Saturday, August 31, 2013

Juliet in August

While all of this insect business is going on, I find it perfectly reasonable to sit nearby, knit and listen to something.  I stumbled upon an excellent book, read by someone with a wonderful upper MidWest/Canadian accent.
It's Juliet in August by Dianne Warren.  It's Prairie Home Companion to the north and so real.  Here's a paragraph of a review by Jim Carmin, Special to the Star Tribune, updated July 27, 2012:

Juliet is not a woman, but a town of 1,011 people on the edge of Saskatchewan's massive sand dunes, a town where on the surface it would appear that very little happens. As Lee Torgeson, one of the novel's dozen or so main characters, puts it, "Everybody knows everything in Juliet." But as it turns out, Torgeson is wrong. A great deal is going on here and no one really knows anything about what is really happening to anyone; they just think they do. Which is, of course, how it is in real life.
Imagine me recommending a book.  I guess it's safe to go to H---!

Friday, August 30, 2013


Ichabod hanging quietly, Friday morning, 8/30
Sorry that the container is such a mess... no one to blame but Ichabod!  And he has thumbed his nose at the photographer and chose a most inconsiderate place to hang.
An anxious Ichabod was on the move yesterday. He traveled every inch of surface area in and out of the container. He circled the rim many times, he slid down the side and onto the table, and we found him on the floor making tracks for the perfect perch. (I spent many hours listening to an audio book, knitting, and looking over to see he was missing!)
Today, he's as still as if dead, but there's a little twitch, once in awhile.  And I can't seem to capture it on video...

I'll be checking in to watch and see if I can catch him shedding his body for the new capsule today.  AMAZING STUFF!!

Well, life IS amazing, isn't it.  Thirty-one years ago tomorrow, my beautiful daughter made her first appearance and breath.  And she's on her way home to see us!  Happy Birthday, C!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

butterfly anticipation

Do you think insects will perform on schedule?
I'm hoping for the best, to entertain a four-year-old... who wants the caterpillar to become a butterfly "right now"!!
Here's the time frame:
Discovered caterpillars on Monday late afternoon, and less than 24 hours later they were both climbing around on the sticks.  This indicates they might be ready to settle in and form a chrysalis.  At that point a butterfly could appear between 1 and 2 weeks later.  Our deadline for the 4-year-old is 4 weeks from yesterday.  She will arrive on the 1st and depart on the 25th.
Progress?  After both of them climbed around Tuesday, by Wednesday morning one returned to munch on the parsley, and the other is hanging by threads to a stick, looking half the previous size, and very quiet.  I guess it's time to give them names:  Ichabod and Sacajawea.  Ichabod is the muncher, and Sacajawea is getting on with business on the stick.
Previous blog: Click HERE
Tuesday: Wandering up and down

Wednesday: Ichabod munching on Italian Flat-leafed Parsley

Wednesday morning: Sacajawea starting the process, 8/28/13
When I went to bed Wednesday night, the above Sacajawea was looking a bit shrunken, but still exactly like the above photo. Bleary eyed this morning, and incredulous, that there was such a major transformation overnight!

Thursday morning: I couldn't believe my eyes!
The two tiny threads are still there...  Please click on these photos to get a better view.
Thursday morning: 24 hours later 8/29/13

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


It's TRUE!  I get things done when I'm busy... hmmm.  That sounds a bit like---duh!  Busy=Productive!
But that isn't what I mean.  It seems like I have been relaxed and idle all Summer, and suddenly with one week until September, which brings a visit from my daughter and granddaughter, I can think of a zillion things I wanted to do before they get here.  So here it goes!
I have taken on one class, twice a week, which means I get out of the house on a schedule two mornings a week, and dang!  I suddenly want to pull weeds, and sew!  Sewing:  You have to do it at home, that is, if you want to use the sewing machine!  A project I started thinking of last Spring, and carted to Norway in May, and never touched a stitch, until last weekend, is now to the point where I don't want to finish until I get some feedback.
It's a little purse, cute as can be, by Betz White called Caitlyn Handbag.  Here's my attempt using fabric I purchased a few years ago.
 The greenish band at the top is really turquoise... I think!   It's made with pleats, and I'm stuck.  What color should the strap be?  You tell me!  The strap is supposed to be 36" long (1 meter), and skinny, so my visuals are not to scale.
 Big button?
 Little button?  The button is ornamental.  There's a magnet snap under it.
So far, I like it!  I'm going to have to make more...
What do you say about the strap?  It could be in the red fabric but I have to send for it... It's in Norway. Or maybe they still have it at the shop.  The other fabric I brought back with me, and I thought I was clever.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Aren't they cute? Feeding on my flat leafed Italian parsley...
With our granddaughter coming next week, we hope to keep them alive, and possibly become Black Swallowtail butterflies before September 26.  HURRY!
 I have sacrificed one of my yarn containers, and part of my parsley plant for science!
 First, we looked up what kind of animal these littles guy might be.  The miracle of the internetS!!  Then there were links to raising butterflies indoors.
My husband is NOT happy with the open container, however, I'm confident that

