Thursday, June 30, 2011

So Happy to Have THAT Done!

I have been off studying and test taking.  In my other life, I was an insurance agent and I continue to do my continuing education and test taking.  Total stress time for this type A personality.  Of course I must get every question answered correctly.  Now, I ask "who cares other than me?".  Now that the test is over and I have my certificates to prove it, I don't even care. ha

If the studying enhanced my knowledge of health and life  insurance, that would be great, but what they place on there is junk.  Who gives a rip about the dates of early insurance, when Medicare started, etc.  That is not what makes agents good.  Useful knowledge of the do's and don'ts, the ways to use each policy, etc - that would help insurance agents.

I have been licensed  for 30 years and feel like I could write the continuing education materials.  BUT, do not ask me to.  I'm mostly retired.  I write for friends and family.  That is the only reason I keep my license.

Ok, enough of that!

The silk worms are making cocoons today.  It is neat to watch them work inside their cocoons.  The ones that have yet to start are just lounging around, not eating....just sleeping, getting ready for the big push.  I am going to have silk soon!  It has been an interesting experience, but not sure I will do it again.  Right now, I'm just tired and really don't want to do a thing.

But, tomorrow, I head to the studio.  I an positive that will put some excitement into my life.  I have yarn to dye, felting to do etc.  I have some neat ideas that have been cooking for a while and am ready to make some test pieces.

I found my camera!  It was "lost" in the Miata!  I haven't had the Miata out of the barn since Hoosier Hills Fiberarts Festival and I had the camera down there.  Mystery solved.

John is just a step or two from having the motorhome floor prepared for our new Allure floor covering.  He says that after removing the carpeting from the house for our hardwood and removing it from the motorhome, he never wants us to have carpeting again.  Even if one sweeps daily, grit gets though the carpet and just sits on the floor.  Yuck...and that is just what we see!  What about all the mites from our skin etc?  Double Yuck!

I do know that our allergies have been much better since we have installed the hardwood here in the house.

I'm ready for a trip again and so is John.  We haven't been home two weeks and we are ready to roll again.  Maybe next week after the Fourth of July stampede.  We really enjoy going to Brown County State Park and it is only 45 minutes from here.

Well, that's it for tonight so nite and God Bless!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Two Socks Completed and Three new followers!

Wow!  I'm coming up in the world.  I've completed two more socks and have three new followers in one week!  What's a person to do?  I celebrated by going to see a parade this morning, then on to our local farmers market then to view fireworks tonight!  How's that for a celebration.

Our city has a Freedom Celebration the week prior to July 4th because we are just 20 minutes south of Indianapolis and they have huge fireworks display on the fourth of July in the heart of Indy.  The Freedom Celebration was an all day event.  There we activities for the entire family.  The cool weather made it a very pleasant way to spend the day.

We did not spend the entire day in town.  John has started working on the floor of the motor home.  We will be installing the Allure Flooring System.  The prep work seems to take longer than the actual installation.  But that is what makes the outcome so successful.

I want to welcome Judy C, Karen and Steveio, and Merikay.  They are my 3 new followers.  Wow, I'm up to four.  Who woulda thunked it?

I was so happy today (still am)!  I finished one sock and whipped out one and a half  more!  I think I am getting the hang of it.  Believe it or not, I am going to admit that I'm thankful that I had such a hard time in the beginning.  Those mistakes that I felt were so H. U. G. E. have made it possible for me to fix problems quickly.  Dropped stitches seem to be the biggest problem.  And what causes dropped stitches.....not having the  weights close enough to the needles.  Thanks to Barb Woodard, that has been instilled into my memory bank.

The other thing firmly ingrained,  knitting the pre-heel!  All that work I put myself through yesterday paid off.  I automatically knit those pre-heels! 

Well, nuff said tonight.  Blessings to all.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Circular Sock Machine and I

I worked with the CSM today.  I really need to use it more often.  Once I remember every step the first time, I will be able to knit a pair....mind you, I did say a pair of socks in about an hour, but not today.  I did learn something new though.  As I was happily cranking along, I got too confident and forgot to knit the ten rows of the pre-heel. (the transition between the leg portion and the heel).  I though phooey, I will just have them a bit different and not sadly, but not happily kept going. 

I  finished the heel with no problems at all and was sooo proud of myself!  Then bingo!  On my next pass, I dropped stitches!  Wouldntcha know....Yep, that silly sock was trying to get the best of me.  That's OK,  I decided to start over.  One mistake might pass, but a heel with holes.....Not!

Now we are on second try and everything is crankin right along.  Guess what I forgot again!  Those pesky pre-heel rows.  OK,  I decided that if I made myself try something I've never done before as the penalty for being a goof ball, maybe I'd always remember those ten rows.  Ya think so?  We will see.

