Our ancient bathroom is getting a much needed makeover! Ed is doing all the work, other than painting which falls to me. Hooray for my small part.
First the rarely used doorway between the bathroom and our bedroom was removed and hole walled over.
Before:
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After:
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Ed stripped off the old wallboard inside the bathroom.
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The old sink was the impetus to the makeover: the original molded sink was about worn all the way through after almost 40 years of use.

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Note the linen cabinet to the left: that to will be transformed. Ed started working on it yesterday.

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New wallboard in place. Ed is cutting flashing to put around the floor openings for the sink plumbing. Much to his chagrin, plumbing in old mobile homes is far from standard.
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Laying the new flooring. This coming summer we hope to remove that ugly old orange carpet that’s in the hallway.
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Painting next to the redwood wall that Ed put in the tub/shower ten years ago. Slowly, slowly the improvements are being made.
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Applying the second coat of off-white.
The red wall was the first to be painted. That cheerful color delights my heart to no end.DSC01849

Cabinets and new door installed.DSC01881Once Ed has made the new linen cabinet I’ll repaint all the walls one last time and rehang the curtain I wove last year. We’re thrilled with the clean new look and feel.

It’s been another month of not being able to settle down to a knitting, or weaving project. So far each thing I’ve undertaken has languished quickly after it was begun. Instead, lots of spinning has been happening. Mostly during the almost daily walks. I’m participating in the Jenkins Woodworking Ravelry group’s “Recipe Challenge” which has been fun. It’s helped that despite having over 7 inches of rain fall in January the temperatures have been in the 40s and 50s F with a couple days edging above 60F. We had only 3 days where the temps dipped into the 30sF. A few days of hard rain were followed by sunshine.
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The yarn needed to crochet my granddaughter the mermaid blanket was finally ordered last week. I’m hoping that once it arrives I’ll have a blast making it.

After finishing the handspun socks in November I set out to knit up a quick hat with the leftover yarn.
The beginning of a knook/crochet hat for my granddaughter.DSC01142
A couple rounds after taking this picture enthusiasm evaporated. It was frogged. Stitches were cast on with knitting needles stitches starting with an earflap.

About then granddaughter, Feather, informed me that she’d love, love, love a crocheted mermaid blanket. Grandson, Wes, wanted a crocheted shark blanket. Patterns were found, bought and printed. Reading the type and amounts of yarn necessary for two such beasts, er, blankets my heart sank. Acrylic yarn held double-stranded.

All knitting/crocheting/weaving mojo disappeared. The busy Advent season was suddenly less busy and time appeared for other activities:

The first Christmas letter in years was written and mailed to far-flung family.
A gingerbread train was decorated with Violet,DSC01310
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Christmas carols and tunes fiddled
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to a church full of people singing upstairs,DSC01353

eating and visiting downstairs.
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A tree was decorated,
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Presents were wrapped.
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Turtles of singles were plyed, soaked and hung to dry.

The clouds burned off Christmas morning giving us the first day of sunshine in 24 days, perfect for a cold Christmas day bicycle ride.
DSC01512All but a couple of the main paths were flooded by the 22 foot higher than normal Willamette River, the swift current racing across the path showing its power.
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Puzzles piecedDSC01542

Brisk walks taken with my neighbor. We were so grateful for sunshine after 24 consecutive days of rain which dumped a record amount of almost 16 inches rainfall in the month of December.
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Even with the seemingly endless days of rain December 2015 was a very good month.

Tomorrow I need to firmly settle back into the work saddle, pick up the reins and settle back into a good work routine.

Young Ebo has never minded laying supine on my lap while I gentle rub his tummy and his many toes.
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It doesn’t take long before he’s completely relaxed. One time he was so relaxed he even flopped off my legs in slumber.Relaxed Ebo3

If you like pictures of cats check out Katzenworld for more laid-back cats!

It’s been a super busy workday trying to catch up with mailing spindles. Twenty-six individual orders out the door – that’s a record for me with packing spindles. Tonight I’ll bake a cake for Ed to take to the Wednesday supper crew, practice Christmas music on the violin then I hope to make like Ebo and relax.

Thirty days with a post each day this past month.

As we teeter on the edge of December I am considering recording some flash-backs to significant times and events. This month I’ve looked back on posts from previous years and appreciate the value of gathering memories, pictures and thoughts in one place.

Writing daily has been a struggle at times: Carving out the time, deciding what to share, how personal to get. Often during the day a topic tumbles through my brain but by evening I shy away and stay with the easy, quick thoughts. I believe that I’m ready to take this a bit deeper from time to time.

A cup of hot Breathe Easy tea is next to me, helping to sooth my lungs. Otherwise the corner has been turned, the fever and chills are gone (hooray) and I can taste food again. Tomorrow will be another marathon day of packing up spindles that were bought Friday and Saturday. I didn’t get nearly as many into the mail today as I wanted. I fully expect tomorrow to go smoother.

With the temps dipping into the mid 20F Ed’s been diligent about feeding all the birds that winter here.  We warm up the hummingbird water and top off the tubes for the tiny fellows; handfuls of seeds and grains are scattered across the ground and feeders are filled. Shortly after noon Ebo wanted out. I watched him as he stalked towards some of the small birds on the ground. They flew up into the tree next to the house. Ebo crouched low and froze in place. After a bit the birds returned to feeding, a wary eye on the three month old kitten. (We learned his age when we took him to the vet for a checkup.)

After a few minutes he carefully moved towards a group. They didn’t stick around to be playthings. Then to my amazement he moved across the way to under the camper and hid behind the tire. The birds didn’t return to the ground and I went back into the office. About an hour later I heard thrashing near the back door. Small feathers were scattered everywhere as Ebo wildly, joyfully tossed around a poor dead Finch that he’d caught. I managed to pry it from his jaws and paws, pushed him inside the house and gave the Finch a quick burial.

Tomorrow Ed will put fencing around the base between the tires so that he can’t hide behind them within an easy pounce to the feeding birds. Hank showed us that cats learn to smoothly move when wearing a bell collar so the bell doesn’t jingle.

Speaking of Hank… We got up very early one morning to drive to Idaho at the end of September. Thunder, the outdoor cat, had been fed and I was gathering food for the trip when a movement outside the back door caught my attention.

Glancing outside I grabbed my camera.
In a rush to snap the pictures I forgot to check the setting or adequately focus.
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Down a step and to the side out of camera view was a second raccoon. He was too spooked by me to come any closer.
Hank didn’t seem too surprised or upset. He sat calmly watching while the raccoon ate Thunder’s food. We haven’t seen either coon since but there have always been coons around here, often living under the museum just down the block from us.

The quiet calm Sunday has been balm to my health, mind, and spirit.

The upcoming days are strung together by the business of the season we’re entering. Rather than think on all that needs attention these next two weeks it seems good to close the day with some quiet pictures taken during one morning walk this past mid-August.

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Do you see the road leading onto the bridge at the lower left of this picture?DSC09953

This bridge leads directly into our little village. One would scarcely know there is a town just beyond the foreground trees. It’s nestled into a small valley where Butte Creek ends its descent from the Cascade Mountains and begins flowing into the broad Willamette Valley.

It was such a dry summer here that the foliage prematurely browned and the creek became alarmingly dry. We’ve had some good rains earlier in November and the snow is starting to be replenished on the mountains.DSC00004
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I’m so very thankful for all the quiet beauty all around us!

Reality hit at 4 this morning when a stuffy nose, an eye stuck shut and aching lungs woke me up. For an hour I lay in bed desperately wanting to go back to sleep before giving up to take some meds and drink hot tea.

I hated succumbing to the fact that this cold isn’t going away in a day or two and reluctantly cancelled teaching Sunday School tomorrow. Tonight my lungs are tight and burn when I cough. Perhaps another day of completely taking it easy and drinking more hot tea will do the trick. (Lemon with honey, licorice, Throat Coat, Breathe Easy, and an Earl Grey because I needed a change of pace!)

I managed about 2 hours of office work before calling it a day and caving in to wrap myself in a gifted shawl. The love I feel when I wear these beautiful precious handspun, hand knit shawls is palpable. Some day I should blog about them and show them off!

Being down has a bright side: finished socks!
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Can you believe that I spun this yarn early in 2013? Yep, this yarn came from the Ravelry Jenkins Woodworking Forum’s Swap Challenge2. Sharon, aka Homecraft, so aptly leads these fun challenges which not only builds spinning skills but also friendships. I’m embarrassed to admit that I rarely log in to Ravelry except to find a pattern. My lack of participation is due to my lousy time management. When I’m involved the hours can get sucked away too quickly. I admire, and am thankful!, for all of you who so faithfully participate in the forum.

Oh yes, the socks…
I swapped two ounces of Abstract Fibers, Constellation, with my upstream partner and received two ounces of Out of the Whorled, Just Figs. Each two ounce strip of roving was spun separately using an egret. While driving to Moscow, ID for the Palouse Fiber Festival in June of 2013 I managed to ply the entire four ounces into one huge turtle on the Egret just in time to display at the show. It was such a great display item that the turtle stayed with the Egret until this summer when I finally wound it off into a skein and gave it a bath.

For several months I’d handle the skein trying to determine what it wanted to be. Not a huge fan of the barber-pole look that was going on in much of the skein I finally landed on knitting socks. For myself.  But first I needed to finish Feather’s skirt and spin yarn for a swap with a friend who loves knitting with handspun but is not yet a spinner. (Yes! I’m working on rectifying that missing link in her life.)

When the first sock was finished I got out the ball winder and commenced winding from the inside of the remainder of the ball of yarn in search of that matching area with the beginning of the completed sock. I finally realized that such a thing wasn’t going to happen: the two rovings were dyed in different color lengths and there simply was no point that the repeating colors once again matched in the plyed yarn.

Today the second sock was completed. DSC01131

Time for a last hot cup of tea, a bath and a bit of reading a book in bed.

 

 

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