Saturday, June 23, 2018

Quick Trip

We hit the road last week for a trip to Reno and Kiernan's high school graduation.  We made really good time so decided to stop in for a visit with our old neighbors, Tom and Carole.  This is the house we had built and lived in for 13 years.  Other than the barn there are few changes.  They fenced the entire 11 acres, the trees are bigger and the two horseshoe pits have been turned into an exercise ring for their horses.
It was great to see them.  Tom has recovered with his bout of lung cancer and is there is no sign of the tumor, though he does have to use oxygen after a heart attack.  I think he looks great.  Their house in on the market as they're moving to Winnemucca.
We had no plans when we went down so everything just evolved, like lunch at our favorite place, Golden Flower.  Best pho ever!  I miss my daughter terribly so loved every minute together.  We'll see them in two weeks when we'll meet them in Klamath Falls to pick Alexia up for the month of July.
Kiernan is outrageously funny.  I told him I didn't think he had his gown on right.  He's a very lucky boy in that he's lived in the same house since he started to school.
And he's had the same two friends since first grade.  This is Matthew.
And here he is with his proud parents and Dakota, his other BFF.
We left Reno and Kiernan's graduation party Sunday afternoon for Red Rock Valley.  Our friends Carol and Harry invited us for dinner and to spend the night.  It's big sky country for sure, so different from where we live now with about 80 less sunny days per year.
They invited Tom and Carole for dinner too and we laughed until we were exhausted.  It's the first time in my life where neighbors have become life-long friends.  
We left home Thursday and returned on Monday, an event filled four days!  Kiernan gave up his bed so we could stay with them as there are no hotels anywhere near them on the Nevada/California border.  It was a great visit - great to spend time with my daughter and grandkids and great to spent time with old friends.
The drive was seven uneventful hours and just like that we were home again where deer saunder up the driveway and sleep in the front yard.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Cha Cha Cha Changes

Guess what happened last weekend!  This is Logan, my second grandchild and oldest grandson here in Bend.  He has done very well in high school and has a lot to be proud of.  Congratulations Logan, I've told you before and I'll say it again - I am *so* proud of you!
His parents are certainly proud of him.  My son is about to burst his buttons!  Logan's graduating class was huge, almost 400 seniors!
Commencement was held at the fair grounds event center and the newspaper estimated that there were about 3,000 in attendance.  We celebrated that afternoon with a party at their house and the opening of Logan's kindergarten time capsule.  It was adorable and also emotional.
Tomorrow morning we leave for Reno and another commencement.  This time it's for Kiernan, my oldest grandson.  This is my trip knitting and I'm hoping to finish it on this trip so I can start the other July birthday gift scarf.  Kiernan will be 19 on July 2nd which doesn't seem possible.  I was one of his delivery coaches when he was born and it just doesn't seem like it could have been that long ago.
The master bath in our house leaves a lot of be desired.  While we're gone son Matt is going to demo this retrofitted shower.  Ian calls it the time machine.
And this strange short spa tub has to go too.  We've never used it, don't even know if it works and we don't care.  Matt is going to build a walk-in shower in this space.
This is the tile that he'll use for the updating.  I was really surprised at how expensive tile is.  This small pile is about $1,000 and we still have to pay Matt for the tile he's going to use which will save us a chunk.  When we built our house in Red Rock I told Steve our contractor that I wanted tile throughout the first floor and he knew our budget and said that we couldn't afford it.  Now I get it.  It's going to a long summer camping out in the guest bathroom.  I need to keep my eye on what's coming instead of what's happening.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Progress!

