Friday, August 28, 2009

Summer Slowdown

I know I haven't been blogging as much this summer. There's a lot going on and nothing going on, and I often feel like I have nothing interesting to share. Vacations are good, but there are only so many vacation pictures I can put up! Knitting slows down a lot in summer, too. Once school starts, I bet I'll have more things to post about and more time to post, too.

One part of our vacation that I didn't talk about in the series of vacation posts was our family kayaking trip. We didn't bring our camera along, for fear it would get wet, so it didn't go into the picture-heavy post. We went out with a guide and several other kayaks full of people. Mr. T and Jr. Jr. went in one kayak (therefore, Mr. T did all the paddling), and Sr. Jr. and I were in another. It was a lot of fun, but got even better when a pod of dolphins decided to hang out with us. We saw 3 and sometimes even 5 dolphins. They played with us for about half of our trip. They'd surface near us -- sometimes it felt like they were close enough to touch -- and then swim a little bit away for us to follow. It was really magical :)

Now we are home. I'm watering the new plantings and taking the kids to golf camp. The transplanted veggies are doing pretty well. I planted more broccoli, pea, and lettuce seeds, and they're all popping up quite nicely. The Roma and grape tomatoes and pole beans are producing yummies for salads:

Absolutely delicious. I think we're spoiled for supermarket tomatoes now. When we were on vacation, we got a pack of grape tomatoes from the supermarket and Sr. Jr. complained about how tasteless they were compared to the ones from our garden. Very true.

In knitting, I've finished the back of the Moses non-hoodie sweater and started the front. Knitting on size 2 needles is pretty slow, but I'm cooking along now. I did a lot of the re-designing and tweaking on the fly while I was knitting the back, but now that all the details are worked out, the front should go quickly. When I get a chance to knit, that is:

Here's a close-up of the diamond pattern:

I used all that driving time to work on the Gothsocks. I finished the first and started the second, which now awaits a short-row heel:

Last, and apparently least, I did get a little bit done on the second Aestlight Shawl:

I can't wait for school to start again, so I can do more complicated projects. On the other hand, I have a lot of things that I've been putting off doing over the summer, like dentist's appointments, eye appointments, and so on, so who knows?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hilton Head, Part 3, with Sharks!

Friday of our trip was Sr. Jr.'s 12th birthday, so his present was a fishing trip with his father and brother (I bowed out of this one). Here's the birthday boy with the bait fish:

Little brother, psyched to go fishing again:

The first catch, a Bonnet head shark:

Jr. Jr. caught one, too.

Dad got in on the shark-catching action, too.

Jr. Jr. caught the big one of the day. It was almost as tall as he is. He as a bit scared of it, apparently.

Everyone had a great time. All sharks were thrown back to live another day.

The drive home was pretty long and painful, with traffic in North Carolina and the usual black hole of driving between Richmond and Fredericksburg. But we were welcomed home with a rainbow :)

Glad to be home, but the usual grind awaits.

Coming soon -- actual knitting and new landscaping! No more white trash yard.

Hilton Head, Part 2

Here we are at the fireworks that are held every Tuesday evening. Straight from the beach, so no makeup, still with the sunscreen, hair up, looking very au naturel:

Golf action shots! Here's Sr. Jr., chipping onto the green:

This is my favorite, a golf-mag worthy action shot of Jr. Jr. hitting out of the sand:

The obligatory wildlife photos:

These are the Baynard ruins, the remains of a plantation that was destroyed during the Civil War. We biked up there and poked around. It was interesting, and strange to think of all that must have happened on that spot over the years:

This is the pool at the house we were staying at:

These are a bunch of pics from our evening walk on the beach when the tide was up waaay high and very wild, perhaps from Hurricane Bill way out in the ocean:

Stay tuned for part 3, which has sharks!

Hilton Head, Part 1

I have a ton of pictures to post from our Hilton Head trip, so I'm going to break this up into several different posts. This one covers the first couple of days of the trip. Not all of the pictures will have captions.

Here's an early golf trip, with Jr. Jr. addressing the ball:


This is where our house was, according to the GPS in the car -- you can see how close to the beach we were:

An early morning bike ride on the beach. The sand is very hard-packed, so riding on the beach is easy and fun.

Boogie boards!

Golf can be tiring, apparently.