  1. they won't get far,
  2. they won't WANT to get far away from the parsley,
  3. they won't taste very good to the cats,
  4. we can track them down, and
  5. air is good!
According to the wisdom of the internetS, they will stay on the host plant until it's time to pupate.  At that time, they look for sticks to attach themselves.
Fingers crossed!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Blogs I Read

Here's your opportunity to suggest some I don't have listed!  Please do in my comment section.

As I look over my list, I realize it needs an update.  So, in the next week I'll be dropping and adding some.  There are some I don't have listed, but I regularly check on, like Knitting to Stay Sane, which I will add.
Meanwhile, I'm planning on saying good by to Stitches of Violet, since she has said good by. (I find it hard to believe...she'll be back!)  If you haven't checked it out, go back a few years and look at her wonderful bird photos.  It's a Michigan backyard.
I'm undecided about mimilikestomakeprettystuff.  I like Mimi's perspective, a young woman/student who avoids placing herself in a country, but is definitely a citizen of Europe.  My guess is that she is Croatian or Serbian.  She commented on my blog, and I found her designing pretty dresses and was intrigued.  Haven't heard from her in MANY months so she may have moved on.
Hege and Muffin are my Norwegian bloggers.  I may add another that is not related to knitting but gives lots of Norsky information.  Brenda and Peaceable Liberal (Laurie) are great productive knitters and always have something happening.
I'll have to see what's up with Bugs.  She is a personal friend of my daughter and I like looking into their lives through the blog.  Neither one of them have the TIME to write regularly, and I understand that.  (Her last blog post happened while I was "chatting" with her in the other room.)
And then there are the professional writers:  Panopticon and Yarn Harlot.  Excellent.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Aging!!  Yikes...who wants to think about that?
I felt it Friday evening... I remember when I could play an hour concert, with few minutes of break, running on adrenalin and being hyper as a deer afterwards.  It takes focus!  Now it takes focus, rest, and a great pair of glasses!
After the first four choral pieces of everything from gospel/praise to Romantic (Fauré), I cranked up the pipe organ, shaking a few people out of their seats with the first chord (fff) especially the choir which sits right in front of the organ pipes. Sorry for the scare...
About 1/3 into the Bach Prelude and Fugue I thought to myself, "What are you doing?" but not for long.  The focus came back and everyone was happy with the results.  I got a lot of compliments, hugs and recounts of emotions from the enormous wall of sound you can get from the Bach/pipe organ combination.
I must admit that it wasn't too long, and therefore it suits my abilities and most people's listening pleasures.  If you want to hear it (again) you can certainly find it on youtube:  J. S. Bach's Little Prelude and Fugue in G major.
As I sat down afterwards to hear the brass, I was still a-buzz, but when I stepped up to the piano for the final 3 choral pieces...  I was drained.  I was aware of it through the first half of the first piece, but then I turned into a focus machine.
I wonder if that has any carry-over into the knitting world?  Say, focus on details, stitch patterns...?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Still 100ºF/35ºC

