The Grind

I am right back to the grind at work this morning and it’s started out just about as it always does right now. Predictably unpredictable and irritating! I realized at some point that I was feeling full of rage actually, but then remembered that we didn’t have enough breakfast foods in the house this morning for Mr. Ink to get up and make me breakfast as usual. So, I hadn’t eaten yet. I headed out to our little convenience shop, they were severely under stocked due to the holiday, but I was able to find something that would work and the rage portion of the irritating morning dissipated. That being said, I got one of our grants off my plate already this morning, which sets me up nicely over the next few weeks of insanity.

I managed to ply and dry both skeins of loop cloud yarn last evening.

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I got 285 yards of this lovely grey. I am seriously completely head over heels for it.

And then this one is fantastic as well.

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320 yards in this skein, and it’s so rich and beautiful!

Now that I am back at work I’ve vowed to put away the wheel for a bit, spin on support spindles, and work on some knitting. Though a particularly nice evening might change all that, there’s something about spinning on the patio this time of year when it’s not miserably hot that calls to me and I feel I should take as much advantage as possible.

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Mr. Ink? Well, he dug a hole. Please don’t mind those rocks there, they aren’t all the actual retaining wall. Mr. Ink realized he was lacking in a certain size of rock, and the rock place was not open yesterday. So, he decided to dig out the bank instead. Now, he’d sprayed that bank with weed killer early in the season, and he’s decided it was the best decision he’s ever made. Much easier to remove than sod.

Another set of neighbors were over yesterday to take a look at what was going on. They were having a holiday picnic in their yard, and all they could see what that Mr. Ink was standing in a hole. So, they came to check out what he was doing and admire it, despite the fact that it looks like almost nothing at the moment. He sure is getting quite a lot of cheering on for all his hard work. He’s hoping to head to the rock place tonight as we’ve got tonight and tomorrow without rain, then we are in for a storm, which is going to cause an epic mess for this project.

I’ve been working on my joji mystery knit along project, I am almost done with clue 3. I am hoping to be done tonight, if time allows. I am also itching to get something out of handspun cast on, it’s such a struggle to use all commercial yarn even if I did dye some of it myself. I clearly have a preference at this point. I really am also toying with the idea of doing an entire month of knitting again. Maybe June? I guess that’s coming right up!

I do hope everyone had a lovely long weekend, providing it was a long weekend for you!

This Week, May 29-June 4

Last week’s list:

  • Finish current wheel project
  • Finish clue 2 of mystery stole, start clue 3. (Last week it came out on a Thursday midday,  which is right at the point where I start vacation.)
  • Finish spinning current batt on support spindles and get an additional batt spun
    • Well, I finished the current batt and got halfway through the next, but I focused on the wheel while on vacation.
  • Work on scraping garage door frame, sand and paint if weather and time allows
    • Weather and time allowed, but I didn’t do it. My current excuse is that there are too many large plants waiting to be planted in front of that garage window. It’s true, but I could have moved them.
  • Work on the never ending weeding situation
  • Go on a long bike ride with friends!
    • It was pouring at the start of the ride, and we didn’t go.
  • Renew car registration (Why is this type of simple task always SO difficult to remember to get done?)
  • And just a lot of yard work in general, whatever I can help with in the yard should be pretty exciting.

Yesterday Mr. Ink said that he had to go back to the rock place to get more rocks. I decided to tag along because even though he doesn’t say he needs my help, he says he appreciates it once we get home. We picked out large boulders this time, as well as much smaller filler rocks.

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This is where he’d gotten to last evening with placing the rocks. However, late in the evening he came inside and said he’d messed up and needed to start over. So, this is not the final placement of the rocks.

Our across the busy street neighbor who is a lovely little old lady who went to school with the previous owner of the house came across the street to see what Mr. Ink was up to. She really likes Mr. Ink, even though I have never met her. She brings him fresh veggies from her garden, and comes over to talk to him fairly regularly. Since Mr. Ink is the one to work out front, I rarely do, I am sure she tries to figure out what he’s doing, and this project really has been a large and time intensive one. He explained his vision, and her big comment was that it was just wonderful to see someone taking such an interest in their house and yard.

