Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Snow in the Spring

Spring is here!

It’s crazy and wonderful and I love it! On Monday morning, I was up in New York, on Long Island, visiting with my mother. We were actually supposed to have been home already (I should have been at work) but we had car issues and could not get home until Monday evening. Grrrr. Ruined most of the weekend, blast it.

Anyway, we had heard on the weather report the night before that there might be some snow in the mix in the AM. My brother assured us that only north and west of the city would see any snow. Boy was he wrong! Not that there was any accumulation, but there were huge flakes falling for about 30 minutes. Very pretty and it didn’t cause any problems, so we could relax and enjoy. By the time we arrived home on Monday evening, we had shed layers and had no need for jackets – that was much better. ;))

We went to Long Island so I could spend time with Mom and Bob could go cod fishing. He’s been planning this trip since our last trip to NY when the winds were too high for him to go. He was packed and prepped, we got to NY on Friday, visited with Mom and had a nice dinner, then drove out to Montauk (where the boat is docked) before 1 PM when it was due in from the previous nights’ trip. No boat. We looked around, came back, still no boat. We asked, they said the boat would be in around 2, ate lunch and came back, still no boat. Finally, around 3 PM it arrived. Bob got to reserve his place on the boat with a fishing rod and off we went to check in to the motel we were staying at.

We hung out and enjoyed the sun for a while. Then Bob settled in for a nap and Mom and I went to eat. The battery warning light had come on the dash during the day, but the gauges seemed to be OK, so off we went. After dinner, though, the battery gauge went down fast as I drove. We went straight back to the hotel. Bob was still sleeping. I was supposed to get him up about 10:30 to get ready to leave for the boat, which left the dock at 1 AM. He couldn’t go. We agonized over it, but not knowing how or when we would get back home, knowing that the next day was Sunday and nothing was open, and lots of other details made him decide he had to skip the PREPAID trip.

We slept, got up in the morning and did more agonizing. The guess was that the alternator was shot. How far could we get on what battery power remained? What damage might we do if we pushed it too far? What other choices did we have?

We left Montauk and drove to the Kmart in Bridgehampton - a very stressful 22 miles. We made it. Just. The car died as I put it in park in the parking lot. Bob bought 2 car batteries and we drove back to Mom’s house. From there we made phone calls, agonized more about whether Bob should try (remember, he’s legally blind) to install the alternator himself or have someone do it. We had it replaced by the repair shop because if he had tried and been unsuccessful, we would have had to tow the vehicle to the repair place. They fixed it but not until Monday, so I missed work and a meeting that I am expected to attend. We got home so late that we missed joining younger son and his partner for a birthday celebration, too. I’d like to set that blasted vehicle on fire or blow it up!!!

On a more cheerful note, I have been knitting on my handspun wrap and really enjoying choosing colors and knitting with yarn I spun myself. I’ll try to get pictures this weekend. I have also been knitting on the Eliina shawl and the two socks I have on the needles. I didn’t get spinning done this weekend – that was part of some ruined plans, too. I had planned to spin while on the beach, soaking in the sun ……

I have been researching what to do with my fleece when it arrives. I plan to order some Unicorn Power Scour and rinse. I’ll do a cold soak outside, let it dry and pull it apart to shed as much VM as possible. I’ll also evaluate it to see how much hot water washing it will take. The hot water washing will take place in the kitchen sink, near the stove where I can supplement the hot tap water as needed. I am hoping that one wash and two rinses will do the trick. According to my reading, this is not supposed to be a greasy fleece. I’ll do one small batch first to test my system, then try to do the rest in just two batches. I’m not sure if I will buy tulle to dry it in outside or use cheesecloth (to keep it from blowing away or being stollen by critters but still let air flow through). We have a nice big deck and clothes line to use for drying purposes. Then I have to figure out how to spin it. Brush with dog brushes? Use as is? I don’t own tools for fiber prepping, so I have to improvise or make do. What an adventure! I can’t believe some people go to fiber festivals and come home with 5 or more fleeces at once!

That’s all for now. I hope you are all enjoying spring and savoring your health and homes, especially after the devastation in Japan.

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