Not for long... But it's still hot in the direct sun.  And I'm out from under the wool:
Isn't it a beauty?  I'm not totally convinced that the collar is the most beautiful... it's plain garter stitch...but I'm convinced it's the best for this pullover.  i.e. not bulky, and stretchy.  I don't think the collar needs to add warmth with the rest of it being so... "bulky".
I'm super happy that it turned out nice, and that it's DONE!  See Ravelry link at top for details.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Stunning colors, even though the shading isn't correct.  In reality (or to my eyes) it is darker and more like jewels.  I saw it made up in blues at the Kitchener-Waterloo Guild Knitters Fair, last September, and thought I might like the reds...they had a swatch, and here it is.  I'm starting a sleeve and in LOVE with the colors.  They remind me of "Oleanna" colors we saw in Norway.  The mosaic technique is scrumptious.  Have to go ....knit, or ... 
Two days ago, the first day of classes at the local college, I got the call.  Just as several of you have asked, "Are you teaching this Fall?"  "No," I answer.  "My first semester without ANY sort of class."  Then the call... One class slipped by without anyone noticing it had no instructor.  So, I'll do it.  This is also the first semester when I haven't planned a trip on the other side of the world, so it isn't a problem.  Just a few hours, two days a week.  Unfortunately, it gets me off the sofa and into the real world of non-knitters.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Blood, Sweat and Tears!  It has been HOT... Too hot for prolonged outdoor hiking, so I put on my boots (I can walk faster) and set out after those caches.  
I'm continuing the challenge.  Now my goal is to ... cache as many days as I can in August.  There are plenty to find, but my colleagues are VERY devious clever.  
After my disaster day when I didn't find 8 caches, I did my homework and successfully looked for and found one a day.  The first one was up:
It wasn't too difficult except that what I interpreted as "halfway up and under" meant halfway up the hill.  I looked at the brush between me and "up" and decided to try from the top.  My bad...when it became a cliff and I was more than halfway down I realized that I needed to return to the bottom and start again.  I was the Second to Find this one!  That's ....something...
The next one was definitely down: In a little canyon about a mile from home.  The kind of scary "out west" terrain where scary things happen.  I thought I heard someone pull up at the top of the canyon, spooked me(!) and I quickly threw some rocks on the cache and started back.  I had to return though because I looked down and there was the pen from the cache in my hand... and when I returned I realized what a horrible job I did of hiding it again. tsk tsk   There was no one there.  I must have heard something from the road.  Great cardio, no?
Those lumps on my face?.. sweat, though it looks like I have some sort of nasty disease...

 I've missed two days.

"Knitting is Cheaper than Therapy!"

Monday, August 19, 2013

Summer Knitting

Yes, my friends, it is still VERY MUCH summer in NW New Mexico.
And I'm chugging along under wool.  A fan, an outdoors breeze at 90º F, "it's a dry heat", and ...
turns into this:
The last color, white, is left... And as the weather stays hot, and the sweater is growing... I might have to put it aside for awhile.
It's on #9 US needles and flies along.  Each section is a mile marker and easy to see progress.  I'm looking forward to making another one with the leftover yarn from this one plus other leftover yarn.  My mind is racing along, although I've decided to get to a kit (pattern and yarn) I purchased almost a year ago in a mosaic pattern.  At least it will start small, and not feel so heavy in my lap.
Pattern:  Single Stranded Tunic (A137)  by Susie Bonell  from Cascade Yarns Website
Yarn:  Ecological Wool  by Cascade Yarns  Bulky / 12 ply, 100% Wool, 478 yards / 250 grams

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Where did Summer go?

Here:  In the backyard.
 Fried SPAM with yummy blackberry sauce!
 Installing and then evenings in the hot tub.
 A quick trip through the "front range".
 A stop and look at a central Colorado establishment.
 Life in Boulder, in less than 18 hours.
Watching the YOYO man!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Where are those caches?

I'm writing this on Wednesday night, after a very disappointing day, and a day I hope won't be repeated... ever!  Since August 2 I've been trying to find one cache a day for the month of August.
I spent half of today wandering around looking lost looking for caches, and I didn't find ANY!  There goes my streak!  August 2-13, twelve days... DONE.
I hate Junipers...
Such a lovely landscape, once upon a time, now I only see junipers and wonder why I looked at dozens of them today, and found nothing... very disappointing, but I said that...
The first cache, and the only cache I intended to find today was within spitting distance of the place I was volunteering this morning, and I had saved it for today because of that. With disbelief I combed through shrubbery, and even skipped around a fenced off area, looking nonchalant as if I was enjoying myself.  BLEH! #2 I went to the notary, and nearby I noticed there were a whole row/set of caches that had just been published along the river.  I tried #2 and #3, but it looked like I had to leave the path behind, and scramble through brush, and there were people around, and my pretty little sandals didn't like it.  #4 I decided I would make a trip to the college, and on the way stop by a park, and SURELY find one.  I could see it on the map, I could get a clear reading on my GPSr but... No, in a bunch of junipers.  I stood there examining each one in a 15 foot radius, and I bet the cache was staring back at me.  No luck.  It was then that I began to notice that a certain cache owner liked these juniper caches, and I was beginning to think nasty things about that cache owner.  I continued to the college, and, of course, there was one marked right there along the entrance drive to the college, so I hopped out, and junipers.  Others had remarked that the coordinates to that one were inaccurate, so it was hopeless. (That was number #5.)  After business at the college, I started home, and I remembered that I would pass right by one I had looked for years ago, and had given up, so I stopped again (#6), and this time I meant business!  I went from this:

