Drama ahead.

I thought posting might help me get back on track a bit.

I’m exhausted, mentally, physically, emotionally…all of it…and can’t seem to land on my feet right now.  Things have been a bit crazy and I’m not happy about it.

My husband decided to apply for a new job.  He didn’t discuss it with me until after he was interviewed and kept telling me he wasn’t going to take the job.  He took the job.  It’s a horrible idea. He’s taking a demotion, didn’t get the salary he wanted, and will now work a lot more hours a day, to the tune of 40 hours over two weeks…no overtime.  The company is restructuring and laid off almost half of their employees two years ago.  The laid off an additional 1,200 people between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and 300 the Thursday before Easter.  Hubs is easily bamboozled, says it’s his dream (that he never told anybody), and doesn’t see how leaving one of the most stable jobs in the country with clear and consistent career growth for a company that is circling the drain is a problem.  His parents have money.  They’ve promised they’ll bail him out.  Who cares that he’s married?  Needless to say, we’ve had some pretty nice screaming matches about him making this kind of decision without talking to me about it.  That’s not how relationships work.

My little dog is sick.  She has been for an entire month.  She fire hoses poo out in a gross stream and has to go out many, many times a day.  The vet can’t figure out what’s wrong with her and we’re now just blindly trying things.  Her bloodwork and stool samples all come back normal. He couldn’t find any obstructions.  She’s stopped spewing blood and losing weight, so that’s something.  He’s out of town this week, which is why I’m not in his office…again…for about the 8th time this month.  She vomited this morning but I think it’s because I was too sick (not sure wtf is going on with me either — I woke up at 2 a.m. with bad upper abdominal pain and nausea…reminds me a bit of my ulcer years ago but that was lower.  Ugh!) to get up and dose her medication, so hubs just gave it to her in a pill pocket and left without bothering to feed the dogs.  I feel gross on antibiotics too when I don’t eat.  I’m hoping that’s what it was.

I’m also on antibiotics…because I was bitten by a tick.  My personal nightmare.  Lyme disease is so common here that it’s scary.  My neighbor died from complications of it.  If I get so much as a sniffle in the next two months (or a headache, which is laughable since I have migraines), I’m supposed to go back to the doctor for more bloodwork and antibiotics.  I still don’t have a primary care because of husband’s shenanigans.  We’ve had three new insurance providers since my last doctor appointment.  Again, something I’m very unhappy about.

…and the wedding I was in went to hell in a hand basket.  Almost everybody involved was drunk by 11 a.m. and the wedding wasn’t until 4.  I was one of the sober people, despite my best efforts with lots of tequila, packing my own flask of whiskey, and sharing some homemade moonshine with the groom’s family, so I ended up babysitting a lot of drunks.  Whatever you can imagine went badly, did…and then some.  It was the type of wedding where the father of the groom shows up with moonshine and all of the groomsmen are packing pistols but the bride goes full diva bridezilla and wants to be a princess (and when that failed we found her drinking champagne in a rusted bathtub). People got so pissed off that they literally drove off, abandoning the rest of their family at the venue, which was an Amish farm in the middle of nowhere.  Interesting twist is that in at least one case, some married people enjoyed hooking up with other married people when their spouses left.

By the end of the night, cops were involved.  Physical fights broke out and protection orders were issued.  People should’ve gone to the E.R. but didn’t because it’s a wedding and a party and who ruins that?!  At one point,  I splinted a finger with duct tape because it’s all I had and tried taking them to the doctor but nope, they refused to go; they just went (two weeks later!!!) and the joint was so shattered it needs to be rebuilt, along with the tendons.  I’m guessing it’s from not going to the doctor to begin with — broken bones don’t like to heal if they’re constantly being moved and used to punch people.  But I’m not the one that’s so addicted to opiates that they could go two weeks with a finger grinding where their joint used to be, so what do I know?

As follow-up, the next day there was a threat of suicide in the order of a full will being sent out to everybody and them blaming their spouse for driving them to this.  The protection order turned into a restraining order.  Other people issued statements about being afraid for their lives.  People were kicked out of houses.  The day after, I received a mayday to please come pick somebody up from jail.  They were facing 24 months in jail but needed a ride home after they posted bail.  Thank goodness I was enroute even further south to GA for hub’s family and friends.  Joy.  I did find somebody else to pick them up and they took them to stay with some very unexpected people if you knew everybody involved. Eventually all of the charges were dropped…but people are still kicked out and strewn about. The bride’s mother is giving the marriage 6 months and the groom’s mother said he’ll learn his lesson the hard way — doesn’t bode well.  I’m also joining the bet but giving it 9 months because the bride/groom were already fighting the week after their honeymoon. I think the only reason they’ll stick together longer is because he’s still living on base until December, so that’s 8 months until he comes “home” with a month to realize what he got himself into. I think I’m the only one they’re all talking to.  I don’t know why.

