Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's that time of year again

Turning Colors
I finally stopped and took some pictures. I love this tree! I drive by it every day and each day it is a bit more colorful.

Change and Not Changing
 I like the range of colors in this one.  That Spruce really looks blue with the green and red next to it.
Jack and Gus had a trip to the vet. Jack tried to pretend it was not happening. He turns into a little demon when you touch him at the vet. He does not bite but he hisses and growls. Just make it go away!

Poor Jack

Poor Gus
 Gus has digestive issues so he has been to the vet more and just accepts it with his kingly grace. He talks his head off but does not seem to threaten everyone and their cousin, like Jack does.

The conclusion that they both have come to....the vet's office is evil! Sorry Dr Bart. I love our vet because he has never treated me like the crazy cat lady that I am. He just explains everything and answers all my weird questions. He even humored me and took a Xray when Gus was limping a couple of years ago. (I was right, something was wrong.) But he never made me feel stupid for choosing that option.

Colors starting to appear

Fall Sky Too
Saturday was lovely. Sun to make the trees show off their colors and bright blue sky! I enjoyed it by going to a fiber festival, but more on that another day.

I walked around the yard and found some beautiful leaves.


I do so love the fall in New York!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A bit of Library Love

I am in love with my library! I can get cookbooks, knitting books, cycling books, blogging books, audio books, movies, documentaries....The list goes on and on. Can you tell the library budget vote was this week?

When I was a kid we had access to a wee little rural library. Our library was so little you had to go outside to change your mind. Hey some jokes never die, you just wish they did. I hated the library when I was a kid! Not because it was small and lacked variety, but because they wanted the books back! When I love something I tend to want to keep it near me. When I read a book and enjoyed the story I thought it should be mine. I hated returning my books, just because the library thought they should keep them.

When we moved off the farm, we moved into an area that could not access the local town library. I still managed to spend some time there but I was not able to really fundamentally use that library.

After D and I got married and moved to Florida I was bored and alone much of the time. Till D told me about the library. You see I had been so long without a usable one that I had forgotten. I jumped in the pickup and hightailed it over to get a library card. I think I spent 3-4 days a week in that library till we moved 3 months later.

Then we moved to what I still think of as the mecca of the library system, Charleston County South Carolina. Our apartment complex was 6 blocks from a branch library. (Yes that was part of the reason we picked that apartment complex.) In Charleston, they pool all the money not by town but by county and have a strong base to buy from. I could borrow books from any of the county's locations and return to my local branch. I can not tell you how many late fees I avoided. Hubby would point out here how many late fees I did pay even with that but we will not talk about that! I loved wandering around the beautiful downtown Charleston branch. It was there that I looked into kinship and learned what a 4th cousin twice removed is. (Yeah I forgot about that one a bit.) I found out just how awesome it is to have a great library at your disposal.

Then we moved to NY. Our first library was in this great old church building, complete with stained glass. However it was small and staffed by people that treated you like dirt. Rude and aggressive, not my  ideal librarian! So I went to the next community over and found out I could use it but in a somewhat limited fashion. But the big bonus was the librarians were decent and polite! Imagine that!

When we started looking into buying a house I knew what library system I truly wanted to be part of. They have expanded since then and hold the second favorite library spot in my heart. We passed the budget by over 75% approval.

The thing I don't get is why people don't use libraries more. You're already paying for it, you should make sure you're getting your money's worth! I know that I am. I may even be getting several people's money's worth!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wrestling Alpaca

Yes some days it feels like that when you're knitting along and you find a mistake. I looked like the worlds slowest knitter tonight while I was waiting for my Chinese food. I was tinking (unknitting stitch by stitch) my shawl.

I was on a roll last night. I even remembered to weigh the yarn before and after a pattern repeat so I will know when to stop and still have enough yarn to bind off (I think). I am close to the end of my shawl and things were going along swimmingly, then I hit the end of the first half of a pattern row and I have 2 extra stitches. I count back twice making sure I have knit all the stitches correctly. Twice I see no problem. So I figure oh what the heck I will sneak in another unauthorized knit 2 together what can it hurt? I finish that row and merrily go off to bed.

I must have had some weird dreams because the guilt started to get to me this morning. I started wondering how I threw off the pattern by letting the mistake remain. And how it would suck to know when I bound off that it would be wrong forever....forever....forever. (Yes it did echo in my head like that.)

I am really digging my shawl and did it really matter if I was done today or done this weekend? Didn't it really matter most that it looked right? I mean I know the weather is getting colder but we are not talking life or death.

So today I started tinking (knit backwards). I already feel a bit better, hopefully I will be able to shift from R to D again shortly

Monday, September 13, 2010

Oregon Coast

We drove out to the coast on the third day of our Oregon vacation. After much searching during the planning stage of the trip I decided on Newport Oregon. I was looking for a town right on the coast but not too touristy. Newport seemed to fit the bill plus it is home to Rouge Brewery. More on Rouge later.

D relaxing after our drive to the coast.

We stayed in the Tyee Lodge. I wanted to stay right on the beach for my beach loving husband. They also had a lovely beverage bar and cookies in the evening.