The lupine that grew from a seed in a wildflower mix that I sowed last year came back again this year and is massive.  I've tried and tried unsuccessfully to pull out that large clump of half dead grass so asked Ian if he'd give it a go.
The native bunch grasses that grow here have roots a foot deep.  He finally got it all out but it left a huge hole where the roots had been.
This is that ugly mess ready for the dump and it weighs a ton.
I went to the nursery to buy a bag of compost and also a bag of mulch.  Once I had the compost in the ground and a ready flower bed I went back to the nursery for three lavender plants.  The spot is irrigated and in full sun.  I figured this was my chance to finally grow lavender.  I hadn't checked the zone requirement when I was there earlier and was disappointed to discover that the lavender is a zone 5 and we are an unforgiving zone 3.  I learned the hard way that even zone 4 plants can't survive the winter here.  I spent a long time looking at plants, checking for zone, size and color.  These are the 13 that came home with me.
I planted them all, and because I have to space the plants according to their mature growth it doesn't look like much right now.
I put redwood bark down on the path and the shade garden in its second year is rewarding all my hard work last year.
I have five of these Pink Petticoat Columbines and they've been blooming for a couple of weeks.  That's it for yard work for a while.  Now I just have to be patient and let things mature and grow together.  At least that's what I hope they'll do.
I just started this lace scarf from mohair.  It's to be a gift if I can finish it in time.  I've never knit with mohair before and am in love with this airy light fabric.  It was very hard for me in the beginning and I had to start over a couple of times.  It's going well now but I have to concentrate completely on the pattern rows.  It's very easy to add stitches, at least it has been for me.


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Lurching into Summer

I'm glad I spent the past several weeks on yard work because the weather has turned cold and drizzly, perfect weather to get back to the loom.  These are the same turned taquete towels that I always weave, just in another set of colors.  That tall stack in the window sill are empty plastic cones.  I keep thinking they'd make a great craft project, maybe Christmas trees?
We babysat our "granddog" last weekend.  He's allowed on furniture at home so rather than try to keep him off, Ian covered everything with quilts.  We really enjoyed having him here, the only exception was the cat.  There were no altercations but there were a few uneasy moments.
Rusty was over the moon with free access to our back yard.  He just has a dog run at home so asked to go out quite often.  He'd circle the yard sniffing and making peeing gestures throughout though I can't see how he could have that much pee!  I was out with him on Sunday when much to my delight, here's the Butterfly Weed that I thought wasn't going to come back.
I checked on it again today and am astonished to see this much growth in just four days.  There is a ton of work that goes with this yard but I've wanted something  like this all my life and am very gratified when my "babies" do well.
I've finally finished another two Campbell tartan scarves and hope to get Arthur warped on Monday for a couple more, but in different nontraditional colors.  Now I just need to get the sold scarf in the mail.
This is my current knitting project, all from handspun yarn.  I spun it so many years ago that I can't remember much about it, other than it's a hoggit fleece that I sent to MorroFleeceworks for processing.  The yoke is knit on a provisional cast-on, working upward to the finished neck.  Then for the body I picked up the live stitches from the provisional crochet chain, knit a couple of rows, put the sleeve stitches on holders and knit down and finished with 3" of ribbing.  I've done all of that and then I tried it on.  It'a a body suit!  Oh my goodness, how I wish I counted the stitches before I started knitting.  I tore back to a couple inches below the armhole and am adding increases every inch. I pretty sure it's going to be okay.
I'm far more concerned about my yarn situation.  I found a pound of spun skeins in two separate locations.  One bag had a note that the yarn wasn't fulled - good to know.  I was well into the body when I had the dreadful realization that half of the yarn is two-ply and half is three-ply.  Again, it's been to long ago for me to remember even spinning it! I spun and triple-plied the six ounces but didn't check it against the old yarn and it's a little thicker.  Again, I think it'll be okay, but it's where to join the two-ply where the change will be the least obvious.  I did the 3" of ribbing in two-ply and think if I knit the top of the sleeves in three-ply, I can switch at about the elbows.  The color is the same of course, it's just that light is refracted differently on a three-ply compared to a two-ply yarn.  I'm pretty sure this has to be a unique blooper, a brand new mistake, not that I'm proud of it.  For now, I'm going to just keep knitting.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Finally Enjoying the Outdoors