Always a goofball :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The One Thing I Forgot to Pack

We are here in Hilton Head after a relatively uneventful 9 hour drive. The nice thing about driving is that I can pack more to take with us than if we were flying. So I remembered my tea, my laptop, the mouse for my laptop for when I'm stalking Wollmeise and don't want to rely on my iffy touchpad, and all the DVDs for the car. I packed three different knitting projects, some of which are good for working on in the car, and one of which requires more concentration, plus all the little implements that go along with the knitting. I've got the Kindle and the current issue of the New Yorker. Sunscreen? Check. Toothpaste, floss and everyone's brushes? Yup. Bathing suits, flip flops, beach towels and boogie/skim boards. Golf clubs and bike helmets, too.

But the one little, teeny, tiny thing that I forgot? The cord that connects the camera to the laptops, so that I can't download pictures and upload them to the blog.

I'm sorry. I know wordy posts without pictures aren't fun, so tune back in next week for more interesting entries.

But -- Happy Birthday today to my darling husband, and on Friday to Senior Junior, who turns 12, and can finally call shotgun.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Blahs

It's that time of the summer when the novelty has worn off. It's hot, it's humid, there's not much to do. The kids are home, bickering and whining. There's practically no knitting.

But there's some fun stuff going on. Last week the kids and I got out the ice cream maker and made banana ice cream. It was yum. I like making ice cream -- it's not too difficult, we can pick our own flavors, and it's all natural. I used 1% milk and half and half instead of whole milk and light cream, so it wasn't as fatty as regular ice cream, but still very rich. Here it is, a bit brightly, in the machine:

And in the bowl:

On Friday I took the kids down to Old Town Alexandria for lunch and a little side trip to the new yarn store, Fibre Space (very cute). It was a gorgeous day, in the low 70s with no humidity. As we walked down the street, I talked about what a perfect day it was, weatherwise. Jr. Jr. piped up, saying it was too hot. His preferred temperature range is apparently between 58 and 62 degrees. Sr. Jr. complained that it was way too cold and he didn't like it. Very Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

On Saturday we went to the Legg Mason tennis tournament. I like this tournament, though I question the wisdom of holding a tennis tournament in Washington in August, when the heat and humidity can reach really oppressive levels. The venue is small enough that you have great views of the game and the players. In early rounds, players are very sweet about signing autographs, too. You can walk out onto the practice courts and watch some yummy tennis players practicing, shirtless:

I thought about telling Mr. T to take the kids into the arena and leaving me to watch the shirtless action :)

We saw the del Potro/Gonzales match, the south of the border attraction. Lots of Chilean and Argentinean fans in the audience, rooting for their men. It was very, very hot, and both players had just flown in from South America, where it's winter now. It was clear they were not used to the heat. The first set was a tight race that ended in a tiebreaker, but it was clear in the second set that Gonzales was finished. After a display of temper in the first set (he threw his racket in the first game and broke it), he lightened up and became a bit silly when he realized he didn't have it in him to fight for the match.

At one point he fell down and stayed down. When del Potro went to the net to see how he was doing, he feebly raised a hand, asking for help. del Potro climbed over the net to help him up. It was cute. In an interview after the match, del Potro admitted to a fleeting wish to just lie down with Gonzales, but realized if he did that, they wouldn't get up and finish the match.

I just wrote a lot of words to say that there's nothing much to show you knitting-wise. I have done a bit more on my Moses sweater, but I'd like to be a little further along before I show you a new picture. I'm planning my vacation knitting, however. We have a 9 hour car ride, so I need something easy. I'm going to bring the Gothsocks, but I'm also going to cast on for another Aestlight Shawl, this time using Sanguine Gryphon's Eidos yarn, in the Alcibiades colorway (link because I'm too lazy to take a picture for you, sorry). The garter stitch triangle at the start is great car knitting. Those two and the Moses sweater will come with me to South Carolina. Is that enough?

One last thought: I'm totally jealous of everyone who got to go to Sock Summit this year. It sounds like it was Woodstock for knitters, between the classes, the people (Barbara Walker!!), and the market. I had some really generous Rav-friends shopping for me in the market, some as their end of swap deals, and some out of the kindness of their hearts. I asked for more Gothsocks, because I love the yarn and it's so hard to get in her updates. I've heard from some of them with what they got me and I'm thrilled :) Pictures to follow, someday. But I am truly grateful that Ravelry has so many kind people who do these things for their fellow knitters. I hope I can do the same for others someday.