I took on a large project of my own. My iris bed has some sort of ground cover in it that is just absolutely overwhelming. I have not been able to get rid of it, and picking up the small new sprouts was doing nothing to stop it. So, over the past two days I’ve taken out every iris, dug 2 feet down in the bed, yanked out all the offending root systems (as much as I can find anyhow) replaced all the dirt, replanted all the irises, and mulched it all. I had to remove rocks from the little garden rock wall to get at some of the roots. The roots had so entangled themselves with the irises that I had to pick through every iris root and tuber in order to remove the offending roots from them. They would grow through the tuber even! So, I’d break off that part of the tuber and discard it. The bed looks pretty good now, and I am very pleased with the work I did.

I also got quite a lot of spinning done yesterday.

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The rest of the grey is done and I am about halfway through the second bobbin of burgundy.

This week:

  • Ply the two skeins of loop cloud yarn
  • Finish clue 3 of the mystery knit, start clue 4
  • Bike ride with friends on Thursday evening? We really gotta get out and socialize.
  • Keep up on the household chores, with the addition of cleaning the outside of the fridge and microwave! (Outdoor work has the fridge looking pretty gross since dirty hands keep coming in for ice and water.)
  • Summer clothing shopping for Miss Butterfly. She needs boots for camp, shorts, and a new bathing suit.

That’s about it, I’ve got quite a lot of other stuff going on and a good portion of next weekend is already shot. So, I am thinking this provides a decent amount of stuff to do, manageable, keeps me on track, but I won’t feel like I cannot get it done.

And then it was gone.

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There was a burning bush. Now there is none. Mr. Ink spent another day on it, tracing root systems 4 feet down and then following them back up again. It’s out now, at least the most major roots. There are thinner roots under the driveway still, and we can just hope they’ll never find a purchase as we cannot get to them. This morning Mr. Ink is working on fixing his truck, then we are going to head out to the rock place again and get some larger boulders for the bottom of the retaining wall.

Meanwhile, I have been working on my own root system issues. My iris bed is also full of this ground cover that I hate. I don’t even know what it is, but I haven’t been able to eradicate it because the roots are all tangled in with the iris roots and so I end up leaving the ground cover roots behind, and then I get to do the whole thing over again the next year. This year I’ve had it. I am digging up every iris, and removing the roots from between the iris roots, and digging way down to get to the heart of the root systems. It’ll probably take years to get the job done, but I am going to give it a big head start this year.

I did some spinning yesterday, of course. I worked on another loop cloud. I figured since I have 2 loop clouds, and 4 bobbins, I could switch between the two colors and then ply two projects one right after the other.

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So I worked on this burgundy colored cloud yesterday. I got halfway through it. Today I am hoping to get the other half of the grey done, Monday I’ll try for the other half of the burgundy. And then I can ply during the week.

And that’s it from here. Hopefully we’ll have retaining wall progress pictures to show off tomorrow. But, now I am off to work on that nasty root system eradication project. Have a good one!

Staying Busy

We started our day yesterday with a trip to the local botanical garden in hopes to see a corpse flower in bloom. It didn’t work out, it still wasn’t blooming. They were hoping for that evening. I will have to try again on Sunday. In any case, I got this photo of Mr. Ink humoring me.

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We have a membership there, so we go whenever we can. But, due to the corpse flower, admission is free so it was quite busy. We did spend time wandering around outdoors anyhow, and found that the other end of the gardens were quite a lot less busy than the entrance. The rose garden was completely in bloom, and the peony garden still had some blooms, and we had a great time as usual.

Once home we mowed and trimmed, since Mr. Ink’s hands are still torn up from his hours and hours of stump removal. Then, we headed out to the rock store to pick up rocks for the retaining wall he’ll be building in place of the leaning one near that burning bush stump. That was quite a chore, I haven’t picked rocks since last season and forgot what a dirty sweaty mess it is. But, I am glad I went along, since that was one less load that Mr. Ink had to pull.

We got home from that and did quite a lot of “puttering.” I did some cleaning and laundry and weeding. Mr. Ink did some planting and watering and a bit more stump removal. We didn’t concentrate on anything particularly long, and I interspersed my time with some spinning.

