Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Week 17 - A Clean Slate

The week seemed to be all about plants. Every time I turned around I was getting more plants. And if it wasn’t plants, it was yarn. All good, right?

I had started plant shopping with Lori on Saturday last week and then found myself taking a break one afternoon to pick up a few perennials at Urban Trails. I got yet another heuchera and a couple of others for part-shade. Wednesday night I picked up the plants I’d ordered from Emma up the street for a school fundraiser. Thursday morning I stopped at the UNL Hort Club sale between the dentist and work. That was my last plant purchase of the week but let me tell you, it was plenty. Between all those and the many geraniums and lantanas I overwintered, I should be good to go. Not that I won’t buy more but I could stop. That’s the item of note here. : )

Friday was Arbor Day, which is a state holiday here in Nebraska. Every state’s got one of their own. Celebrating trees is at least positive, as opposed to RI’s VJ Day. But I digress… Anyway, we don’t get it off at UNL but it was the Mid-Iowa Shop Hop so several of us from Monday Night Knitters were taking it off to drive 500 miles round trip, hitting 7 yarn shops along the way. I was so excited about this that I didn’t sleep very well Thursday night. 5:50 a.m. came pretty darn early. Only for this could I get excited about getting up at regular workday time on a vacation day.

Michelle picked up Andrea and me in Wahoo at 7:00 with her car loaded with snacks for the road. We picked Lori up at the side of I-80 in Iowa near where she’d been staying with a friend. We hit our first, and best, yarn shop at 9:45 – Heartland FiberCo. in Winterset, birthplace of John Wayne. What a fabulous shop! The people were welcoming and knowledgeable, they had a great selection and were located in the cutest town square among what looked like a bunch of fun shops. I tried to be conservative in my purchases since this was our first stop so left with 3 lots of sock yarn, a few stocking stuffers and a smile on my face. I must plan a day to head to Winterset to spend more time there (a class maybe?) and check out the town square and the covered bridges since Winterset is in Madison County. Who knew?

From there we headed to all the shops in metro Des Moines. While I managed to buy yarn at every shop, none of them held a candle to Heartland Fiber Co. While the spreadsheet (yes, Lori made us a spreadsheet with 30 minutes allotted at each shop and the mileage and driving time estimate to the next) had us eating in Des Moines, we’d snacked at some of the shops and in the car so weren’t hungry. After doing the last 2 shops, we were finally ready to eat in Marshalltown. I had told the group I needed a drippy burger after dieting for nearly 3 weeks so we got a recommendation and directions to the 13th Street Inn. It was perfect! It was built mid-20th century by the look of it and nothing had been touched since. We took the booth in the front window and dined on a fried combo basket (the deep fat fried cheese curds were the best) and drippy burgers all around plus root beer on tap too. Yum! From there we gassed up and headed home, our tummies full and the trunk full of yarn. With one stop at Dairy Queen for a blizzard and a stretch, we got home at 9:15. It had been a 500 mile 14+ hour day and was lots of fun but I was happy to be home.

So when your cats have been in all day and you don’t let them out until 9:00 pm, they don’t want to come in when it’s bedtime. I was struggling to fall asleep anyway so was still reading at 11:45 when I decided to try and get the cats in again because it'd be raining by morning. Picture this – I’m outside in my nightie trying to grab Pixel when I fall ass over tea kettle, feet in the air, twisting my knee in the process. And then she didn’t even come in! I woke up sore and achy Saturday morning to a chilly rain so I sat on my butt and knitted all day, interspersing just enough chores and neatizing to not feel guilty. Sunday was my day to redeem myself.

Tim was due to cut trees at 1:00 so I got up and mowed first thing so I could get my laundry hung on the line before he came. The wash load was done and I was about to make lunch when Tim showed up at 11:45, which cramped my style a bit but at least it’d get done. Tim cut trees and I followed him with RoundUp to nuke the stumps. He had his 2 boys with him so the older one hauled the trees to the trailer while the younger one (about 4 years old, I’d guess) got into mischief. When the first round was done, they left to head to the dump and I grabbed a PB and J and waited for them to call. I met them at the farm store in town to buy supplies for my compost bins then we headed to Andrea’s to trim her cedar. I was there as a consultant but ended up hauling some branches. Then it was back to my house to cut some bushes (the alley looked so good that I had him cut my forsythia and a viburnum I hadn’t planned on originally) and put up the bins. While they’re not the woodcrafted things of beauty I’d wanted, they’ll work. Tim peppered me with questions as he built them so I stayed outside the whole time weeding a nearby bed. By the time we were done, my backyard was a clean slate. Nice.

When Tim left at 4:00, I took a shower and collapsed in my chair. My back was a bit twingy and I was spent. It had been a productive day though so all worth it. I’d fully redeemed myself and my yard looked great. Yay! Now to keep up the yard work. I have lots of raking under what used to be thickets. At least I have new compost bins for all the leaves. And look at all this fun yarn - life is good!

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