I’m VERY glad I live 700 miles away.

After that, everything has just been a whirlwind of busy.  I’m an introvert and it takes a long time for me to recover from people…especially my people.  I think, after the wedding and the party last year, my husband is starting to understand why I largely refuse to go to family events.  I haven’t had time to recover to me yet and I’m not sure when that’s going to happen.  Yay, stress!

On the plus side:

My hair is blue now.  I like it.

I also have my Grandmother’s recipe for macaroni salad (mine still didn’t turn out as good as hers) and am about to have a bowl for lunch.  I also like that.

Grandmother says I’m a lot like her in temperament.  Biggest complement anybody could ever give me.  Now to become as friendly as she is.  Not sure I can pull that one off.  XD

Even though I don’t like being around people, I have lots of concerts and fun things to distract me.  I’m seeing Book of Mormon on Thursday.  Going to a costumed Dracula’s Ball in PA on Saturday to see a goth’n’roll band I like (The 69 Eyes).  Seeing Judas Priest on Sunday.  Avantasia is next Friday…then we’re thinking of doing an insane trip back to VA for the Memorial Day weekend to see the graduation of a kid we know.  He was in foster care when we met him and really took to my husband; the kid was adopted several years ago and has had a few issues, so we still try to encourage him in any way that we can.  He REALLY wants hubs to be there for his graduation.  We’re going to try to deliver, even though it means leaving the concert in MA and driving nonstop, all night, to maybe pull into the parking lot right as graduation starts.  It’s an 11 hour drive.  Graduation starts at 11.  The show isn’t supposed to end until Midnight.  Can we do this?  Are we crazy enough to try?

I talked to the bank and have secured approval for a car loan.  I was worried about how it would go over since hubs is job hopping but apparently my credit is too awesome to deny.  I’m thinking about getting an AWD Prius in June.  I’d looove to have a set of wheels to call my own again and the freedom that comes with it.

I also booked three (!!!) extended vacations for metal festivals this year.  ProgPower USA (Atlanta), Heavy Montreal (location should be obvious), and Full Metal Holiday (Mallorca).  There are 89 bands between them…and I’m throwing in another 6 bands by going back to Montreal both days before I fly out for Mallorca because I’m insane and very, very excited.  I think my only hobby now is concerts.  Crafting has taken a back-burner, even if I do still carry a sock to knit on in my purse.

I read a long time ago that metalheads are happier and live longer, which I took to say that I’d be in the nuthouse if I didn’t have my music.  With the way things have been going lately, I may end up there regardless.  :X

 

 

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Pineapple and puppers

The hubs made a cake today.  It’s the second one he’s ever made.  The first was a German chocolate with the icing mixed into the batter.  That particular recipe always cracks me up because my Grandmother gave it to me but she can’t ever get it to work out when she tries, so she makes a strawberry one with that mix in method instead.

Speaking of Grandmother, my uncle sent me a photo of her with her Christmas present I made!

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What was a tiny little lap quilt size for my tall self completely swallows her up.  We also just got back our genetic results.  I’m 22.1% her; I’ll take that.

So back to the cake!  It was an adventure but he didn’t do too badly other than thinking he needed to add flour to the cake mix.  We’re starting him slow here.

He’d never had a pineapple upside down cake and saw one on the Great British Baking Show.  I’m not sure how he’s lived this long without one of these cakes considering how much loves pineapple and cherries but he was very, very pleased with it.

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I also found the mysteriously disappearing bag of polyfill!  I had vacuum packed it so slender that it was UNDER the wardrobe.  There’s barely even room for my hand there…and of course, the seal had came loose because the bags are horrible.  That was a real adventure in freeing something.

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Ignore my super dirty floor — the big dog is in a midst of an epic winter blowout and I’ve had a migraine for two days so am not firing up the vacuum right now.