Remember how I said I needed to spin less? Maybe I need to start that next week. Because I got halfway through another loop cloud.

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I decided it would be particularly sad to not enjoy the exceedingly pleasant weather on the patio. It’s not likely to be this gorgeous all summer. Indeed it isn’t, since this morning it’s raining like crazy again. There’ll be no patio sitting this morning, nor any puttering around my plants and weeding, and a bike ride is even unlikely. (Though I am genuinely not complaining, I do love a good rainstorm and the downtime it brings.)

With that, I’ve got a few garden shots. My poppies are looking stunning. I took this photo yesterday. Looked out the window this morning to see another orange bloom and a yellow bloom on there. But, with the rain, a photo wasn’t in the cards.

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I also grabbed a quick shot of my lady’s mantle.

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I love flowers, but I love good greenery just was much and lady’s mantle really has greenery to show off! I also repotted one of my geraniums yesterday. It had done so well at work over the winter, but when I brought it home and attempted to acclimate it to being outdoors, as well as trim some of its legginess, it started to look really rough. Upon further investigation, it was totally and completely root bound in the pot it was in. I lifted it out by the stem and all the dirt came with it leaving a clean pot. So, I put it in a much bigger container, and it already looks much better. I am sure it’s enjoying the current rain quite a bit.

Miss Butterfly is off with her dad’s side of the family. That kid is becoming so responsible! She’s currently at her grandmother’s house taking care of her toddler aged second cousin. Her grandmother has been taking care of Butterfly’s great grandmother who is currently in the hospital quite a bit, and that’s severely cut into the time that the baby is cared for. So Miss Butterfly is there and on call for that sort of thing. In fact, her grandmother has just asked if she could come over for 3 days next week now that she’s out of school in order to help out and be on call as a sitter when needed. I love that they feel she’s responsible enough for the job, and that they want her over because she’s helpful, rather than being yet another burden on her grandmother. So, apparently Miss Butterfly’s first summer vacation activity is babysitting, and I suspect it’s a role she’ll be very happy in.

That’s about it from here! Not sure what today will bring in way of photos and projects but I look forward to whatever the day brings.

 

Back Breaking

After a full day of this:

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We are still left with this:

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Blisters are forming on Mr. Ink’s hands and his back is, as usual, a royal mess. We’ve decided he needs two days off from the project. The root system goes all the way under the driveway, and that’s still a sizable chunk left to remove. We tried to use the truck a second time, but nowhere on the remaining stump pieces was a place which wouldn’t break when we tried to pull it. So, we really have been stuck resorting to manual labor. And by we, I mean he. I did wander through that garden digging up more bulbs and weeds while he was on stump removal duty, but in the end, my major job was making sure he was hydrated.

I started yesterday morning with fresh singles.

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This is another loop cloud project, the colorway was kimono I believe. I got the plying done yesterday and the drying done overnight.

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So now I’ve got another 300 yards of 2 ply. I am actually thinking I need to slow down on my spinning, or do another month of knitting exclusively or something. My fiber stash is disturbingly low at the moment. That being said, I do have lots of dyed fiber and add ins I can create on the drum carder still. But, my fiber cabinet which is typically full to bursting is only half full at the moment.

The third clue came out on the starting point mystery knit so I got started on that last evening. I am not very far in really, downtime was quite limited.

Plan for Mr. Ink’s days off from the stump include the local botanical gardens where a corpse flower is almost in bloom, and mowing. We also should be traveling to a bike ride tomorrow, and that should be an all day social experience. That is, providing it doesn’t rain all day.

That’s it from here, on day 2 of a nice long weekend.

And We’re Off!

I got home from work yesterday after an extremely long and arduous day, despite the fact I didn’t work late at all, to see the new mailbox in and a chain hooked up to the burning bush stump I’ve been wanting taken out. I guess Mr. Ink had a long and arduous day as well!

Mr. Ink had drilled a hole right through the stump, fixed a huge long bolt through it, and put the chain on both sides. He then hooked it up to the old pick up, and I took a video while he yanked that stump out with the truck. It actually worked very well.

