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Saturday, December 24, 2011

STLLA and LUNAC Wishing You a Merry Kwanzikkah and Harley New Year!

It's Christmas Eve, and for many, it will be a time for celebration, good food, wine glasses tinkling,good company, laughter and cheer.
For DH and me, it will be a time of reflection, of look-backs on the business, and life in general.

Things I started, and actually finished:

Almost to the day, I finished the Agatha Cardi. Once I realized it was going to be too small, I nearly ripped it out! The gauge was perfect, it was the yarn that made it seem smaller. Paton's Encore Tweed has just enough bounce to give it a nice mesh, and kept its shape nicely after blocking
When DD20 saw it, she had to have it, so my work was not a huge loss. In fact, it fits her perfectly and she loves it!!!
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DD20 is ready for her night out with her Fiance, for a Christmas get-together at his sister's house.

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For Christmas this year, I made fudge for all my family and friends, and also found this cute FREE PATTER at Red Heart Yarn's website.
Yarn Basket Ornaments
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I've got into reading Kindle e-books in the evenings. Really nice on my Xoom, in that I can read while DH is sleeping, and not have to have a light on and disturb him.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I thoroughly enjoyed the Kindle edition, with the old photos, etc. The characters were very likable, even believable with their peculiarities. I was a little disappointed by the abrupt ending, but I suppose it was my inner desire for the book to go on and on and on....
A keeper, I will read this again!
View all my reviews

The weather has been very mild this season, not enough snow to even feel like Winter yet. The bikes are parked in the garage, under their covers, and with the milder temps in the low 40's, it's hard not to want to go out for a short ride around the 'hood.

DH got me a new Harley-Davidson vest for Christmas this year; I LOVE IT! Then today when we were at Frank's, Liz at the liquor store said she had a pair of chaps that would fit me perfectly. WHOOT! With those, I actually could go out and not freeze my bum off!!!

For me, it's all about the ride, staying safe and coming home with the usual silly-ass grin on my face. While multi-tasking is a big part of the ride, I can usually manage a fleeting glance here and there along the way while keeping my face sunny side up.
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I didn't want to forget to mention the GatorSkin top I got late last Summer. It's 3x's warmer than wool, and is perfect for those chilly 50's days!
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The backside ain't too shabby, if I do say so...
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The Sisters, Garage Mates
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Igor wishes everyone would come over for Christmas, so he can has lots'o People to play with!!!!

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“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
Marcel Proust

Friday, December 2, 2011

Agave you my heart...

It began snowing last night, light and barely there. It was surreal, a wonder to the senses.

Thanksgiving weekend, we had a wonderful visit with my two sons, girlfriend, wife and 4 grandkids. My older son keeps busy with his automotive repair shop, so getting away was a big thing for him. It had been 2 long years since we last saw each other.
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Not going off-topic, the following mention is something I think my older son could benefit from, so am going to give it a try.
I just placed an order for Agave Nectar, going to give it a try. I went out in search for Mexican Vanilla like the good stuff my DSIL gave us one Christmas 5-6 years ago. In my searches, I found this wonderful site: Global Goods, Inc.
I ordered a liter of the vanilla and 2- 24 oz bottles of the Agave nectar I've been hearing about. Come to find out, it's a great substitute for other sugars that can cause inflammation in Rheumatoid arthritis- a WIN for DH :)


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Dinner bell and A hungry student are calling me. I promise to return at a more quiet time to continue this post.
Until then, have a lovely evening!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fleegle's Toe-up Two Ata Time on Two Circulars

These socks are so easy, it's ridiculous. They were done two at a time on two circulars; once you start knitting socks this way, you'll never go back! Both socks use one skein of yarn, no waste, and they re both the same size when completed! How cool is that?

After I turned the heel, I used Dani Berg's Thank You Socks for the tiny mock cable pattern. Dani Berg

For the cuff, I used Jeni's Super Easy Stretch Bind Off, demonstrated by Cat Bourdi
Jeni's Stretchy Bind Off

Sunday, November 13, 2011

It was a dark and windy night...

Last night, I went out with our local Bray Road Beast sightings expert- it was a dark and windy night with a full moon.
At 9:00pm, linda and I rode out and met up with a few locals at an undisclosed location in anticipation of a possible chance encounter with a Bigfoot-type biped seen wandering the area.
We spent the next 2 hours alternating positions with a cross view of two freshly harvested corn fields, while the moon skated in and out of view as clouds scudded past.
One of the team left a plate of smelly cat food out at the perimeter of a woods, near where a footprint was discovered a few weeks back. From time to time, we'd roll down our cardoor window and make low guttural hooting noises, in an effort to get a response. All I managed to do was alert a nearby flick of Canadian geese, who became agitated by our random calls.
We munched noisily on Fiesta Chips, and tossed a few out the window, as token offerings to the Wood Nymphs and creatures of the night.
Unfortunately, Bigfoot did not grace us with an appearance and remains a mystery. I still live for the thrill of a hunt ;)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fleegle's Sock and other random musings

I'm working on another pair of Wool-ease socks using Fleegle's Toe-up Two at Time on Two Circulars
I'm at the gusset, and like this method for its ease and simplicity.