to THIS!
which I keep in the trunk of my car for just such emergencies!  No more pansy sandals... It was getting late in the day!
Alas, those junipers got the better of me.  Even my lucky hiking boots didn't help.
After a quick trip home, I had to return to town and I located one near my friend's house.  In a wide open (treeless) area, #7 would be MINE!  Upon arrival I noticed a police car, and then another showed up, and an ambulance, and a fire truck... all surrounding the building where I had parked.  So after a cursory search I left empty handed.  DANG!  Now I had dinner and a rehearsal until dark, so I SHOULD just give in and call it the end of my streak, but, you know me?!
#8, at 9 PM, in the dark, or darkish Main Street, looking for a cache on a deserted street corner, a cache that I wasn't really sure was still there, and no light, just running my fingers under things, hoping... But it wasn't to be.  Maybe I'll have good news tomorrow!  I'm not THAT crazy, am I????

Friday, August 16, 2013

August continues

Last Sunday, I was on Bloomfield Highway.  Cache time...
I sat in my car looking at this:
Yes, there's a cache there.  I can see the tell, BUT it's WAY over my head, AND there's a nasty ant hill parked under it. I used my head, my umbrella, and my car, and I logged it.  I considered driving on and finding another one, and also, once I had it in my hand, I considered driving off with it, and apologizing later.  Not necessary.  Nasty ants....

The next day, it was almost dark when I dragged Lisa out from under a blankie and we drove around the corner for her second lifetime cache.  Picked up a Pathtag, too.  It's trackable online.  Belongs to a family in Kansas.  Cool.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Cache = A Story

Geocaching may be a little strange, but what hobby isn't?
Every time I go out, something happens that is remarkable.
Last week, in the mountains of Colorado, we (yes, the hub was along with camera in hand..."Do we have to walk all the way over there?" or "Are you sure you have the correct coordinates?" Yes, dear.) learned all sorts of interesting things.  A man tried and convicted of cannibalism, the meaning of slumgullion, things like that. Around here, I visit places nearby that I didn't know existed.
Two weeks ago I found out how much new construction is going on in less than a mile from my house.
Many urban caches are no bigger than a hide-a-key container or smaller.  This one is in "urban" Creede, and placed not so obviously!  I placed it there to show how big it is.
 I remembered my dad when I saw this on the fence.  He was an "Oliver" man, much to the dismay of the other farmers, and much to the delight of the local auctioneer.
 Here was our main hike.  We parked half a mile away and had to skirt around the fence line of some private property.  A pioneer woman was buried up there, all by herself.  She requested it because she knew her family would always keep property in that valley.  Her granddaughter still has the ranch.
 And Creede!  Love that place, in August.  Who else has a mountain at the end of Main Street?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I enjoy museums.  I volunteer at this one.  This is the permanent display of Navajo rugs and simulated trading post.
This summer I've spent quite a few hours looking at this:
It's a small portion of a great display of art from a museum on Long Island with many well known artists.  Usually there's no cost to see our exhibits, but this one is special and will cost you a whole $5!  Well worth it!  (What else can you do for $5?)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Caching in on August!

Geocaching... Why is it fun?  Because it's a challenge, and I feel a little more "smart" when I'm successful.
A few years ago, someone at Geocaching Central (for lack of a better description of the powers behind thought they should make awards possibly creating incentive to cache different things.  They are called Souvenirs, and they appear on your page as digital badges with images showing what you've accomplished.  So far they are connected to where you cache (one for each state, province, country) and most world-wide events (Anniversary of geocaching, etc.)  Here are a few I've collected:

I guess it works (the incentive part) because I'm currently caught up in their new campaign which challenges cachers to do a streak of finding in August.  The goal is to find a cache every day of August. And I took the bait. (You get a souvenir each day, too!) Unfortunately August snuck up on me, and I didn't realize it was August until the 2nd, so there goes "every day".  Instead I've been finding at least one each day since the 2nd.  The souvenirs are a bit lame, but I realize now that it's the streak I'm going for and not the souvenirs, although it would be nice to see them all lined up.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Fair