I wondered if I could un-knit the heel.  I tried one stitch at a time.  Hummm it is working, but gee it is taking so long.  Now how can I speed this up.  Well, I learned how to unknit in a better way and voila, I'm back to the end of the leg and now have my ten rows of pre heels knitted.  I think there should be fireworks or something for accomplishing this. 

Of course this process to as much time or possibly a bit longer than just ripping back to the beginning.  But look at all the fun I would have missed.  oh sure.....loads of fun.

My back was so tired of sitting, leaning, and being so tense, that after I finished the ten rows, I left the rest of the knitting for tomorrow.  I must think clearly ya know,  I'm just learning.  Can you tell? 

All in all, it's been a peaceful day.  Tomorrow, I finish that sock then off to the studio to dye and felt.  Maybe I'll have some cool photos to share with  you, ya think????? 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Catching up on Home Duties

Laundry and other chores are about completed.  We are working on the mowing and oh my gosh, the rain brought out the weeds.  How it makes me long for the open road.  Let the highway road crews mow and take care of weeds with their huge tractors and bush hogs.  You go fellas! 

I've been looking at inventory and checking it order more inventory.  Hum, vicious circle, isn't it.  We have a short break until the next show.  This affords me to get fiber artwork done for art shows and to work with the circular sock machine......knitting socks.  The dye pots are also coming out.  Lots of  work to prepare for the coming shows. 

It has cooled off a little and I am thankful for that.  We actually were able to shut down the air conditioning and open windows to sleep.  I love a fresh breeze as long as it is cool. 

The silk worms are growing, and growing.  We have increased the size of their habitat four times.  The runt died yesterday.  He had a case of failure to thrive or something.  He/she just did not grow.  So, now we are down to 26.  The day is coming that they will be spinning their cocoons of silk.  Then the cycle will continue.  They survived the traveling.  Mulberry trees are everywhere, so we had a good supply of food for them. Collecting stems of Mulberry trees created quite a few questions though, and the critters had quite a few inquisitive observers. 

Good wishes go to Marilyn and Ed, The Happy Wanderers /  You can read about their RV fire and see the photos of the damage. 

Thanks to God for the successful surgery of Gene Woodard.  Gene's wife, Barb is a fellow sock machine cranker and had asked for prayer.  Gene's surgery was yesterday and he wants to go home today~!  God is good!

Blessings to all, God speed till next time.   ..............

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Home, .......... home,  rain filled front lawn, rain filled barnyard, water standing in the field yet to be planted........Rain.........and more rain.

We arrived home this morning to water standing everywhere.  This morning, I woke up to find a ground hog sitting on our hot tub cover, just to have some dry feet! The hot tub is just out my bedroom window.  (If I knew how to transfer photos from my new Droid X to this blog, I would show you his picture!  Flood warnings are flashing on the screen.  The poor farmers are waiting to finish planting their crops.  And then more rain storms show up on the radar.

Then there is Texas and Arizona, New Mexico....the southwest regions of the United States.....drought, and more drought, and fires.  Don't we wish that we could "spread the wealth?  Last year, we had such a hot, dry season.  The corn withered. soy beans did not produce their usual wealth., grass turned brown and was crisp under foot.  We had no-burn orders.  If one tried to burn brush, the fire department was out to issue a citation and to put your fire out.  What ever happened to equal opportunity weather? 

Well, laundry is caught up, I have knitted a sock on my circular sock machine............all in addition to the things that must be done after a trip on the road. Now,  ..............  we are looking forward to the next time on the road.  And that is not far off.  We leave Friday morning for the Wool Fest in Kirkland, OH!  Oh my....

It is time to get some sleep and prepare for the Wool Fest!  Blessings to all.....N

Monday, June 20, 2011

Heading For Home

It is sometimes a good thing to head for home or it is a not so good thing.  We are eager to see family, but are not too excited about the mowing that lies ahead.  We are more and more eager to get the house ready to sell so that we are not a slave to it any more.  The condo that we have as a rental will serve as home base and that suits us just fine. 

Most of our new camping friends have moved on to new locations.  How neat to meet new people and to share experiences.  The day we set up camp here, a gentleman walked over and asked to touch our motor home.  Now, that is a VERY strange request, or it seemed so at first thought.  It turned out that his first motor home was exactly like ours.  It was special to him as it was his first.  He shared so much valuable information with us about our Winnebago.  He gave us so much insight and pointed out that one of our air shocks is not working. 

While we were in California our daughter, Jojo pointed out that our coach was not level.  It slanted to the passenger side just a bit.  And the new friend here, (name unknown) pointed it out and gave us the answer why the lean.

We are not securing everything for the ride home.  Hopefully, John will not want to go interstate all the way.  If we get to go the by ways, we will be able to explore as we go.  Since it rained last night, we will not be able to mow as soon as we get home. Sounds like good reasoning, doesn't it???   Sounds good to me! 