Out our window 

Out our window to the right

So all you can see in the above photos (taken out our window) are the trees but the ocean is right out there.

It was about a three hour drive out there and I think both of us were ready to be out of the city. I so could not live in a city. We had dinner in a little diner, which is always fun to see. Neither one of us packed jackets as it was in the 90s when we left NY, and Portland was in the 80s. So we had a little detour into a local shop to buy his and hers Columbia polar fleeces. And bonus for me they were on sale! I love a good sale! Newport was in the 50s and 60s when we arrived. We wandered down to the beach to enjoy it.

Newport in the distance

Happy to be where there are less people

Newport with a spin

OK so we got a wee bit goofy playing with the camera. We went back up to our room and enjoyed some Merlot from a mug. The cookies were well earned also.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Pizza and Socks

I made pizza! From scratch! The dough was made in the bread machine. I sauteed an onion, red pepper and garlic, then added chicken and oregano. I smothered it with mozzarella cheese and added an Italian four cheese blend.

The house smelled like a pizzeria. The taste was magnificent. 

One of the best things about making your own pizza is making it just the way you want it. I foresee more pizza in the future. 

D took his new Chestnutty socks for a long bike ride. Well I call 67 miles a long bike ride. I think they look good.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Yes I have more than one but my current one is my Multnomah shawl. I have been knitting along happily in garter stitch. A bit too happily. I tried counting this morning to see how close I am to starting the border section. I counted 264 stitches various ways around 10 times this morning. I should have an odd number of stitches. This means I have not made an increase some where.

No problem I just need to think of a way to get an extra stitch in there or a way to remove a stitch that does not look obvious. I am not a perfection knitter I just care that the object looks right and fits OK. An extra stitch is not going to cause me to lose sleep.

Then I counted each side of the shawl, trying to figure out which side to increase or decrease. One side is 130 stitches and the other is 127. That means there is more than one OOPS in there. Craptastic!

I have a lifeline in about 11 rows back and then another 30 rows before that. Do I rip back?

Yeah I know the answer to that one too. Time to make like a frog (Ribbit) and Rip it, Rip it.

Ok so the first lifeline saved me, mostly. Shhh don't tell anyone but I performed an unauthorized k2together. Hey an unauthorized k2tog is sometimes a great sanity saver.

I used the time off the needles to measure how big this thing currently is. The answer is not big enough for my liking. I weighed the unused yarn and I believe that I still have more than 1/2 a skein left. So now I am figuring out how many stitches I need to add to make the pattern repeat work out on both sides. knitter's math can be a problem sometimes.

Onward and Upward!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fair Time

Last weekend we went to the fair. I love fairs I always have. I like the variety. D tolerates my love. This post may be a bit jumbled.

We saw sheep, lots of sheep.

This one is a Targee sheep.

I went all "Knitters book of Yarn" on D, with this one. I was so excited to see an Icelandic Sheep. I started to tell him about primitive breeds. I can assure you it was more than he wanted to know.

We caught a bit of the tractor pulls. We had to wander over when we heard the noise and saw the smoke. It was quite a crowded area, must have caught other people's attention too.

Tractor pulling

This one is for my Dad! Just a bit of old tractor porn for him.

Old Tractors
We watched some animal driving skills competition. I've never seen a team yoked before. Amazing to see them doing the course with only verbal commands and taps of a whip. I remember reading "Farmer Boy" and wondering how a huge animal would take Gee and Haw for directions. It was pretty dang cool. They were named "Black" and "Blue".

Yoked oxen showing off their moves
These were the biggest animals I've ever seen in person. I'm just a wee bit over 5 foot and I think these guys are taller than me! They were named Peterbuilt and Mack. Seriously they were truck sized! 

Huge Oxen

Romeo took his driver for a ride!

Student Driver

We caught a spinning competition. D did get bored before we found out who won. I probably would have gotten bored too, eventually.

Spinning Competition

I was smart enough to take pictures of both the sheep and the signs, so I could remember breeds and what they look like. It was my own little version of "Knitters Book of Wool".

How to remember sheep type 
Truth in Advertising

We saw dog agility too. It was not precision but it was fun to watch. 

Dog Agility
Baby Ducks
Baby birds are always so cute and fuzzy.


The chickens thought I do a good chicken impression. They kept coming toward me when I started clucking. This guy was one handsome cock. Yep that is what they kept calling them "cocks". It was like 8 year old boys got together and wrote all the signs. When I was not clucking I was giggling. Apparently   I have an 8 year old boy's sense of humor. It may also be why I watch dog shows too. I get to hear appropriate use of the word "bitch".

D's new winter ride
I think they use this vehicle to groom snow mobile trails, but I'm sure D could put it to use too. I know I would have fun with it!

Oh then I made bread the next day. See some of my bread comes out looking normal. Wheat zucchini bread. It was tasty. Texture was like a normal bread but with little green zucchini bits.

Homemade bread - by me

I do love a good fair. Do you think that is why I like fiber festivals too? All the fair elements and wool to boot?