Little dog doesn’t mind the dirty floor and immediately claimed the overstuffed pants as her new pillow, just as I’d hoped.  As much as I love that bratty furball, my lap is really glad to have a small break from her — she’s only shifted a bit to settle into the criss-cross part of the “lap” since it was given to her.

Food and crafts

For Christmas, my hubs gave me a cast iron pan that I’ve been asking for every year since we’ve lived together. FINALLY!!!  I think I’ve used it every day since I opened it.  🙂

The pan is for æbleskiver but we’ve had a lot of round food the past week.  My hubs even made a comment about all of his food being ball-shaped today.  Sorry, not sorry.

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He’s honestly been pretty excited about the food since he posted the above æbleskiver on his Facebook page yesterday.  It’s probably the most traditional thing I’ve flipped out of the pan (I’ve even been making round eggs in it this week) — buttermilk dough with apple slices inside, topped with some apple butter I made in the fall and a simple cinnamon whipped cream.  He was eating them as soon as they came out of the pan and just smearing them through everything….and has already asked for them again.  That was the only pretty-ish one since I presented it to him as a taster to make sure the batter was well balanced.

Hubs likes to be a jerk and post food photos often.  I think he does it because it generates comments at his work.  I made a beef wellington for Christmas and cleared the fridge a few days ago to make impromptu tuna cups…I don’t think any of the food is particularly pretty but I guess everybody has to eat so can relate somewhat?  He didn’t bother slowing down on his steak tonight (made his favorite coffee, cocoa, and cayenne rub) to take a photo.

Crafting wise:

“I’d like to work as much as possible out of my stash this year”  — says the person that has made a crafting purchase every. single. day. of. 2019. thus. far.

Tuesday I ordered precut batting so I can knock #11 off the list.  I have lots of batting at home but let’s be honest…the whole reason I haven’t done that one already is because I didn’t want to have to wrestle with the roll of batting to cut that many strips of it.  It’s huge and unweidly and my rotary cutter would need a new blade after that and it’d take a month to get all the fuzzies out of my self-healing mat.  If I need something to finish these projects, I’m all in.  Luckily, it was on clearance so I don’t feel bad about saving myself the headache.

Yesterday was a crochet pattern. I think I audibly squealed when I saw it.  It’s the Flying Saucer by lalylala.  I absolutely cannot WAIT to make this one!!!  It’ll be the first amigurumi I’ve made that I’m keeping.  I’m super excited.  It’s my kind of nerdy kitsch.

Today I caved and ordered some cork fabric.  I’ve been wanting some for quite a few years but haven’t been able to justify it for anything.  I’m going to use it to make a notebook cover because I’ve found that I never, ever want to use my cute notebooks!  This way, I can get plain composition books and cover it with something pretty and sparkly and actually use them.  I hope there will be enough left overs to use as wallet detail or something.  If not, I’m just happy to finally get my grubby paws on cork.  I love the way it feels!

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Doesn’t that cork look absolutely scrummy?!?!  It’s from the seller’s photos but it’s miiine now!  It won’t be here for a while so it’ll be nice having something fun to look forward to.

At least I’m keeping up with my UFO checklist, which was my main goal!  I’ve never been good at goals.  😀

I finished #7 today.  I’m also bad at following numerical order.  It’s drying on the my blocking boards now!

The pattern was Spider Lattice Scarf, free on Ravelry.  I’ll try to remember to snap a photo tomorrow, since it’s my first finish of 2019!

It’s easy and straightforward to make.  I had it memorized by the second repeat.  I do think there’s an error in the pattern at the end — it says to stop on row 8 but the final row doesn’t match in if that’s the case.  I ended up having to go back and add row 9 again for it to work.

When I pull the scarf off, I’ll finally block my Sheherazade scarf.  I’ve been putting it off because I like to procrastinate good things and enjoy them as much as possible.  I loved the pattern the whole way through but it was a sweet, sweet feeling making that last bindoff stitch!

 

Year of the UFOs…maybe

I think this year is going to be another year of focusing on UFOs or PhDs or WIPs — whatever your preferred terminology is. It has been my off and on goal to finish so many before starting new projects and I’m fairly good at doing that now.  So!

I wrote down 13 projects that I want to finish in the upcoming year.

