Sunday, July 27, 2008

Back from Ft. Ridgely

We're home, sitting on the deck, both with a Mac on our laps, bottle of wine and yummy small things to nosh on beside us. Girl of the House is catching up on TV.

I did get her to model the latest 'drive to camping' hat.

This is the handspun yarn from the recently sundyed fiber.

Yup, just another hat.

But, it's good to have choices once that old winter weather rolls around.

Or, they're good for last minute gifts?

And they're great for mindless, going round and round knitting in the truck. And I've got tons of small skeins of handspun just right for hats. And it's time to reduce the quantities of small skeins floating in baskets around the house...

As far as the camping - it was wonderful, as usual.

I could live in the camper. It's a recurring conversation I have with Paul. "Let's just take off and travel and live in the camper for a few years. You never know what will happen in the future. We need to enjoy this NOW!"

He's very tolerant of this conversation. Gotta love him.

We pulled into Ft. Ridgely State Park on Friday afternoon. Chip got restless, roaming around the cab of the truck.

Here's something I never thought I'd see in a million years.

Paul driving with Chip on his lap.

We had a great supper of chicken legs, layered with potatos, onions, and green peppers.

A foil wrapped packet for each of us.


We had a lovely campfire.

We hiked on Saturday. Here's the view from the Ft. Ridgely State Park geocache, looking over the Minnesota River Valley.

The Minnesota State Parks have finally entered the geocaching world. Many parks had refused to have geocaches placed in them till this year, when they joined in a big way, with a State Park geocache challenge. Now there is a series of caches - one in every park, and a special prize if you get all the caches in each area.

Bocce ball was played.

We played many games of cribbage, out on the picnic table, in the sun.

After supper, Paul and the Girl of the House had an extended conversation about United States History, from the late 1700s til now, focusing on all the wars.

Yeah, I listened and I took pictures...

There was an early morning thunderstorm. We jumped up at 5:40, closing the hatches on the truck and running outside to bring all kind of things. Then, back to bed for a few hours.

There was enough of a morning clearing to have breakfast at our chosen coffee spot, just down the path a bit.

If you want to camp at Ft. Ridgely, make a reservation for site 37. It backs up to the creek, with an open view of the water. Gorgeous.

We had site 33. A nice site, backed up to the creek, but with alot of greenery between the campsite and the the water. So, we went down the road a bit for our quiet morning coffee.

Sunday morning breakfast - french toast and maple sausages.

Several years ago, we were camping and had planned to have french toast for breakfast. However, I discovered we hadn't brought any sugar, cinnamon, or nutmeg. Oops!

However, we had cocoa mix! And that's got sugar in it, right? So we mixed cocoa mix with the eggs and milk and gave it a try. We had cherry pie filling, left over from making cherry pies over the fire the night before, so some of that went on top.


Now we always make french toast that way. It's the camping special.

Shortly after cleaning up from breakfast, the rain resumed. We returned to our cribbage fest, and played multiple games, snuggled up in the camper. GotH was the ultimate victor. (We need to stop teaching her new games to beat us.)

We drove home through New Ulm.

Came across this funny little truck, sitting in the repair shop.

It's from the Lyon County Sheriffs department. An armored truck, with gun ports and everything.

Why does Lyon County need an armored truck? Why is it being repaired in Brown county, two counties away?
What in the world goes on in southwestern Minnesota?

Is it a secret?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I know, I know. Enough with the darn hibiscus!

But I went out on the deck, into the darkening evening, to take a photo of my spinning, and the yellow hibiscus was just glowing.

Finished two small bobbins of the merino/silk I had on the carder a few weeks ago.

I had spindle spun a bit three weeks ago, and the silk made it a bit too sticky for camping spindling. So I finished on the wheel.

I'll have to ply after we return from Fort Ridgely State Park. We're off tomorrow.

YAY, camping!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Stand Off

Stand-off between little dog and one of this years batch of kittens.

They sat and stared at each other for quite a long time.

Kitten braved a move.

Chip jumped to catch him.

Kitten did make it to safety after a bit.

We were out in the pasture this afternoon, braving the high dew points, heat, and mosquitos.

Picked several pints of black cap raspberries.


Georgie fell asleep watching the birds on the feeder.

Guess those birds are safe!

