Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things I Did This Weekend
1. Road trip! Heh. Not across the pond -- that's Isle of Cumbrae, above -- but across the state! The weather was similarly spectacular, though, for our three-day weekend.
2. The long way. We took "the long way" on way west through our little metropolis -- though not as far west as the Port of Oakland (above)! We drove the newly opened eastern section of Wisconsin Avenue in Appleton -- shut down the last TWO summers for construction -- and significant because that's where my most-local LYS, Iris Fine Yarns, is located. We didn't stop this time, but I've stopped plenty in the last couple of years -- pfft, "Road Closed"? Watch me.
3. Westward-ho. We chose US Route 10 as the departure point for our meandering trip to far northwest Wisconsin. Along the way we checked out a new shop I'd heard about, The Knitting Nest* in Weyauwega. There were two other customers in the store at the time, one of whom I recognized -- she used to work in the children's department at our library! It was funny to run into "neighbors" at a shop so many miles from home.
4. The Kitchen Table. We were close to Marshfield when we started to get hungry, so drove into town to see what we could find. I remembered The Kitchen Table -- and where it was, even though they were closed the first time I tried to go. We had THE BEST LUNCH (he, omelette; me, sandwich) we've had in a long time. Great atmosphere, friendly service, fabulous food -- and I mean real, good food. I meant to buy the cookbook, and I've heard good things, so I'll have to order it.
My mom and dad were both born and raised in Marshfield, so before we left I directed Rusty on a quick drive-by of tour of (my personal) highlights: Grandma & Grandpa's house on Cedar St.; Great Grandma & Grandpa Blum's house on Bakerville; I pointed out some of the important landmarks like the location of Jimmy's Cafe where my mom and dad first met; Weber's and Mitten's; the original Penney's (where my mom once worked, and cried in her Easter Bunny costume because she didn't want to be Easter Bunny! Poor, sad little Easter bunny...); Sacred Heart and the original location of the Marshfield Clinic... I tried to remember where Karau's was (I remember going with Grandma), and to conjure the distinctive (and pleasing) aroma of Grandma's house, and remembered picnics at Wildwood Park with Dad, etc.
5. 1964 World's Fair Wisconsin Pavilion. Continuing west, we went through Neillsville, and we actually turned around and went back for a better look at this -- it's so fantastical in a 1964 way! Those are NEON letters spelling out WISCONSIN on the spire!
6. Karen's. Our destination on Friday was my sister's house near Rice Lake (about an hour north of Eau Claire). We had a great visit there, watching baseball, knitting, eating, and Rusty helped with a couple of putzy house projects (he's a good craftsman and a great problem solver).
7. Reunion. The main purpose for this trip, and final destination, was Rusty's class reunion of unfathomable years in Grantsburg. He'd never been to one before (not even one of mine, because I only went to the first, which was the fifth, and we hadn't yet met). You are correct if you think he mostly went to school -- and graduated -- in California, but the first semester of senior year was spent at a small-town high school in NW Wisconsin -- and they always invite him to the reunion! He was living with his uncle's family at the time, and had a cousin in the same class -- another cousin ended up marrying a classmate. It was a memorable semester for him as the "new kid."
8. The Farm. We visited the farm last May... as you can see, there have been some changes since then. A spring tornado made a big difference in the landscape. The recent death of the farmer's wife makes it that much more mournful.
9. Thorpedo. We'd have gone back through Marshfield on the way home to eat again at The Kitchen Table if our timing had been better; instead, we stopped at the Thorpedo Restaurant in Thorp. I remember eating here for the first time, years ago -- the summer before 7th grade -- when I traveled with my glass-blowing aunt and helped with her booth at county fairs in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Good food, friendly service.
10. Sports Fan! It was another great weekend to be a Wisconsin sports fan, as the Brewers inched their way closer and the Packers came from behind to win! (We actually listened to the baseball game on the radio in the car... rather unheard-of... football, yes; baseball, not really.)
*A more photo-heavy post than usual. Some were chosen at random, others with a definite tie-in -- they all have the sky in common. I have been paying even more attention than usual and have been gathering appropriate materials for some interpretation of a sky scarf. Fun, huh? To further the cause, I nabbed a likely hank of Cascade sock yarn in colors of the sky at Knitting Nest. I shall soon devise a plan.
