Sunday, May 31, 2009

Move along, no knitting to see here

It's been a busy week. Ben came home from college for a whirlwind week of organizing his things, preparing to move into a summer house with friends, and spending our money.

Funny how much money you can spend on a kid that's only home for a few weeks each year....

I helped him move back to Iowa on Saturday. I drove down one truck load of stuff, and we stopped at the grocery store to stock him up on healthy food. He's sharing a house with five friends and his sweetie, Bekky. (I don't know why there is a flaw in the picture from my fancy new camera?)

Sunday we did some hiking and geocaching.

Did you know there were cacti in southeast Minnesota? It sure was a first for us!

We're going to head back out to McKnight Prairie in a few days to see if this prickly pear bloomed.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I should have known better than to furminate the big dog out on the deck.

I thought all the fur would blow out into the yard, and the birds could pick it up to put into their nests.

But it all blew right to the deck door, in a nice pile, attaching itself to the semi sticky doormat...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gardening simple and dirty

On Sunday Paul and Girl of the House did the real work in the vegetable garden planting peppers and tomatoes.

I took the easier path.

Putting the flower pot in the porch chair.

Potting the herbs and patio tomatos.

Planting the potatoes in our new 'decorative' potato pots.

Guess there was a reason they weren't pictured on the website?!

They're made of a pressed synthetic felt.

Well, I'm still looking forward to the potatoes and the multicolored potato flowers!

The high point of the day?

Bathing the dog after he took a full-frontal shot of skunk in the face.

Funny, he wouldn't hold a nice pose for a post-bath photo.

The day ended with a game of full-contact basketball.

Yeah, I'd rather take the pictures...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Shepherd's Harvest 2009

The Shepherd's Harvest Festival was this weekend in Lake Elmo, MN. It's Minnesota's only big fiber fair. It's grown by leaps and bounds since I first attended in 2001. That year there was only one building with vendors, and the barns had sheep, llamas, and alpacas.

This year there were four full buildings of vendors, and the barns were even more full of animals.

It was cool, in the fifties, but at least it didn't rain!

I tried something non-fibery this year, and took a basket-making class with Ellie Lida. I have purchased a basket every year at the festival from Ellie, and this year she taught me to make my own!

We started with a bunch of bamboo strips, and wove the base.

We kept adding strips of various sizes, and even got to add some color.

And we ended with 10.5 x 12 inch 'Garden Girl' gathering baskets.

Ellie's explanations were wonderful.

I have another hobby to add to my repertoire. (Yeah, I needed that.)

I came away with a kit to make a wine basket, too.

There were piles of fleeces of every type.

There were vendors for almost anything fiber related you could imagine.

I managed to restrain myself and came away with a large Ellie Lida basket, a 7.5 pound Coopworth fleece from Carol Wagner at Hidden Valley Woolen Mill, some gorgeous BFL from Rivers Edge Weaving Studio, and two knife edge shuttles for my inkle loom.

Truth be told, it was more fun to watch the broad variety of people, than to actually spend any money. Fiber people are an interesting bunch...

Friday, May 8, 2009

We're going organic

I love this.

Organic potatoes for seed, special ordered on the interwebs.

12 stinkin' potatoes for $19.95. I'm not sure what I really expected, but I guess it was more than 12 little bitty potatoes!

OK, so they're
flowering potatoes. We're going to grow them on our deck in potato bags.

The irony of it: We live on 20 acres, and we're going to grow them on our deck, in decorative bags. Paul works with ag fertilizer and chemicals for a living, and they're organic.

This'll keep me laughing all weekend!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bekky, don't look! (Oh, OK...)

Some lovely Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport yarn has come in the mail. Speedy service and a great price from emtnester on ebay.

I'm going to knit Pioneer from Knitty Spring '09. The idea was directly stolen from Lori at Faith and Fiber. (thank you!!)

The sweater is for Ben's tiny little Bekky. It should be a quick fun knit, and only a bit bigger than those baby sweaters.

I've been looking for something to recharge my knitting mojo, and I think this may be a good start!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The new ref

I'm glad we had so much down-time at the nudist camp, because we're back on the run again.

Paul's working 15 hour days, Monday through Saturday. Girl of the House has track after school. We run home, eat a quick supper, then she's off to soccer practice several nights a week.

Tonight she had her referee orientation.

In her spare time, she's going to referee as many soccer games as she can. This will be her first year of reffing.

The schedules of Paul and GotH make my schedule look like vacation. I'm glad I'm only 40 hours a week!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Back from camp, and BOY am I tan!

Yes, it's been awhile.

Our family stepped back and took a long retreat.

We've been away at camp, a family nudist camp in the Southern US, getting in touch with our real selves. (We also used a TON of sunscreen.)

I thought it would be a good opportunity to refine my photography skills, but they confiscated my camera when we checked in. So, unfortunately, no photos.

In between the sun bathing, cooking classes and co-ed ice hockey, I did manage to get some knitting and spinning done. Now, that's an interesting sensation in the nude!

4 ounces of Optim from Chameleon Colorworks. 360 yards. This is so soft that we took to wearing it wrapped around our necks. On the cooler days, we actually wrestled each other for it.

Camp Buck-Nekkid considered it a necklace, so it was acceptable to wear in public.

Two little baby sweaters. These are from the same pattern, Cottage Creations 'Babies and Bears' sweater.

There are endless color possiblities in this pattern. It's my favorite baby sweater.

I did so want to see how they fit on a co-campers baby, but it was against the rules.

Here's hoping they fit the grandbabies of my friends...

No, we weren't really at Camp Buck-Nekkid.

But it makes a darn good reason for being absent, doesn't it?