Saturday, August 21, 2010

trip to Ohio

We took a trip to Ohio this past weekend -- actually from Sunday to Tuesday. It was fun to travel by car. Our last car trip was to southern Wisconsin (and a tour of Jelly Belly).

On the trip, we saw our first wind farm (in Indiana). There were several miles of windmills on either side of the interstate. They were facing several different directions. Some were moving and some weren't. We assume that changing wind directions was the reason that the windmills were facing different directions. (We also made the obvious remarks about looking for someone tilting at windmills.)

We stayed at the house of a couple friends of ours. And, we, of course, went by to look at our old house -- which looked good except that the garage door needed staining.

The evening before we left for Ohio, we went to a performance of "Annie, Get Your Gun" at Ravinia. We got tickets at half price because of fallout from the only other performance we'd all been to at Ravinia -- a selection of Sondheim tunes that was cut short because the donors had a banquet prepared that might be getting cold. The first act of the play lasted longer than the whole Sondheim show! -- Now, if Ravinia could just get a better sound system.....

We're starting to get tomatoes from the garden now. The Romas were just so-so, but the Better Boys were as good as I remembered! And, we're still getting broccoli from the garden!

I'm knitting Kingsgate again, this time with Knit Picks Gloss DK and in a smaller size (the size my DD wears). Kingsgate has been tentatively accepted into Knit Picks independent designer program. (Gloss is a pleasure to work with.) And, I've seen what a difference advertising makes. Ivywild was featured by Knit Picks, and sales really took off.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cardinal flower

My garden is doing well. The broccoli is bearing so well that I've frozen a lot of it. And it's still bearing a little. It's delicious! It's so delicious that I can't stand to eat broccoli from a store or restaurant. They're only a poor imitations.

The picture at the right is of some cardinal flowers planted outside the stone garden.

The Brussel sprouts haven't started to grow anything but the smallest of sprouts yet. The plants themselves are just getting bigger and bigger. (Sprouts grow at the base of leaves.) We'll probably grow cauliflower instead next year.

We won't get any fruit off our apple or peach trees this year. I think chipmunks ate them all while the fruit was small. Our neighborhood coyote has diminished the chipmunk and squirrel populations quite a bit, but there are still some around. (It's too bad that most people, including us, keep our pets inside or on leashes most of the time. Otherwise, we wouldn't need coyotes to keep down the rodent population.)

We haven't gotten much in the way of tomatoes yet.

My DH assures me that the jalapeƱo and habanero peppers are doing well. In fact, he says that the jalapeƱos are hotter than in previous years when I grew the plant in a planter.

Our first eggplant ripened. And, I realized that I have no idea how to cook eggplant. I muddled my way through cooking it -- and have no idea why people like eggplant. My best guess is the nicotine.

We went to Sam's Club on Saturday -- the first time we'd been to a Sam's Club since leaving Ohio. (They had a non-members weekend for back-to-schoolers.) It was so nice and the people so friendly that we got a membership. Our main purchase there was a new Kodak printer. The HP printer we got a couple years ago never really worked. We could never get it to print in color for more than half a sheet of paper. I'm really happy about the new "toy".

We went to Six Flags in Gurnee that evening. It wasn't our best visit. First of all, I couldn't take my small shoulder pack (containing just my pass, phone, glasses, and a book) on any roller coaster rides. I had to pay $1 to store it -- I guess so they could make extra money. It wouldn't have been so bad if there hadn't been a lady about 10 people ahead of us in line for one of the roller coasters with a bigger backpack -- and if we hadn't been bitten by mosquitoes while waiting in line.

I've got quite a bit of knitting and writing up of patterns done in the last few weeks. Here are some colorwork socks designed by Chrissy Gardiner for Ravelry's Sock Knitters Anonymous. And, yes, I know they're in reversed colors. I haven't decided which version I like better. In any event, they're warm and no one will see them inside boots.

And here's a link to my Diamond Spiral socks. I couldn't decide which version I liked better and so ended up making (and designing) both.