Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pics from Ride at Lake Massabesic

I didn't get up and ride early like I planned, but I did get there. I rode a little more than 2.5 miles (I forgot to reset the trip odometer, until I got probably 500 yards.)

I used the gravel wide trails right next to the park and ball fields. It was hot, but gorgeous. I did discover that the water bottle I got yesterday blows, as it leaks, copiously.

I didn't have a problem getting the bike into the Sante Fe by myself, but I can see that it's going to get really old. Especially since I got dirt and pine needles in the car on the way home, in the brand new car. I'm going to have to investigate a bike rack further. It's very close by which is nice, I got the bike in the car, did the ride, and was back at the apartment within an hour. I would have stayed longer,
if I hadn't been huffing and puffing so bad, and if I hadn't planned to go up for guild in Concord.
I didn't get as early a start as I planned, due to the computer behaving badly and having to fix it, and then having to install the water bottle cage I bought on the bike, and somewhere in there I cleaned out the baby tank as there was a massive die-off of the really small babies last night (I have about 30 left of the 200).
Tonight the plan is to accomplish one more thing on my list, and then work on Mya's jacket for the rest of the night. Maybe tomorrow I'll post some pictures of it so far.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Since the last episode...

Remember how it was supposed to be calmer and I was going to get all this work done? Not so much. I haven't knit a thing since last Sunday, although we've had minor progress on cleaning the office. But to catch you all up to date:

Monday I was able to ride my new bike for the first time. I just rode a loop continuously around the complex, for 1.4 miles trying to get my bike skills back as it were. What I find funny is that I have one leg that tires out more quickly than the other, since my sciatica and my bad ankle (multiple dislocations until I had to have surgery because the ligaments were no longer holding the bones together) are both in my right leg. It just feels odd to have one leg that's tired and one that isn't. I wobbled quite a bit, and felt like I was six again, but I didn't fall down once...although I did have trouble remembering to use the brakes. The bike is really comfortable though. Shawn now has Monday nights off, so we went to dinner, which was counter productive to the whole bike thing, but oh well. I was craving a good steak so we went to the Longhorn. I like their steaks and their drinks, but everything else there is so-so and too expensive, so I really need to be craving red meat to go there.

Tuesday night I had been invited to an event at Grappone Hyundai, where I bought my Sante Fe, for new owners to get acquainted with the dealership. I thought it would be lame, but it you went you got a free oil change, so I went. I won a $20 gift certificate as a door prize as well. So now I'm considering getting a trailer hitch for the car, so that I can put a bike rack on the back. I don't mind putting the bike in the back, but that won't work as well if we decide to take the bikes camping.

Wednesday I balanced the checkbook, which I had not done in two weeks, so it took forever. After that I started cleaning the office. It's amazing the crap that I keep sometimes. I'm not usually a pack rat unless it's fiber related, as I am trying not to be my grandmother. But I found 3.5 disks I had since 1990, and turbo tax installation disks back to 2003, as well as several power cords for Palm Pilots that two to three Palm Pilots ago (I tend to kill one every two to three years--it dies, I drop it down the stairs, step on my purse and crunch the screen, you know, the usual dumb things I would do...).

Tuesday and Wednesay it rained, so I was unable to ride the bike at all. Thursday, it was just so cold and windy, I decided to clean both aquariums, and continue working on the office. However, in re-arranging my desk and computer, and all the crap plugged into the computer, my internet connection flamed out, and I had to spend a hour and half fixing it, and having tech support tell me it's not Comcast, it's Microsoft's fault. Also, for some reason Vista is no longer recognizing my external hard drive...sigh...

Friday is one of Shawn's off days. Normally we don't see each other from Monday to Thursday because of the way his schedule works. So we had decided we would use our new tennis rackets to play that night, since the weather was supposed to be gorgeous. Unfortunately, others in our complex came to that same conclusion. So Shawn when to KC's Rib Shack to get us dinner, and we rearranged the livingroom for the bikes, and I worked on the office still. Someday it will be clean and rearranged!

