Monday, March 31, 2008

The well traveled sweater

Osterdalen has been to Texas and back.

It got tucked into this basket, just under my spindle bag. The basket remained untouched for the whole trip. Doing colorwork on the long drive leaves me no time to sightsee, so I didn't work on it in the truck. Knitting a big sweater on the beach didn't sound fun, either.

The spindle didn't come out to play either. Ah, well, half the fun of a trip is planning possible projects.

I did finish the Alpaca Sox on the trip.

Started some new socks, too.

It's been snowing like crazy all day. Guess we made it home just in time...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

40 Gallons of fresh water, 4 people and 72 hours on the beach

We left Saturday morning for warmer climes.

It snowed all day Friday and through the night into Saturday.

Everybody is ready to go, except ME! I'll be there in a minute - gotta take pictures!

Truck with the camper on it is loaded up, ready to sneak out into the snow.

The weather cleared by Albert Lea.

We stopped at least once in each state and grabbed a quick geocache.

We drove til 1 a.m. - stopped at the Texas Welcome Center, jumped in the camper, and grabbed a quick night's sleep. We got our first geocache in Texas at the Welcome Center when we got up in the morning.

Funny thing, the Easter Bunny found the kids in Texas! The kids had a quick duel with some of their candy stuffed carrots.

We headed to Kerrville, in the Texas Hill Country. My folks are winter Texas residents.
We went to Kerrville Schreiner Park and set up camp for two nights. It's only a short drive to my parents home. The park is really pretty, and full of deer.

We hiked one day - and there were three geocaches in the park! We hiked four miles. The temps were in the sixties. Warm enough for the boy to take his shirt off and start getting his Texas sunburn.

It was really good to spend some time with my folks. We hadn't seen them since October.

After two nights in Kerrville, we headed out for Padre Island National Seashore. It was about a 250 mile drive.

The National Seashore is not the South Padre Island where all the spring break kids go. It is a very rustic, undeveloped area across a causeway from Corpus Christie. There is a small campground, but we went native...

We drove six miles down the beach and set up camp. You can camp anywhere you like on the beach. All you need is the FREE permit!
(You need to drop off the permit when you are done. That way they don't send out the rescue party for you!)

No hookups, no fresh water provided. Our tanks hold 40 gallons of water. We spent three nights. Let's just say we were frugal in our water use, eh?

Ben set up his tent in the dunes behind the camper. His tent and everything in our camper was covered in fine powdery sand within hours. There was no way to avoid it. Sand blew in with the wind.

There was a burning ban, so we couldn't have any campfires, but we had a blast!

The kids built several castles, then watched the tide take them out.

They swam in the ocean.

Note the little dog. He thinks he is a life guard dog for Girl of the House.

We walked on the beach.

(Happy dogs!)

We shelled.

We sat on the beach and read books.

We read books while waiting for a terrific big camping breakfast.

We played card games.

We napped.

No-one wore shoes for two full days. (Especially after we sunburned the tops of our feet!)

It was an amazing, relaxing time.

We returned to Kerrville on Friday and went out to supper with my folks. Set up camp at Kerrville Schreiner Park for one more night.

Saturday morning we pulled out with my folks motorcycle on a trailer behind the truck.

23 hours later, we were home.

Back to the remainder of Minnesota winter. Heavy snow warnings - four to six inches - for Monday morning...

Friday, March 21, 2008

March is Food Shelf Month in Minnesota.

My hospital does many things to raise money for the food shelf. One of our activities is a silent auction. I entered this little baby Surprise Jacket that's been marinating with my stash.

I was quite pleased when it sold to one of the execs for $25. Not too bad for something knitted out of leftovers!

Several people asked if I would knit a baby sweater for them. I'll have to contemplate that a bit. It would have to be for pleasure. There certainly isn't enough money in the proposition, as all you hand-crafters know!

We're off to Texas for spring break. It's snowing like crazy right now, and scheduled to continue. We're taking the camper, so we don't know if we'll leave this evening or Saturday morning. Have to check the weather in more depth later!

Monday, March 17, 2008

It was Daffodil Days last week. Daffodil Days raises money for the American Cancer Society. Some St. Olaf students were up at the hospital, selling daffodils. Our bouquet came into full bloom this weekend. They make the dining room feel like spring.

We took a break yesterday afternoon and took a walk in the Carleton arboretum. Some mud, some ice, and lots of snow. It was refreshing to be out and upright, after hunching over laying the flooring for hours.

