Sunday, October 21, 2012

It's really Autumn

What with the wacky weather we've had this fall, I was able to deny it longer than usual. But, now the nights are cold enough that I've turned on the furnace, and my going-to-sleep thoughts have been on where I stashed the leftover interior window-sealing plastic (drat it, I don't have enough so I'll have to go to the hardware store), and today shortly before noon I looked out the back window and saw this:

and if that's not Autumn light, nothing is. It drew me outside with my camera. 

My neighbor's garage, I hope he never "smartens" it up

My happy Buddha in his Clematis arbor

My brush pile in the back corner, home to garter snakes, rabbits, squirrels and birds. And, it appears, poison ivy, but that's all over the yard.

And I put together a squash-apple bake yesterday; chunks of tart apples and butternut squash baked with walnuts, raisins, and a drizzle of maple (flavored) syrup. 

I changed my bathroom theme from Paris to Autumn.

And I (foolishly, no doubt) got all enthused about knitting myself a sweater so I found a free downloadable pattern on Ravelry, and ordered the wool to knit it.

Something that's been bugging me for, oh, over a year, was that the new doors I put on my back yard shed had a gap between them, and suddenly today I found myself out there with my cordless drill, a trio of mismatched screws, a strip of board, my skinny little manual band saw (if that's what it is), and a pitiful assortment of clamps, most of which didn't fit the project. However, in an hour, I had the gap closed and a nice job of it I did, if I do say so myself. Felt like freaking Wonder Woman, I did, and came inside to brag about it in my journal and as I wrote the date, I remembered. 

It took me until 5:15 pm to remember that six years ago tonight my husband died in my arms.

Going to Paris in 2007 was my attempt to put something so spectacularly great in October that it wouldn't be a miserable month for me forever after.  Going last week was just because I love Paris so much, but it seems my strategy of using Paris to re-color October has worked. Since I returned last Saturday, all my time has been taken up with talking about, thinking about, writing about, and messing with my photos of, Paris, or dealing with the crappy head cold I got Monday, or doing housework, or sleeping. Until 5:15 this evening, I didn't remember October 21, 2006. 

That's a good thing. His absence is a daily ache, a constant hole in my heart. I don't need to ruin our favorite month of the year with additional pain. 

I've changed my mind. I *am* going to buy candy and go get as many second-hand kids' spooky books to hand out on Hallowe'en as I can find and afford. I am going to do a little fall decorating. I love Autumn.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

In light of the NINE HOUR LAYOVER I have at O'Hare before my plane leaves for Paris, I've bought a scarf kit to knit to help while away the wait. It is NOT a cheap deal, neither the kit nor the circular needles I got (didn't think I'd want to be crawling around on the plane floor chasing escaping double-pointed needles - they do, occasionally cast off the something-something bonds of knitting and fling themselves onto the floor), so I am gambling some money that TSA will let me take it on board. I have heard from many knitters all over the country that MOST of the time there is not the slightest bit of trouble - particularly if you've got a project ON the needles - so I shall cross my fingers and give it a go.

I *love* the colors. The kit's got five one-ounce skeins of different colors that you work into gradually. It's ribbon yarn, which I haven't used before, but it's no different knitting than wool.  The pattern says to cast on 241 stitches; it's meant to be way long, and 5 inches wide, with the pattern looking "sideways," which *is* a cool look, but I do not do well with so many stitches to cast on. I tried that with the shawl and the first knitting class I ever took, not too many months ago, and I only lasted 2 lessons. I got fed up with the pattern, disgusted with my knitting, and grew to loathe the yarn, so I just dumped the project and frogged the work and am waiting for the right pattern for that yarn. It is nice yarn, in a color I like, so it will get used.

Here's what the Mountain Colors scarf looks like so far:

I put down the Hedgerow sock a couple weeks ago. I'm not discouraged, I just got bored with it. I'll pick it up when I get back from my trip. I've made a right hash of the stitch pattern, LOL. It's supposed to look like this:

See the nice neat lines down the sock? Where'd my lines go? Hahahaha! I *think* I might have mis-counted a time or two - whaddya think?

Maybe it won't look that bad once they've been gently washed and blocked. Blocking solves a multitude of seeming problems, they say.

I've found someone who's willing to work with me to dye some wool in exactly the colorway I've had in my head for years, but have never been able to find anywhere. If we can do it, I'll get enough to make a whole sweater! But that'll be later in the year, too.

Other creative things...I baked peanut butter chip chocolate cookies tonight for my September dozen I'll send to my granddaughter. Yes, I know, it's past September, but I'm hoping she won't notice.

I'm starting to see references to NaNoWriMo crop up in peoples' blogs and Live Journal posts. I'm resisting...resisting...I never did anything with last year's novel because once it had sat for a few months, I realized it really WAS crapola and had too many problems of ALL sorts to make it worth trying to get it into shape. I'm glad I did it, though. That was the breakthrough NaNoWriMo novel for me, it proved I could do it. But I'm resisting the pull...what is that strange attraction about, anyway, I wonder?

On yet the other hand, B & N tells me Gwen Hernandez's Scrivener for Dummies is in the mail wending its way toward me, finally.  I'll have some days after Paris to study it before November 1...I believe Scrivener is what enabled me to finish the novel last year, and it's got so many powerful tools I've not even scratched the surface...maybe...and last year, I was still working! This year, I'm retired! It should be a piece of cake!

See what I do to myself, every October?  Damn you, NaNoWriMo!  Every year your siren song turns my empty head...I have a LOT of time in airports and airplanes coming up. Maybe I could spend some of that time rooting around in the attic for novel ideas...