Saturday, September 29, 2007

Rambling Again

How I Got Here<< Main >>I Have Returned

WOW!!! What a week I've had. Got a LOT of stuff accomplished.

First off, let me just tell you I was a dumbass last night. I have probably injured myself (mostly my right wrist) by moving a 74 lb box full of engine parts that was delivered and left on the sidewalk while I was in Duluth yesterday. Lightning was all around again and I didn't know if it could get wet (husband is still on the West coast and probably will be for another week), so I tossed it on a big piece of cardboard and dragged it into the pole barn. By yanking it properly for my back but NOT for my arms, I think I popped the tendon out of place on my right wrist and my left elbow, and I can feel a chip of something floating around so I think I damaged the end of the radius. I've got the wrist splinted now and since I'm seeing my Doc on Monday, I'll have him check it out. So, this weekend I'll be laying low and doing paperwork and bills and getting the place safe for the grandkid's visit on Sunday.

I managed to get the whole floor scrubbed down and move all my husband's crap to the sidelines. Then I moved out most all of the furniture except for the bed and couch (too heavy to move alone) and the computer stuff since I need the Mr. to do the wires for the routers and modem. I could do it, but I don't know where the wire is. I have plenty of other stuff to move yet. I managed an all nighter (11:30 pm Saturday until 12:30 pm on Sunday) putting together an improvised Melamine Island out of 2 laundry Base cabinets for the kitchen area. I also managed to drop one of the boxes that held a base cabinet onto my foot. Broke a ton of blood vessels and it hurt like hell, but it's healing up quite nicely. No broken bones that I can tell, but some numbness that won't go away. I've also moved a bazzillion boxes of crap out there. I'm going to need to spend a few days just emptying them and sorting the stuff and putting it away in the proper place before I can haul out any more.

In the down time I managed to take my step-dad into the doctor and bring him to visit an assisted living facility. He said it was nice, but he didn't think he was ready yet. He IS, but doesn't know it. The doctor is sending him for a driver's license evaluation. If he looses his license (which he most likely will), he may change his mind. I feel so sorry for him, but he's a danger to himself and other's. His dementia is getting worse and he's drinking heavily on top of that. He has a room-mate that I pay to look after him and keep him from driving, but the room-mate will be leaving by the middle of November at the latest, so I have to get my step-dad out of that house. On a fun note, I get to get a stool sample from him on Monday. Sheesh! I guess that's TMI, but it causes me a LOT of stress and that makes my disease flare up worse. But, since I'm all he has in this world, I have to take care of things for him. We'll get by somehow, him and me.

I ordered books today. I got all five of Treasury of Knitting Patterns , A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, Charted Knitting Designs: A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns , Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns, and Mosaic Knitting by Barbara G. Walker. I've always wanted the, so.....I also ordered 3 Certificate of Excellence workbooks from The Handweaver's Guild of America . I got the ones for Dyeing, Spinning and Weaving. I am not going to try and send in the stuff and get any certificates. I just want to improve myself.

I managed to get some more knitting done on my Wing-of-the-Moth Shawl. I'm one row away from the starting the border. I have to say that this is an easy and fun knit.

Oh, Crap...Phone call.....Mother of grandkid is sick and I have grandkid in 1/2 and hour which means I have to kid proof.....Take care all.....

Friday, September 21, 2007

How I Got Here

Hi from extremely soggy Minnesota...The power has been getting knocked out all over the place. There's too much lightning to be on-line much so I'm posting in between storms. We've had many modems, phones, and one computer fried by big-ass surges coming through the phone line. This old house has a bunch of leaks and there are buckets and towels all over the place. I feel like the wife in the movie "The Egg and I". Which brings me to finally answer the many questions I've gotten on why and how I ended up here.

I fell in love with the country and farming while watching the "Egg and I" and "met" Ma and Pa Kettle when I was a child. Actually, that movie and Ma Kettle somewhat shaped my life. After I saw it, I really wanted to move out to a farm. Well, being about 8 years old at the time, I couldn't manage that, but I did do everything else I could, like teaching myself to sew, knit, crochet, weave, bake bread, make soap, garden, etc. Life took way too many turns on my way to the farm, but I am finally here.

