Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Upper Midwestern Lifestyle

I met with my phone book rep this week, like I do every year about this time. I've had the same rep since I moved my office to this part the state. We conduct our business in about two minutes and then spend the rest of them time catching up on each other.

We're about the same age and grew up in the large metropolitan area of Minneapolis-St.Paul just across the river from each other, but our lives have taken totally different paths, only to end up in the same small community in eastern South Dakota.

Our conversations always keep me thinking for days and this one is no different. She said we account for our time differently here than she experienced in California and the Caribbean. I thought, okay, they probably don't spend a lot of time shoveling snow or dealing with frozen pipes. She read my mind, explaining that when one asks another here how their weekend went one hears a listing of everything accomplished, whereas elsewhere people talk about where they went, with whom they meant and the like. She further explained that people spend time entertaining and enjoying the company of others. I thought about this blog. So. . .my defense is that I've spent the majority of my life here and the time I've spent elsewhere didn't rub off. Nevertheless, I'll try to make this less of a listing and more entertaining.

On the Machine: I'm still working on the Bug Jar Quilt. I tried to work on it this afternoon, but Greta (left) and Hans (right) decided to use it for their nap. Thank goodness, I covered it because they're both still losing their winter coats! I still wonder who's idea it was to nap there.

Off the Needles: Little Arrow Socks were knitted in part on the California trip out of Blue Moon Fibers Socks That Rock. These are Pair #5 of the 52 Pair Plunge III and bring my Limenviolet Sock Yarn Marathon total to 3.6 miles. I'm working to get the pattern in shape to add to my website.

Pair #6 are Baby Socks made out of Trekking scraps and used about 70 yards.
Not pictured is the Sock Scarf which I started back in May. That ultimately took 984 yards of Lorna's Laces Sock Yarn for a Limenviolet total of 4.23 miles since February 1 of this year.

52 Books in 52 Weeks/Book 30: Charlatan, by Pope Brock. This book describes not just the American Medical Association's prosecution of J.R.Brinkley for his use of goat testicles to rejuvenate people in the early part of the 20th century, but the development of medical licensing, other medical hoaxes and the development of modern medicine. Incidentally, J.R. Brinkley started one of the first outlaw Mexican radio stations on the border. Highly recommend.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Off the Needles:
The pair on the left is Pair #3 of the 52 Pair Plunge. They're Monkey Socks, designed by Cookie A and took 310 yards of Brown Sheep Wildfoote. This pair brought my total up on the Limenviolet Sock Marathon to 3.3 miles. The pair on the right is Pair #4 of the 52 Pair Plunge and are made from a Knit Picks Sock Blank dyed with food coloring. This pair took 276 yards of sock yarn, bringing my total up on the Sock Marathon to 3.46 miles.

Pair #5 is on the needles and is from Socks That Rock - more next time!

52 Books in 52 Weeks/Book 29:
Fudge Cupcake Murder, by Joanne Fluke. Admittedly, I've been on a Hannah Swensen Mystery kick. I've decided it's because they're a lot like Nancy Drew books, she's always saved at the end. But she's an imperfect Nancy, or maybe more perfect, depending on your view: she cooks, she loves her feline roommate, Moishe and she's having a heck of time deciding which of two men she wants to spend the rest of her life with. With all this going on, she keeps finding dead bodies, and keeps her sense of humor.

In the Garden: We've spent most of the last week in California, because our son finally obtained his PhD (has anyone gotten one of these without angst?). We came back to find even more irises in bloom.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cool Weather

I suppose it makes sense that fincas would bloom, but I guess I never thought about it until the one in the container in our front yard did! Beneath the flower are volunteer violas. That container should be absolutely gorgeous by the end of the summer. I decided to take my containers into the garage last fall to see which plants I could salvage to this year. It's turned out to be a success! On the right is the first bloom of the peony I planted last year. Another peony bush is about to bloom as well, but it's been cool for June this year. Below, is another iris, this time from my back yard.

The Challenges:

52 Pair Plunge III, Limenviolet Sock Marathon, The Great Sock Off. Here's my second pair of socks for the 52 Pair Plunge and the month of June for The Great Sock Off of 2009. This pair brings me over my goal of 3 miles on the Limenviolet Sock Marathan at 3.13 miles. I'll continue to burn through my stash for that challenge until the bitter end on August 1. Orange Monkey Socks, using Cookie A's pattern are on slate for Pair #3.

Book-related: 52 Books in 52 Weeks/Book 28: The Loop Group, by Larry McMurtry. Quirky, sexy, funny, sad and disappointing - not one of McMurtry's best.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Socks, Socks, Socks

This is our fourth summer in this house and the garden is finally coming together. The irises are coming up and even blooming. It appears all the lillies made it through our harsh winter and even the peonie I planted last year has a bud!

The Ravelry Challenges: As I mentioned last time, I signed up for yet another Ravelry Challenge the 52 Pair Plunge III. Here is my first entry. It's the Dead Simple Lace Socks from Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson and it's in my own Sheepish Sock Yarn from my Etsy shop. The new dyelot in the shop is called Viola. These took 220 yards which brings my total for the Limenviolet Sock Yarn Marathon to 5198 yards since February 1 or 2.95 miles. These socks are also my entry for The Great Sock Off of 2009 challenge.

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Fortunately, I had to travel this past week, which means I have the chance to listen to audiobooks in the car. Plus, I read a lot in the motel room. Book 25: The Ghostway by Tony Hillerman. I think this may have been one of the first Tony Hillerman books I ever read. This was a pleasant return and revisit with a very young Jim Chee. Book 26: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. This is the fictional account of Calliope Stephanides. As many of you know, Calliope is the muse of epic poetry and this is the story of her/his own epic journey through puberity as a hermaphrodite. Book 27: A Fatal Grace: A Three Pines Mystery by Louise Penny. This is the second entry in the Three Pines Mysteries and this time Armand Gamache investigates the eletrocution of an unliked woman at a curling match. Highly recommended.

Off the Machine: I finally finished quilting and binding the Tessilating Kitties quilt. It hangs proudly in my hallway. I did leave the final border off and I'm pleased with the results.

On the Machine: I now have the Bug Jar Quilt on the quilting and I've already starting quilting. Right now I'm just going around the jars and critters in black to stabilize it. I need to be out of town for a few days and my rather large cats like to nap on quilts in progress, so I need to get them stabilized right away.