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Some of them I’m excited to be working on, others I’ve put off for years for various reasons (looking at you evil #6!!!).  I’m not going to restrict myself on new projects, so long as I keep working on the old ones.  I would, however, like to see how much I can work out of my stash this year.   …which may prove impossible since I’m the MOH in an April wedding and things are getting a bit nuts and I just got the stuff to learn to play with vinyl so I can save myself a bunch of money through sweat equity.  We’ll see how that goes!

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I had to ask for a photo of the Tunisian crochet blanket I finished last month.  In my delight to have it done, I shipped it out without taking a single photo of it past the panel strips stage.  I put a super soft, plush fleece on the back to make it extra snuggly and warm.

…and to start the new year off with a question/survey thing!

***ASK your Husband these questions and write EXACTLY what they!***

•What is something I say a lot?

“Rub feets?” or “You should be doing your chores.”  Is it sad that I’ve driven you to say that so much?

•What makes me sad?

When I don’t follow through with what I say I’m going to do.

•What’s my favorite thing to do?

Play with kittens.

•How tall am I?

You used to be 5’10” but now I’m wonder if you’re not 6′ because often times it feels like you’re the same height or taller than me…unless I’m varying like crazy.

•What’s my best feature?

Probably your incredible wisdom for someone  your age.

•What do I do when you’re not around?

Only when I’m not around?  I think you’re mostly doing crafting when I’m not around but you also do that when I’m around.  Talking to people on the interwebs?

•What’s my favorite TV show?

Man, that’s hard.  Peaky Blinders?  I don’t know if that’s your favorite though.  Maybe it’s Fraggle Rock.  I can’t imagine you liking Fraggle Rock as much as Peaky Blinders these days.  Is it’s Sherlock?  I think it’s Sherlock.

•If I became famous what would it be for?

I think right now it’d be for crafting I would say.  That’s the number one thing you do that has public outreach.

•Where can I most likely be found?

At home.

• What is my favorite restaurant?

It’s definitely a Brazilian steakhouse.  It used to be Fogo de Chão.

•Where is one place I don’t like to be?

In the presence of my dad.  Maybe I should change that.  Is this publicly accessible?

•If I could go anywhere where would it be?

You’d probably like to go see Antarctica.

•How do you annoy me?

-laughs- By having difficulty listening.  I think that works for a lot of them.

•Who’s my favorite person?

Probably Grandmother.

•What’s my favorite kind of pop?

Coca-Cola.

•What is my favorite kind of food?

Churrasco.

•You get a call that I am in trouble, who am I with?

I’ve only ever gotten a call one time that you were in trouble and you were with the animals. (I was moving the last of our stuff to a new house and the wheel literally fell off of my car en route.  I wrecked into the guardrail with all of the critters in tow and had to call him at his brand new job to come pick us up.  He clarified after a few minutes of thought that most of our friends were goody two-shoes and if I went to jail it’d be for a murder-spree that likely included him so I couldn’t call him for help.)

Questions and a quilt

Relationship length: 11 years, good grief
Married: 6 years
Who’s older: Him
Age difference: 3 months
Who was interested first? I’m honestly not sure.  Mutual curiosity, perhaps?
Who’s taller: Him
Worst temper: Me
Most sensitive: Him
Loudest: HIM!!!
Funniest: Not sure. I’m more sarcastic/dry and he’s more doofy
Most stubborn: Me
Falls asleep first: Him
Cooks better: Me but he’s improving
Better singer: Oh good grief, neither.  A goat sings better than either of us.
Most adventurous: Oddly enough, I’m going to say me…unless it involves a phone.
Most organized: Me.  Me, me, me.
Better morning person: Definitely me.
Dresses the nicest: Day to day, him.  For fancy events, me.
Most protective: Me
Best driver: Me!  Though he’s so much better now than when I met him
Has the most clothes: Oh, that one’s tough.  Gonna guess me?
Most competitive: Him.  Holy crap it’s him.

 

…and since I promised a bit of eye candy, here’s the lap quilt I sent to my Grandmother for Christmas.  Blue is her favorite color and she likes to keep a blanket or quilt on the back of the couch she likes to sit on.

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September Summary + Tons of Photos

I blinked and September was gone.

The hubs and I left at the end of August to go do our big, annual migration south.

Not wanting us to forget home, this was on our front stoop while we were packing:

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The frog was still coherent and walking around, dragging the snake with him.  The snake was refusing to let go.  The frog had sustained some pretty gnarly injuries by that point so I figure he lost in the end and hope the snake was able to enjoy his meal.  Our plumber calls our home a house of horrors because of the wildlife (and random cats jumping from the ceiling while he’s working).  I really like having the critters around.  Yes, especially the snakes because they are masters of pest control.  I didn’t like it when one of the cats brought a live snake into the house though.  I could’ve gone without that adventure.

