Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tour de France/Fleece

The 2013 Tour de France has come and gone. Chris Froome was the runner-up in the 2012 Tour and one year later he became the champion. I hate to say that we didn't watch a single minute of this years race. Alan and I did both set some "spinning" goals that we managed to achieve during the time that the Tour was taking place. Alan has been riding his bike every Sunday for longer and longer durations. His goal was to do a 50 mile ride and he did it! He was one sweaty dude after the ride. Now he's shooting for a 100 mile ride. I personally think he's nuts, but he loves it.

My spinning goal as you can imagine was a little different. It just so happens that the Tour de Fleece (a fiber spinning event) coincides with the Tour de France. I know, it's the greatest.My goal was to spin a braid or batt of fiber each week and I also met my goal. Here's a little peek at my lovelies.

 I am pretty pleased with how they all turned out. The biggest challenge for me was spinning little fiber bundles called rollags. Grace and I got some of these cute little bundles at the KY Sheep and Fiber Festival back in May. I like the way the finished yarn looks, but spinning these things made me a bit crazy. I'm guessing it was the fiber prep I had a hard time getting used to. It was in a nice word "rustic". What I mean by that is that the rollags were not very clean. I could feel lanolin and lots of bits of hay and grass. Many of the colored parts seemed to be over dyed so that flakes of dye covered the floor under my wheel.

After I washed the yarn it really softened up and the colors are really fun. I have no idea what I'm going to knit with any of these, but the Tour de Fleece is all about spinning not knitting. Now that the Tour is over I'll get right on the knitting.  Maybe Christmas gifts.... Who knows.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Lovely Lemony Weekend

Last weekend (I know, I'm always at least a week behind) our wonderful Iowa friends and backyard neighbors came for a visit. Just like last year, they managed to come during our  HOTTEST heatwave of the year. They probably think that Louisville is one of the most miserable places to visit in July. If they had only picked this weekend. We are currently experiencing record low temperatures. The AC is OFF, the windows are OPEN and the humidity is gone. 
Despite the heat, we had a lovely visit with Barb and Jorge. We made it to the zoo for an early morning walk. Ate a yummy breakfast at our favorite breakfast place and played a lot of bridge. As usual Barb was the big winner. She has to be one of the luckiest people I know.
 One thing that you may or may not know about Barb and Jorge is that they are 
the BEST gift givers in the world.
They showed up with this amazing drink cooler basket full of all things LEMONY including LEMONS
As if all of this wasn't enough, the absolute best part of the gift was the extra special recipe book that Jorge created just for our weekend together.
Is that not the best?
 Some of the recipes included.
But this is the one that we actually made. Barb brought all of the ingredients with her including the graham crackers. I am not kidding when I tell you that this was the most delicious cocktail I have ever sipped. It smelled like angel food cake but tasked just like lemon pie with a kick. I may or may not be headed to the Liquor Barn for some Cake and Whipped Cream vodkas.
There is nothing better than spending a weekend with good friends. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Stupid Squirels

 My little garden has been starting to show signs of produce. I love it when the peppers and tomatoes seem to just magically appear overnight. I've been picking a handful of cherry tomatoes every day and they are sweet and delicious.

 Everything was going along just fine until... Looking out the kitchen window I happened to notice a red ball sitting in the dirt of my garden. On closer inspection I found one of my almost ripe and ready to pick tomatoes with a tiny little bite taken out of it. I may have actually screamed.
I was told by a neighbor that the reason the squirels eat tomatoes is because they are thirsty. So, I have put  out a dish a water for them. As you can see from the picture below, it is not helping at all. 

Now I'm having to pick my tomatoes a little under ripe so that I can get to them first.
I guess the cherry tomatoes don't have enough water in them, because they are being left alone to turn red and sweet. Any suggestions?
Hope you have a lovely weekend. Barb and Jorge are coming to visit, so we will be having lots of fun!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

More 4th of July Fun

I "borrowed" these pictures that Alan's brother Paul took with his fancy pants camera. He really is a great photographer. His wife Lisa took on the job of sorting through all 500 pictures and made an electronic scrapbook which turned out great. I'm just going to show you all some of my favorites, but next time you come to visit if you want to see more just let me know.

I think that about wraps up the 4th of July. Up next...
David spends the next week taking care of babies in the hospital nursery
Grace comes home from Italy on Tuesday
Barb and Jorge come for a weekend visit
I go to the dentist. 
After that it will be August and so far my calender is pretty empty. 
I hate to think about summer coming to an end so soon. 
but you know how much I love fall.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

It Must Have Been A BIG Boom

 A nasty storm passed through Louisville yesterday while Alan and I were both at work.
 We arrived home to find this giant hunk of our pear tree laying in the front yard.
 As best we can tell it got struck by lightning
Apparently the only witnesses were the dog and the cat 
and I'm guessing they were both hiding somewhere safe.
the funny thing is, we actually think the tree looks better now. 
It was damaged by an ice storm before we moved in and it's always been a bit misshapen.
Seems like Mother Nature really does know what she's doing.
We are very grateful that it didn't fall on the house, or a passing car, or a person for that matter.
Now we just need to figure out how to get rid of it...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

4th of July Recap

We spent the 4th of July with Alan's family in Amite Louisianan,
 Alan had been looking forward to mowing the grass since the last time we were there in December.
 After getting a quick lesson in how to operate the mower, he was off.
 Don and Melinda own about 10 acres. That's a lot of grass. I'm not sure how much of it they saved for Alan to mow, but I do know that he enjoyed every minute of it.
 We got to catch up with pretty much all of Alan's immediate family except for our niece Rachel. Rach, Grace and David were surely missed.
As usual I didn't get as many pictures as I should have. Alan's brother Paul has a very fancy camera and he took lots and lots of pictures. I'm hoping he will send me some that I can share with you.

 We ate a whole lot of traditional 4th of July food including; right out of the giant garden vegetables.
Seriously, Melinda's garden puts my little backyard veggie patch to shame

 Besides all of the visiting, the fireworks display had to be a highlight. Josh and his cousin Levi spent HOURS setting up the show so that everything you see below could be lit with one fuse. I have never been so up close and personal with that many explosives and it was loud and AWESOME.
I hope you all had a wonderful 4th, spending time with family and friends, eating hamburgers and watermelon until you popped just like the fireworks.