Thursday, May 20, 2010

May Miscellany

I've been wanting to write a blog post about all the various goings-on in my life lately, but haven't found a way to write all the loose ends together.

One dumb idea was to use the theme of Lines or Separations, Old and New. Oh, my, that was unwieldy. But a few pictures that I found might have worked with that theme.

In the back yard pool the plumbing got completely blocked with matted spruce needles from the neighbors' tree. We had to call a repairman, but by the time he arrived and blew out the plug with CO2, B. had mentioned our problem to the neighbors and they cut down the tree! I hope they will finish off the tall stump soon.


Even now this oak hardwood is being turned into floors in our house, but I took the photo when it was sitting in the family room acclimating for two weeks.
I noticed how the lines of iron railing make an X over the stairs, as though to signify that they will not exist in their same form after they get some of that beautiful oak covering them. But in the meantime my elbow complained from pulling staples out.

The most troublesome line of all is this one, below, on the ceiling that flows without a border from the family room into the kitchen. The kitchen has satin paint but the family room has flat paint. I've been working hard, on a ladder several times with a brush or a little roller, painstakingly trying to get a straight line between the old textured kitchen surface and the new smooth family room ceiling. I'm not yet finished, but I hope all that's left is to roll once more some flat paint on the family room side.

It never occurred to me to have a complete hiatus in my doll-making efforts. I wanted some wool for stuffing the dolls. It is a long story, and I can't decide if it is horrible or hilarious, but in any case it is too painful to tell, how I ended up with ten pounds of raw and dirty sheep's wool that is so full of foxtails that no one would believe it. Nature Girl says that if one wants foxtail-free wool one probably has to get it somewhere besides California. But I'm not asking for that; I'd just like some 90% cleaner than what I got this time.

My first picture of the wool shows it at its most appealing. If you click on the photo you can see close up the lines of golden lanolin.

I have spent hours pulling out foxtails, and I thought I got them all out before washing it, during the skirting process, but afterward I discovered a million more, and that was just in a pound or two of the wool. The next two pictures show my post-washing sorting project, and a wad of stickers I removed with wool fibers still clinging. Now I have to wash it again to get out the dirt that the hidden foxtails held on to through the first three washings.


Before I leave this topic, I have to say that I love the wool, even though I got a bad batch. Working with it before washing, I couldn't stop sniffing at my hands with the good-smelling lanolin on them, and they felt so soft, too. Now that the lanolin is out, the wool is white and fluffy where it isn't still dirty. Makes me think that spinning would be satisfying, too. 

When I had my new stove functioning for two weeks I baked the last of the butternut squash from last summer.


And now that the stove is in the living room while the floors are being laid, I ran over to Wal-Mart and bought a GE electric kettle so I can make tea. That's it sitting on the new kitchen counter.



Since I didn't want to be in the way of the floor guys, I spent a long time at church one day, making communion bread, taking inventory in the bookstore, and removing several monster wheelbarrow loads of a pretty plant that had taken over one perennial bed.

When the plant is blooming, you get an impression of purple at the tips, but they droop down a bit, so it's vague and not eye-catching. When I cleaned up some of the mess I found these flowers that had fallen off, lying on the blacktop like flower candycorn.

May has been mostly cold and wet, with a few sunny and warm hours to encourage seeds to sprout. The gardens have some lush growth of certain plants, and the largest snails I have ever seen. I was able to fit in another trip to see Seventh Grandson, and as I type he is sitting on The Quilt playing with his toys.

Doesn't the Bible say something about lines falling in pleasant places? I could have used that verse, wherever it is, if I'd made this post all about lines.


7 comments:

elizabeth said...

wow; that is a lot of going ons!

I think it is Psalm 16 that has this line...

Would love to see pictures of the new wood floors when they are in!

M.K. said...

Psalm 16:6 -- "The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me." I think your post was lovely to read :)

Jeannette said...

Well there are some good lines in your post and I lined right up to read you...
and yes I am tired enough from all day gardening to resort to one liners instead of being able to summon a more insightful or sensitive comment.

It occurs to me that it would be easier to wash the wool on the sheep and make them stand nicely still while they are brushed and fluffed out and then clip their wool than what you are having to go through. Of course I have never had any sheep and I can barely brush my dog, but the one time his fur was used for yarn ( Suzy C.) I had just bathed and brushed him.

If you decide to make any dog dolls...well he is still quite furry. I told you I was tired!

Remodeling is a disruptive and I think you have done marvelously well and I look forward to seeing it.

Pom Pom said...

You'll love your new floor. You'll feel so thankful when you put your feet on the good warm wood. I like your busy doings. I sense a perfect pace.

Gumbo Lily said...

I enjoyed reading about your days. Lots to do and lots happening where you live. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Jody

DebD said...

My daughter was a spinner for many years before college took up much of her time. I don't think I've ever seen wool looking that bad. What a task!

I *love* my electric teakettle. I actually need to replace it because I bought a cheap plastic one and the hard water has discolored it rather badly.

We have a textured ceiling in our family room. I hate it, but not quite so much as to change it - it looks like SUCH a chore. But, ours is the kind that cannot be painted on, so something will have to be done if we ever sell our home.

I so enjoyed your update.

Marfa said...

So many beautiful photos...the wool and butternut squash...flowers that fell. How funny the neighbors just cut their pine tree like that! We had a big event down the street here yesterday, the biggest maple tree was cut down! I'm posting a few pics on my blog!!!