Thursday, July 31, 2014

Shawl Test

I'm testing another shawl pattern, this one for Michelle DuNaier, the designer for whom I did the Anemone cardigan. It's the 2nd shawl of a 3 shawl series she's designing based on an early 20th century pattern and the series Downton Abbey on PBS. She's named them after the 3 sisters in the show (I assume they are sisters, I haven't seen enough of the show to know for sure) Lady Edith, Lady Sybil and Lady Mary. I'm doing Lady Sybil using 2 colors of an inexpensive (okay, I'll admit, cheap at only $1 per skein) acrylic yarn I picked up at Big Lots.
Here's the only photo so far though It's twice the size now. It's a nice pale yellow which in my experience has been very hard to find. Generally the yellows are brighter and mostly in baby yarns. The cream is also very nice as it has a yellow undertone rather than a beige undertone as most of them seem to have. It's a pretty easy pattern though I had a little difficulty today due to my own stupidity, not paying attention, whatever you want to call it. But I'm back on track now. Hopefully I'll have another photo to share in a day or two.


Just some random closeups of my last 3 flowering hollyhocks, the parts the deer didn't eat. I will need to plant some more.

And for the heck of it, some wild daisies.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Major Progress on my Top Down Sweater

I slowed down a bit but a few days ago I did manage to finish the sleeves, add the edging and buttonholes. Yesterday I picked up 2 types of buttons and laid them out to think about. I will be using the brass colored ones. I like the pewter ones but they just don't seem to go as well.
In the first photo they both look pretty good. But in the second, from a distance, the pewter one seems to stand out too much.
So in the next couple of days I'll be attaching 7 brass colored buttons. (I'm pretty sure they're plastic but they look like brass. I still like them and they were 50% off so the price was right.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Had a couple of campfires down by the pond in the past week. First one was more pleasant as it cooled off faster so the bugs went away quickly. Second one 6 days later was on a warmer night that was a little muggier so the mosquitoes were out in force. Even long sleeves and jeans and my trusty hat and head net didn't save me. They got me through the pants and my shirt. Still the fire was nice as was the company which has never been more that Hal and the pups at our house. (I think the days of campfires at the farm are over, when half of Hal's siblings and children would be there.)

And as usual, here are a couple photos of the pups.
Hopefully we'll have a couple more this summer. Seems as though we never have more than 1 or 2.

Monday, July 21, 2014

More on the East Wall

The day after I cleaned the lower part of the wall I stained it. I used a pump sprayer and a foam applicator because the pump sprayed the stain unevenly and the stain was so thin it would run down the grooves. So I would spray and then spread. As I mentioned before it's a mess, but I did what I could. Yesterday and today I stained the upper part, 2/3 yesterday and the last third today. During all this I was assisted by Hal who moved and adjusted the ladder for me and handed me items when I needed them. So although it looks not great, at least it's better protected than it was before.
Hopefully, I'll get a couple more photos added tomorrow.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Staining the House

While staining the shed it occurred to me that the exterior of the house was long past due getting another coat of exterior stain/water proofer. The last time we did it was probably about 8 years ago. The pine siding, especially on the east side was dried out, flaking and portions covered with mildew.
east wall before treatment
close up of the mildew
I took an old plastic bristle brush and attacked the lower portion below. The old stain and mildew flaked off like dust. By the time I was done I was coated. It was nasty.
after brushing the old coating and mildew off
The next day I took the new pump sprayer that Hal purchased along with the new Behr stain and for the next 5 hours made a terrible mess of things on the lower wall. The spray went everywhere, not just on the wall and ran like crazy down the grooves of the tongue and groove boards. I had to use a small foam applicator to spread it out as it went on unevenly. It's very, very dark, the outdoor temp was close to 80 and even though I did this after that side of the house was in the shade, it dried so quickly there are obvious drips lines and other places poorly covered. But at least it's better than essentially what had become dry bare wood. Hopefully, it will weather better this winter.
from a distance it looks okay

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Deck is Done

Actually it's been done for quite a while, Hal finished it up while I was stuck downstate. For the back part he reused the deck boards he had originally used to replace the front deck a few years ago. There wasn't anything wrong with them, he just used new boards when he repaired the front deck girder and joists.
There're only a few minor things left to be done, a little "finish" work here and there.

About a week or so ago he built new stairs to replace the rotting box stairs from the old deck.

In the photo below you may notice the extra boards on the fence in the upper right. Hal put those in to prevent my escape artist dogs from jumping through to the rear staircase.
rear stairs
Ziggy checking out Hal's construction of the front stairs
Hal shortened the length of the front deck stairs and left an opening in the deck. You can't really see it but there is a 20" square section just below Ziggy's nose where I could put a shrub or a potted plant. Haven't decided what yet.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dog Photos

It's been a while since I've posted any so here's a couple of random shots of Luna and Ziggy I took while at the BBQ 4th of July weekend.

I think they are so cute!

Monday, July 14, 2014

One Week Later

I have fully recovered from my bout of food poisoning. I still was the only one who became ill but if it was some sort of stomach bug, no one else got that either. On a positive note, I lost 2 pounds. Not exactly the way one ought to lose weight but I had to look at the bright side. Whatever it was it did knock me for a loop so I didn't get a heck of a lot done but I did start working on my sweater again and finished one sleeve and started the other. I also put the first coat of stain on the shed Hal built onto the garage. So the week wasn't a total loss.