Today, we went over to help Shawn's grandparents move in the morning. We stayed for about two hours, but there were so many people there, most of it was moved very quickly. After we left, we finally played very bad tennis at the complex, and then went to get a salad for me and a burger for Shawn at Giovanni's in Hooksett on our way to check out Lake Massabesic, to see what they had for trails to ride on. I was going to bring the bike, but it didn't seem fair to do tha with Shawn with me, since his bike is still getting at tune up at Goodale's. We walked probably about a mile and checked out the lake. The only bummer is that there's no swimming there, as it is Manchester's water supply. It's beautiful though. When we got back I worked on the office for a bit, and then took a ride on the bike around the complex. I did 1.8 miles, and the body is really starting to remember how to ride. I was able to weave a bit, and I didn't feel like I was going to fall even once, and my feet didn't spin off the pedals once.

I'm thinking the plan for tomorrow is that I'll go out and ride over at Lake Massabesic early, come back, work on a project for my old office for a bit, and then head to guild. I need to actually set up a schedule so that I can work the things I need to get to. This is also on the list for tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A busy couple of days....

Well, it's been a little while since I last wrote. I feel like I've been in a whirlwind, but this coming week should be calmer barring any unforeseen catastrophes. I'm knocking on wood as we speak, never fear.

Wednesday evening I cleaned the house as I had a knitting/Pampered Chef party planned at my house on Saturday, and planned the menu for the party. Thursday, I had to get a coffee cake fluted pan for the blueberry nut coffee cake I was going to make, so I picked one up on the way to my friend Alison's as I was headed there to knit. My knitting friends are hilarious. My face is usually tired when I get home from laughing so hard. I got home around 10 pm, which gave me a chance to clean the baby angelfish tank. Friday, I came home, went grocery shopping, picked up Vietnamese takeout at the Golden Bowl, vacuumed, did dishes and laundry. So, no major progress on any fronts except some net knitting at Alison's. (In our knitting group, net knitting means additional progress including any amounts ripped out. For example, if you knit 3 inches, but then have to rip out 4 inches, no net knitting occurred).

Saturday was the day of the party. There was knitting of course, and both Alison and I demo'd Pampered Chef recipes. My mom came down from Maine for it and to spend the night. In addition to the blueberry nut coffee cake, I made a rotisserie chicken in the Ronco Showtime Pro Rotisserie (I know it looks lame on TV, but I love that thing!!) and then used it to make a chicken and broccoli pastry wreath. I wish I took a picture, it was so awesome! Lora and Donna asked for the recipe, and it was really pretty easy to do, while looking fabulously gourmet. (Yes, I'm emailing the directions to you both later tonight). We also had some lovely fruit, as Alison tested out her new Pineapple Peeler/Corer. Alison made a fabulous coconut macaroon brownie pizza. It was so good! I also got to see some knitters I had not in a while, although it made me feel horrifically old. Liz and Mary, who are a mother daughter pair of knitters, took a class with me when I first started teaching at the Elegant Ewe somewhere in 1998 roughly. Liz was 14 then. She's now can see how ancient this makes me feel. Also we had entertainment, as the angelish decided to spawn again during the party. I have another 200 eggs, the little aquatic rabbits.

After the party was over, since Mom had not seen the new wheels yet, we took it out for a drive and went to the Rockingham Mall. Given the disastrous state of colors available (everything appears to be orange, brown or teal, none of which I ever wear, unless I want to imitate a corpse), I bought two shirts for Shawn and some socks for me. Mom also bought socks. It was not a productive trip.

Today Mom and I hung out for a while and then I dragged her off to Goodale's bike shop in Hooksett to "look at" bikes. I ended up coming home with a Trek 7200 in eggplant. I spent a bit more than I wanted too, but the bike fit me, it was comfortable and it was purple! How could I not? I did have them put fenders on it though. I'm not into any type of splatter. I also got a doo-hicky that tells me my mph, has an odometer, and has a trip counter, temperature and time on it. After we got back, Mom headed back to Maine, and I headed up to the Borders in Concord for guild. I was pretty late, but I did get an hour of knitting in on the jacket I'm designing for Jen's daughter in New Zealand.

After guild, I met Shawn at his parents' house for dinner. It worked out pretty well, because his dad gave Shawn his old mountain bike, so now Shawn and I can ride together! Shawn is not terribly enthusiastic about the prospect, but it'll be good for him :) And if I can't cajole him into doing it, at least I can ride by myself, and we didn't spend any thing on his bike (other than getting it tuned up for him). Although I have to say, I'm pretty good at cajoling Shawn! I got home too late to try the new bike for a nice long ride, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow night after work.

