Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Well, we're nearly two weeks into the famed summer vacation and-- despite numerous threats-- nobody has died of boredom yet.  This is a little surprising because we haven't really done much with our vacation.

It wouldn't be the beginning of summer, though, if we didn't put on our protective gear and prepare for some construction work.


Top of the to do list:  The Grill.  I say this with Capital Letters because this is a handsome and venerable piece of outdoor cooking equipment that cost more than my indoor cooking range. The Grill showed up in a Very Large Box, large enough to contain both a giggly pre-schooler


and an entire fleet of Little People vehicles.


Times sure have changed since I put together my last grill.  That project took days.  This one went from mess-on-the-garage-floor status


to full-grown-grill in the space of a few hours.  Isn't it beautiful?


It works, too.  We tested it out with some grilled chicken and it performed exactly as expected, which was a pleasant surprise.

As an added bonus, the box was the perfect size to house the new chicks, who have grown quite a bit over the past two weeks.  They resent the current heat wave, though.  I had to give them my office fan so they wouldn't fuss and now I resent the heat a little more too.


These chairs were next on the list:


they are now stained (in a good way) and waiting outside to afford us comfortable seating should the weather ever moderate itself.

There is no knitting news this week, only spinning news.  With the start of the Tour de France comes the Tour de Fleece.  Gung ho spinners everywhere make it their business to spin at least a little every day that the real Tour rides. People set varying goals (spinning for a certain amount of time every day, learning a new technique, etc.) and mine is volume related.  I set aside 48 ounces of fiber to be spun over the next three weeks.

(about 24 ounces of merino from  a fleece given to me last year; I spun the first half of this fleece in last year's TdF and whined the entire time because I did not do a good job carding it and it was SOOO white)

(a variety of batts from the nice lady who runs Spinner's Hill.  The purple and green are 4 ounces each, the two multi-color blobs are silk hankies set aside for my challenge day, and the rust colored stuff in the background is 14 ounces of a beautiful autumn colored batt)

To do this, I have to average more than 2 ounces of fiber a day, which can take up to 2 hours for me.

So far, I'm off to a reasonably good start.  On day 1, I spun and plied 3 ounces of the merino into a 146 yard skein.  This year I drum carded the fiber and this was the first time I have spun with one of the batts I made.  Much better than the crummy hand carded stuff I was spinning last year.

On day 2, I spun 2 ounces of my autumn batt and then started plying it with 2 ounces of the same stuff that I spun earlier in the spring.


The resulting skein is 275 yards of yummy.  It's a good thing I like it, because I have 12 ounces left to go.  Yesterday was day 3; I finished plying the rust stuff and started spinning some more plain white merino.  If you have any curiosity left about all this spinning stuff, just scroll up and look at the pictures again.  It's going to look a lot like this around here for the next week or so.

Life here has not been only about spinning and Grills. We have been honing our fashion sensibilities.  First up, we have Supermodel Matty to show us the latest in Hockey safety accessories:


And, what would summer footwear be without those ultra-stylish "invisible socks" that they hand out like candy at the shoe stores? Yummm!  Who wouldn't want to wear these all day long?


And last, I usually go on at length about all the reasons why children should not be allowed unrestricted access to cameras.  Reasons like Cornbread on 4H Picnic Table

Bedsheets and Floor Balloons,

Meditations on The Color Red,

Mysterious Snake of the Modern Suburban Laundry Room

and the long misunderstood Nearly Headless Chicken.

But every once in a while, they surprise us with a  gem like Sunlight through the Trees

or even Glorious Rainbow.

I think there is still hope for them.

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