I'm proudly admiring my handiwork that I submitted to the San Juan County Fair, 2013.  Last year there was an abundance of rosettes given out.  Best of Show in EVERY category.  I guess nothing measured up this year, since I saw only one and it was given to a crocheted afghan.  (All you who know my opinion of crochet should collectively gasp, however, I looked closely at it--it was Gorgeous (except for the texture of the fiber: Ah ah ahcrylic) and I was truly amazed that the stitching had been created by crochet.) I digress...
Next I carefully put away my wares and took the ribbons (there are 6 Blues, my friends) and detached the little paper tags, and wrote names and dates on the backs.  Imagine my surprise when I saw one that had, "lovely" written on the back!  How nice!  It was a comment on my striped vest!  And sure enough, on the next tag there was a long diatribe that stated that I got Blue as a sympathy award, and next time I had better clean up my loose ends on the inside...  I was aghast!  What?? Loose ends on the inside?  All neatly blocked and... I looked.
Sure enough:  One shoulder seam tacked down, and the other NOT!  Plus, well... you can see.  And the yarn there was enough for a full side seam... how I didn't notice, or thought to turn it inside out...?
I thought it was finished.  Very embarrassing...  probably could have gotten a Rosette.
After I took the first picture above, I neatly folded my Red Bird Pullover and put it on the shelf for my 4 year old's impending visit!  Now I have something else to do...

And Music Plays On

Church music, underestimated? I practice, maybe not hours and hours, but I don't go in cold!
How little do some people know about church music? A year ago, I was asked what I do (in general) and when I spoke of being a church organist, the other person was NOT impressed. I didn't mean to impress him however he said something hinting that it was the same music over and over again. I realized that meant liturgy was repeated. I pointed out that I play three or four tunes from 3 books of 1,600+ hymns/songs, plus incidental music of my own choosing, but rarely repeated more than twice a year.
What happens when the fingers fail you?  A few weeks ago I was practicing for something, maybe a choral anthem, and I kept missing the same note.  OK, so there were several hundred other notes that I was playing, but it became evident that I wasn't getting this one thing.  I had focused on it, repeated it slowly, and still when I went through that passage, I was missing the same *** key!  It was annoying, and then I realized that my --- (I swear it) my fingers have changed.  When did it happen?  Mostly, it's my little fingers.  Over the past few years, my little fingers have been giving out.  My previous posts have attested to their plights, but just at this one moment it meant that my left little finger wasn't able to bend to get to that above mentioned *** key.  Luckily, just identifying that funny little unbendable finger was enough.  I didn't miss it again.  Curious.
I thought I was losing it! But since then I've accompanied regularly and irregularly, meaning the odd summer concert.  It was held as part of the city's Summer Terrace Concerts at the Museum.  Luckily, we cranky classical musicians insisted on having it inside, and without the distractions of nature (insects, wind, weather, dust, and nothing to reverberate) it went very well.  The audience was a bit miffed at first, with folding chairs and picnic lunches in tow, but they were very appreciative!  (Even before it was over... You never know if the sustained applause at the end is relief that the audience can stand up and move around!)
Here's a picture from one of the museum displays.  If you are ever in Farmington New Mexico...stop by!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Time flies

No excuses... Everyone seems busy, and I've been least busy. I sure do enjoy a good Audiobook and a knit on the sofa!
And many hours are spent there! It isn't that I knit incredibly fast, but that I enjoy it, and spend my time knitting especially when I feel I'm multi-tasking.
In the past month I've completed the 4 year old size pullover with crazy colors, and a vest for myself in jewel-tone colors.
Both of those pieces are going to the Fair next week along with a few other projects from the past year. I have been nagging adamant that others enter knitting so it doesn't look like my show, but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

So, first to the knitting:

  1. My striped VEST!  I can't believe it myself... Those hours on the sofa, with the fan blowing, and wool in my lap... I love it.  Someday it will be chilly enough to wear!  A simple pattern from Creative Knitting Magazine.  See my Ravelry page, and I "only" used a month...  I wanted to use up some colors/yarns I've had for awhile, and used two different blacks.  I didn't mean to, since I have lots of both left.  I wouldn't have noticed except when I entered the yarn usage into the Ravelry page, I found two bands for the black.  I guess they can be used interchangeably for most discerning eyes!  I didn't notice it, and it was in my hands...
  2. I'm working on my Suki poncho, that is really a shawl pattern.  Using Casbah Sock yarn which is so yummy to my hands.
  3. Was I trying to reduce my stash?  Why yes, I WAS, until I saw a sweater that might hopefully will be a perfect gift for the SIL in Norway.  And rather than mess with the altering of pattern to accommodate my stash, I went to the web and purchased:
    Cascade Eco Wool
That's worth a blog, someday...


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