Friday, August 31, 2007

Mail and shopping yarn

DTE and I stopped at Yarn Harbor briefly yesterday after unloading the truck at her college dorm/apartment. She picked out this yarn so I can make her this hat. The colored yarn is "Brook Trout". I don't think she noticed the name when she picked it, but I find it rather entertaining. I think I will have some left over, but might wind up using it for mittens for her. There may be several fisher folk I am related too that wind up liking the name/color besides her. One of the things I enjoyed seeing from the train window as I went across Montana was real water that brook, rainbow, and cutthroat trout would live in.

There was a package waiting in my mailbox for me today. This yarn was in it and it turns out it was a prize I won for Catie's Tornado Scarf project for WhoDuKnit. I was rather taken back when I had been notified I had won the project prize. Each skein is enough to knit one pair of socks, so I will have choices about what to do with it. Socks for me and someone else, socks for two others than my self, socks and a scarf, etc.

I have made a small amount of progress on Dr. Who since I got home, it helped that I took it to Wednesday night knitting group this week. I feel like I still have catching up from being gone to do before I can settle into a planned knitting time routine. I am getting ready to put a new project on the loom and have hospital visits (which I love doing even more than knitting or weaving) next week, so it might be a bit longer until I start that routine thing. Not like I am ever really that organized.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Beautiful yarn and knitting progress

This is the yarn I got from Marti for the first round of the Hand Dyed Yarn Swap. She got the blank yarn from Recycled Silk, and I am thinking I am going to have to place an order from them sometime. She did an awesome job making beautiful colors. I did a good (or bad, depending on how you look at it) job of tuning it into a tangled mess, but Hubband said he would help me untangle it and turn it into a nice ball. What a sweet guy! (I am not sure he knows what he is in for, but he might. He is a fisherman after all.) If anyone wants to see what the yarn I sent looks like, hit the button on the side bar and scroll through what lots of folks got, or just go here or here. Marti also sent me a tin of those yummy Dark Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Altoids. No, they weren't in the picture

This is the progress I have made on DTY's Dr. Who scarf. It is currently about 65 inches long (unblocked) and has 536 rows out of 1140, so not quite half done. Now, if I just stay on track and keep knitting on it every day. Somehow, I don't think I am going to keep up on it at the same pace I had on the train. (I promise I will have better pictures when it is done.)
We had 3/4 of an inch of rain last night, just in case any of you are wondering.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Apparently tomatoes don't like all this rain

This is what my garden of tomato plants was like when I got home. What a big difference from just a few weeks ago. See all those sad tomatoes on the ground, rotting away? Some of them will grow into little tomato plants next year, but I won't know which kinds they are.
I hadn't really been aware of the extent of the rain until just before I came home. HBT, the friend DTY and I stayed with, got her jury summons just a few days after she and I had made arrangements for our stay with her and her family. She wound up be placed on a jury trial just before we arrived that was expected to last two plus weeks. So, no news for us most of the time we were in Oregon. We heard a little on Monday night, but it continued to rain after that. We only had verbal reports until I got home and was able to see newspaper pictures that Hubband had saved for me.
So I won't be eating Tomato and Sweet Onion casserole with my tomatoes this year. I will be going to the farmer's market this weekend to buy tomatoes and some other stuff. I had planned on pulling up all the dead vines and digging the garden under tomorrow, but that plan is now off. Why? Because it is raining again tonight.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Monday, post train rides

I just want to let you know I am home safe and sound. DTE drove to St. Paul to pick me up (though apparently the trains started going through on the right track this morning-IE, my train, but we had already arranged for me to get off about an hour north of home instead of an hour east) and we stopped for breakfast on the way home. I am off to unpack a bit and take a nap, but no guarantees it will be in that order. More later!