I also received the reconditioned phone I ordered from Net10 after realizing the cell phone signal was just not going to return reliably to this area. With tax and shipping it cost just over $15. It's a pretty good phone. I get a good signal and also hear voices a lot better than with my old LG900g which I thought was a pretty great phone. I was wrong for almost 3 years. The new phone is a 2 year old Samsung CDMA, model SCH-s380c. I am very pleased with it.

Raining right now, supposed to be unseasonably cool and wet tomorrow. Maybe I'll post again.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Food Poisoning

I have it. Woke up with it Sunday morning. Probably from something I ate Saturday but as everyone at the BBQ ate the same things and no one else is ill, makes me wonder. Searching on the Web I find all sorts of information that tells me I could have eaten the "bug" even earlier than the day before, but other than popcorn, Hal has eaten the same things, though he eats his own yogurt. Same brand though.

I made the mistake of feeling much better yesterday evening so ate some crackers and a piece of chicken. I then suffered through the entire night, lots of pain and little sleep. Spent another day laying in bed reading or surfing online. I am so very hungry now but am only allowing myself jello and Gatorade and a little flat gingerale. I sure hope the worst is over and I can start eating a little more tomorrow!

At least the pups have cooperated and since an aborted walk yesterday (I got about 200 feet) they've allowed me to rest in peace. Though Zig is at this moment looking for attention. Maybe a biscuit will suffice this time.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Washed and Waxed

Last week I decided I would hand wash my car for a second time since I bought it and I also hand waxed it with some liquid Turtle Wax. It was a partly cloudy day and took around 4-5 hours. I think he came out nice and shiny. Just look at those reflections on top! I haven't waxed a car since I waxed Hal's T-Bird when we lived in CA back in the 80's. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Birthday USA

I usually don't manage to post on the 4th of July probably because I forget being very busy watching the parade, wandering around town and then watching the fireworks. But the usual BBQ at Uncle Butch's house won't be till tomorrow and I have already stripped the chicken I slow cooked yesterday for sandwiches later, so maybe I'll get a few photos in before this is scheduled to post later tonight. We shall see. (I don't know why the blasted scheduled post didn't post, but that's software for ya!)

Well, I did select a few photos from the parade and here they are.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

No Cell Phone Home Signal Part 2

I got my answer fairly quickly by a Net10 person who asked to correspond via Live Chat. I tried that several times and essentially got cut off before anything was accomplished so went back to using private messages (PMs). I spent most of yesterday dealing with several people (mainly because of the Live Chat failures) and in the end all that happened was the cost of a text message doubled and I was told I will have to call their 800 number within the next 2 weeks.

For the heck of it I pulled out my old LG 220c flip phone and turned it on. After being turned off in a drawer for months it still had power and better yet bars, which my LG did not. It's an old CDMA network phone so I figure that might be better up here for now.

This morning I did some research and ordered a reconditioned CDMA phone for $9.99 plus shipping. I figure if it doesn't work I'm only out $15. It's a Samsung s380C, looks a lot like my LG, has a keyboard and is only a semi smart phone. A few things I read about it claim it uses something called 1X network instead of Edge that my LG uses.  Net10 didn't have much that wasn't a smart phone and those seem to  require one of those $50 per month cards and I don't need that. I'm spending $200 a year with the pre-paid instead of $600, makes a heck of a lot more sense to me.

So we'll see what happens when it gets here.

Oddly, shortly after ordering the phone, my signal seems to have been restored. Figures.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

No More Cell Phone Service at Home with Net10?!

When I went downstate in the middle of June I had reasonable phone service at home with my LG900G using Net10. But when I came back 10 days later my signal was non existent. Occasionally I'll get a few seconds showing a couple of bars  but for the most part I've got nothing. I've had this phone for a couple of years and Net10 longer than that with an old flip phone that was a CDMA phone (this one is GSM). In fact I just pulled that old flip phone, an LG220c out of a drawer and turned it on. Hard to believe the battery still had power in it! And I got 1 bar of signal and 2 bars upstairs! I suppose I could go back to that one if I had to, but only if I could get a new battery for it.

My suspicion is that Net10 didn't contract any service with my local cell tower which is odd as Hal has a tracfone and gets plenty of signal with his LG 840G smart phone. Net10 of course won't cell me one of those and though Net10 is owned by tracfone I can't transfer my 2636.50 plus minutes to a new tracfone.

I went to the Net10 forum and bitched about this today and I suspect I'll be asked to "take this offline" by some poor Net10 drone who will want to send me a new battery, a new sim card, etc, to try to solve my problem, none of which will work because it's the LACK OF CELL TOWERS, STUPID! But I shall be nice and go through all the hoops and in the end probably have to change services and lose my 2600 plus minutes.

Being a cheap bastard really sucks sometimes because I know I could do well with a Verizon phone (they seem to own all but 2 of the towers in the area) but even their pre-paid plans are ridiculously priced. So for now I am screwed.