For the first leg of our trip, we stayed in a hand-built cabin with some friends in the mountains of North Carolina.  It’s gorgeous there.

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There were seven of us in total.   …and the first night, the well pump died.

Seven of us for a week without any running water.  Using the toilet was interesting and showering was unheard of.  There is a hot tub and it rapidly became our nightly ritual: bathing with friends in highly chlorinated water.  We’re pretty sure that by the end of our stay, it was more of a people broth.

We did try to keep our gross levels down.  We didn’t go fishing like we normally do or get overly sweaty.  The one hike we took ended at a waterfall, so you can be sure everybody was in the water and trying to scrub clean.

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Our friends eventually had to go back to their real lives but hubs and I chose to stay at the cabin for a few extra days rather than adventure onward.  Still no water, but it’s hard to argue with a real chance to relax.

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…except when a herd of deer walked up to me and scared the hell out of me.  I was sure I was about to get kicked but thankfully I startled them just as much and they ran off.

Before leaving NC, we spent the last day gem mining.  That area is really replete with all kinds of neat things.

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That’s my personal jackpot: a 298.5 carat emerald!  It’s obviously not gem quality so not worth much but I was over the moon.  How cool is that?!

When we did finally decide to leave the mountains, we went to visit hub’s grandmother in Alabama.  She has dementia now (and she’s about to turn 93, so it’s well deserved) but we always enjoy getting to see her.  She’s a little firecracker and even though she doesn’t remember we visited, she knows we’re there when we’re there…and maybe she remembers more than we think because she’s never forgotten who we are, including me, even though she doesn’t recognize some of her own family.

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This visit, she taught us how she and her husband used to dance back in the 1940s.  She still loves dancing!

After our day in Alabama, we ventured over to Atlanta to kick off our real agenda: ProgPower USA!  It’s nice having a music festival that allows us to see everybody.

Some of the highlights from the festival this year:

Pictured are Gloryhammer, Cellar Darling, Vuur, Sons of Apollo, Manimal, Bloodbound, Oceans of Slumber, and the queen of metal herself, Doro.  There were twenty bands total but those were my favorites.

Gloryhammer is one of hub’s favorite bands and he got right up front for their show — you can see him in a photo, hoisting a hammer.  The band later took that hammer, hit him with it a few times, hit each other with it even more, then signed it for him.  He was thrilled.

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If you know what he looks like, hubs can be spotted in every photo with a crowd.  He really spent a lot of time on the floor this year and I camped our favorite seats for when he was too exhausted to carry on.

We also ran into Manimal in the lobby and they (for some reason) agreed to let hubs pretend he was one of them.

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…but the best show in my opinion was Alestorm.  They didn’t put on a show, they put on a party.  People were dressed like pirates and waving around plastic swords.  A few people had bubble machines in the audience.  They hoisted the huge rubber ducky out into the crowd for us to bounce around then destroy like zombies.  There was even rapping shark.

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…and they were, of course, super hilarious and friendly.

They also signed my pirate ducky!  The drummer, of course, insisted that he was going to sign its butt.  I’ve had this ducky for over a decade and now it’s even more precious to me.

After four days of festival, we went further down in Georgia and spent a few days with a friend.  Then we headed back to North Carolina and caught the Judas Priest and Deep Purple concert with some of my family.  We saw 23 bands that week!  Crazy!

…and then hubs and I parted ways.  He had to recruit at his alma mater for work and I had to go to where I grew up and spend time with my family.

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A few cool things happened while there.  Mom and I went to a local museum and I FINALLY found out what the heavy old rock was that my dad and I dug up out of our garden when I was little.

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I kept it because it’s insanely heavy for its size and was oddly shaped with some neat striation.  Even little me knew it would be interesting.  I’d always wondered what it was — especially since we regularly dug up arrow heads and all sorts of other fun things.  Turns out, it’s a kettle ball.

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I also visited my hair dresser.  Is it weird that I’ve only ever been to the same person?  She’s awesome, my hair is crazy, and it’s worth the wait between visits.

