycle, though I have yet to dare to get on my own bike for an actual ride. Sleeping comfortably is still the hardest thing to do, as everything I do with the knee in bed seems to make it hurt. I am off all pain meds, though, as I wanted to hoard a few for emergencies.

In other news, our crazy backyard reclamation project trundles forward, with boulders, gravel and mulch in varying states of application:
(click to biggify the photo) We took out 7 trees, which provided a little more light, and have designed a lawn-to-be for some shade tolerant grass to grow. That's the dark composted area, which will be tilled and planted next week. Did some grading to prevent some of the dramatic erosion that's been happening on the property since we tore out the half-acre of ivy 2 years ago. The gray gravelly area will be the site of the firepit - probably just a bowl or barrel to contain said flames. We splurged and bought some boulders from Tennessee to shore up some of the erosion and define the firepit further. And most importantly, just because I like rocks and wanted them around. The boulders are definitely my favorite part of the project; each has its own face and personality; some have lichens, some have mosses on them. Our shed is in, and waiting for all the tilling and dustmaking to die down so it can get its fresh coat of paint - "Tea Leaves Green" exterior latex, by Valspar. I will probably paint (read this as "have painted" as I am not a house painter) the house this color next summer, as well. The current plan is to renovate and beautify, and probably use this place as a rental house, til the market improves or until P retires and we move back to the ATL. It feels a little mixed, to be doing work on a place that I love and have loved living in, for someone else to occupy, but the yard HAD to be improved; it was eroding away to weeds and mud, and I am having fun with it. Moving to the DC area will be a happy thing, whenever I do go, though I am enjoying being here thoroughly. I am currently researching shade tolerant perennials to put in the yard, and welcome all suggestions. Trying to focus on workhorse plants that will spread, wild natives (besides poison ivy and greenbrier and blackberry) and flower for birds and insects.

My mom and I were moving our woodpile the other week, from below the firepit to the far side of the shed. We found many, many snake skin remnants on the wood. Apparently, the pile had been a nest of snakes - I had only seen the family of chipmunks that lived in there, but they must have provided incentives for the serpents to move in. My mom saw a snake wiggle off the tarp I used to cover the wood with, but she was rather matter-of-fact about it. When one is in the Georgia woods, there are going to be snakes! The only snake I've seen around here (in my patio doorway, to be precise) is the feisty Northern Ringneck Snake. Of course I imagine the snakes in the woodpile to be all copperheads and rattlers, but that's just that stinkin' thinkin'.

On the knitting front, I just finished the 7th repeat of the hated Hanami basketweave chart. My love for this pink alpaca is undiminished though, and I look forward to finishing this, and getting out to see some cherry blossoms in it next spring! Here is a progress shot of my shaky little basketweave. Please disregard a couple of obvious visible errors. You'll hardly notice those from the back of a galloping horse, I assure you!
I am also knitting on a couple of other projects. On Ravelry, for the Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire forum's Knit's Watch KAL, I am working on Ysolda's Peak's Island Hood in dark green Berrocco alpaca, which I have renamed the Green Dreams Hood, in honor of Bran Stark's shamanic dreams. I LOVE this pattern, LOVE the yarn and am so looking forward to finishing this so I can wear it this fall. I ordered some antler buttons for it, to enhance the rustic appearance, because the Starks would not really be wearing foo-foo scarves, what with living in the harsh northern reaches of Westeros, and all. End of my fangirl geekiness for this entry, I promise.

P is home, and we've been enjoying the long weekend, doing at-home projects, errands and going out to eat. The man is coming here for pho, which I think is silly, as there is excellent pho in the DC area, but whatever... We checked out a new-to-me brewpub yesterday, and I had a most excellent scottish ale, which made me a little nostalgic for my homebrewing days, but just a little. I think the presence of good brewpubs in my area are the reason I DON'T homebrew anymore. That and the fact that I am only a pretend beer drinker. I like brewing, as I like all chemistry experiments, but I never drank enough to justify the gallons I brewed. Yes, friends will graciously take gifts of homebrew, and there are parties to go to, but I am done brewing for now. But not done with the sweet, strong wee scots ale, let me tell you.