Friday, October 21, 2016


And the deck continues. Today, Hubby finished the concrete blocks. Tomorrow, since it got chilly this afternoon, the adhesive holding the blocks will be put on. Then he's got to drill for the footings, and pour those. 

An inspection happens after the footings are poured and then once more after he frames it in. 

It's going to be as I suspected, a "plain Jane" deck, but he's going to do something a little different. See the "upper" corner (upper right hand of the blocks) and the "lower" corner (the corner to the lower right just ahead of the sidewalk)? When spring comes, he's going to create block work that makes those into a pair of "garden" areas. He's also going to extend the paving blocks - the deck comes nearly to the property line, and he wants to "ring" it with the pavers because we have to keep our garbage cans in the back by the shed (local ordinance), and when he needs to bring them to the front on trash day, he wants a firm surface to haul them, especially in the winter. 

Yes, it's the north side of the house, but I think I can get hostas to grow there, or coral bells. Or maybe even some boxwood, for year-round green. If I want to do flowers, they'll have to be shade-lovers because this is "deep north" - there's virtually no sunshine on that section because it's just about the middle of the house, and in our old neighborhood, the houses are kind of close together. 

The arborvitae there are our "best buy." When we started seriously landscaping the yard, we wanted a fence, but we wanted it to look natural. The home & garden store in one location was leaving to move across town. We got just about 30 of the arborvitae for $5 each. They wanted to get rid of them. And the trees just took off in that spot. We've cut a few down, because we needed the room when we did some work to the back yard, but otherwise, they're a lovely fence and the birds and squirrels adore the fact that there's always a hiding place for them. 


I finished "The Edible Woman" by Margaret Atwood. It was Atwood. It was a good story, and the end is a twist. Like I said: Atwood. 

I'd recommend reading her stories. I find her imagery clear and her structure really strong. And - she makes me think. Some of her stories are definitely dystopian in nature, but that's what makes her who she is and what makes her writing so impactful. She holds a mirror up and shows us the worst - but makes it redeeming because of her characters. 

Now, I've started "An Unnecessary Woman," by Rabin Alameddine. It's about an elderly woman "with a past shaped by the Lebanese Civil War." Already, I feel like I could sit down with this woman and have a nice chat over some tea and cookies. I've linked it to the NPR review. 

I've set aside Jimmy Carter's tome about women, abuse of power and religion. It's a great read in that there's certainly enough evidence to go around. But it's heavy. It's a book you can certainly pick up and put down, and I think at this point, I need to take it in small doses. I really want to finish it; but with everything going on at work, frankly - I'm exhausted and my brain hurts. I've been billing 4 - 6 hours a day, but that's also with doing overtime. 

I really want to just come home and knit or read something "fluffy." So Jimmy Carter has to wait a bit till things ease up.


The thing is - it's still a partial sweater. It's a little bigger. But not much else has changed. I'm going back to Wool & Co. to pick up my Book of Haps. It's in. They called (it was quick) and Hubby texts me, "Your book of hats is in." 

Yeah. Hats. Haps. He doesn't know, poor dear. For those of you who don't know, a hap shawl is a large-ish shawl that you can wrap about yourself. Think of the way Maureen O'Hara wrapped a shawl around herself in "The Quiet Man," and you'll sort of have the idea. I got hooked on the idea of actually knitting one from "Jean's Knitting" - a blog I follow. So I had a peek at the Hansel (and downloaded it from Ravelry), and then I decided I needed the book. 

When I was at Wool & Co., I thought they had it. I wanted to buy it from a local business. I could've gotten it from Schoolhouse Press or Amazon, but I wanted to support them. And I'm surprised it got here so fast!

I have to ask them for permission to review them for the Addicted to Sock Knitting e-zine. I was all set to write the shop up, but then I found out they were closing. I had to wait to see if they'd reopen, and I'm glad I did - even though the sock-yarn area is a bit smaller, it's an amazing redesign of the shop. 

When Roberta and I got there, she immediately gravitated to the bulky yarns, and they were kind enough to figure out what she'd need for a plain cover for a twin bed for her one grandson. I can't wait to see how it turns out. 

And yes. I bought yarn. I bought some Regia "ragg" sock yarn; I needed (ha - go ahead, laugh) something kind of middling-plain for a nice ribbed sock. And the Sweet Georgia is going to be another Shape-It Scarf. The purple had a rather strong competitor in the lovely pewter shot through with that silver sparkle. Who knows what will make its way into my bag next time...

And I saw the Churchmouse Double Reversible Poncho sitting on a chair and I tried it on. This one, I'm blaming on Roberta! The deep burgundy baby alpaca worsted? 

Yummmmmmmmmmm. I was torn between that and a beautiful beige. I know - you're thinking "Beige???" But it was a stunning deep cream color, which would go with anything I have in my wardrobe and it wasn't "too white" or "too bland." It was almost buttery, but not yellow, if that makes any sense. 

There was also a purple (of course) but I thought I wanted to do something a little different. This poncho is done in two parts and grafted together; it's a ribbed-ish pattern, enough to give it some interest. And then you kind of flip it and graft it. It's not too big. I'm making it with slightly less yarn because I know alpaca can take on a life of its own, and I didn't want something drooping down to my knees. This one hit me right at the hips, so that's kind of where I'm aiming. 

Random Picture...

Hubby reminded me that we had pierogi left in the freezer. So up came a small bag of potato and a small bag of sauerkraut. I ate them. Every one. 

My sister has had surgery on her right shoulder and right foot. The foot was a repair, and the shoulder was a first-time. She's cranky and not feeling like eating. She's a little bit of a thing, and loves my pierogi. So - when she's off her pain meds, I'll drop by and make them for her. I have a bag left in the fridge, and if they're not her favorite flavor, I'll make her some fresh ones. 

Hubby has gone to bed...he was up before the hens and worked hard on the deck. I've turned off the TV because there was a French film on with subtitles, and I didn't want to watch it. I'm enjoying the quiet, with Tippi here snoozing next to me. 

I'll knit a few more rows on the sweater and then head off to bed myself. Haircut in the a.m. and we need to go vote. And I have a private yoga session to teach in the afternoon. 

How's your weekend shaping up? 

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