I was living in a very beautiful place in a house I had built with my late husband. It was located on a sand bar called Park Point (officially Minnesota Point) that was connected to Duluth by a lift-bridge. When I first moved there in 1982, it was NOT the place to be. It was all old, ratty houses that the banks very seldom gave loans out for. Anyway, my husband had lived there his entire life so I moved there. The people that live there are great, but if you hadn't spent your whole life there, you never belonged. We spent 2 years tearing down and building a new house while living in it. Not fun, but it got done. I swore that I would never do that again. Argh! Our back yard was the beach and Lake Superior. I LOVED the wild storms and unpredictably of living there. Six years later, my husband died. I went to college for the next five years, during which I met my current husband. During the 16 years I had been on the Point, people from the big cities and the "richer" areas of the country began buying up property, tearing down the ratty houses and building McMansions, driving up property values and real estate taxes. Traffic and taxes became unbearable for me. The serenity of walking out my back door to the lake was ruined by scores of strangers walking through my property to enjoy the lake themselves. I didn't begrudge anyone for wanting to be by the lake, but I hated the trespassing, garbage and vandalism to my property and the continuous traffic on the only road that went down the middle of the Point. My taxes went so high that I couldn't afford to live there any more and I had to leave. My dreams of being Ma Kettle were still alive and I began looking for land. One foggy, rainy Sunday, my guy and I were out looking at land and houses that I had found in a real estate mag and I saw a for-sale sign pointing down a dead-end road. We drove down the road. We found 3 driveways and some vacant land. It was too foggy to see anything else. There was no sign indicating which house was for sale, so I wrote down the number of the realtor from the sign at the end of the road and went on to find the house that I found in the mag. Well, nothing I looked at that day tripped my trigger, so I called the number of the realtor that I written down. I met her two days later and she showed me several places and then finally the place that I originally called about. We drove up the loooong driveway to this place and we were surrounded by goats. As soon as we got out of my car, the goats jumped up on it and begged for treats. We walked through a useless fence, shooed the goats away from the door and walked in. The place was built of logs in 1893. It was one of 7 houses that survived the 1918 fire that wiped out thousands of homes and killed over 450 people. There was no plumbing or electricity. No one who had lived there ever wanted any. The owner hadn't lived in the house for over 2 years and whoever was taking care of the goats had let them live in the house on occasion. Very little updating had been done through the years. There are places where the hand-hewn logs and boards are still visible. The only insulation is the moss that they crammed into the chinks. I fell in love. I talked to my guy and within 2 weeks, we were married and a month later, we had the house, a barn, and 80 acres, 45 miles from the city where I had spent my entire 39 years of life. 8 months later, after fixing up my house to sell, digging a well, bringing in electricity, and putting in a mound septic system, we moved onto the farm. 1-1/2 years after that, we had running hot and cold water, a flush toilet, and gas heat and a stove. Then there was the building of the 64 X 30 foot pole barn, which my husband built 95% by himself. I am currently in the process of making the pole barn livable so we can move in there, temporarily. Unfortunately, the old house is way too far gone. The foundation is falling in and it would cost way too much money to fix it up enough to be safe. Plus, I have developed some major health issues and will eventually have problems with stairs. So, we have decided to tear down the old place and put a new one on the same site. It breaks my heart but I have no choice. We have tried to give the structure to many historical societies, even one in Finland since this is was built by Finnish immigrants, but even a free house costs too much to move. We have some friends who would like to tear it down and rebuild it on another site, so that's what we will do. I am glad it will have a new life.

Current picture of old house. I screened in the porch a few years ago.

Old Finnish style barn. The bend in the middle of the roof is intensional. It funnels the rain and snow melt away from the ends.

Husband in front of the polebarn a few years ago. It now has a floor with in-floor heat and is insulated and finished with metal inside and out.

The current situation is work, work, work. My disease makes that very hard, but I'm pushing ahead with the help of my pain meds. I dropped my husband off at the airport on Tuesday for Seattle, I have made arrangements for my step-dad, and have spent the last 2 days working like a madwoman. I'm waiting for the meds to kick in so I can get to the hardware store and get back at it. I WILL be moved into the pole barn by the time my husband gets home on the 30th.

So, here I am...My dreams have become reality. Plus, my mailing address is Kettle River and the city has a festival call "Ma and Pa Kettle Days" every August. Can you say "Destiny"?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Secret of the Stole Swatch

Hi, All.

It has been a bad couple of weeks for me. The step-dad problems are escalating exponentially and I have pneumonia. Long story. All I have been able to accomplish on the fiber front is my swatch for the Secret of the Shawl KAL.

I'm using Alpaca Cloud in the Tide Pool Heather colorway. I like the weight, color, and the way it knits up, BUT it is kind of scratchy. Amazing to me since it is made from baby alpaca. Anyway, it's very inexpensive and it won't be worn next to my skin,so I'm okay with it. The photo doesn't show the correct color. It is more blue.

Well, I've got more step-dad fires to put out, so I best be off. Take care, All.