Though we did have to use the truck to pull the stump up to the higher level in the yard, it was so heavy. And, there’s quite a bit more live stump still in there. It worked, but there will still be a lot of digging involved. Nevertheless, major progress was made and it was an awesome start to my vacation. Mr. Ink spent the remainder of the evening carefully yanking all the dirt out of the stump and saving it, a process I personally will never understand. Now it’s a stump that’s waiting to be washed in the rain.

Meanwhile in the garden the first lilies have bloomed.

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I can’t decide if I am disappointed with these or happy. They were supposed to be all dark. Maybe next year? Or, maybe there’s black lilies still in there, and these are lilies that are a surprise. I don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see.

The rose bush is blooming beautifully too.

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I guess you can see behind there that there’s road construction nearby, causing a traffic jam outside our house during rush hour. We actually were worried about yanking the stump yesterday, thinking that we may distract tired drivers causing an accident. It’s happened before when we were doing less interesting tasks in the yard.

As for knitting, I am done with my second clue in the starting point mystery knit along.

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I still don’t really know where she’s going with this stole, though I hope it’s not how I have it currently laid out! Adding that extra color sorta messed up what could look like an interesting diamond.

Now it’s time for more vacation tasks. Talk soon!

This Week May 22-28.

Last week’s list:

  • More scraping around garage window frame
    • This did not get done due to having only 2 days of non rainy weather. One of them was spent desperately trying to get a handle on the mowing, and the next nice day the yard waste, full of rotting grass clippings, was so rancid smelling that I couldn’t stand to be anywhere near the garage.
  • One bike commute if weather holds
    • I got that done the day we mowed, it was a very busy day. The woodland phlox are blooming along the trail and at one point I got pretty close to a deer standing in them. Such a pretty morning sight.
  • Back on track for extra indoor work, especially if it really does rain all week
    • Yep, this got done, in part due to having unexpected company on Friday.
  • Finish weeding/mulching the rose of sharon garden bed
    • I am not sure this garden bed will ever be done! I did spend many hours weeding it throughout the week, but there’s no done about it.
  • Finish spinning current wheel project
  • Finish clue 1 of mystery stole

One of the things I find the most fun about Mr. Ink being at home during the day is just how much gets done. I mean, I go home and I get to wander around the yard to see what happened while I was gone. It should be a pretty good week actually, since his tree/plant purchasing habits resemble my old yarn purchasing habits. More show up than can possibly be planted. Yesterday we came home with a tree and another rose bush, only the tree made it into the ground. And there are at least 4 more trees hanging about waiting for their place as well.

The big burning bush stump project will get done shortly. We have to move our mailbox before pulling the stump. I am hoping the mailbox move happens today, as the hole is already drilled through the stump and I am hoping to get a bunch of photos and video of that stump coming out.

I did get a bit of spinning done this weekend, about half of the singles for another loop cloud.

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This one is turning out so differently than I expected. It’s quite a bit more black, I’d anticipated a lot more of the colored bits. It’ll be another 2 ply, so I am eager to see the finished product. There’s really no controlling the color in loop clouds, and the end result is always quite a surprise.

Miss Butterfly has two half days and one full day of school left this year, that’s it! And in fact, she is off school today. Her favorite teacher passed away unexpectedly last week, and she’s going to the funeral rather than going to school for the half day of locker clean out and so on. I think it’s a valuable trade off.

I have two extra days off this week as well, and I cannot wait! It’s been very busy at work again, there’s quite a lot going on and I need the break. I’ve arranged my work very carefully and handed it off to a very competent coworker and I know in her hands that’ll work out just fine.

On that note, my list can be slightly longer due to the extra time off!

  • Finish current wheel project
  • Finish clue 2 of mystery stole, start clue 3. (Last week it came out on a Thursday midday,  which is right at the point where I start vacation.)
  • Finish spinning current batt on support spindles and get an additional batt spun
  • Work on scraping garage door frame, sand and paint if weather and time allows
  • Work on the never ending weeding situation
  • Go on a long bike ride with friends!
  • Renew car registration (Why is this type of simple task always SO difficult to remember to get done?)
  • And just a lot of yard work in general, whatever I can help with in the yard should be pretty exciting.

That’s all from here, hope everyone has a great week!