Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The best thing about the month of February...

...is that there is only one of them a year. And it's short. This year February has brought us a nasty cold and a stomach virus. But there have still been many wins:

1. Having quilts and soft pillows to cozy up with while ill.

2. The couch took a direct vomit hit, but it was easy to clean up, because there are three layers of washable covers on it.

3. The one Sunday that I made it to church, some ladies were giving away unwanted materials from their crafts and fabric stashes. I am getting pickier with age about what I bring home, but I did choose some patterns, fabrics, beads, and sheet copper. I've already made a bracelet, two child-size skirts, and a new flannel cover for a worn diaper from these materials. I also picked up a useful sewing tip from the sewing directions in one of the patterns; there's always something more to learn. (The tip was to sew down the seam allowances for the part of a seam that goes up into the casing for an elastic waistband--before sewing the casing--so that you don't have to worry about running into them when you're running the elastic through.)

4. Being able, thanks to the power of persistence, to fish a part from the tub drain cap out of the drain...oh, the things that gifted children will find to disassemble. A replacement cap would have been about $70, with shipping.

5. Investing in some real duct tape (shiny HVAC tape) to seal some gaps and gapes in the ductwork, so that the furnace doesn't need to run so long to get heat up to the thermostat. It is definitely making a difference. 

6. Being able to help some friends who are facing difficult circumstances.

7. Getting last year's paperwork sorted, and the taxes figured out...math is fun!

8. Working through a "punch list" of little details around the house: sanding a bare wood switch plate and giving it a light spray of acrylic sealer*, spackling some dings, painting the tiny space between the door frame and the ceiling in the basement bathroom to match the rest of the walls, figuring out how to remove a drawer from the bathroom vanity to get at the baby stuff that had fallen behind it...a bunch of five- and ten-minute jobs.

9. Taking in the seams on some of my clothes, as I have been gradually losing weight.

10. My husband set up a free, scrounged pegboard behind his workbench. We were also given some tools and books by a church member who is downsizing.


*Edited to add:  The acrylic sealer very soon started to wear off; I ended up sanding it off and spraying the switch plate with a brand-name clear coat, which has been holding up to wear much better.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

God bless the landlords...

...who leave you the paint cans, for touching-up the paint. Bless them double if they've actually labeled the cans by room.

When we lived in an apartment complex, which was not so blessably managed, the thing to do was wait until they painted another apartment, and then grab one of the paint buckets from the dumpster. They always painted apartments the exact same neutral color, and there is enough paint in an "empty" bucket to cover at least a few square inches.

Having those little dings in the wall spackled and painted makes a huge difference, somehow, in how the room feels.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Afoot again

I've been fighting a cold for the past week, and I'm thankful that I've arranged my chore schedule to put laundry early in the week--right after Sunday rest, and before whatever germs we pick up at church make me sick. The old-fashioned routine was "Wash on Monday", for similar reasons. Now that I am feeling better, I am making an effort to put some time into simple, unstructured puttering.

As for projects, I mended a couple of our favorite sweaters:  a child's sweater by a combination of re-knitting and darning (yet again; the sweater is on the verge of complete disintegration), and my favorite lamb's wool sweater, by machine-sewing patches from retired sweaters over the holes in the elbows. A favorite sweater is well worth all the effort that mending takes. For the child's sweater, I didn't have knitting needles that were small enough, so I used two large metal yarn (sewing) needles instead.

We have been saving for some time for a grain mill, and recently bought one. (I may review it later on.) It has been fun to use, and freshly-ground flour just seems so alive, compared to regular flour. The saving part went quickly, once we actually defined a goal and established a place to set aside the money in.

I finished knitting the towel that I started, because I ran out of yarn. It works well, but is definitely too small, so I am going to make it larger when I find some compatible yarn. I knitted a loop on one corner, for hanging it up, because our other towels are always falling off their pegs. I should probably sew some loops on those.

At the moment, I am playing with some green yarn. It is very soft, and a bit on the thin side. It would be very nice for a baby hat.

Tax season is coming up, I need to get to the library to see what forms they are still stocking these days. Then comes the annual Sorting of the Files and Gathering of the Numbers.

This is my position on current politics:  I AM TIRED OF BEING LIED TO.

Update: a picture of the towel: