Saturday, October 13, 2007

The first frost of the season!

We had our first frost of the season this morning and there are still so many outside projects left to do. From clean-up to getting the hen house ready for winter, to getting the snow blower ready, putting gardening tools and watering hoses away and putting up plastic on windows and caulking. I'm tired already and haven't done a thing yet. I continue to drag my tail, so to speak, trying to get over whatever it is that I had. So, in order not to get overwhelmed it's time to make lists and scratch off each chore as it is done. And I think I'll use this blog to keep me honest. So tomorrow a trip to the hardware store to buy plastic, a hammer and an extra 2x4 to put up another roost. And if I still have the energy, put a fresh light bulb in the chicken coop.

I've finally gotten onto some antibiotics for my chest and the doctor has also prescribed an inhaler for me. I refused to believe that I have COPD, but after thinking it over, I'm of that generation that had smokers around them from all directions. In fact when I first started working at the prison, we still had cigarette machines in the vending machine room. It wasn't till the last two to three years of working that smoking by staff was banned "within the walls." However, the inmates could still smoke in their cells and on the yard. In case you think it would have been good to take tobacco away from the prisoners as well, I ask you to keep staff in mind. Riots by prisoners are not appreciated and generate too much paperwork, besides being hazardous to one's health and well-being.

And that brings me to another memory of the years right after the War, the big one to end all wars. (I told you yesterday that my mind makes strange associations. Wouldn't Freud have had a field day?) Several years ago, I watched a movie in German about the years after the war and the moral corruption of the Wirtschaftswunder. (Germans and Ingmar Bergman had something in common: their bleak outlook on life.) The movie, however, started out with the last few days of the War and then switched to 1946. I was bothered by the opening without knowing exactly why. And then one day it came to me, all the men were bending over to pick up cigarette butts (before filters) and I had observed those actions as a child. Tobacco was hard to find and any bits of tobacco left in a discarded cigarette butt were, of course, recycled. In 1946, we searched for food the same way as men searched for tobacco: Nettles from the side of the road, beech nuts from the forests for oil, gleaning small potatoes from the fields of farmers after the harvest was over, and if you were lucky enough to know a farmer, showing up "accidentally" at butchering time. And picking up horse manure; no, not for eating, but letting it dry out and then using it for fuel in the stove. My adult children have absolutely no idea what it was like to be really poor, hungry and without adequate shelter. Although I am sure they felt quite deprived as youngsters. There really is no way of imparting these life experiences onto another person. Those years made me tough, ready to face challenges and also to marvel at the possessions and privileges I have today. For example:

We had a wonderful day. Friends of my daughter, my daughter and me went to visit the Marketplace at SOAR (Spin-Off Autumn Retreat) which was held at a Michigan Ski Resort north of us. It was a beautiful drive and we did see a little bit of color, although the autumn splendor won't be quite so "splendorous" this year due to the drought this summer and the wind blowing a little bit too hard the last few days. But we had wonderful company, good conversation and spent some money.

I limited myself to one pound of roving, merino/silk mix which will make a beautiful shawl and Angela bought a couple of drop spindles. Oh and I paid for a book, a Maggie Sefton knitting mystery, but walked away from the booth without the book. Of course, I didn't realize what I had done until we were sitting in a Big Boy's having a piece of pie. So on Monday, I'll have to call the vendor who of course is from far away, Colorado, ask them if they remember the ditsy lady that gave them a hundred dollar bill, accepted the change back, but didn't take the book with her. The moral of the story is, you don't have to be blond to have a bad hair moment.

Here,then, is a picture of the roving I bought for Angela to spin for me and a couple of more projects I have finished, albeit it small ones. The dishcloths are from the monthly KALs to which I belong, and I finally finished the second green sock. They turned out well, if I say so myself.

Green is for Hope Socks, Opal Yarn

The picture does not give justice to the true color of the roving. It is a merino/silk mix

Oak Leaf

I like the execution of this dishcloth better than some of the others. The pattern on this cloth is knit in garter stitch while the pattern in the dishcloth below is made with reverse stockinette stitch.

Fire Fighter's Hat and Axe.
I am still working on the honeycomb scarf, the crazy shawl and have started a new pair of socks (these are for me). I finally found the pattern which will bring out the beautiful patterning of Angie's hand spun yarn which she gave to me a few weeks ago. It was a conversation starter, even at Big Boy's. But tomorrow is another day for pics.

"Knit on!" and don't let those bed bugs bite you. I am going to bed. So, good night.

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