I also I cleaned the baby tank tonight. There are 3 baby fish left from the first batch I tried to save, 2 left from the second batch, and now 200 eggs in the baby tank. They don't have great survival rates, but I swear I am not going to raise baby brine shrimp to feed these things.

Well, that's the blow by blow up to the minute. I am looking forward to finishing cleaning up the office reorganization this week, getting a writing schedule together, and riding the bike.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Just a quick blurb...

Sunday morning I spent looking at office furniture. Instead I persuaded Shawn that we needed to reorganize the office. So we working on that Sunday afternoon after I got back from guild and he got back from work. It's not done, but it's mostly there in essense (the furniture's moved, but all the stuff has to be picked up and thrown away or put away.

Monday, I had the bright idea to buy a turkey baster and use that to clean the baby tank, since there are now 5 bigger babies and 150 littler babies in the tank. Using a net to pick up the debris, wasn't really going to happen. The rest of the night I spent working on something for Bianco, as well as tonight. So, no progress anywhere else...I'm going to get there though...but possibly not until after Sunday....

Stay tuned and cross your fingers for me.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Finished Dyeing

Claire and I drove up to Concord together and met Mary and her sister Margaret at the Elegant Ewe. We got some more dye and headed back to my apartment. This is Mary buying her dye from Amy.

We set up in my kitchen, with drop cloths and tarps and newspapers everywhere.

Mary did graduating intensities of the same color yarn as she's thinking about doing some socks from Cookie A's new book. She did both blue and green.

Claire I were a little bit more lax and just sort of wung it. (I don't think I've ever written down "wung", I usually only say it.) But that is in fact what we did...proper English or not.

Claire did a nice purple multi-skein and a kettle dyed green. Mary did a varying intensity blue and dark green. I did a multiple purple skein and a varying intensity skein while they were here. After they left, since everything was set up, I experimented a bit more.

In the Wee Hours of the Morning

Okay, it is now 6 am, and I've been up for an hour already. My mother says that she stopped being able to sleep in and wakes up automatically since her thirties. Thanks a lot for the genetics Mom! Shawn and I are absolute opposites in this respect. The latest I appear to be able to sleep in is 7 am, whereas I don't think he'd ever get up if I didn't wake him up.

Today Mary and Claire are coming over so that we can handpaint yarn. We've been meaning to get around to doing this for a year, I think, so I think it counts in terms of the theme of my blog. I have some dyes and equipment that I have had for probably 8-10 years, which is wigging me out that (a) I haven't hand dyed anything for 8-10 years and (b) I have stuff that I bought at the Elegant Ewe that is now 8-10 years old. I keep thinking that I only moved to Concord a few years ago, but it will be 12 years in August. How did I get this old??

I have some of my hand spun from a Cormo fleece I bought at the NH Sheep and Wool Festival from Starlit Ridge Farms (the picture is the handspun) and some Bare Fingering in Merino and Silk from Knitpicks. I have a bunch of Cushing and Gaywool dyes from way back when, so we'll see how they hold up over time. (I do intend to test them on paper towels first to make sure the color is true still) I'll try to take pictures today in process and after so you can all see the results. I may use my Jetboil PCS to boil the water, as it'll be faster than the tea kettle. Another unorthodox cool use for Jetboil! Anyway, more on this to follow.

To update the progress on the last couple of days, there really isn't much! Wednesday after work, I stopped in at Lowe's and BJs to buy supplies for dyeing, and then I headed to Paula and Fred's. Fred made this amazing tart, which was like a pizza on cresent roll type dough, with cheese, red onions, herbs, and red and green grapes. I was really skeptical about the grapes, but it was incredibly good. The grapes once they were baked on the tart changed flavors slightly so they complemented the onions. I should know better than to question anything Fred does with food. I am almost through the 2 inches of pattern stitch edging on Mya's Jacket, and will start the body of the sweater soon.

Thursday night was almost a complete loss. I went to Michaels to try to find squirt bottles for dyeing, but struck out. I did get some new shells for the hermit crabs though. They are getting surprisingly big. Then I needed one thing at Bare Escentuals in Salem so I ran down to pick it up, thinking I would be in and out of there. There's a consultant in there who is the devil. She's lovely and knitter too, but there's something about her that just makes me buy stuff! I went in to pick up blemish treatment (I truly thought acne was suppose to stop once I turned 18...) and I bought a new Elegant kit, with three little eyeshadows, a blush and lip gloss all in a pewter coin purse, a new eyeshadow Puzzle (part of the proceeds go to Autism, so I had to right??), a new color of concealer, and two lipsticks, as well as having had my face completely made up. So no progress that evening, other than me rewinding the yarn for dyeing into much longer skeins.

