Saturday, June 28, 2014

Lucky number thirteen!

This is the thirteenth pair of socks I've knit this year. Insanely I thought I could knit both birthday and Christmas socks but I'm pretty sure that only my most ardent sock lovers will be getting the Christmas socks this year!
Pattern: Vanilla Bean Striped Socks by Emily O'Grady
Yarn: Patons North America Kroy Socks Ragg
Colorway: Brown Striped Ragg
Amount: Three skeins, 498 yards
Needle Size: US Size 1

I'm already using this Vanilla Bean Pattern on another pair of socks...a great step up from stockinette!

The two story birdhouse was made by Dad and painted by Mom. They knew how I loved the 4th of July!

Friday, June 27, 2014

The day Dad wrestled a blackbear

While we were on our camping trip to Yellowstone Park last weekend, I began reminiscing to the grandkiddos about my early trips to The Park. At the time we were living in Seattle and the trip to Yellowstone was the first big vacation I remember ever taking with the family. I was going into the seventh grade and had only two brothers, one on my left and one on the right of me in the back seat of the car.  The temperature at the end of July was sweltering, but anything over 80 degrees for a Puget Sounder is steamy.

The five of us were stuck in the Valiant with no air conditioning and no seat belts! This was a time in The Park's history they're not to proud of, the black bears had run amok. They were allowed stand at the side of the road and beg for any tidbit that a human would offer. Visitors bought/brought marshmallows not for toasting at the campfire but to feed the bears. If you didn't offer the bears a treat they would just stick their paws in through the window and grab anything handy. BUT not in our car, everytime there was a traffic jam, Mom would yell from the front seat, "Roll your windows up!"  (Just because everyone else fed the bears didn't mean we would. WE, after all, "used the sense God gave us!")  So a hot car instantly became HOTTER!
All and all as I remember, we had a great time. As we began the trek homeward we stopped in Butte, Montana, to do laundry. The laundromat was on Harrison Avenue, one of the main streets in the town. As Mom and I looked out the window, watching a tumbleweed roll down the middle of the street with the temperature at 104, Mom stated, "This is the last place on earth I'd want to live." By December of that very year, it's exactly where we were living!
The next summer with Mom eight months pregnant, one of our favorite Seattle neighbor's drove out for a visit.  Bea, Earl and their son Bobby had been great friends. Bobby was the first kiddo I ever babysat, Bea is responsible for my love of knitting, and Earl was always laughing and fun to be around even after being in a TB sanatorium for two years and ultimately loosing a lung to the disease.

We had a great time tent camping in Yellowstone. The black bears would add a little excitement to the campground by wandering in and out of the campsites looking for goodies in garbage cans or heading to the immense garbage dumps nearby. After we were all settled in sleeping bags inside the tent late one night, my dad was woken to the sound of the ice chest rattling just outside the doorway of the tent. Dad instantly jumped out of his sleeping bag and began yelling for the bear to leave. He got the tent door unzipped and jumped out to not only protect us but the ice chest from the bear. Standing in the middle of the campsite in nothing but this undies he spied not a black bear but Earl! The next day Earl was still chuckling about how he had tricked Dad.
The next night we all were snuggled into sleeping bags and were either asleep or nearing dreamland when the same procedure was followed but with a little different outcome. The ice chest began to rattle but Dad refused to move and just shouted at Earl, "It was fun last night but not so much now. Earl just go to bed!" The noise subsided and Mom and Dad did a little grumbling back and forth about the neighbors taking a joke just a little to far.

It wasn't until morning, as we began getting cereal and milk out of the ice chest we realized there had been a bear outside our tent.  The ice chest was dented but the bear hadn't been able to get inside to  eat an early breakfast. Again the joke was on my dad and Earl spent the day chuckling as though he and the bear had been in cahoots.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Winner, winner, chicken dinner 2014!

Every year our family has a contest called "The first Fawn of the Season." The rules have evolved over the years. 1) Not only is it the sighting of a fawn but 2) it must be documented for the win.  Over a week ago, while I was in Helena, Hubby excitedly texted the first sighting of the year.  However, at the time he was responding to a general alarm and so no photo. This gave not only me but the two grandkiddos a chance to hunt down the win! We've been on the lookout ever since... but to no avail.

This morning, on Hubby's way to work, he took this photo:
Not one fawn for the win but two! - I bow down to the winner, great documentation!

Guest Blogger

This weekend we tested went out the camper with two additional occupants and I'm pleased to have one of the grandkiddos as a guest blogger. Thank you Chloe-A-Little-Bit!

I am visiting my grandma for a couple weeks this summer and we went to Yellowstone.