Meanwhile, the Caera Cowl is blocking!
Like Margene's, my Saturday Sky is Friday's edition. We've had a few lovely sunrises this week -- they occur just as I'm packing up my lunch and whatever else to head out the door each day.
Due to a combo of kinda cruddy weather and sewer problems (thankfully, not mine, but I don't wish that on anyone), I will not have a baby in my viewfinder 'til tomorrow.
So, it's not like I don't have anything to do this morning. And I'm going to go -- right now -- throw both of my recently completed scarves into the bath. I also need to find the materials and pattern for Addison's Christmas stocking. I'd started it once and was unhappy, so tore it out and put it away somewhere... but WHERE???
When I saw this on my way to work yesterday morning (car cam!), I thought we were in for it! There's snow in the weekend forecast, but this made me think that perhaps the timing was a bit off. It turned out to be a "nice" end-of-March spring day -- a bit cold, but mostly sunny. Not bad. There was a similar look to the sky at sunset. For the most part, the sun is shining this morning, too. There's still snow in the forecast. We're supposed to get a few inches tonight. It's all second-hand news. I don't care to watch.
I had big plans today! DH was up a little earlier than I was this morning, and was cooking up a high-powered liver & egg breakfast for himself when I got up -- he has a busy day ahead, too. I don't usually break the fast immediately upon rising, but I accepted his offer -- sometimes when I get involved in the day, I don't stop to eat at all. So, just as he was plating our meal, I bent OVER (rather than DOWN) to pick something off the floor and felt something snap in my back. Damn! Today is the first day of a four-day weekend -- and I have big plans for all FOUR days! I ate my breakfast, took a handful of ibuprofen, got "dressed" (haven't tried washing my face or brushing my teeth yet -- that's next), and have been alternating hot- and cold-packs all morning. Hopefully, I'll be able to salvage something of the weekend.
I was on my way out with the dog last night and from the front porch, even through the trees, power lines and houses across the street, I could see the glow. I had to dash back into the house for my camera and really hustle in order to make it to the bridge in time to take some photos. I could feel the burn.
Saturday Sky courtesy of Friday night.
Yesterday we said "Hello!" to summer. One evening last week I had a fleece-lined denim shirt on for my evening walk with the dog and had been contemplating gloves. Yesterday, it was hot and humid and they say it was just a prelude to the weekend. It's nice right now, so I've got the house wide open.
You get the picture. I will have to venture out to the grocery store this morning, and then it's going to be a soup day. I haven't decided what kind yet. I do believe tomorrow will be soup redux, as it isn't going to be much better, and I may as well fill the freezer and have some choices for next week's lunches.
Honestly, there must be something wrong with my nose. There are two things that I have been smelling a lot lately and most of the time it's for no good reason. One is cigarette smoke (I'm smelling it now, which is why the mention) and the other is exhaust. It's not stale, icky, old smoke, it's more like someone is standing a few feet away and it's wafting under my nose, "fresh," if you will, and not unpleasant to this ex-smoker -- I never developed an aversion; thankfully, it doesn't seem to trigger any urges. It is annoying. Even when I did smoke, I never smoked in the house. The exhaust smell is very unpleasant and stings my nose; I've actually gone to see if there's some old truck parked right outside my door, choking the neighborhood. So weird. Why can't I smell a freshly bathed baby or fresh-baked bread?
Tomorrow may also be an unscheduled Pajama Day -- though I will have to change into my "lucky" Green & Gold attire for Ice Bowl II tomorrow evening! I've been meaning to mention the upcoming Super International Pajama Day (third annual?), which falls on Super Bowl Sunday. I love Celia and I love Pajama Day!
And now, my last pitch for the ABC-Along 2008 and a few more links.
First: Deadline for inclusion in the Flickr group and on the blogroll is midnight tonight. I have no control over the Ravelry group, so we'll just have to see how that goes. There are new people joining Ravelry all the time, so maybe they'll want to jump in... play catch up or pick up at whatever point they get their invite or discover it, maybe someone will decide to do only vowels or the letters in their first name. Whatever. I hope they have fun with it.