Friday, August 24, 2007

All moved in and heading home

DTY and I rode the bus to Reed on Wednesday with her suitcase. After checking in, ID, keys, finding her room, etc. we went to the mail room to retrieve her boxes of belongings that had been shipped. One out of three was a bit smashed and ripped, but nothing seemed to have gone missing. We got her all unpacked and most of her stuff put away in just a couple of hours, as well as eating lunch, then went off to Convocation and an awesome Odyssey lecture from Pancho Savery. Our day together was over so I headed off and she had more meetings, dinner, fire dancing, etc to attend to.
Thursday I took the bus in again for more Parent activities in the morning. DTY and I had figured we wouldn't see each other until around noon, due to stuff for both of us to do, but we ran into each other on the sidewalk around 9:30 (she had gotten done early), so we got to hang out together and catch up before my Parent Event. The rest of the day was more "Starting out/getting to know a new campus/college" kind of stuff. We even had time to go to the library and look at senior thesises from past graduates (we were looking for a very particular one). After a fun day together, it was time to do the hugging good-bye thing and go our separate ways. No, I didn't cry, or even tear up much then. No guarantees about tomorrow when I bet on the train, or next week when there are no children in the house (or even ten minutes from now!).
Today has been pretty quite for me. I have been doing laundry and making sure I have myself together to catch the train home tomorrow morning. Hubband reports that the house is nice and dry, but my vegetable garden is history. I may have to get off the train in St. Paul, since the tracks were washed out to passenger traffic yesterday (they can still move freight on the same track though, so they are still there). Apparently everyone is getting off there and then they are being bussed all the rest of the way to Chicago. Luckily for me, It is about the same to my ride if they drive north to St. Paul for an hour or east to Winona for an hour. I don't relish ending my whole trip with a two plus hour bus ride.
I am off to finish packing and don't imagine I will post again until Tuesday or so (but I should have pictures by then!).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Train travels, Portland and environs happenings

I am finally letting you all know how our trip is going so far and what we have been up to. It is full of links, which I hope will make up for the lack of pictures from me.
Our train ride was rather uneventful, but we left the Mississippi river area about two hours late. The biggest disappointment with that was we got to East Glacier around sunset instead of two hours earlier. They made up an hour of time though so we got to Portland only an hour late on Thursday. This is the type of train we were on, for those out there that I know are busy panting while waiting for the information.

On Friday DTY and I rode the bus from Oregon City into Portland and got off in The Pearl District and walked to Powell's, where there were some text books that DTY had ordered online to pick up. Plus the fact that she just has to know where it is if she is going to live in this city. After we hung around there for a while (finding more books and having a bite to eat)we wandered around The Pearl District for awhile. I took some a couple of pictures, but they are film, so I will post them after I get home. Then we took the bus back out to Oregon city, walked around for a while and rode the town elevator. We decided to walk back down the stairs just for the heck of it. We generally hung out and waited for my friend to get done with her day so we could all go back out to the River House for dinner.
Saturday DTY and I were lucky enough to be chauffeured about by my friend all day. The three of us went to Saturday Market, Trader Joe's, which we don't have at home, but I might have to take Hubband to next time we go to the Twin Cities. Then we decided that DTY should go look at this place, since she will be starting school here in less than a week and had never laid eyes on it or anything like that before now. We wandered about and found her dorm, the "Union" building and such. Fortunately, she thinks it looks like it will be a cool place to be for the next while in her life. (I'm glad she didn't think otherwise, because I don't know what she would do with herself instead at this point. Not like I ever though she would change her mind.)
After that we went to this cool place and I got a pound of yeast and would have gotten some other stuff, but I still have to get it all the way home. Then it was back to the house to rest up and check in with everyone else. That night the lot of us went to see this movie that I have been anticipating for months. I do think you should all go see it if you like fairy tales, it is really well done. Different from the book, but a good differ ant. The author is very pleased with the way the movie turned out.
Sunday some other friends drove over from Vancouver to get us for a couple of days and we went
here and did the climb up to the top trail.
Today we drove out to the coast and went here and were NOT disappointed, despite its name. We hiked around a lot today too. While we at one beach we got to see the beginnings of a kite festival and it was a lot of fun to watch.

Just for the record, I have made progress on Dr. Who, but have come to the conclusion that it will be on the return leg home too. I have about 1/5 of it done and will be mailing it to the girl in a couple of weeks.
I haven't listened to the radio since I left but heard the tail end of something today about flooding in Minnesota, which turns out to be almost 20 inches of rain where my train will be returning to next week. I read a rumor that we have had 10 inches at my hose in the last two days. The drought has got to be over by now.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A little catching up and whirlwind traveling

