Archive for the ‘whine’ Category

sick sad trees, snow, wood and what else

May 22nd, 2010 by knitnzu

Chris has some unknown sick tree. What I want to know is, has she figured out what it is yet??

We have way too many sick trees at work, mostly maples, birches, gingkos. The larger maples are likely suffering from sugar maple dieback, but the saplings were probably just not planted right. Or were crappy stock. Or are ailing because they’re on the grounds of the old Maine Insane Asylum, and over 150 years of sadness and suffering is built up into the soil. Here are some old postcard images from the glory days.

sick trees 019 sick trees 020 sick trees 021 sick trees 025 sick trees 024 sick trees 012 sick trees 026 sick trees 011 sick trees 022
That last one is dead, the gingkos to the left don’t have the dead branches like the others, but they don’t look good.

The healthiest looking tree on the grounds? A weeping birch.


still there… but going quickly!
snowpile21may2010 (1)
Doesn’t look like much, but there is a fair amount of ice there. I’ll put my wellies in my car to investigate early next week.

winter wood

We have four cords of wood in the driveway…
wood delivery 18may2010 (8)

what else?

Whining. The cortisone is wearing off. The right elbow is starting with that twitchy weird feeling that presaged the actual lateral epicondylitis in the left. The left has that cold after you hit your “funny bone” feeling at the back, and has started again with pain in the lateral epicondyle. I have not been knitting very much. I was out of work for a week, so little to no typing. I won’t be moving much or any of that wood. My dye plant seedlings still await their planting (maybe I’ll harden them off anyhow), and they won’t make into the ground this weekend.

I won’t make this year’s Fiber Frolic. Which is for a good reason, my FIL died Mother’s Day night, and the service for him will be that weekend, in PA. Just 6 months after MIL died around Thanksgiving.

Maybe I’ll get out the spinning wheel… But after a nap, I feel better, but still get tired easily. waaaaa….

saved by hawaii

December 30th, 2009 by knitnzu

She really needs a name, this little Singer Featherweight.

singerfeatherweight (2)

I did some sewing yesterday. A duvet cover. From two big sheets. One would think this is a relatively easy thing. Pretty much three long straight seams.


I broke my sewing machine, the 1965ish Kenmore partway down the first seam. There was some trial and error because one of the sheets is the exact size of the comforter, while the other is bigger. There was some frustration. There was a lot of frustration. I don’t really have a sewing space, it is the end of the kitchen table. The end we typically eat on. Because it’s closest to the outlet. We have dogs. The floors aren’t super clean. There was a lot (a lot!) of fabric. Kenmore gave up the ghost… booo and hooo…

But I called my pal, and she said she had a machine even older than mine (~1947)! It works like a charm. There was some user error. After some bobbin thread massacre that required tools to clean up, I was good. Or maybe it was that I broke out the port. Chosen because it was the open bottle of anything wine-like. And a corkscrew was just too much at the time!

singerfeatherweight (1)

This machine was her mom’s… and she bought it as a young woman, in Hawaii! It is an amazing thing… light, compact, tidy, efficient, and beautiful.
singerfeatherweight singerfeatherweight (5) singerfeatherweight (4) singerfeatherweight (3)
singerfeatherweight (6) singerfeatherweight (7)

The goal was to cover the down comforter with sheets, and to then ditch the top sheet on the bed. I told DH that it better be the damned best sleeping he’s ever had. He just laughed.

The seams are not straight. But it’s functional, and comfortable. So, mission accomplished!

bad eggs

Nothing is growing… but they still amuse me.

badeggs (1) badeggs (2) badeggs (3)

Of course it might be that these things were bought at deep discount, and they sat for a year before I planted them… or that I forgot which was the pitcher plant and which was the fly trap, and one of them needed to have its seeds frozen first. Those dragon plants advertise that the cut leaves bleed! Wouldn’t that be a hoot, terrifying bleeding plants at work? Right next to the whip

Kenmore needs some servicing… but I think after maybe new belts, possibly new wiring from pedal, and perhaps (??) a new motor, it’ll be all good. It’s really a sturdy machine and has done a lot for me… including things I shouldn’t ask of it, like too many layers of fleece or denim. But after this little sewing escapade, I am clear that I do NOT want to sew my own flannel jammy pants. I’ll just buck up the big bucks (relative, to me) and get some ladies’ tall ones…

Notions of Home

December 11th, 2009 by knitnzu

Sometimes when we travel, I think about home. What I notice most is that some places just don’t feel like home. As is the case here in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

Lots more people live here than what I’m used to. And there are lots of big developments here that weren’t here when DH lived here. They look so out of place on the landscape. Very large, and I’m sure very nice, homes, one after another, on little plots of land. They look all much alike. Big boxes on the landscape.

DIL’s house (where we’re staying) is nestled in a nice neighborhood, and has a great park nearby. No computer! (I’m on a public machine for a bit at the library… 34 minutes left!). Even so, the houses look different to me, although they don’t look out of place.