Second: While I do run a loose ship and participants may do whatever they wish, I do wish to say that my intent – what I had in my mind – was ONE well-chosen THING for each letter, though possibly several pictures to illustrate that thing, not twenty different things for each letter. It forces one to be choosy and disciplined – what is the BEST representation of YOU for a given letter. I did not choose my words very carefully, however, and left the door wide open, and neither did I set any limits to how many pictures can be uploaded. I'm not going to go changing the "rules," but it's something to keep in mind and I think, in the end, it would be a much more powerful body of work, both as a whole and as a representation for each participant.
That's all. Except for a few more blog links that tickle and/or inspire: 1001 Arabian Knits, Art is the Handmaid of Human Good, Dalai Mama, Knitphomaniacs, Knitting and Sewing and All Forms of Procrastination..., Will Knit for Vodka, Will Pillage for Yarn, Yarn and Chocolate, and Yarn Mafia.
If you've never cleaned or oiled your sewing machine yourself -- never gave a thought to cleaning or oiling except when it's suggested by the guy at the sewing machine shop when it's taken in for repair -- do it. My machine is not used that much, and it's been several years since it was in for repair/cleaning/oiling, and I can't believe how much dusty, dirty lint was packed in around the feed dogs after I removed the plate! The machine came with a couple of small screwdrivers, but I've long since lost the brush (not because of over-use), so I borrowed a couple of DH's stiffer paintbrushes. I bought sewing machine oil (cheap, cheap, cheap compared to the repair/cleaning/oiling!) the last time I was at Hancock's... and I must admit, I've had my machine for over 20 years and I never knew that those three small plastic holey things on the top of the machine were actually oil ports. It was all right there in the manual. I also "checked under the hood" and oiled the specified points in there, too. Thank you, Julia, for the tips!
Have you joined Sandy's Saturday Sky Flickr group yet? If you're Ravel-rousing -- or anticipate getting your Ravelry invite soon -- then you've no doubt got a Flickr account, so why not add a "Saturday Sky" set while you're at it? This afternoon, I was... Doo doo doo, Lookin' out my back door!
I caught a bug in this photo -- just coming into the frame on the right. I didn't even see it 'til I got it up on the computer. The camera was set on "Burst 3," so it took three photos, one right after the other -- this is the first of the three and the only one with the fast-traveling bug.
It was a gorgeous day here -- simply gorgeous. We did not go to Algoma, but instead to the farmers' market with a few other stops here and there. Mom wasn't able to go, but we picked up some strawberries and radishes for her. We grilled hamburgers (from grass-fed cows) and fresh zucchini and dined al fresco in the pergola tonight. Yum.
One reason for the al fresco dining is because the sewing machine is set up on the dining table. I am all but finished with the Larger Than Life Bag! I broke a couple of needles before I was completely finished, though, and I don't have any heavy-duty ones left, so it's going to have to wait. In the end, I did not apply anything to the lightweight fabric because what I had was not iron-on, as I thought (or I screwed up, whatever) and because of that, I didn't add any pockets or anything. I totally stole Margene's drapery tie-back idea. I bought four -- two maroon and two black -- there's one of each color on each side and I'm sewing them so that there will be as much support for the bag as possible. Since I made it in cotton rather than wool, it's a bit heavy. ; ) I'll post the low-down when I'm completely finished... shouldn't be long now.
Today's Saturday Sky comes to you from the comfort and warmth of my computer room -- this is a shot out the window (and up a little) to my right. There's an actual warming trend going on here this weekend -- temps in the mid- to high-30s, they say -- but I'm still chilled to the bone from last week's cold and wind, plus I'm still wearing my nightgown.
Beth and I have been writing back and forth a little bit about mittens.
