Sunday, May 31, 2009

May Flea Market

Last month I didn't make one purchase at the flea market but this month my shopping bag was loaded with a Longerberger basket/wooden lid, Ball mason jar, miniature spinning wheel, small handmade yo-yos, vintage napkin set, spearmint plant and a pretty little shell brooch. I just love a good flea!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Heartland Farm Alpaca Shearing

Sister Mary Ellen invited me out for the alpaca shearing at Heartland Farm. I spent two wonderful days helping to sort fiber and providing my labor assistance on the farm. I'm used to clay but the soil in Great Bend, KS is like potting soil -- making it a dream to pull weeds -- I emptied four heaping wheelbarrows full. The sisters provided tasty meals from the garden and who knew that I would like rhubarb. It was like spending time with my aunts and grandmother bringing back memories of organic gardens, mint water, homemade pickles, composting, canning, mason jars, dutch windmills and the ticking of clocks over the silence of a livingroom. (The trip had me missing my grandmother dearly). I did come home with some pottery, 4 pounds of fleece and a couple of blisters.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Lazy O Ribbed Mohair Scarf

I saw a sample of this scarf made up in Austin, TX at Hill Country Weavers. They had it displayed by their register holding scarf pins and I just had to make one for myself for the same purpose. (My scarf pins just lay around in a basket and I forget about them). Hill Country provided the free pattern of a simple two row repeat on #11 needles and it took only one skein of Katia Ingenua.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Why I Like Golf

This is what golf is all about. Laurie snapped this pic of me playing at Paa-ko Ridge and it was so beautiful. There were lots for sale on this course and I could so see myself living there ... but if I only had a million dollars. By the way, we both cleared the trees below. Laurie got hers onto the green and mine came pretty close. It was a spectacular morning.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Road Trip: New Mexico in 60 Hours

I'm back from a very busy 2 1/2 day New Mexico trip with Laurie. It was the kind of marathon road trip that would make Agent Jack Bauer proud. Here's what a Kansas girl can do in 60 hours:

Drive an egg-shaped rental car for over 24 hours, over 1,600 miles
Sleep 17 hours
Consume a ton of junk food in the car
Spill a Route 44 diet cherry limeade in her lap
Drive on Route 66
Play nine holes of golf in the Sandia Mountains
Spill a cup of hotel coffee in her lap
See a jackrabbit the size of a coyote
Shop the Square in Albuquerque
Eat a mexican meal with two beers
Walk through a fiber arts festival
Buy a set of wooden wool hand carders
Buy a silk shawl kit from Brooks Farm
Buy sock yarn at a knit shop
Get lost in Albuquerque after the GPS battery dies
Drink another two beers while knitting in a hotel garden
Witness a garden wedding
Drive to Santa Fe for more shopping on the Square
Buy a set of Rocki Gorman turquoise cuff links
Manage not to spill a cup of Starbucks coffee in her lap
Finish knitting a pair of socks
Drive to Taos for another mexican meal and beer
Walk across the Rio Grande Gorge bridge
See a ton of motorcycles head for the Red River Run
Count live critters from the road including 4 elk, 40+ antelope, 5 pheasants, 2 coyotes and 3 turkeys
Bust butt to get home to a spinning class that's been cancelled

Whew -- think I'll put my feet up and relax a bit over the holiday weekend!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Spinning Class: Session VII

Down to the last two classes that focus on silkworms and cocoons. Who knew you could purchase silk worms and with their help cultivate your own silk. Guess I never thought about where this fiber actually comes from. Creepy factor again as the cocoons rattle from the dead worm inside. Nancy provided us with some prepared silk to spin and next week we'll be unwinding the cocoons and checking out those dead worms.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Another Harley in the Family

Add yet another Harley to the family. This time for my darling neice, Amy. Husband and I went with her to pick it up and he rode it home for her. She was so cute practicing riding it up and down her driveway. I get to feeling over-protective thinking about her riding but I've got to remind myself I was just about her age when I got my first bike. She's one cool teacher now!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Today's the day to thank your momma for all the special things in life. Mine shaped me in to the person I am and gave me the gift of optimism and adventure. Without that, my life would be very dull indeed. Thank you mom for spending so much time with me and for teaching me not to fear anything all the while being happy in my own skin. It is your fault I have a gypsy soul and want to do everything I can in life. I love you with all my heart.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Spinning Class: Session VI

Our class met at the Mercer's Naked Pines Ranch in Mulvane, KS for their annual public sheep shearing. (Nancy also sells her fiber at Twist). I can tell you that caring for farm animals is not for the weak of heart. I experienced seeing a one year old sheep collapse from stress, animal blood and drimmel teeth filing as well as all the animal moans that come with it. But it was educational and no animals were harmed in the process - just the kinds of things that need to be done for their well-being. On the happy side, we got to purchase raw fiber from whichever animal we wanted.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Austin Fun

I wrapped up my client meeting in downtown Austin and spent the afternoon on Congress Avenue. Bought a t-shirt at the Knitting Nest and the makings for yet another shawl from Hill Country. Then walked down to the Congress Avenue bridge to knit and wait for the largest urban colony of bats to take flight at dusk. They came out by the thousands and headed down the river. It was a cool sight to see. I like bats and have fond childhood memories of swimming in my Aunt Blondies' pool while the bats swooped down for a drink of water. Even as a kid, I found that fascinating.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

On the Road Again

I got home yesterday only to unpack and repack for a business trip to Austin, TX for a couple of days. My knitting friend, Dee, asked if she could catch a ride with me and stay with family. It was nice having company to make the travel time fly by. I dropped her off outside of town and rolled into Austin by 5:30 p.m. I'm hoping to unwind and get a good night's sleep.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Goodbye Nashville

The constant rain prevented us from seeing as much of Nashville on our bikes as we would have liked, but it was a good trip with Karen's family, friends, shopping and country music. What's most important is that we had a wonderful time together all the while enduring the elements and made it home safe from our 1,500 mile road trip. Ride On, Rough Riders!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Grand Ole Opry

We walked around the massive Grand Ole Opry House and when we got to the ticket line, I must admit I had tears of joy to actually be there. Going to the Grand Ole Opry couldn't be more American and to me, was right up there with going to the Grand Canyon. Just amazing. We got to see performers such as Trace Adkins and Marty Stewart. Loretta Lynn was supposed to perform but she was sick so Martina McBride made a surprise performance. (The pictures look alot further away from the stage than what we actually were). After the show we took a taxi downtown and for a little Honky Tonk'n at Coyote Ugly and the Wild Horse Saloon. It was a very entertaining evening to say the least.

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Rain Continues

The bikes are parked and we hit three shopping malls and two knit shops today. Bliss Yarns provided me with an opportunity to purchase some Ashford spinning supplies and Haus of Yarn had an incredible display of Noro yarn and samples and the biggest display of Koigu I've ever laid eyes upon. I walked away with a shop designed shawl kit in turquoise and inspiration for a few other things...