Hibiscus loves the heat and humidity.

Makes the Girl of the House happy.

I did get some spinning and plying finished.

This is the orange fiber I sundyed a few weeks ago. It turned pretty homogenous when plyed, but it'll make a great hat or some half-mitts.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

1930s wife


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

The interesting thing - Paul took the husband test, and he was VERY SUPERIOR.

While that doesn't surprise me too much, even he said the bar was set much lower for husbands than wives in this quiz.

He took the wife test from his perspective of me, and then I received 74 points.

Gotta love a guy like that...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lots of smileys

I finally rescued the sundyeing fiber from the deck.

A quick rinse and spin, and it's hanging on the line to dry.

We planted our tomato and pepper plants late this year.

So we're ecstatic to see this little jalapeno peeking out. It's even red already!

It's a small garden, but we'll have fresh goodies yet.

Bedtime reading.

They're finishing the Chronicles of Narnia series - the final book "The Last Battle".

Makes me so happy every time.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Ain't it the truth!

Oh, I adore Pearls Before Swine. I look at it every morning. Kinda puts me in my place...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Homemade Pesto

Our very first homemade pesto!

First, decimate the huge basil plant you've been carefully tending in a pot on the deck.

Yes, I know we have enough land for a gorgeous garden. Yes, you know that we like to play too much to grow more than a few tomato and pepper plants in the actual garden.

OK, we've got asparagus and rhubarb, too, but they don't really require any care, now do they?

A couple or three cups of gorgeous fresh basil leaves, some pine nuts, a few big cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, and a healthy glog of extra virgin olive oil. (EVO, to the Girl of the House - a big Rachel Ray fan.)

Into the food processor with it all, and, Oh my, we've got yummy pesto. YAY!

Fresh zucchini, some angel hair pasta for the pesto, and a roasted chicken, and I'm too full to talk.

Still plugging away at Rogue.

Not much progress to brag about, eh? Trust me, it's there.

And my dyeing experiment is still on the deck.

Today's promised to be in the 90s.
That will be a good day to end it.

Looks like the blue in the middle has exhausted fairly well, so far.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Alphabet Song Meme

I’ve seen this on a few blogs now and decided to play along, untagged. I love music games.

Here’s a music meme to reflect how eclectic your music collection might be. Put your music library in alphabetical order by song, then take the first song for each letter of the alphabet. No repeat artists. Tag five people then let them know they’ve been tagged to do the meme themselves. (No tagging here. Play along if you like!)

A: A.D.D. by System of a Down (Steal This Album)

B: B.B. King Intro (Live) by Warden Daniel Vasquez (Live at San Quentin)

C: C.O.D. by AC/DC (For Those About to Rock We Salute You)

D: D'yer Mak'er by Led Zeppelin (Led Zeppelin Remasters)

E: E-Pro by Beck (Guero)

F: F.I.N.E by Aerosmith (Pump)

G: Gabriel's Waltzes by the Fuschia Band (Gra Da Raibh)

H: Hair Down by the Cold War Kids (Robbers & Cowards)

I: I Ain't Gonna Let You Break My Heart Again by Bonnie Raitt (Nick of Time)

J: J.A.R by Greenday (International Superhits!)

K: Kansas City by David Bromberg (Out of the Blues: Best of David Bromberg)

L: L.A. by Butthole Surfers (Electriclarryland)

M: M1A1 by Gorillaz (Gorillaz)

N: Naked by Avril LaVigne (Let Go)

O: O Be Joyful by the Northfield Youth Choir (Come Make a Home)

P: P.O.S. Is Ruining My Life by P.O.S. (Live Current Volume Two)

Q: Quando, Quando, Quando by Michael Buble (It's Time)

R: Rabid Child by They Might Be Giants (They Might Be Giants)

S: 'S Wonderful by Ella Fitzgerald (Oh Lady Be Good)

T: Tail Dragger by Howlin' Wolf (The Real Folk Blues)

U: U Can't Touch This by M.C. Hammer (Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em) (ooh, that's just embarassing!)

V: Valerie by EmmyLou Harris and Linda Ronstadt (Western Wall - The Tucson Sessions)

W: Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder - Der Engel by Andrea Bocelli (Sacred Arias)

X: XTC vs. Adam Ant by They Might Be Giants (Factory Showroom) (the only X song I have!)