I feel so behind the last few days. I have been helping put together a big social event at church, which went off well Saturday night. Food, games, intergenerational, two parish event. Stuff like that. Folks had a really good time and it was a lot of fun seeing several different retired folks and other adults being tutored in the fine art of Dance, Dance, Revolution by DTY and folks learning about Guitar Hero (DTE helped with that one). Mr. A had a lot of fun too. I will get a few pictures of that up at some point, but it might not be for a bit.
Mr. A went home Sunday. We thought really seriously about just keeping him here and all, but decided that maybe my brother wouldn't like that so much. That plus the fact that he is supposed to go to the Utah Shakespeare Festival with my mom in a week. Why do I have to keep sending him back? He has decided that walking Simon with his Uncle H is a great thing to do every night and sleeping out in the tent is a very cool thing (I wonder if he wants to come during winter break for the annual winter/snow camping in January?).
DTY and I get on the train by the banks of the Mississippi River Tuesday evening to pop out on the other side in Portland, Oregon, on Thursday morning. So I have a bit over twelve hours to finish this post, get some sleep, and finish up getting ready to leave for two weeks. I am taking Kaylee with me, but won't have connection until Thursday afternoon or Friday. So, you'll just have to wonder about stuff for a few days. ("Right lady, like anybody is really holding their breath until your next post the rest of the time!"). No promises on pictures while I am gallivanting about the West Coast, but I promise you'll get some after I get home.
So, a little more catching up to be done. Last week I took the three children to Greece and Pompeii for the day. It was really fun to see DTE all excited and pointing. I wasn't next to her, but I knew she was bopping her sister's knee and meaning, "I was there!" "I saw that in June!" when she was pointing. Pompeii was fun too, I got to do the "I was there" stuff as well. We had a really great time and all in all, it was a lot of fun.
I am off to sleep, and to see if Miss Sadie will venture outside now that the rain has slacked off. Heaven forbid her feet should have to step in a puddle!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The picture of DTY I promised (and a couple more)

Just over a week ago I promised you a updated picture of DTY and now I am delivering. This is her all new look.

Just for the heck of I am going to give you a picture of Hubband and DTE as well.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

"Catie's Tornado Scarf" finished

"Now, from under the black, black, oily layer of clouds, she [Catie] watched the funnel form high in the air, watched it dip down once, watched it rise back up again, always moving in her direction.
She gazed up directly into the mouth of it, where she could see the revolution of the air and things-objects-whirling around inside of it. ...And then some of the things inside the funnel began to fall on her. She closed her eyes, expecting to be killed by them. But they fell lightly atop her and all around her.
When she opened her eyes, she discovered she was covered with flowers." (The Virgin of Small Plains, Nancy Pickford, page 185.)

This scarf is my project for the WhoDuKnit July book. Catie is a person dying of cancer and she has come to Small Plains in hope of a miracle. The scarf is wider at the top, narrowing down into a funnel at the bottom. Then I sewed all the flowers on, with thoughts of leaves on a stocking cap and pillow case part way through.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

A little of this, a little of that, and just a little knitting

Friday afternoon Hubband decided that since it was going to be a wonderfully cool night, it would be a great time to set up the tent in out own private campground so Mr. A could camp out (not something he gets to do often in the wilds of Redondo Beach). As it happened, Mr. A was not too sure about this idea as, "I am not much of an outdoors kind of guy." Hubband told him that he would be sleeping out for certain, and that DTY might be as well. When we told him she would be, he said he would think about it. He thought about it for about a minute to a minute and a half, and said, "OK, I'm in!" Later as he was settling into is sleeping bag, I heard him say to DTY, "Isn't this the best? Sleeping out in the wild outdoors!" We might live in the country and have turkeys every day, but the coyotes have been kind of quite for a month or so, but does this count as "the wilds?" Saturday it rained most of the day and we had to bring the sleeping bags in because the tent was leaking a bit. (An aside about the tent-- we haven't used it in several years and DTY put it up a while back prior to going camping with some friends. She said, "It's Gianormous!" I pointed out to her that we bought it when I was seven months pregnant with her and it could fit four people in sleeping bags AND a port-a-crib for a several years. It might have a right to leak, especially since we didn't use a ground cloth the other night.) We were going to sleep outside again Saturday night, as per Mr. A's request, but it kept raining whenever we were going to haul the stuff back out (two and a half inches, I'm not complaining and I don't think the cows or the corn down the street are either). One of the first things he asked about today was weather or not sleeping in the tent was happening tonight.
Earlier in the week DTY had gone for a walk one night and Mr. A had told Hubband and me that he wasn't sure about that walking after dark thing. It seemed pretty scary in the dark since you can't see what is out there or where you are walking. I took him out on the deck and showed him all the stars and he thought that was pretty cool. "At home we only have artificial stars. You know, satellites." Tonight he told me, on his way out into the garage, "I am going with Uncle H to walk the dog," (this is pretty much only done after dark). When he got home he told me, "The walk was interesting. I talked to Uncle H and it wasn't too scary." I asked him if having the scary dog to protect him helped and he said it did. Right, this would be the dog that is afraid of his little sister dog. We do not own scary dogs, but Mr. A did have his Uncle H to protect him (from what none of us are really sure).
So far we have done a little cooking, harvesting in the garden, some reading (he started HP#7 after he got here and finished it the other day), computer and PS2 games. All that AND walking after dark as well as sleeping out in the wilds in a tent!