***NEWS FLASH*** Oh my goodness, no wonder I like her... Not only does she have a team in the Crafters Fantasy Football League, but just look at what her favorite Christmas album is -- The Carpenters! ***/end flash***
So, anyway, back to mittens. In one of those thirty posts of November for NaBloPoMo, I wrote about how I'm always thinking about the mittens and a bunch of you wrote about how you think about them, too. Beth wrote last week and wondered if I was still thinking of doing stranded mittens in the new year; have I seen Eunny's new pattern; have I seen the new patterns on Knitty? And I most certainly am; I hadn't, but now I have (also purchased/printed); Corazon are wonderful, and the Latvian-inspired Tiffany made my heart flutter. I heard from more than a dozen people who might be interested in a friendly, low-pressure KAL and I've been thinking about the ways I can keep it low-pressure, but fun and exciting, too, maybe even with a surprise. I'm all about keeping it low-key and fun. Currently, though, I'm stuck on the really fun name and for some reason, "Walk Like A Latvian" popped into my head -- you know, like the Egyptians... only Latvian... even though Latvians walk just like the rest of us. Maybe walking like Egyptians with Latvian mittens? I know, it's sick. I could have drunk-bloggged this last night (well, only slightly inebriated, really) and then perhaps been forgiven, but the truth is it's been in my head for DAYS. I'm sorry, but perhaps if I disburse the pain even wider it will eventually subside altogether -- because I already scarred Beth with it and it didn't help me one single bit. Maybe if y'all feel my pain... It's not even limited to Latvians...
In the meantime, Eunny wrote a great post with tips for 2-color knitting here.
Nanette Blanchard has some wonderful booklets and patterns available, including Stranded Knitting. Nanette also has links in her sidebar to her free patterns, and also to some of her helpful tips knitting posts (many of them having to do with color knitting, of course!).
More to come... the new year is a few weeks off yet. ; )
That's my favorite back yard ash, now leafless. We've had a spectacular week weather-wise -- foggy, frosty mornings giving way to clear, sunny skies and warm temperatures. You can't walk anywhere without leaves crunching underfoot.
Thanks for the comments yesterday -- and for making me think. This is why I love blogging and why I continue to blog, even though it's sometimes hard, and I sometimes have doubts -- my feelings run the gamut from forthright and funny (though maybe I'm only amusing myself) to intimidated and shy to presumptuous and sanctimonious to over-exposed to wondering if I'm banging my head against the wall just to see if it makes a sound. Oh, there's more -- so much more I want to say, but did you see that sky? Yeah, and Mack is coming today!! I haven't seen him in a month -- since the day he started walking!
The note about tomatoes was scrawled on an envelope and found sticking out of the mailbox yesterday morning -- our neighbor has gone on a trip. From my reaction, you'd have thunk it was a money tree she'd left in my care. ; ) Yeah, third batch of sauce in the oven today...
DH is a table saw man -- it's been my experience that a fella is either a radial arm saw man (my dad) or a table saw man -- not that he can't use a radial arm saw, he just prefers the table saw. He unloaded lumber and set up the table saw in the lower yard while I cleared off the deck and trimmed back the flora. He also dug up the iris patch for distributing and transplanting elsewhere.
I must admit that for the rest of the day, I consulted and supervised and did my level best as lovely assistant, holding things steady when needed, etc. I took Maddy to school, went out to lunch with Ali, made a run to the grocery store... it's not like I wasn't busy! I believe my services will be more in demand today. The picture was taken just before we went in for BLTs last night -- there was one more post planted after supper; one to go and then we start the top part.
Lunch with Ali was very nice. It was mainly to take her pulse, you know? I've seen and suspected some things and just needed to let her know how I feel about them and there was only a teensy bit of a lecture. Really, I don't know if you could even call it that -- I just told her that I loved her, that I'm glad she's going to school, and said my piece -- and she reassured me about a few things and then we went shopping. ; )
Updated to add my first Saturday Sky of September (with hammer and nails).
...basil. I am nearly going out of my mind from the aroma -- in a good way. I will be on the receiving end of some surplus tomatoes and corn tomorrow (from an entirely different source), so neither of those got much consideration from me at the farmer's market today. I did bring home a nice cantaloupe, some zucchini (oddly, no one I know is buried under a surplus of that yet), some fresh purple basil (which scented the car so wonderfully -- I'm dizzy with it), and feta and mozzarella cheese. I will be making a salad tonight with some of the cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, olive oil and seasoning -- very much along the lines of Gretchen's bellisimo suggestion in the comments the other day (Thank You!). For lunch today, I sprinkled crumbled feta and back olives atop the roasted cherry tomatoes and pasta that I made the other night (and had for lunch yesterday and again today and, OMG, I can hardly get enough of that, either). Tomorrow, I plan on making the roasted tomato sauce that I wrote about yesterday.
Yeah, so, I may or may not reach at elusive 10 at WW on Tuesday, but I cannot feel badly at all about taking advantage of the season's bounty. This is all good stuff.