Fellow bloggers, Ed & Marilyn "The Happy Wanderers  had their camper catch on fire and they lost almost everything.   So sad for them.  We wish them the best as they have many decisions to make and insurance to deal with.

That's it for now...maybe later.   

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dad And Daughter. First Impressions And Maybe a Mississippi Monster?

We are still at Fisherman's Cove on the Mississippi near East Moline, Illinois enjoying a cooler, breezier day.  The May Flies are back, but not like they were the first day.  Many lie dead on the ground and I am assuming that it must be breeding season. 

The breeze feels like cool silk slipping over my arms and face.   The Mississippi shimmers as if there were diamonds on the water.  Birds are singing their morning songs.  What else could anyone ask?

Yesterday was a happening day.  After our jaunt to Wal Mart to stock up on more supplies for our extended then extended again stay, we returned to Fisherman's Cove.  As we reached our campsite, we noticed we have a new neighbor.  Walking over to greet them, we discover that the gentleman has a distinct accent and his wife was standing a bit behind him being very shy. He introduced his wife and said that they were camping so that he and his wife could practice their English.  He appeared to be Indian, but I wasn't sure, so I asked him where they were from.  He named a country that either I did not understand or have not heard of.  He said it is in the corner of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Hummmm,, the thoughts that sprung into my mind.  I'm not proud. 

Were they here to blow up the dam and lock?  What were they up to?  After a bit more casual conversation, John and I walked back to our lounge chairs and I mentioned to John that I was not proud of my thoughts and he said "you too?"  It's sad that we cannot just accept people for who they are and that we have learned to be suspicious of people who are "different". 

We returned to our campsite and while sitting on our patio, I saw something strange moving in the water close to the shore. looked to be about two feet in length and appeared to have spikes along its spine!  THIS was something I have never seen in ANY water.  Not the Atlantic, the Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, Lake Michigan, Ohio River or the small lakes in Indiana. 

I called John to look and we walked the shore as the "creature" continued to swim.  It ducked under the water then surfaced and continued to swim.  Neither of us could decide what it was.   I laughingly said, "hum, you think THEY put that into the water?"  (not kind)  After following it for approximately thirty yards, I saw a head!  Wow, looked like a very large, black, rat's head, oh yuck...those beady eyes!  The THING continued to swim another ten yards or so, approaching the shore, Ah ha!  it was dragging plant life that that gave the critter an spiky back appearance...It was only a badger (I think).  Mystery Mississippi Loch Ness like monster here and no terrorist attack on the lock and dam. We retraced our steps back to our campsite chatting about our "monster" and discussing about our thoughts and feelings.  Surely we are old enough to not believe in different species, but terrorists?  We do need to be vigilant, but not to the point of suspecting others when they have a different color of skin, dress differently and speak with an accent. 

Later in the afternoon, a tiny camper was pulled in by a minivan.  How cute was this little Scamp?  Way too cute.  Even though it was only about twelve feet in length, the driver was having a terrible time backing it into their campsite.  A woman got out and guided the driver in.  Ahh, success.  

A grey haired gentleman unfolded himself from the minivan.  If this man was less than eighty-five, I'd be surprised!  The lady had to be his daughter.  What I saw brought tears to my eyes.  As the daughter took firewood from the Scamp, she had a huge smile on her face as she talked to her dad. 

Then she took a back bag from the minivan and removed what looked like a chair.  But this was a special chair.  It was a lounge chair, recliner combination.  It even had a cushion for the lower back.  She showed it to her dad and what a delight to watch his reaction.  The daughter helped her aging father into the chair, adjusted the back cushion, showed him how to recline and where the foot rest was. 

The daughter returned to the minivan and brought out a blue bag.  Out of this bag came just a seat with a frills.  She sat down to talk to her dad the rest of the evening.  Now, that is a great Father's Day gift.  A gift of time and attention. 

I miss my dad. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Didn't quite make it to Indiana!

Monday night, we stopped in Davenport, IA for the night.  Tuesday morning, we decided to look for a camp grounds and stay for a day or two.  That would have made us leaving yesterday.  Well, so much for those plans.  We decided to remain here at Fisherman's Cove in Moline, Illinois until Saturday.  Moline is just across the Mississippi from Davenport.   

Fisherman's Cove is a campground of the Army Corps of Engineers.  It is well maintained with spacious campsites, at one of the locks on the Mississippi and this time of year, full of May Flies! The May Flies are the only negative and not much of a negative. 

I have had my spinning wheel out and have been spinning a lot of yarn as I watch the barges go in and out of the locks. Today, we will walk on the dike to the locks, do a bit of shopping and I will spin.  I sold a lot of hand spun yarn at the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival and need to build my inventory.  Now that's not a bad thing, is it! 