We worked to music putting our floor down. I've been messing around on Itunes, creating playlists. We really liked two recent playlists. Try 'em. Put "dance" in your search box, and make a playlist out of all the songs that come up. For the other one, put "rain" in your search box. These were both really fun, varied playlists! We had 34 songs in our "dance" playlist, and 44 songs in our "rain" playlist.

A few of the outdoor cats were all sitting looking intently to the south. What do you suppose they were waiting for?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Yesterday we divided up the floor tasks. After moving the furniture and pulling up the carpet and padding, we each took a job.

Paul started installing the flooring in the clean open space.

My assignment was pulling up the remaining scraps of pad, held in place by big staples. The people who installed the padding went CRAZY with staples!

We made a pretty good dent in it, and expect to finish the majority of it today.

We missed our traditional Friday night family movie/pizza night, so we did it last evening. We watched "Grumpy Old Men". It's still hilarious. I forgot how funny it could be.

I tried to knit on Osterdalen, but I couldn't look at the pattern charts and the screen. I chose to watch the movie. So I picked up the fairly mindless Alpaca Sox.
Managed to get halfway through the heel gusset.

Yes, 14 year old Reggie had to have a look while I tried to take this picture.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

quick silliness

What Tonyia Means

You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life.

You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. You're most comfortable when you're far away from home.

You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble.

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.

You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.

At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in.

You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising.

You may miss out by not settling down, but you're too busy having fun to care.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

And we now return to our regular furniture moving and carpet removal Saturday morning scheduling...

Friday, March 14, 2008

What kind of dog IS this?

Little dog Chip belongs to the Girl of the House.

This means she is responsible for grooming him. It gets to be a real hit-or-miss job.

He's quite snuggly, and enjoys being petted. When he's snuggling me, I can't help but notice all the knots and snaggles in his fur. As I'm usually sitting in my knitting spot on the sofa, I have a scissors in close proximity.

I started clipping off the obvious snaggles, then progressed to snipping off all the poor puppy's long hair.

Now he's pretty funky looking. Guess the GotH will be springing for grooming fees to make him look a bit more presentable.

I did collect all the salvageable fur. It seems pretty spinnable. Similar to angora. Maybe we'll have furry mittens for the girl.

I'm on the colorwork on Osterdalen. Man, oh man, this is so much more enjoyable than all that plain stockinette!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Warm weather here today! High of 48 degrees at 3:35 this afternoon. Hope of spring!!

Of course, warm weather leads to slushy melting snow. Which leads to people overdriving the conditions on the curve of our gravel road.

This fella was glad to see Paul and the Girl of the House come to help him out before supper.
At least he didn't take out our mailbox!

Work continues slowly on the new flooring. Only the living room is left. We need to find a place to put all the living room stuff - including the piano. Moving some of this big stuff is a pain!

I've slowed some on Osterdalen. I sliced my index finger with the bread knife on Sunday, and when I knit it hurts! I've started a weird adapted hold, but it's slow.

See the small hole near the needles? Don't panic, it's just the cast off for the neck placket steek.

Next row, I actually get to begin some colorwork. YAY!

Carry around Alpaca Sox are growing in fits and starts while I'm at lunch break.

Boy, I like this yarn. It's very soft and silky. I hope it wears OK.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

goodbye old friend

Goodbye to the first pair of socks I knitted from sock yarn. Opal sock yarn, knitted in the fall of 2000. Guess I got my money's worth and enjoyment from them.

Yes, I could darn these holes in the heel and toes.
But after seven and half years of regular wear, I guess it's time for them to go.

I'm enjoying knitting Rogue. I love the color - it's much prettier than this photo. (After sunset photography makes accurate color difficult.)

Last, but not least, Osterdalen continues to grow.

Only about 3 more inches of plain black stockinette to go.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

busy, busy...

Between the new job and our new house project, I'm mentally and physically exhausted.

The job is challenging and still confusing. There is hope that I will learn it, but it looks like it'll take awhile. Everyone in my new department is helpful and friendly, and I think I've got a great new boss.

And a new house project! Can you guess what it is???

Over 900 square feet...

We're laying engineered hardwood floor in the dining room, kitchen, family room and living room.

Paul's great at cutting and measuring all the odd places. We've got some really odd angles in a few places.

We can lay the floor over the kitchen flooring, but have to rip out all the carpet and all the darn little staples and strips they used to hold the carpet and padding in place.

The Girl of the House is in on the work. She's very helpful. Looks good in safety glasses, too, doesn't she?

Did you know they charge $5/sq foot to install this? I guess saving that much money is worth the tiredness, eh?

I have been knitting later in the evening. The mental meditation of going round and round in black stockinette stitch is about all my brain can handle. Pictures later this week.