Monday, April 20, 2009

Long Island weekend

I went to NY to visit my mother this past weekend. She lives on Long Island, which is where I grew up. It's a great place to visit but I am glad that I don't live there any more. A lot of people are very nice, but there are a good number of people who are rude, pushy and obnoxious, who behave as if they think the world owes them treatment befitting royalty because they have *money*. The beaches are very nice, though, and it's hard to live more than 40 minutes away from a beach, no matter where you live. I love the beach.

I visited with several of the neighbors that I grew up with while I was there. It is usually fun to see how "the kids" on the block grew up. There is a guy across the street, though, that I had a whopper of a crush on while I was a teenager. I showed it, too, and I get embarrassed when I see him, thinking about my behavior then. He is now living with hie mother (and has been for over 15 years).  I am so glad that I married the man that is my husband. 

Mom and I went to the beach after I arrived on Sat. It was sunny but very windy, and I can't walk far at this point on my sore foot, so we chose a bench in the sun and we sat and chatted, watched the people walk by and I knitted (sleeves for my sweater). Our departure was delayed a bit by the fact that Mom discovered she had locked the keys in the car. Her spare key was in the car also. She had locked the doors, then put her keys in her purse, which she later decided she didn't need and locked into the truck. Oops. I called my brother (Mom's cell phone was also in the trunk. LOL) and he came with a coat hanger to try to get the door unlocked. It didn't reach. He had gotten a not-quite whole hanger from his landlord since he doesn't own any wire hangers. Several people stopped to offer things in their cars that might reach, but nothing did the trick. Poor Mom felt terrible and was freezing cold at that point. Finally a man came with one of those metal stakes that they use to keep snow fences in place, and that was long enough. My brother was able to reach in through a slightly open sun roof and hit the unlock button. (We were unable to get anything between the window and the frame of the car.)

We then toured my brother's new apartment (he just moved out of his previous living quarters) and headed home. We had a yummy dinner out, good conversation and a funny waiter. 

On Sunday we went shopping for my birthday gift from Mom. We went to Chicos and shopped the sale racks. I found some really good deals and made several purchases for myself in addition to what Mom gave me. I bought a denim jacket with some pretty embroidery on it, 2 paris of slacks for summer (they are not jeans, but casual pants in with a jeans styling and a little bit of embroidery on the back pocket), a white on white pin striped shirt, a cotton tee and a pair of work slacks. What a haul, and for just about $200 total! (the total includes what Mom bought for me and her expenditures). The quality of the clothing is very good. I do not use dry cleaners, and so I put everything in the wash machine. This stuff holds up to that kind of care, and that's what I need. It is worth spending the extra money for the clothing when it holds up well to wear and tear. (I will take the embroidered jacket to the cleaner. I am not stupid) I plan to try to dress nicer in the future. I think I should not be wearing jeans, running shorts and sweatshirts as often as I do. I can dress comfortably and look nicer (and more age appropriately) in most cases and save the jeans, etc. for around the house working.

After we rested our (my) feet a bit, I headed home. It's just about 200 miles, and I thought I would be driving the last hour or so in the rain, but I actually made it home before it started! Luck was with me for sure.

My foot hurts a lot today. I know that I did too much standing over the weekend (standing seems to hurt more than walking) but I think it's actually the weather - cold, rainy, damp - that is making it hurt. My sinuses are acting up, too. I plan to stay inside and keep my foot up. That means computer working and knitting. yippee!

Over the weekend I worked on the sleeves for my sweater, Bob's white cotton sweater and a sock. It's the same sock I've been working on, but when I tried it on to see how tall it was before deciding when to bind off I found that the foot was way too long. I ripped back right away, before I could think about how long it had taken me to knit that far. There is absolutely no point in making socks you won't be comfortable wearing. And I love the colors too much to give them away.

There is really nothing to show you in photos, so I won't bother. It's just more of the same. Maybe by the end of the week I will have made enough progress to justify pictures. Maybe I will be able to finish my sleeves by then. That would be excellent.

We plan a fishing trip on Saturday to Annapolis and point south. Bob and Robert want to try early striped bass fishing. I will go along for the ride.

It is almost Sheep and Wool festival time! This will be the last S & W with Karen (unless I can convince her to come visit me every May). I plan to look for sweater quantity yarn, so I have homework to do between now and then. I would like to find a sweater pattern that I want to make, one each using worsted, sport and aran weight yarn, so that if I find yarn that calls to me, I have a specific project to buy it for. If I fall in love with aran weight yarn, for instance, I want to know how much I need to make a specific sweater. It will also help with color choices to know whether I will be knitting lace, cables, texture or whatever. I hope to avoid buying too much fiber, since I have quite a bit of it, unspun, in the house. I would be interested in buying enough for a pair of socks, though. Another possibility would be something I love the hand of in a pretty color for a shawl - something for at home to keep warm in, not light weight and fancy.

Once my foot improves I plan to get back to my spinning on a regular basis. I have projects in mind for my fiber and don't spend enough time spinning the yarns for them. I'd like to finish up the knitting projects I have going right now (I am thinking of Bob's sweater, my sweater, my vest) and then concentrating on spinning a lot more and having only 1 or 2 knitting projects in the works at once. I'd like to finish spinning the purple wool/silk fiber so I can knit my shawl. I'd like to finish the blue fiber I have on the wheel now (it's about 4 oz.) and knit the mittens I have in mind for that yarn. I would then like to spin sweater yarn. I haven't yet worked out the details (number of plies, weight, etc. because I only have a general idea of what I want but I do want to get to work on that. I purchased that fiber last year at S & W, still like it and want to use it.

It is lovely to move the wheel out on the deck on nice days and spin in my back yard. We have an elevated deck and so I can look out over the yard, garden, etc. and listen to the birds while spinning or play my favorite music or even an audio book. There will be lots of time on the boat for me to get in enough knitting to satisfy that urge, and I can't spin on the boat. I did spin a little last year, but it's hard. Even a drop spindle doesn't work too well because of the dampness and the need to keep my balance while spinning so as to not go overboard. ; ))

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