My Saturday Sky is gray today. My dad used to work in that taller building when I was a kid. I used to go downtown with Mimi, who lived across the street from us, on Saturday afternoons -- sometimes Dad would be working and I'd stop in and see if he'd throw me some extra change. Kresge's and Woolworth's were within a block of each other across the street and my favorite was the music department -- affordable 45s, specifically. I bought "Dizzy" when I didn't even have a record player -- and I still get a good feeling whenever I hear that song on the radio. Mimi was a few years older than me, but she never treated me like a little kid or a nuisance. One summer, we (mostly she) organized a neighborhood carnival in our back yard -- all kinds of games and prizes and candy. It's always been kind of a blur in my memory, but we do have a few pictures -- it was quite the event that summer!
These were taken in panoramic fashion at around 4:45 yesterday, though the last was actually the first and the camera settings obviously different. This is a big storm that traveled S/SE across the state.
These were about 15 minutes later as I walked to my car. Cool, huh?
I tinked and re-knitted and counted and tinked and over and over and back and forth with the little shoulder shawl last night and I didn't get anywhere. Perhaps I just don't have the mind for it right now. (Ya think?) My stitch count is just not coming out right from row to row -- only one or two off, usually. It's entirely possible that it has less to do with the knitting and more to do with the counting. I'm tired, I'm stressed from this thing or that thing (or both those things and then some other things), and there's just a lot going on; I've been busier at work lately, too (that's a good thing, really). From the comments, it's obvious that I'm not alone and concentration is in short supply everywhere. I'll take the hints about putting it away for now -- it will definitely come out to play again when other demands are less. (Please, let me live the dream.) I will need something a LOT more mindless to take to my sister's.
The first two were taken early this afternoon; the last one was this evening from the grocery store parking lot. The sky was pretty dramatic all day with storms all around. I saw a few raindrops, but that's all.
I've been working on the Victorian Shoulderette -- tinking, then ripping, then getting it back on the needles, knitting a row, I think. I'll be tinking some more; hopefully not ripping. My stitch count is off and I'll have to wait 'til tomorrow for my eyes to uncross.
Sky to the west of me, jokers to the east, here I am...
...stuck in the middle of a beautiful day! Cancel my earlier prediction for hot and muggy -- it's absolutely gorgeous outside! Clear and hot in the sun, but with the most wonderful breeze. I so needed a day like this.
The sky was so interesting for about 5 minutes this morning while we were at the market and I'm so glad I brought the camera.
I treated myself to two hosta pots today, while Mom & Katie both went for flowers. One of the pots actually has two plants, so BONUS for ME. They are "Pathfinder," dark green with a green-speckled white center, that I intend to plant in a narrow strip along the walkway between the house and garage. Huh, that's kind of like a path, so there you go.
In the "yum" department, there are more berries (rasp-, straw- & blue-), green beans and purple ones, too, an adorable pattypan squash, and some more zucchini; corn should be in abundance next week.
This installment of Saturday Sky is mostly leafy -- with geraniums. I'd just watered the geranium and the tomato nearby (I keep forgetting about that darn thing) and the light through the trees was so pretty. The sky this morning is clear and pale, pale blue; I think it's going to get hot and probably a little muggy. I'm off early to the farmer's market. Katie has to work at 10, so we're going early and we'll go out for breakfast, too. I haven't done that in ages. I am currently being fortified for the morning's activities by a mighty strong pot of coffee -- I wonder if I miscounted.
There isn't any fruit on my cherry tomato yet; I've got it in a hanging basket at the south end of the back porch. The sky has been gray on & off, sunny on & off -- chance for storms later.
We scored raspberries, strawberries and blueberries at the farmer's market this morning, as well as a nice bunch of baby carrots, and beagle bagels and other assorted baked treats of that nature. I sense some sort of WW variation of shortcake for dessert tonight!
There was an antique shop on our morning route, too, and Katie found a small, kidney-shaped stand to use as a bedside table and another suitcase to add to the stack that's already serving as a stand in her room. She's about half-way through the painting. She was trying very hard to figure a way justify the purchase of a yellow formica & chrome kitchen table (with leaf and 6 chairs -- all in VERY good condition) -- too big to use as a nightstand, too hard to use as a bed -- it was right up her alley, though. Someday...