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I also saw some family.  I, of course, hung out with my Grandmother as much as I could.  She’s still a spry 84 and we had fun going out shopping and for Chinese.  I went to a party with a lot of my mom’s family that I haven’t seen in forever.  Hubs was able to join us for that party and he found it hilarious how aggressive a bunch of old, toothless hillbillies got over croquet.  >_>;  I was also asked to be the matron of honor in a wedding next year.  Guess I’m going to stay busy for the next few months.

…and on my greedy side, I got a sewing machine!

My aunt had been storing them in an old sea crate so they were in absolutely horrible condition.  I was able to check on my Granny Boo’s (mom’s mother) machine and I already have an identical model but mine was made in 1900 and the serial number on hers was from 1910.  Singer 66 machines are great but I only need so many and since I already had the one with Sphinx decals (and in much better shape, sadly), I chose to take home my Granny Sally’s (Granny Boo’s mother) machine.

I didn’t even know what it was, just that I didn’t have anything that looked like the outside.  The cabinet was solid oak and a chain lift.  The chain lift was rusted shut, as were the hinges.  Add in the warped wood from being in wet conditions for several years and it took me over a week to ease the new baby open.

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I brought the head home with me and mom is bringing me the treadle cabinet up at the end of this month when she and her husband are coming here for a concert.

I’ve never used a Davis VF before but I’m pretty excited.  The finish is crackled but I’ll see what I can do about getting her shined up again.  I did get all of the mechanisms to move so she’ll sew.  These models are really interesting, as there aren’t any feed dogs — the presser foot is what moves to advance the fabric.

…and then we got to come home.

Just in time for my favorite fall activity: apple picking!

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The trees were absolutely laden with apples this year.  I had already picked a bushel from this tree and you can’t even tell it.

All of those apples were quickly processed down in what hubs calls my “factory”.  Most of them were turned into applesauce then apple butter.  I love me some apple butter and I was on my last jar!

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…and of course it wouldn’t be fall without some apple cider donuts.  I made my own this year and hubs claims to like them even better than the ones he gets at the orchard.  I’ll call that a win!

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Oh, deer

Our yard is finally starting to wake up from its winter slumber!  I’m so happy that I don’t see any casualties (yet) from the very harsh conditions this year.  I think it was the 3rd snowiest year on record, ever, for our area thanks to the back-to-back-to-back nor’easters that hit in March.  Up until today, we also had fresh snow every day in April.  Spring as been fun for those of us who enjoy snow!  🙂

The one issue I did notice when I was trampling around in my yard yesterday was deer damage.

Do any of my fellow gardeners and plant lovers have any good suggestions for ways to discourage the pesky deer?

They really chewed on just about everything this year, even plants they normally don’t bother that much.  I don’t know if it was because winter seemed so much longer this year or what, but they’ve nipped almost every bush I have down and stripped bark off of trees.

I was proactive this year and put a wrap on my pink magnolia — they always nibble and strip it, so at least the base of it was saved and I still have some blossoms higher up.  They chewed anything else they could reach though.  My rhododendrons look like they’ve been a buffet, as do my mountain laurel and azaleas; all of them have been stripped of leaves.  They’re still supple and green, though, so I’m hoping they can recover.  I have quite a few rhododendrons and they’re all really large and would be hard to cover, so the deer have been really at it recently.  The ground around them is churned up badly and covered in scat.

Thankfully, my new-ish berry bushes have been completely unscathed.  I think the deepness of the snow spared them from unwanted attention (usually the rabbits are what get after them anyway).  They look healthy and happy and I’m looking forward to adding some blueberries, black currants, and lingonberries this year to our normal blackberry and raspberry crops!  I hope!  🙂

Aside from deer damage, Logan and I have had a busy week.

Three doctor appointments, one vet specialist, our anniversary, and two shows at our local theater!

We were supposed to have contractors at the house this morning but they had to reschedule for next week.  They’re installing air conditioning!!!   Other people lost heat and that seemed more important to all of us; it’s still way too cold for air co and the need for heat is very real since it’s still dipping into the 20s at night here.

The doctor appointments all went well.  The end results are I have new glasses — I’m getting less and less far-sighted as my optometrist of yore predicted when I was little.  Logan has to have a skin biopsy next month but we’re not too worried about it.