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When I get to the heel turning part, there is an ingenious method that prevents that hole that always happens when you join the heel to the foot. The directions in the pattern explain it perfectly!

This pattern is so simple and mindless that I often find myself in random thoughts, usually of my kids and DH. Since both consume much of my conscious thoughts of the day, my blogs suffer neglect as a result. Today was one of those days. ;)

So, I'm knitting along, and I come to a spot where I'm joining my front and back, and there is this loop that got caught after the last stitch and is hanging there between my cables, like a lost stitch. Actually, it's not a stitch and needs to be worked in when I get to that point, or it will turn into a ladder rung. You know what I'm talking about: that joint at the side of a sock where all the stitches stat to spread apart like a loose seam. It happens when the tension becomes too loose when jumping from one needle to the next.
So when you come to a place where you find you have inadvertently knit with the yarn having been looped over your cable when doing the jump, then when you come back to it in the next round, twist the last stitch of that row, continue to the next needle and then on the return trip around, twist the opposite stitch when coming to the juncture. That will pull up the slack in the join and won't even be noticeable. Continue knitting rounds as before, one problem solved.


if you haven't already done so, please see this post to avoid gusset holes.


Now, it might not make sense until you actually get to this next part, so bookmark the next page! and come back to it often. I printed up both pages when I started the socks so I wouldn't have to keep looking up the links, saved me a ton of steps.

Fleeglesblog also shows you an increase that is so flawless in its simplicity, pure genius!

General Directions

The increase I use is called the Lifted Increase and goes something like this:

1. Insert your right hand needle from front to back into the top of the stitch below the next one to be knitted. Knit the stitch in the usual way.

2. Then, knit the next stitch on your left hand needle.

See http://www.knitting.co.nz/site/page_affix/toaffix_learntoknit6/ for pictures.

After I developed this method, I subsequently discovered a way to avoid gusset holes. Please see this post and follow the directions when you finish turning the heel.
Pure Genius!

I hope that my random musings have been a help to someone else like me, someone who does not follow any particular path, but gathers tidbits of others' helpful suggestions that we can adapt at some point in our knitting adventures.

I'll spare you the family drama that usually gets me to this point- I keep moving forward, burying my troubles, not littering my path with them like so many discarded soda cans. I stick to a less travelled road, one that has no Facebook billboards obscuring my view of a world seemingly filled with petty issues that others feel a need to broadcast. Maybe if those billboards came with a price tag , they'd be fewer. The price paid for freely advertising one's bad day is sometimes realized too late, down the road.

I'm a Nomad; I travel light, keeping my path clean and simple. If our paths meet, stop and say Hi~ we can share a story or just our day and be on our way. :)



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Monday, October 24, 2011

Stella and Luna get ready for Winter

The days are getting shorter, colder as we wrap things up with outdoor activities. The Girls, Stella June and our newest member, Luna, are in their winter storage spaces on the other side of the garage; a trickle charger is positioned between them for easy access during the long cold spell.
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I'll still be able to uncover and dust them off periodically, in the event a day looks nice enough for a ride. Today might be one of those days :)

This morning I went back to revisit an old post and realized I haven't blogged in several days. Family had kept me pretty distracted lately. Oldest daughter DD35, and issues with her perceptions of a failed childhood and subsequent failed marriage have been weighing me down... a recent phone call brought everything to the surface and ultimately I was to blame for everything. So I bury my head in knitting and boxes of yarn, instead of sand.

I'm lining up my Christmas knitting projects now. It makes me temporary forget problems and gives me reason to give something back, by way of knitted and crochet gifts. Presently (pun intended), a box of Red Heart Soft is calling me...



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This is going to be the Cuff-to-Cuff Vest
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Stella gets a Garage Mate!

Oct 9, 2011
What a busy week!
We've been talking a bit recently about how it would be nice if we could ride together on our own bikes. Needless to say, Mike's RA has been a big factor to consider in our discussions. Our first bike, Stella Blue, turned out to be a big oops in the size and weight department. We traded her in on a smaller brand new Sportster, Stella June. I've logged over 750 miles on her, just going out for 40 minutes a day during breaks from work. My days are much more productive in that I've allowed myself that time away, and always cone back fresh and ready to tackle the job at hand.
DH in the other hand, had been up to the ceiling with shawl pin and hair stick orders and hasn't had a break in months.
A week ago, our friends at Kutter found the perfect bike for Mike, a Sportster 1200c, and the perfect size and weight for him.


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Mike's bike (yet to be named)in the foreground and my Stella in the background. We thought about calling her Candy, for the girl who owned her before us her husband worked for Harley-Davidson several years and died in a motorcycle accident a couple years ago. She traded this bike in on a Dyna-Glide. Ride proud, Sister!

