The “Oz water” guy was supposed to come today at 2 pm to change the filters on the reverse osmosis water unit under my sink that supplies the drinking water tap, and I needed to take out garbage, empty the dishwasher, put the dirty dishes that had already accumulated into the emptied dishwasher, and wash at least one load of clothes today. I wanted to make a bowl of chicken salad and I also needed to call the AC guy to come check out the AC and get it ready for summer (and finally remembered to actually do it on the day with a high of 90 F/32.2 C) . And then planned to (and did) go to knitting group tonight.
I’ve still got to call the electrician to replace the kitchen light fixtures because they keep blowing light bulbs, but before I do that, I’ve got to buy a pair of replacement fixtures so that I will have design input into the process and to make sure they have the same footprint as the old ones. (I will then deduct the cost of the fixtures from my next month’s rent by prior agreement with my landlady.)
I ate breakfast at the computer, reading blogs, watching videos, and playing games until nearly noon. Of course by the time I had corralled the garbage and was ready to schlep it out to the dumpster, it was hot out. I had cleaned out and shredded a bunch of files in my filing cabinet, and had three big bags of shreddings, and boxes from a pole lamp besides the contents of every wastebasket in the house and it took three trips. I was going to start in on the dishwasher, but the Oz water guy came early. It didn’t take him 20 minutes to do what he needed to do to maintenance the unit, I scribbled something “signature-looking” on his iPhone with my index finger, and ticked him off as “done” on the to-do list.
I got the clean dishes emptied out of the dishwasher and the dirty ones put in. Then I remembered to call the AC guy. He was on a job but he said he could stop by after he’d finished it, and that he would give me a call when he was on his way. So then I started a load of clothes, sat down and watched TV a while and knitted on the Malguri Morning shawl I’m making for me, because after schlepping garbage in the hot sun, emptying the clothes hamper, hauling the clothes from one end of the house to the other, and starting the washer, I needed a sit-down.
Long about 3 p.m. I decided to perform chicken salad and gathered the ingredients and utensils required. I diced the chicken into bite-sized pieces, diced a small white onion, diced two kosher dill spears, drained and added a small can of mixed peas and carrots, added most of a small can of chopped black olives and cut up a heaping handful of cherry tomatoes into either halves or quarters depending on the size of the tomato. Since it had all those vegetables in, it really was a chicken salad. I dressed it with a big squirt of Ranch dressing and two (serving) spoonfuls of mayonnaise and put it in the fridge to chill.
By then the AC guy had called and it was time to take the clothes out of the washer and put them in the dryer which I had just finished doing when he arrived. He had to add coolant, changed the filter (which I had neglected to do), and made sure the condensation drain was draining freely. (Wouldn’t have mattered today if it wasn’t. Our humidity was 5%.) By then it was sneaking up on 4 o’clock. I made a sandwich with my chicken salad and ate that while watching TV, then demolished a pint of vanilla cinnamon gelato for dessert. After he left, I hung up the clothes out of the dryer, but I still haven’t folded up the rest of the load (socks, unmentionables, singlets, and kitchen hand towels), nor taken the hung up clothes back to the bedroom closet, which will likely get done mañana.
During the day, HGTV does “binge watches”running multiple back-to-back episodes of various of their main lineup programs. I had the TV on this afternoon because today was “binge watch afternoon” for a favorite program, “Fixer Upper, which is shot in and around Waco, Texas, (about a six-hour drive southeast from where I live in the TX flatlands, and almost exactly halfway between Dallas and Austin). The Waco area is gradually becoming gentrified from both directions, up from Austin and down from the Dallas Metroplex area, and in each episode, this couple (she’s an interior designer, he’s a building contractor) find and renovate a house in Waco or one of the surrounding towns for a client, with the big reveal at the end of the program. Waco is located on the banks of the Brazos River. (My cousin WM has some ranch land beside the Brazos much further downstream (Rosharon, which is southwest of Houston), and has nearly gotten flooded out by the river two years in a row what with the heavy rains in 2016 and Hurricane Harvey last year.) The area surrounding Waco is still largely rural — farming and ranching — and while it’s north and east of the hill country, it’s still considered to be part of “bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) country” in central Texas.
I did go to knitting group (I nipped out during commercials to brush my teeth and change clothes so I could finish watching the “Fixer Upper” episode that ended at 6 p.m. and still get to knitting group on time). I worked on the body of my modified version of the Cable Edged Shawl and helped a beginning knitter — showed her how to start a new row, helped her with technique, gave her some tips and pointers, etc. My friend LB was there. I hadn’t seen her in several weeks and we had a nice long visit. She has learned stranded color work knitting, — which I intend to learn once I’ve finished all three shawls I’m working on! — and brought several hats she’d made using Fair Isle patterns.
The trick to doing stranded color work is to be able to manipulate the working yarn with either hand, so you can hold both colors of yarn at the same time, one in each hand. If you only hold the working yarn in one hand, you have to keep dropping one color yarn and picking up the other color yarn every time you change colors, It’s inefficient, laborious and time consuming. With a color in each hand, it goes much faster and it looks way cool. The hangup is that I need to teach myself how to hold the yarn in my right hand the same way I hold it in my left, which means I have to also learn to control stitches as they shift from left-hand needle to right-hand needle with my middle finger instead of my index finger. In order to do this, I have to acquire a new set of fine motor skills and build them into muscle memory, which takes a good bit of practice to master. Then, the way is open to do two single-color socks at the same time on the same needles, one inside the other, which is mind-blowingly cool. Once I start this process, it’s going to occupy my knitting agenda for at least a month while I perfect the technique. That’s why I want to finish these three shawls and clear the deck before I start in on it.
I’ve got 3 more rows to do on the modified Cable Edged Shawl to complete the body portion, and then I can begin putting on the border, which is attached as you knit it because every other row, you ssk together a live stitch from the bottom edge of the shawl body to a live stitch on the border. Once I start putting the border on, I won’t be able to work on it at my computer any more because, while the shawl body is essentially TV knitting*, the border has a complicated 16 line lace and cable pattern repeat. I will not be able to divide my attention between following the border pattern repeat and doing anything else like blog reading or watching a video, without a high risk of totally screwing up the lace pattern. I’d better pick up another roll of dental floss.
Tomorrow, I’m going to have to make myself sit down and do some serious adulting. I’ve got a bunch of financial forms I’ve got to locate, fill out and then take to where they’re supposed to go. I should have done it last week but I hate filling out paperwork and I keep putting it off. While I’m out, I’ll pick up the two new light fixtures for the kitchen so I can call the electrician and get him to switch them out. Then I will reward myself for all the adulting I’ll have done today and tomorrow by starting the border on the modified Cable Edged Shawl.
*TV knitting -- a knitting project that has a very short, simple pattern, or one that involves a short, uncomplicated pattern repeat that can be easily learned and followed without paying much attention to it, so that you can easily divide your attention between knitting and doing something else, like watching TV, with a relatively low risk of messing up what you're knitting.