Monday, July 21, 2008

The Dizzy Damselfly Returns

I have been quiet for the last few days but I’ve been really busy. On Friday I managed to clean one of my attic spaces, the one with the spinning equipment that mostly belongs to my guild. It’s small and it didn’t have any loose insulation or plastic sheeting so I didn’t need help with this one. I wore full haz-mat gear: long pants, long-sleeved shirt, hat, gloves and dust mask. I hauled everything out and vacuumed the whole space, dusted everything off and put it all back. That took all morning (3 more attics to go!) and in the afternoon I scrubbed the top deck on hands and knees with a scrub brush. This one has a textured plastic liner to protect the storage shed underneath. The texture collects dirt like crazy. It took scrubbing 3 times to get it more-or-less clean. Then I had to take Citrus-Solv to get the black bits off that were left from the roofing shingles. That exercise took all afternoon. When T-Man got home he started scrubbing the cedar bottom deck but then wimped out and finished with the pressure washer. At least I can now sit at the table on the top deck. Unfortunately the bottom one is still out of bounds for the moment. You’ll see why in a minute.

On Saturday I went out to Maple Ridge’s cute little Country Fest to demonstrate spindle spinning. The day was gorgeous, sunny and warm and the fest was like an old-time one with tractor pulls and sheep dog trials, popcorn and quilt displays. Our booth was in the ice arena (no ice but cool anyway) but the building was at the very end of the fair grounds and not many made it that far so it was fairly quiet. We shared the arena with a number of other local guilds and several fibre vendors so it was a congenial bunch anyway. There were also a few fibre animals on show: Jacob sheep, angora goats, French angora bunny and alpaca. I apologise because I had total camnesia even though I did actually remember to bring the camera. Must have been because my hands were full of wool. Yeah, that's it.

However, I managed to spend a few dollars and picked up some super-soft cream-coloured yak and some baby camel down to spin, some vintage afghan hooks, and some more white 8/2 cotton for more tea towels. (Yes, I know I’m supposed to work from the stash but I ran out of white for the warp.) I got a lovely surprise when Milady Daughter showed up with her friend Yvette because neither of us knew the other would be there! Of course I managed to convince her to get some of the lovely fibres too. In a phone conversation with her husband she rightfully blamed me for enabling her! I was glad I brought my handspindles because nobody else was demonstrating with a spindle. There were oodles of Lendrums and other wheels going though. My companion (and driver) Diana was weaving shadow weave samples and we also showed several children how to weave on our demo table loom. Get ’em while they’re young, I say.

I missed getting a long walk in this weekend and nearly 8 hours on my feet demonstrating doesn’t count. On Sunday we went grocery shopping with the car so we could pick up big items like laundry detergent and toilet paper, plus replenish the meat supply in the freezer for subsequent barbequing. Normally T and I just walk but then we’re limited to how much we can carry home. And that’s usually uphill too depending on which grocery store we go to. One of the perks of living in our neighbourhood is that there are at least 3 big chain groceries and 3 or 4 specialty grocery stores within relatively easy walking distance. Not to mention our favourite fruit and veggie store. And in summer, the once-weekly farmer’s market. And if none of those is quite enough there’s always the Granville Island Public Market that’s only a little farther. And we won’t even mention the plethora of cafes and restaurants in every flavour. The eatin’s are pretty yummy around here, I tell you.

So I have to tell a funny story. I ended up making a couple of meatloaves for dinner with half and half ground pork and beef, onion and herbs from our garden, salt, pepper, eggs, ketchup, Worstershire sauce and rolled oats (old family substitute for bread crumbs). When I dumped in the oats I unintentionally used some that I had mixed up with oat bran and cinnamon for porridge. Oops! The cinnamon gave the meat a very interesting flavour. Luckily not bad at all. Not that I would do it on purpose again though!

Also on Sunday afternoon we started in on staining the faded deck back to a lovely redwood colour. It’s weird stuff but it's looking really good after it dries. We used up a whole gallon of stain and T had to run out for another jug, the last one on the shelf. Which reminds me I should be out there working on the railings right now but I’m taking it a bit easy today. I had a recurrence of the dizzies yesterday and it’s still there in the background today. Is it possible I’ve been overdoing things? Have I mentioned that summers are definitely not lazy around here? Crazy, yes. Lazy, no.

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