A day off (mostly)

I’ve taken a day off from my newly busy life. Not that I didn’t feel busy before, but now that my good days seem to be outnumbering the bad ones (yea!), I am busy in different ways. Ways that involve not sitting down for long periods of time in front of the computer.

I made arrangements to pick up kittens on the way home from the airport after our last trip. Since it is the heart of kitten season now, the shelter wanted to send me home with kittens who would be ready for adoption when I returned them. This means that the kittens would be on the larger side and already social enough to be considered “adoptable”. This is the new family:

From left to right: Aladdin, Cinderella, Mulan and Ariel. Disney kittens, these. Perfect in every way!

Mae, their incredibly affectionate and cat friendly mother.

These kittens and their mother are all love and comedy. I’ve been letting the babies out to play with Duck since he’s so curious about newcomers. What I didn’t expect is that their mother took an instant shine to Ducky, and when she’s out, the two of them hang out like old friends.

It’s good to see that this mommy cat is tolerant of others. It will help her adoption prospects immensely. Shoot, if I didn’t have four already…

But I do have four lovely cats. They were happy to see us come home from the last trip, perhaps in part because we arrived at home at the same general time of day that our pet sitter arrives to feed them. Ducky was particularly naughty on the day we got back, though, stealing and mauling balls of yarn he pilfered from my knitting bag. I realized that maybe they just missed being able to go outside, so I took the four of them out to burn off a little steam. The weather here has been so beautiful and the sun has been out so much that I had the opportunity to take really nice pictures of my kitties.

We  have Buttercup lounging on the porch.

Duck and Serra resting on the porch.

Duck thinks he’s hiding in the tall grass I need to remove from my garden.

Wesley observing the birds and bugs he wishes he could catch.

The cats look so beautiful in our yard. Sigh. It makes their naughtiness forgivable.

While we were traveling I managed to make a lot of progress on knitting the christening gown for Michael’s sister. Oh, poo, I should have gotten a picture of her in her seventh month of pregnancy. In any case, I did take a picture of the christening gown.

This is the entire front of the gown in its unblocked glory.

At first, the lace pattern was a lot of work. I had to keep the pattern with me at all times, referring to it after every few stitches. I couldn’t imagine getting it finished in time if I was going to work at that rate. At some point on our last trip I suddenly grasped the way the pattern worked and could knit without looking at the pattern anymore. The rows started to fly by, and before I knew it, I made so much progress that any concern I had about finishing it just vanished. I’m working on a sleeve now, but I will get to the back as soon as I’ve finished the sleeve. I just needed a change of pace.

Despite all the knitting I accomplished on the trip, it all came to a grinding halt when I got home. For the first few days,  I was very sick. I had some sort of throat infection that burned and left little blisters all along the back of it. I also felt a little inflamed. On Sunday night I laid down for a nap at about 6:00pm and awoke at midnight for a little food, then went back to sleep until 9:00am the next day. When I woke up on Monday, I felt great. Better than I’ve felt in a long, long time. I felt so great that I decided to finish painting the formal living room / dining room I abandoned last summer. The thing about the painting is I chose to paint the ceiling, and I didn’t really give enough thought to the fact that working above your head while standing on a ladder for 8 hours is brutal. I was just so motivated, and I’m not used to having that much drive. Additionally, I’ve gotten so used to the fact that my good days are few and far between, so I just worked myself to the bone. When I woke up the next day, my body felt like I had been in some sort of brutal vehicular accident, but my mind was clear and I still felt ambitious. I brought out the paint again and did some detail work, making a crisp line between the ceiling and the walls (the walls have this knockout texture on them that makes creating a clean line tricky). On the third day I went back to the ceiling and the ladder, making even more progress. I have been physically exhausted by the end of the day, but I feel so much more accomplished than I have in the past.

Here’s a peek at what I’ve accomplished:

You can see on the top left where I haven’t gotten to painting some of the ceiling. There’s a lot of real estate to cover here – the ceilings slope to a maximum height of 17 or 18 feet. The parts over the dining room table and in the hall are all at the maximum height. It’s slow work just because of the bit about working over my head.

I thought I was going to work on the painting more today, but that just didn’t happen. After I went to the chiropractor (for a spinal adjustment, not the diet/medicine piece of it) and did a tutoring session with the girl who lives next door, I just didn’t feel like it. I have bruises all over my shins from where I leaned up against the ladder for days, and I’m just a little tired. Even more pressing, I have a deep desire to knit. I haven’t even gotten started on my swatches for the skirt I’m designing. On the second day of my painting binge, I realized that I was going to have to learn to pace myself if I am going to have multiple good days in a row. This break is me pacing myself. I’m learning.

I have no idea when the painting will be done, or how much I will do. I am considering painting the kitchen while I’m so motivated, but there are a few things I want to fix first. There is an issue with the grout in the tile work I did when we renovated the kitchen, and it’s been bothering me enough to want to fix it. There are also some mistakes on the wood floor I laid that I can’t help but notice as well, so those will have to be addressed if for no other reason than to quiet the perfectionist who lives inside me and believes that everything I make is flawed and that everyone can tell.

I hope for my next post that I will have a sample of the new skirt to show you. Let’s hope it goes well!

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3 thoughts on “A day off (mostly)

  1. My goodness! What you’ve done in that front room looks GREAT! I love the colors in there – they are so relaxing. And is that a purple sofa?! I didn’t know you had gotten one. I bet it looks great in that living room 🙂

    • You know, other people tell me that when they come to my house it feels so relaxing that they just want to fall asleep on my couch!

      Yes, I finally got a purple chair, love seat and sofa for the living room. You’ll have to see it sometime! It goes very nicely with our green walls. 🙂

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