When we lived in Harrisburg I was very aware that there are not bodies of water all over the place… no large lakes, no small lakes, very few ponds, and most of those created by a dam. The dirt was the wrong color! The glacier was never here! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

You know how, say, all ants look much alike? I wonder if somebody from some other place came here… would they think all of our houses look much alike? Would they think that they all look out of place on the landscape? I feel like houses and neighborhoods that have been in place for a while (like over 50 years!) don’t look so out of place, but maybe they all are. Maybe we all should live in caves or in houses made of living trees…

Good thing I live where I do.

It is good to see family here, so this isn’t a total whine! Well, I said I was going to the grocery store…

p is for painting and silently for pneumonia

November 11th, 2009 by knitnzu

Poor boyo. He was sick all last week with the flu. The school nurse and our doc both said that the assumption is it is the oinky flu. Sunday he didn’t have a fever and seemed better. Wanted to keep him home Monday, but he’d missed 4 days of school and wanted to go. And when he came home, he looked and sounded awful and had a good fever going again.

Yesterday he turned 14. And got a diagnosis of pneumonia.

He was happy to get these to keep him company on the couch. Not as much fun as the real deal, but soft. And also difficult to photograph!

(deleted a grumble about the doc’s office and hmo practices…)

Now he’s suffering from the antibiotics.


No before pics, just in between. Picture old linen white walls (remember that color?), blue and green sponged squares on the bottom, little fishes. And a lot of mildew on that north wall (behind the toilet).
white bathrm white bathrm (1) white bathrm (2)

This is our big bathroom… less than 5 feet by 7. And with some BFU tub surround (as in Butt Fin UGLY).

DH did the major scraping and two coats of killz on the mildew. I think he only wanted to get the mildew gone. He hadn’t thought as far as getting paint on the walls (and especially on the woodwork). So I sanded, caulked, filled holes, sanded, primed places where the killz didn’t go, and put up a coat of blah BLAH semi gloss white.

Here’s the plan: rag/sponge something on the walls. Something like old stucco to hide the crappy plaster. In earthy yellow/beige/gray/tan/pink? Think Italian villa? Keep the ceiling and wood white.

I also did a little cleaning in the freezer today. Saved two of these, tossed five, and put 4 back in the deep freeze.
frozen paintbrushes
Honestly… what’s this all about? I do it when I know I’ll be painting w/in a day or two, but this is ridiculous! I was a little unhappy to see one of my former good brushes in here. But I told myself “LET IT GO” and I did…

So we have a new Anti-Virus. Last year we had Kaspersky Internet Security 2009. It worked fine. Just installed Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2010 (I would have gotten the Internet Security 2010, just saying…). It has slowed my internets to dialup speeds.

Making me crazy.

This forum talks about it, and has recommendations, but this language might as well be in Sanskrit for all I understand what they’re saying,

Welcome. Please create gsi sysinfo text, and then upload it to this parser site: and then post the link to the GSI report which may identify issue area, instructions see: Please use the New 4.0 GSI utility. If Vista or W7, right click getsysteminfo.exe and select Run as administrator.

So I am working in Firefox, and not having any speed issues, but the display is off in that the letters are not so crisp as before. Is this a Firefox thing? Or just my machine?

oops, really it wasn’t my devious plan all along

October 28th, 2009 by knitnzu

Loosely spun wool felts really really easily. And I have nobody to blame but myself… DH asked, should he wash it in the machine? And I said no, I’d soak it. There was so much that came out in the soak (and I felt like crap) that I thought, Oh, I’ll do a rinse/spin in the frontloader versus just a spin after soaking the sweater. Bad idea.

Here is the 50 inch chest, 29 or so inch length sweater now…
graysweater 005 graysweater 006
(it’s now about 42 inch chest and 26 inches long)

Here it is the day it was finished and blocked. For a broad-shouldered, long-waisted, long-armed tall man.

And now?
graysweater 004
Fits me perfectly! And it’s super warm. Just not a very exciting color.

And what else?

Guess I’d better knit him another sweater. With all that stash, I don’t have enough of any one color of one kind of yarn to make such a big sweater. So I’m going to do some creative thinking this weekend… I have a ton of lamb’s pride and easy care and enough lopi, just not all in one color. Maybe for his January birthday.

work fun

Yesterday was the first day in weeks that I worked a full day. Here’s what my day was like yesterday…

One time (one time) I coughed over my shoulder in a mostly empty room towards a wall and far away from the only other person (my boss, who I like very much) in the room. She gave me grief all day, telling me that I should cough in my elbow.

Shortly thereafter I spilled an entire cup of hot tea all over the table (and onto the floor) in her office. Luckily it entirely missed all the papers we were looking at.

Not long after that there was another person at the table, and I had to stand up to do something (but not leave the table, just reach) and when I sat down, my chair wasn’t there. It had rolled away. I landed on the floor. Noisily. Uncomfortably.

Then we went to the open house at the gym. Walking around for 15 minutes exhausted me.

I coughed into my napkin at lunch. “Use your elbow!”

When I came home I just wanted to go to bed. I was too tired to knit.

Today I didn’t manage a whole day. And that coffee I had this afternoon must’ve been decaf. Haven’t knit anything today either.

Thankfully somebody else is doing the presentation I was supposed to give in Bangor tonight. Actually it’s DH, more reason to make him that sweater, eh?