Y: ?Y Tu Que Has Hecho? by Buena Vista Social Club (Buena Vista Social Club)

Z: Zat You, Santa Claus? by Buster Poindexter (Rachael Ray - How Cool Is That Christmas)

Whoa, weird mix. But that's why I LOVE shuffle. If you don't like this song so very much, hang on and a really cool one will come up next. With 8100 songs in my iTunes, I can go almost 22 days 24/7 and not hear a song repeated.

How 'bout you? If you try this, give me a comment and let me know, so I can look you up!

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Paul and I took a walk in the Carleton Arboretum this morning, checking on the geocaches we have planted there.

One cache is missing - possibly a casuality of the June flooding. We'll have to replace it.

While we were hiking, we placed a new cache.

The arb is full of beautiful wildflowers.

Everywhere you turn, you see a different flower.

We ended up hiking 4.6 miles. Then, home for a fabulous Sunday brunch of Eggs Benedict and Bloody Marys.

Girl of the House went to the public pool, and we did chores around the house and yard.

Now, we're on the deck listening to Acoustic Sunset on Cities97 and enjoying the fruits of our labors, cool drink in hand.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My honey loves me

He washed my truck - fixing the crummy job the automatic car wash did earlier this week.

An experiment in sundyeing.

The dye jars from a few weeks ago didn't exhaust. I hung on to them, not sure what use they might have.

Today I plopped in four ounces of dry colonial wool and sat it on the deck. I'll leave it through tomorrow evening.

Maybe it'll work, maybe it won't. Still, it's fun to experiment.

I've had a very busy work week. My first big project was rolled out at work. It went smoother than I anticipated, and I'm happy with it. (I guess all our nurses are way smarter than I hoped for!)

It still requires 24 hour support, and I'm back to carrying a beeper and being on call. It's a different kind of call from OR call, though, and I'm OK with it.

I have done a bit more knitting on Rogue, while sitting around brain dead in the evenings.

I'm past the kangaroo pockets. I love the variety of the cabling at the sides of the sweater. It certainly breaks up the long stretches of stockinette and keeps it interesting!

On my extremely brain dead evenings, I finished spinning up the sundyed purple from a few weeks ago.

Today I plied it up and draped it on the clothesline to dry with the laundry.

It's soft and multi-purpley, not as blue as it looks here. I like it.

Paul's grilling ribeyes, and we're sitting on the deck (I love wireless!) with a nice bottle of wine. It's a great Saturday evening - almost good as camping.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

First thing you do in 88 degree heat

with a dew point of 75 degrees, is model the hats you just finished knitting!

This makes perfect sense to a compulsive knitter.

Here we are, after a long weekend of camping.

Note the happy inattention to personal grooming...

Both hats are knit from handspun. Girl of the House is modeling the Blue Face Leicester purchased at Shepherd's Harvest.

I'm wearing Karaoke (merino/soy silk) fiber purchased at Mielke's Farm last fall when I was at SOAR.

Here's a better photo of hats - no heads.

We returned to one of our favorite state parks in Minnesota - Beaver Creek Valley.

Our favorite morning coffee spot, the head of East Beaver Creek. There are springs popping cold, clear water right out of the rock walls.

We did miles and miles of hiking.

Beaver Creek Valley is a very narrow valley with steep walls. We hiked all around the rim. The views are incredible.

We did one geocache in the park.

Due to the depth of the valley and the tree coverage, the campground is always at least 10 degrees cooler than the surrounding area.

There were gentle breezes that kept us cool.

I did quite a bit of knitting.

Advanced a bit on Rogue.

I even got some spinning done. Can't say I'm very pleased with that, though...

We played games and games of cards.

And we read.

Even Ben made it down to see us for a night, before returning to camp.

On the way home, we went the roundabout way.

It's always best to take a different road home. There are so many things to see in this world.

We stopped at John Latsch State Park, along the Mississippi, and did two geocaches.

One of them was at the top of the bluff.

600 steps up the bluff.

pant, pant, pant

The views were breathtaking.

(And it felt REALLY good to sit and rest.)

Now, we return to our regularly scheduled week.

(Whoa, kind of a drag, eh?!)