Sunday, August 31, 2008

August's last hurrah

There I was, clinging desperately to the middle of August, when just like that, I tumbled to the end of the month, like the last bits of food getting shaken out of an upended bag. Raging against the calendar has never worked — for me, anyway — so what else could I do but accept that August is over and go to the Fair?

I never used to go, but as I've gotten older, the more I enjoy it, even if I don't see everything there. I love the sheep barn (natch!), the horse barn (o ya!), poking around in the Merchandise Mart and under the Grandstand. David and I got there a little late on Friday, but he has a parking angel and we found a spot just south of the bus drop-off. Go figure.

Looking west:

Looking east:

And, unfortunately, looking out for these:

I didn't get pictures of the worst offenders, which I swear were double-wides with tractor tires. Ostentatious? yes. A smart idea for shoving through crowds? No. How about down the middle of narrow, crowded aisles? Uh, still no.

We weren't about to let bloodied ankles* and a few near-misses ruin our very splendid night out. We padded the pockets of the vendor who had the Key Lime Pies on a stick, sucked down a foot-long hot dog and last but definitely not least:

So. Suppose I'll win that Ford F-150 with the extended cab and towing package? Nah, me either.

*OK. No bloodied ankles, but only because I sidestepped out of the way

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hmmm, a hit or a miss?

What with the arrival of a girl-flavored baby for one of the copy editors, I finally had a reason to make a pair of those adorable Saartje's booties from Ravelry. It was just a pure giggle to spend a couple of hours on the back step yesterday, knitting these little cuties. I didn't think the straps were quite long enough, so this was my solution:

I also have some little dragonfly buttons, but the shank was too long to allow for a snap. My questions are these:

1) Do the mice work?
2) Are they nice enough for a gift?
3) Are they passable for my 'projects' page on Ravelry?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

No, not that 'F' word

Tonight was a grinder at work, for sure. The worst night in a couple of weeks. So, while the leading 'F' word might apply, I'm thinking of the change in the breeze and the recent days of cooler, but sunny weather. It seems like summer has only just gotten up a head of steam, but the days are definitely shorter, already. Back-to-school supplies and pre-season X-country workouts have arrived, already. The regionals are only a few weekends away, already.

This 'F'-like weather is my favorite kind, however, so what better way to soak it in and try to unwind after the aforementioned Very Horrible Terrible Evening than to do a little gardening by the glow of the porch and garage lights? The hostas were long overdue for a haircut. Before:

After (including a bit of weeding for good measure):

I'd say that is an acceptable job, for 1:30 in the morning. I have no idea why that odd pattern is on the car. It's spotless, honest!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Here again, gone again

Laurel, that is. She spent last week in Montana with one of the girls from the barn. Miss Hair Implement Queen went cold turkey, and backpacked up into the mountains to the family's (very) primitive cabin, where she spent several days having the time of her life. Would you believe? She even cleaned fish with her own bare hands:

That's her, the one with the chipped pink polish. Except for a quickie text as they passed through Laurel, Mont., we didn't hear from her from several days, and a terse, yet empathic text message lit up the screen:


She was home long enough to get her laundry taken care of, and off we went, with two of her friends with her in the back seat, down to Waterville, Minn., and Camp Omega for a week. We got there too early to check in immediately, so while they killed some time wilting in the humidity:

I plugged away on a way-too-familiar piece of knitting.

Yes, indeed, I decided to kiss and make up with the seed-stitch sweater, which is back in the rotation now that the Orange Blossom's Special is (re)finished and waiting for some clasps.

It was only an hour or so before they were allowed to settle into their rooms. Smartly, the three of them portioned out hair implement responsibilities, but that only left room in their suitcases for even more stuff. Note the pillow and the blanket and the backpack, in addition to the large suitcase with a bad case of gopher cheeks:

While I waited outside — did I mention it was even-my-eyelashes-are-limp humid — I had a look around. Nice place, very traditional, I think:

I went inside for a few minutes to check out their digs, but decided that perhaps I didn't want to watch 13-year-old girls unpack.

I hope she and her friends are having a great time, but golly I miss her. I can hardly wait to hug you, Laurel! Come on Friday!

Blueberry Festival!

Yes, it was nearly two weeks ago already, but the Blueberry Festival was, as always great fun. And, this year the weather was perfect! No, really: 72 degrees, a breeze -- which made it a breeze, in fact, to navigate the aisles and tents and elbows and strollers.* It was a short trip this year, though, because Mom got sick in the afternoon! So, we packed up and headed back to the Cities. Happily, it was nothing serious and, happily, she was fine all that Saturday morning, so we were able to scope out most of the fun. I tried not to squeal and hop around like a little kid when we found the booth for Levandowski Pottery. I. Love. Their. Work. Talk about stash-building! Suffice it to say that they double-bagged my purchase(s).

I also ran into Anna Shallman, who I first met at one of the Sisu retreats. Anna is so cool -- talk with her for two minutes and it becomes clear why. In addition to working for Raven Productions, which promotes regional authors, she's a knitter of course, and does Navajo weaving and something called Huichol beading. I think it translates roughly as "make beautiful things, but go blind at an early age." Look at this:

The skull is covered solid with tiny white beads. The original photo is fabulous. Anyway, we didn't have much time to catch up on local gossip or other juicy bits, but we did check up on what the other is knitting these days. Because I cut the trip short, I didn't get to drop in at Sisu to see Susan, but I'll be back.

** Have you seen some of these things lately? Bulbous and overwrought hardly begin to describe the roadhogs that babies get packed around in these days. So help me, I even saw one with cupholders! I could not possibly make that up.
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