Our little doggo Mitzi has been having a really odd leg thing since December where she’ll randomly draw one leg up for no longer than a minute and whimpering slightly like it’s hurting her.  As soon as it’s over, it’s over.  It repeats every couple weeks.  Earlier this month, she has three episodes in a day and we took her to the vet.  He couldn’t figure out what on earth may be causing it, so referred us to a neurologist.  Who would’ve thought those existed?  The neuro said her evaluation was great but he thinks she may either be having partial seizures or have a muscle contracting disorder, which usually presents when they’re younger.  He’s leaning towards seizures right now but we’re watching and waiting and trying to gather more data before diving into a very expensive MRI or a risky drug trial.

I found a video of another Mini Schnauzer that was having the exact problems that Mitzi was and the dog is the same age, so I left a comment but I don’t have any hopes of hearing back from them.  For the sake of interest or if anybody else has had a similar experience, the video is here.

The shows we saw were lots of fun.

We saw Wrath of Khan, followed by a Q&A with William Shatner.  He was, as always, full of personality.  The last time Logan and I saw him was years and years ago at Dragon*Con when he did a panel with Leonard Nimoy.

We also saw a really odd amalgamation of things — poetry, music, interpretive dance, dramatic readings — performed by Bill Murray.  I think my favorite parts were when he chose to sing, sometimes off key.  …or maybe when he decided to run out in the audience and fling the bouquet of roses somebody gave him at audience members.  That was super entertaining.  So was his playing the piano with his butt, but that’s neither here nor there.  😛  It was an all around entertaining show and not entirely a comedy as one would expect from the likes of Bill Murray.

Boat!

Today we went out celebrate Logan’s birthday.

He asked for fun adventures this year instead of physical gifts.

The first present was seeing The Chieftains in concert a few weeks ago.  He was very pleased.

The second gift was his birthday dinner tonight.

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Yups, he got an ENTIRE sushi party boat to himself.  It has been his dream for a long time.  It didn’t stand a chance.

I also had time to sit down and whip out a hat for a friend today.

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I’m a glacially slow knitter and Smoke in the City took me hardly any time at all; I started it late yesterday, didn’t work on it much today, and still finished well before dinner.

I wanted a stretchy hat that still shrunk down to fight snug against the head without being tight at all…and that’s exactly what I got!  It’ll even pull down to cover his ears when he’s out hunting, just like he was hoping.

Best of all, the pattern instructions were super clear.  After some of the patterns I’ve encountered lately, I’m pleased as punch.  I’ll definitely be making this one again when I need a quick unisex hat.

Snail mail

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I’ve always loved snail mail but I think the cute thank you notes that my Grandmother sends will always be my favorites.

I’m currently trying to ramp up some crafting mojo.  Slowly but surely, good things will be appearing soon!  …I hope.  🙂

Trip summary

We made it back alive (sort of) from our ever-insane Christmas travel extravaganza!

Insane because we somehow manage to fit four Christmas celebrations, a few birthdays, and a New Years Eve party into our trip south…along with one night of having to suffer through the southern fascination with college football.  >_>;;

Highlights of this year’s trip?

We smuggled away Grandmother’s cheeseball recipe!

I’m not sharing that recipe with anybody — it’s mine, precious, mine!

This amazeball serger and coverstitch combo machine landed in my lap:

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Have I learned to use it yet?  Nope!  Do I pet it every time I walk by it?  You bet’cha!

Grandmother’s sweater fit!!!

Mom’s necklace held together!!!

Logan’s mom discovered the recipe hiding away somewhere to his favorite holiday cookie that his grandmother used to make, which I think is similar to a pecan meltaway now that I’ve tried them.  He was and is super ecstatic to have them again.

Logan and I got to meet our niece — his sister’s 10ish week old daughter — for the first time.  Logan had never held a baby before and he looked very much like a panicked T-Rex when he did.

The New Years Eve party with our friends was better than it has been in years.  I’m not really sure why, either, but it was.  Good food, good company, I guess.   …and “really sharp cats”.  Turns out some of us aren’t so good at the game “Heads Up”, or at least not at describing porcupines.  ;P

I’ve also made it a point to reconnect with old friends.  I’m normally really introverted and antisocial…but what if other people are too?  So, I’ve reached out and found a few.  It has been so, so worth it.  I think it made a difference in both my sanity and happiness while traveling and having to watch back-to-back college football games.  Definitely not my thing.

Now, to try to finish cleaning up the lower level of my house after a pipe decided to burst this morning and flood everything.  Who’s glad it burst the morning we came back and not while we were gone?  This gal!