Mike thinks he wants to stay with his original name, Luna. So it's Stella and Luna, also the title of a favorite childrens' book I have :)

Fall Oktoberfest in Elkhorn, WI

Had a wonderful day last Saturday-Oktoberfest in Elkhorn, WI; a book signing with Linda Godfrey, author of Weird Wisconsin, Beast of Bray Road, and several others.
While we sat and visited with passers-by, I enjoyed only the most excellent Irish Cream Latte at Deakin Isle, LTD. The atmosphere was festive as people came and went, all with a holiday feeling!
I came home after 1:00 and set about moving both bikes over to the other side of the garage in preparations for winter, brought down the patio table and set it up in front of Miss Pepper's Kitty Condo. While moving things around, I lost another glass tumbler in the process, am going back to sippy cups, for safety reasons :p

I'm pretty sure the bike rides will be coming to an end soon. Bring on Winter Hibernation, I'm ready for settling down with a good book. I was gifted a moat unexpected surprised yesterday- a package came in the mail addressed to me. When I opened it, I had to sit down, for it was a book by one of our newest customers: Momma & Me by Cherie Schofield.

"Momma and Me is a true story of a mother and a daughter who simultaneously suffer cancer - one ovarian, one breast. The memoir highlights the experiences of mother and daughter during a six year period, 1991-1997..."

My mother was a breast cancer Survivor, and it still amazes me how women are brought together by a common thread. I wept tears of sorrow, loss, mourning, and joy, all at once.

I am ready for Winter's hibernation almost any time now; bring on the knit-athon!

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Stella June gets bugs in her teeth at the 200-mile mark

Got on over 121 miles on the June-bug this week; all in all, it was a great week for taking her out for a ride. That, and DD20's car had to go back in the shop for another look-see at the brakes and electrical. She needed a ride to and from, a good excuse to take her out in the afternoon and Nats got some rides in. We only missed one day due to rain.
Stella and I practiced our takeoff with a passenger, and after 4 days, and a little guts, we got it! All it took was me telling Nats I was just apprehensive because it's a "Mom thing" not to put her in any danger, whereas she told me to just relax and act like she wasn't there. So I did, and it made all the difference in the world. No more slooooow wobbly takeoff, today we glided out of the parking lot like we were old pros. I think Nats gets as much of a kick out of the show when I pick her up, as I do!

Stella got splattered good today coming back ip ES, around the lake. The guy at Napa gave me a sample of Wizards Mist and Shine professional detailed spray to try out, said the locals like it a lot. I used it on the mirrors to clean off the bug mess, works like a charm! McQuires mirror polish is great on the windshield.

I'll miss taking Stella into town to pick Nats up, and will have to just make plans for fun rides. We'll start planning rides through town soon. Working with normal local traffic is my next goal, when the Summer People are gone.

Hope your weekend is a good one- stop by, let's go for a ride!

Oyeah, that's Nat's car. It's not fixed, it's still doing that thing it does, so there may be more rides, Yay!


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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Stella and Zippy

We put another 9 miles on Stella June tonight, just puttering around the 'hood. Almost had to take out a chipmunk, little stupid too busy foraging in the middle of the street to move until the last minute. Right at a sharp turn. 
Zippy McMunk lives to forage another day :)


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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Stella gets all sissified

Today started out pretty ok- temps were more normal for the season,  the humidity was tolerable, nothing near what it has been, the last few days. 
We took a ride out to Kutter Harley-Davidson for a oil temp gauge, and wound up picking out a minimal sissy bar for around town. 
4 hours later, I got this far on the installation:


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As with everything, 3rd time's the charm! 
Tomorrow the other bracket should go on in under an hour. Hopes.
Oh, and I totally spaced it and forgot to get the oil temp gauge- DOH! Called Kutter- they're sending the gauge in the mail tomorrow! Love those guys! 
I got my HOG packet in the mail, I'm official HOG!



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Ocarp, they're talking sever t-storms with possible hail; will have to move Stella well forward into the garage so we can get the Blazer inside!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wilbur One Antler and his mate

It was hot today, 91 at 7:00 pm. Real Feel 91, well, duh!?! Not a shadow of a chance for a bike ride today.
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Taking a break and a chance to gather my thoughts, I went out back for some quiet contemplation.
As I was gazing out the back door, I spied a buck and young doe, meandering out of the woods and into our back yard.
The lean young doe spied me immediately, their eyesight is extraordinary. The young buck was instantly alert.
I quickly grabbed my cellphone for some quick but grainy shots
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Monday, July 18, 2011

Froggie's Days and Nights

Early morning post: hot, with no chance of getting a bike ride in, for the next couple days. It's 81 at 7:30 am, Real Feel: 93, humidity at  88%. Gah!
I was up at 1:30 am, sleep wasn't happening, so I stepped outside to see what it felt like. It was just beginning to rain, and a small tree frog was sitting on the deck rail, waiting for a meal.


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Stay cool and catch ya's laters!