Ask and you shall receive.
Had I taken a picture earlier today, say, when I was knitting in Central Park, it would have been cloudy gray -- fairly bright, but still gray, with a distinct feeling that rain might not be far off. We did have a little sprinkle in the late morning -- barely enough to wet the walkway outside the back door -- and then it got mostly blue and the sun came out. When I went out to take my Saturday Sky picture, though, I was quite surprised. I thought, "Northern Lights? But it's daytime... and this is south... Oh! It might be a rainbow-ish thing. Ooooo, pretty!" Isn't it? Like a cloudy, wispy rainbow!
Maddy & DH returned yesterday after being away for nearly three weeks. It's nice to have them back! Maddy has already made connections with bunches of friends and made plans, practically to-the-minute, through the weekend! Phone usage will pick up again, no doubt; good thing I'm having cable phone installed next week!
It was only the last few days that tasks were presented at home for which I was unqualified and/or uninterested and/or the ick-factor was too great and so I jotted them down on a list for DH to attend.
Here is DH, performing Task #1, and a parting shot of the
little big enormous mama guarding her offspring-to-be -- we'll all be much happier now that they're in their new home, far away from mine. The plug was purchased at the hardware store last evening, which was located right next to the grocery store where the softener salt was purchased along with ground turkey for some of the most savory turkey burgers I've had in a long time -- and it was a WW recipe!
Having basically come to a stand-off with the built-ins, the huge filing cabinet (which I dragged, pushed and pulled to and fro the other day), and the appliances that cannot be moved in the laundry/computer room, I had a consultation with DH in regards to that project. In response to my lamentations of the limitations due to built-ins (they're great and all and I know they add value and blahblahblah, but...), he said, "Why don't we take it out?" Since he was the guy who built them in all those years ago (19, to be exact), I didn't think he'd be all the anxious to un-build them. They've served their purpose, he said, and now we don't really need them anymore. What's not to love? We'll be able to leave some shelving; I'll have to do a little painting; maybe we can even get some carpet or a rug; and best of all, we'll be able to use the big, honkin' computer desk (sans one upper shelf) that I'd otherwise have to somehow get rid of -- and I'll have the MOST marvelous view of my lower garden whilst computing, and I'll hardly even need to turn my head... I'll need only glance. ; ) So, three little jobs and an impromptu remodeling project -- Welcome Home, Honey! ; )
As the kids said: It just wouldn't seem like home if there wasn't some kind of remodeling thing either in the works or under consideration.
I spent Father's Day at my brother's house; my mom and dad were there, and one of my sisters. These blanket pictures are actually from my last vist -- doesn't he look stronger? He had a neuro check-up yesterday and he's doing well -- as expected. There are at least two more docs to visit in the next week or so and he continues with physical therapy for his shoulder. Progressing... blue sky with a few lingering clouds, dissipating some, but no storms on the horizon. ; )
I love Edward Gorey. I did a little blog-hopping yesterday and found this at a new-to-me blog which I may or may not have added to my Bloglines list and I can't believe I didn't jot down the name. I must have been all excited about my Gorey death...
I love the sky. There are a lot of knit-blogging Sandy Sky Watchers standing on their porches in their jammies with wind-blown hair taking pictures of the sky these days; the sky images make me smile, the photographers' images in my head make me giggle.
I love the Olympics. Like Stephanie, I have never participated much in competitive sports; I was invited to join the gymnastics team in high school, but, hey, it was high school -- I needed more of a nudge and didn't get it. Oh, how I love to watch! I cringe and grimace and wince at the mistakes, and sometimes my heart breaks; I beam to bursting, heart full with pride and accomplishment at the winning; and often I cry. I love the anthems, the flags, the pomp and circumstance and ceremony, the flowers, the medals, the smiles and the tears. I love the TV clips of past glories (never enough!) and athletes' stories. And I think I have the perfect project for the Knitting Olympics -- Williamsro! I've done some training (i.e., knitting, ripping, knitting, ripping), but I've lapsed, so some intense drills are in order these next few weeks. Williamsro is my reward sweater, which I intend to have finished by the quit anniversary, and if I do it for the Olympics, I'll actually finish it a month ahead of schedule!