I have finished the knitting part of the Tornado Scarf and just need to add the flowers to finish it off. There will be a full explanation forthcoming once the flowers are on. I hope it all makes sense then (if not, I will obviously have gone too far out on a limb as it breaks off under me). I am leaving you with a picture of my willing model wearing the partly finished scarf.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Knit 1 Tea 2 Color Swap Questionnaire

Knit 1 Tea 2 Color Swap Questionnaire

1. Do you like loose tea or bags, or both – something you want to try?
Both or either. Some of the teas I like only come loose.

2. What is your favorite kind of tea (Brand, flavor, variety, etc)?
Black. I drink a lot of Republic of Tea's Earl Greyer. I also really like their limited edition (once a year)Rose Petal Tea. I love Pike's Place Market Cinnamon Orange, but have a really hard time getting that. I have had some from The Spice Merchant in Wichita, KS, that is also really awesome!

3. Favorite color in regards to tea or one you would like to try? (black, green, red, and white) (keeping in mind that this is how this swap is set up).
Black tea is pretty much all I drink, except for Red Safari Spice from Celestial Seasonings. Other than that one I am not too crazy about red rooibos teas.

4. Would you say you were a tea pot kind of person or just a hot water heater kind?
I drink a lot of tea, usually by the cup, but I love it when Hubband, DTE, or DTY want to share a pot with me. It gives me an excuse to get one of the pots down from the top of the cupboard.

5. What tea accessories would you like but have never purchases for yourself?
A tea cup with its own infuser insert.

6. How do you prefer to be pampered? (examples: mani/pedi, bubble bath, yummy treat, etc).
Having someone else fix dinner? But since that doesn't happen very much, I have been known to settle for a yummy treat.

7. If you were a kind of yarn what would you be and why?
Something different from the usual, blended with wool, like Sea Wool or something similar; because I tend to follow the rules/directions up to a point and then I just have to do it my own creative way.

8. If you had to knit/crochet baby booties, a fun fur scarf, or a fair isle sweater, which would you choose and why?
Well, it would be knitting for certain, because I don't crochet. I have been thinking about doing baby booties, just because they look like they could be fun and some friends just had a baby yesterday. On the other hand, I have knit a Potato Chip Scarf out of something similar to Fun Fur, because somebody I love asked me to. I can't say I would be jumping all over the Fun Fur wagon again, but I have been known to do some stuff folks wouldn't expect from me all in the name of love. I might do the sweater just for the challenge, just 'cause I am like that. I am not really know for taking the easy route in life.

9. What other event would make you skip a tea party? (A garden party? A book club meeting? A yoga class? Opening night for a new action thriller? etc?)
Knitting with friends (but there would be a good chance we would be drinking tea or something!), my book club, or dinner out with Hubband.

10. What treat would you consider essential at your tea party? (Sweet? Salty? Scones? Those petite pastry trays with a couple of all sorts of things? Little crust less sandwiches?)
Scones. Fresh blueberry or candied ginger, or cranberry orange ones. Either that, biscotte, or gingerbread.

11. When buying yarn for a project how do you choose - do you buy the one called for or do you substitute?
Well, I will use the one called for if I like the look/feel of it, and it is available, but back to that part about me not always following the rules? Well, that goes for yarn substitutions too. Probably why I have not always had stuff turn out quite like the pattern, but I have learned a lot and that is often my real goal.

12. What do you carry your knitting/crocheting in when on the go?
Usually a canvas bag. Sometimes a bag Hubband has brought home from a convention. Right now I have Dr. Who in PADI Dive duffel (which seems fitting since both are DTY's, but that isn't terribly portable).