We had our first visitor in the RV pad for this year.  Our friend Amy is a life/science librarian at the university in Reno and was on her way to two conferences in the PNW.  She look some annual leave in order to pull her trailer to take a little vacation on the side, which included us.
Her time with us was brief but I knew exactly the perfect place for her to see, the High Desert Museum.  She loved it and wanted to see every inch, the wildlife, the otters, the snakes, the birds of pray, the whole enchilada. 
We stopped in at the Miller Ranch and Sawmill where I was glad to see that they had put protective covers on the hens to prevent further hen pecking!
And of course, she appreciated the newly opened exhibit on mountaineering and camping.
This is the only guide I have for my interpretive role but Linda, the director of Living History, is leaving for a two-week conference and told me yesterday that when she returns we're going to revamp our approach so that the Living History is an integrative story.  We're all creating backstory on the fly when we're role playing so I think what she means is that we're going to get our stories straight - good news!  You can see why Linda says she "lies for a living."
I've been spending a lot of time working in the yard.  Two years ago our friend Chris Smith was our first RV visitor and took this picture of Ian's garden boxes.

I took a picture this morning of my progress.  It may not look like much but first I have to pull all the wild grasses that filled the area and prevented the sprinklers from doing their job.

This is another picture that Chris took.  I had made some headway on the grasses by then and had planted the perennials in the foreground.
I took a picture of the same area this morning.  On the left next to the ornamental rooster you can see that the Butterfly Weed has just started to come back.  It will be magnificent and the butterflies love it!

I finally finished the "twin" sweater to the one I made for my granddaughter last Christmas.  I have another sweater in progress, finished enough that I could try it on last night.  It's from handspun and not the gauge I thought it was. I have a lot of reknitting to do - sigh.



Sunday, May 20, 2018

Opportunities

It's that time of year again and I'm back at the High Desert Museum for the summer months on Fridays, well most Fridays.  We do have a couple of trips planned.
This is the "settlers cabin" which is based on information from Western homesteads.  I decided against a spinning wheel this year and have a basket of knitting, some wool and a drop spindle.  I used the spindle a lot this week as we were swarmed with 2nd graders.  There was a communication breakdown and we were unaware they were coming, but after a couple of visitors commented on all the school buses out front, I knew it was going to be an interesting day.  I like the mobility of a drop spindle.
My walking partner Cinda and I are enjoying morning walks along the irrigation canal near here, and we're especially getting a kick out of the waterfowl.  These geese have doubled in size since last week.  Mama bobs her head up and down, warning us to stay away.
I got an email from a couple you have a home nursery about a mile from here.  I followed signs to their sale last year and bought six plants that proved to be vigorous growers.  I signed up for their email notice, and good thing - they didn't put out signs this year.  Cinda wanted to go with me so we took her car which is bigger - good thing! - and got there a few minutes before the opening at 10:00 and found their place was already a beehive of activity.  They charge $6 per plant whereas nurseries run about $12 each so it's hard to resist the temptation.  I planned to buy six but barely reined myself in at 14 and I planted every last one of them yesterday.  Once the plants grow and fill out, this bed will be finished.  I'll only need to weed.
There are 14 pots there if you can count them!!
These two coreopsis were the two plants I had worried about.  They were nearly laying down when I finished planting them, but we had a nice quiet soaking rain during the night and they have perked right up.
The couple have a well organized event and good thing.  There had to be upwards of 70 people when we were there and we were early!  Each plant has an informational sign which I take a picture of.
When I get home I put all the information in my plant care map.  I shot this with my phone yesterday before leaving so I'd know what I already bought but you can see how I have organized it.  I got tired of looking up each plant and now know the zone, height, spread, sun, and season for everything I've planted in our yard.
A new sales event was announced at the Guild meeting on Wednesday.  We've been invited by the raku potters to share their venue in August and of course I'd like to participate.  I have been slow to clear this project from my loom as I was anticipating taking June and July off from weaving like I did last year.  It's difficult to stay indoors during our beautiful summer months but I need to weave at least 30 towels, but first I needed to finish this.  Oh how I am loving tartan.  The fringe is cut at 2" and thus the obnoxious twisting is eliminated.  And all the ends will be snipped off after this takes a trip through the washer and dryer.  There are two scarves, one is for Ian and one is sold.