Yesterday, again no real progress. I wound some more yarn into longer skeins, and I cleaned so the apartment was fit for Mary and Claire to visit, and to clear work space, but I was beat and went to bed three hours early at 10pm ish...which I guess could explain the 5 am thing...

Anyway, I'll post the results of the dyeing later...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Latest Status Report

I haven't posted since Saturday night. Sunday was productive. I was able to work on the pattern for Mya's Jacket (working title, hoping to come up with something better later), for about 3 hours and had a passable draft, before I went to guild. For the the non-knitter readers among you, I organize the Concord Knitting Meetup group, and a fairly regular core group of us meet at Borders in Concord every Sunday. I was at least able to cast on and do a couple rows. Further progress just didn't happen though. I ended up entwined in the dishes and other things, like paying the bills. Then I couldn't sleep, so I read two novels instead of actually doing anything productive. (I am a crazy speed reader, through no real merit of my's genetic...). Shawn's new work schedule is kind of throwing my sleep schedule off a bit. I'm not used to him going to bed before I do.

Monday not much happened, at least for the purposes of this blog. Shawn and I got our estate planning executed finally, and I ended up falling asleep ridiculously early, for me at least. All I accomplished was to clean out the baby angelfish tank. (This has to be done every day...sigh...why did I think trying to raise some would be interesting again??)

Today has not been much better. I managed to clean the baby angelfish tank. We're down to about 7 left from the original 100 or so. However, the parents spawned again, so there's now two hundred eggs in the community tank. I did the laundry, did some minor housekeeping work for my old office, and then I went through the Penzey's catalog because a friend is putting an order in. Then I did manage to knit for an hour on Mya's Jacket. I've already discovered a discrepancy (not an error per se, but a vague description in the pattern draft).

I've not yet managed to write at all. But honestly, my computer desk needs some serious help. I've not room to write. There's so much crap on the desk, that I don't feel like I have room for my notes and papers. I feel claustrophobic even just trying to type up knitting patterns from my notes, let alone try to write fiction. I think there's a room reorganization in our office's future, which will send Kiwi over the deep end. Her cage is in the office and she doesn't handle change gracefully. I am trying to decide if the reorg will be productive, or is a procrastination technique...feel free to comment.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Today's gains

Well, we were supposed to go to the Currier Museum in Manchester today, since we've never been, but we didn't quite get moving fast enough to get there before you needed to pay for admission. So we decided to leave it for another day.

Instead, we went to Walmart and picked up really cheap tennis racquets and tennis balls, so that we can actually use the court at our complex, and some really cheap fishing poles so that we can go when it's sunnier around here, and use them for camping in Maine this summer. We also got a portable horse shoe set, so that we can use it on the lawn at the complex without causing damage.

Since Shawn had to go to bed earlier tonight (he has to be up at 4 am to go to work tomorrow), I've buckled down and worked on the knitting pattern for Mya's jacket. I've got it done up to the armholes, with the exception of the upsizing. I'll wait until I've finished the first size, and then do the math for upsizing after that. The yarn is WEBS's Valley Yarns Valley Cotton 3/2. If I get up early enough tomorrow, depending on the other domestic chores, I should have a passable draft done by guild tomorrow, and can start knitting it and correcting errors in the draft.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Today is the first day of my new blog.

I am hoping to use this for my random musings, and to help me focus on doing all the things I wanted to do when I stopped working as much, after retiring from the practice of law. I retired from law about a year and three months ago, and I've been working for Jetboil, Inc. for a little over a year. I'm really enjoying working there, and I think our product is really cool (especially the new purple Flash coming out in October).

What I haven't done, and which is staring to bug me, being the crazy type A person that I am, is written my novel, designed enough knitting patterns to publish a knitting book, worked on writing a knitting techniques book, done a bunch of fun things in the area that I have time to do now that I only work 40 hours or so, and trained Kiwi in a bunch of new tricks.

So I'm going to try to priorize and organize and do my lists and let you all know how it goes. If you've got a idea for fun, free/cheap things to do in NH, please leave me some comments.