13. Favorite movie to watch while knitting/crocheting?
Usually I listen to NPR or a recorded book. If it is a movie, it has to be in English.

14. Are you a traditional tea cup kind of person or a mug type of person? Do you care if they match?
Traditional tea cup? What's that? Oh, I remember, my mom has a china cabinet with those in it! (With any luck, at least some of them might be mine some day!) I am a mug kind of person and the only reason I would have any in the cupboard that match would be because I might have more than four from our dishes in there. (No, our dishes don't exactly match. That might count as following the rules/expectations of somebody.)

15. Favorite childhood birthday party?
Hmm, I don't remember very many of mine, but maybe the year I finally got homemade ice cream. Or the year I turned thirty and got to drive my mom and Hubband crazy leading up to it because I was so excited to be turning thirty (then I got to drive him crazy again when I turned forty). Plus, I was probably the youngest one there by at least ten years (not counting my kids or Hubband).

16. Favorite type of scone and jam?
Well, I have already mentioned my favorite scones, but I don't put jam on any of those. I do really like sweet cream scones with my homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam though.

17. If you use candles, what is your favorite scent?
I don't use them very much, but when I do I like either lemon or vanilla.

18. If you could choose 3 people to have 'tea' with, who would they be and why? (famous or not, living or dead).
My girls, 'cause I jut love hanging out with them.
My friend Suzanne that I haven't seen in years, because I miss her and she helped me learn how to knit.

19. You've been invited to a tea party, what 'props' will you wear (formal or casual)?
Comfy clothes, 'cause you just can't have fun if you are worried about spilling or your feet hurting.

20. Any allergies/preferences you have or are willing to admit to?
Cigarette smoke and strong floral smells. House dust and strong smelling cleaning supplies (one of several reasons why I don't do bathrooms!).

21. Anything we missed that you want your pal to know?
I'm not a very fussy person, I'm pretty laid back about life, and see a lot of joy and fun in most things. Thus, I will be pretty easy to please 'cause I will be having fun no matter what!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Food, Plants, and Kids

Last night I made Peach Puzzle for dessert. Mr. A was convinced it was magic, Hubband and I were pretty amazed ourselves. I love it when basic science can be seen in action in the kitchen. Cooking isn't rocket science, just chemistry with a little physics thrown in at times for good measure. Oh, wait, that's what rocket science is, isn't it? Chemistry and physics?

The garden you got to see when it was newly planted has grown. A lot. Most of the tomatoes are going out of their cages again this year, even though I got almost all bigger new ones this year.

In case you have ever wondered what you can do with tomato cages that are too small, and you just can't quite bring yourself to throw out a perfectly good garden item, here is one idea. (I have another idea I'm going to try later. I'll keep you posted.)

You can wire the open tops of two of them together with florist wire and then run lines of wire up and down the open sections. Wire the top closed and plant the legs of the open end into a pot with a vine type plant.

It looks kind of funny at first (pretty much like an upside down tomato cage), but then the trellis you have made is covered with vines and flowers, and looks pretty cool. I am thinking about doing Scarlet Runner Beans this way on the deck next year.

This is what the backpacking DTY looked like last week. I will have a picture up soon of what she looks like this week.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Today you get yarn pictures

This is my very cool notions bag that came in today's mail. Guinifer sent this awesome bag along with some stitch holders, a row counter (which I need for Dr. Who-I have to keep making tic marks on paper-very cool tool!), other yarny notions, as well as some very nice sock yarn, Wild Ginger soap, and Swedish Fish. Those were anxiously watched by DTE while I took pictures and then opened as soon as the camera was turned off. She says thanks too! DTY will also enjoy those when she gets home.

This is the previously promised picture of the dishcloth that Sunny sent last week. There is a sun knit into the dishcloth she made for me, very cool. There is also some coffee, a travel tin of Republic of Tea's Earl Greyer (my favorite!), and yummy chocolate!

These are both of the completed socks for a proper viewing.

Here are a couple of pictures of the sweater I had posted about earlier. I convinced DTE to put it on so I could take pictures of it some other way than flat on the couch. I had to promise to not have her face in the pictures, though she still wants to borrow it if they have an "Ugly Sweater Party"
She said it wouldn't fit her and I told her I knew that since I am not a tiny person like she is. She says she isn't tiny.
I say that any one who wears size four clothes is tiny, even if they aren't short.

I am planning on giving you non-yarn pictures tomorrow.