The May Flies could fly away!  I wish.  They don't do anything negative, but just bug us....get that?  they bug us....ha!  They love to sneak into the motor home and tickle us.  Actually, they are not as bad as regular house flies. 

Something I forgot to mention is that I have some new Silkworms.  Why?  Who knows!  I wanted to try to raise at least one batch of them for the cocoons to sell and to spin in some of my yarn.  Selling them, I see no problem, spinning them, I just don't know.  I have never spun from the cocoon, so I don't know what I am getting into. 

The worms, hatched June 4th and now are about an inch long.  The literature on the web says that they will grow to about three inches then start to spin their cocoons.  I am not clear what I am to do next, but will find out.  Thanks to the Internet and the library, I will have my information soon.  I do know that I have about 2 to 3 weeks before the next step. 

Till next time, blessings and be safe....

Monday, June 13, 2011

Iowa to Indiana

The Iowa Sheep and Wool is now history.  Wow!  What an experience and what a successful show, both in sales and in new friends.  It's hard to tell Deb and Bob Cline from Maple Row Sheep and Wool and Carol Larsen of River's Edge Fiber Art both from Michigan good by till the next show.  We have been vendors  at the sames shows for the last 3 weekends.  We have a pitch-in pot luck at each show as we sit around and chat about our dogs and fibery things. 

Our trip started out on a rough note.  Thursday morning, we had an eight o'clock appointment for a front end alignment and oil change for the motor home.  The expected wait was said to be two and a half hours.  When we pulled in, the technician asked if we were also replacing our "old" front tires.  Oh, Oh,....we just purchased those tires last fall!  Hum, something is rotten in Denmark!  They explained that the tires that the other company said was recommended for "motor homes" were actually for trucks.  A special Michelin tire is recommended for the Winnebago motor homes.  Lessen learned....Not all RV tech's at RV dealerships know what they are talking about. Well, THAT added to the expense!

We were finally on the road at two thirty, three hours later than estimated.  Catch the word estimated?  Arriving in Davenport, Iowa was a relief.  We pulled into a Wal Mart Superstore at eight thirty, fixed dinner and we off to bed for a peaceful nights sleep to the sound of a gentle rain.  Then BOOM! Oliver jumped about 3 feet into the air, I sat straight up....a bolt of lightning and a huge crack of thunder woke us up at 4:00.  Well, that ruined my good night of sleep!  I tried and tried to go to sleep.  Nope, no luck.  I tossed and turned, planned my display, and desperately wanted a nice cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows.  I tried to get the hot chocolate out of my mind knowing I'd wake John up.  (nothing ever keeps him from sleep, ever)

I kept track of the weather on my new Droid X and at 7:30, saw that another storm was moving in, so I woke John up and suggested that we get on the road before it reached us.  It was good that we did leave at that time.  We arrived in Adel, Iowa just as they were allowing vendors to set up.  We were able to pull our motor home right next to our display area and unload.  What a blessing! 

The Festival was great.  We had a ball and now are back on I 80 on our way back to Indiana.  We will stop off in Moline, Illinois to visit the place we lived when we were first married.  We actually lived in East Moline and I am eager to see the house again.  It was a cute Cape Cod across from a park.  The park had a large pond where in the winter, we ice skated.  Late summer, we collected walnuts put them in the basement where we promptly forgot them and the worms hatched.  Lovely, just lovely!  Little did I dream that someday, many years later, we would collect walnuts  and I would use them for dyeing wool a beautiful chocolate brown.  As I "cooked" the walnuts I thought of those pesky worms and kinda felt sorry for them simmering in my stew that I would use for dyeing. 

Well, we are about one hundred twenty five miles from Moline.  Will keep you up to date....Bye for now

Fiber Arts and RV's

What could be better than sharing my  love of the fiber (not the kind you eat!), and traveling in the motor home.  Even Oliver loves to go!  He bounces by the door waiting for us to put the last item in the motor home and when that is finished he dashes to the door and jumps on the dashboard waiting for John to fire up the engine and head for the open road.  But also is happy when we return home.  That's when he makes the mad dash to the house, and flys into the family room and heads for the front of the house slipping and sliding on the newly installed hardwood floors.  What a sight and delight we have at the front and the back of our journey.

When we are vending at the fiber events, Oliver gets to play with his dog friends, Louie and Fergus.  Louie is an cute, lovable, energetic little man and Fergus is the "new kid on the block".  He is an Austrailian Shepherd.
Last week at the Great Lakes Fiber and Sheep Show, Fergus was smaller than Oliver.  This week, at the Hoosier Hills Fiberarts Festival, Fergus had grown!  Now he is larger than Oliver!  I can't imagine how much larger he will be next week end at the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival in Adel, Iowa!