Camping: Day 1
On the first day of the camping trip we hiked down to a river and went gold panning. On our hike down, we saw the state flower the Bitterroot, and some other pretty blossoms.
We also had to cross a stream.
Cameron had a go first, and with Grandpa’s help, got a few specks of gold. He enjoyed it very much.
I sat reading for a bit and then joined in and got a few gold specks as well.
We hiked up the hill to the car and went to bed.
Update: It appears that although my Guest blogger has taken beautiful photos and written her blog she bailed on me and so I'll complete and publish her entry :)

Camping: Day 2
On the second day we drove through Yellowstone and saw the Roosevelt Arch,
Lots of animals, including some mountain sheep near the entrance were they have not been for a while,
And the Norris basin.
We also saw the fire that almost burnt down Old Faithful Inn. It has grown a lot.
And then we went to Old Faithful for lunch and saw it erupt.
On the way back we saw a waterfall,
Yellowstone Lake,

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Life around here is really changing for our Gracie Gurl! She's taking a lap anywhere she can find it these days. Note how Chloe is taking precautions to keep her all her fingers!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Lewis and Clark Caverns

On our way home Monday, the kiddos and I went to Lewis and Clark Caverns. Although named after the famous explorers, the caverns were discovered by two local ranchers that were out hunting. The expedition did float past the caverns on the river behind the kiddos.
The caverns are one of the largest limestone caverns in the the Northwest. Winter or summer the average temperature of the cavern is 50 degrees. The cavern is full of stalactites, stalagmites, columns,and helictites.
Once we exited the caverns it began pouring rain, again! It's been a wet winter and spring which has been great for the caverns. They were noticeably damper inside 98% humidity with puddles and wet railings great for stalagmite growth!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Showing off the socks

I've just finished the twelfth pair of handknit socks this year. When I found this pattern I knew immediately it was the perfect pattern for the yarn NorDak Purl Gurl had given me.
Pattern: Show-off Stranded Socks by Anne Campbell
Yarn: Fuzz and Sunshine Superwashed Blue Faced Leicester
Colorway: Habinero Sherbert
Amount: One Skein, 434 yards
Needle Size: US Size 1

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Governor's Cup 2014

Once the knitting retreat was over and everyone had "cast off" and were on their way home, I hopped into the car and headed to Helena. Three generations of the family were planning on racing in the Governor's Cup. California Dreamin' Son-in-law and The Chick were running the half marathon, California Dreamin' Daughter was running the 10K and The Pirate, Chloe-A-Little-Bit and I were doing the Fun Run- later to be known as THE MILE MARATHON!

California Dreamin' Son-In-Law finished with an outstanding 10th place and 6th place in the men's category. We are all very proud of him and the training he's been doing to be able to finish so strong.
 California Dreamin' Daughter arrived next with a winning stance!
And  The Chick flew by!
After the race our three racers compared notes, and a friend of The Chicks stopped by to say that she had thought she saw The Chick during the race and from behind shouted to her to move her  *** but had quickly been embarrassed because it turned out to be a stranger.  And then found out that of all the thousands of runners she had managed to find NOT The Chick but the Chicks California Sister!
 Then it was off to the last race of the day, The Mile Marathon! We warmed up at the starting line.
 Gramma gave out pointers.
The gun went off and The Pirate, our reluctant runner, took off so fast that his startled mother didn't even have time for a photo! However, the slower moving runners gave plenty of time for photos.
 We were able to get a finish line photo...
 Shortly after Gramma and Chloe-A-Little-Bit crossed the finish line - in the middle of the pack.
But wait...when we got home and looked at the competitive timings something meraculous had happened.

I had checked something off my bucket list without knowing it!!!
I had placed FIRST PLACE in my age group at THE GOVERNOR'S CUP!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rockin' S Retreat Take Two

Our original six knitters enjoyed last year's retreat so much we decided to do a retake on the Rockin' S Retreat (Sit, Sip, and Stockinette!) There were eleven this year almost doubling our group and I think we had even more fun.

Food was outstanding.We knit, knit knit and sipped a little.
We dyed yarn in several sessions, some soaked in the hot springs while others dyed their sock yarn.  Everyone let their creative juices flow and some yarn was tonal, some mottled, and some mottled and then over dyed in tonal!
 Each member took a turn working on a charity project for the school's PTA silent auction this fall.
We soaked in the pool but by mutual agreement- no photos, and enjoyed the great outdoors.
A few dedicated knitters even knit their projects late into the night.
It was declared The Rockin' S Retreat Take Two was a great success and all are looking forward to next June 14th and 15th!