Monday, August 31, 2009

First Day of School

Today is the first day of our school year for students and bus drivers. It's a week later this year with Labor Day being a later date in September.

Here's a very happy driver (nicknamed "Russ") of #27 (nicknamed "Dobbin") ready to leave on their afternoon runs.

Dobbin is the same bus as last year. He is a 2008 Freightliner on a Thomas body and a Saf-T-Liner C2 body style. A 72 passenger bus, #27 has a Mercedes diesel engine and automatic transmission. Isn't he beautiful? "The Girls" spent all summer at the bus barn cleaning and waxing and polishing the fleet. Wheels were also painted and paint nicks repaired. We (well, Moore School Bus, Inc.) do have one of the very best looking school bus fleets anywhere.

What do two skeins of yarn and an Anti-Viral Kleenex box have to do with this?

Well, Dobbin is still using the plastic canvas cover I made for #66 several years ago. This year Dobbin will be presented with a knitted Kleenex box in school bus colors -- school bus yellow and black. The pattern is developing in the Knitting Quadrant of my brain.

Yarn Elf and Yarn Vixen chose the perfect colors for this project. Yarn Elf sent Bernat Super Value skeins in color# 608 Bright Yellow and #741 Black. Russ wanted a 'school bus yellow' and I wanted this project to be acrylic for laundering purposes. YV told me that YE had great fun pulling all his yellow-golds at World Wide Hobbies in Willcox, AZ and that she just seconded his choice. Russ was thrilled when he saw the colors and this picture shows how very close to 'school bus yellow' this Bernat really is.

We'll leave you with a close up of Dobbin's chrome. Some of it was purchased in West Memphis, Arkansas last March and some of it was found at another chrome shop near Wheeling, WV in July.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Shall we get back to knitting

while The Voice is mowing?

Before we left for Wisconsin, I had gotten three projects ready to knit upon during the trip and camp.
One was Russ' socks on two circulars, which is Joyce's KAL and yarn provided by Gwen for him. One was more complicated, the Drooping Elm stole.(It was happily humbling to share that stretchy cast on used here in answer to a camp question. By the way, it's in Montse Stanley, page 60!) And this one, which is WG #79, the 50th Anniversary issue, is the yoke pullover. I've chosen to knit this in J&S 2 ply jumperweight, background color 1A, ecru. Since the sweater is knit from the bottom up, there's one heck of a lot of ecru before the color patterning. I have the body knit up to where it joins with the sleeves. Sleeve#1 is in progress. It really is great for knitting in the craziness this summer has been and in the car and yet again at camp.

In the garden I'd gotten 6 White Ghost eggplant starts. There have been 3 little guys and lots of eggplant flowers loving the warm weather we had for 10 days. That's the whole of summer so far...10 days. Have you heard of white eggplant? I first saw them on Anne Hanson's blog "Knitspot". Anne creates the most wonderful knitting patterns she sells in her Knitspot Pattern Store (link is on her blog) and blogs about many of her projects in process. She also blogs about spinning and her garden. She and David have a wonderful garden; then, create beautiful curries and soups and such with its bounty. She doesn't live very far away, only in Canton, but I have yet to meet her.

Today I measured them and felt their skins. What short ruler could I find but a knitter's rule?

One of the eggplants, though short in length, felt as though it might be ready; so, we'll try it for dinner along with a salad of our first tomato (told you we had no summer) and leftovers.

Oh, the car and pickup are being moved back into the garage and driveway. That means mowing is done and it is time to start in on dinner and eggplant preps!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Another home improvement

happened today.

Four of our windows have broken cords. This window at the foot of the stairs by the front door is the one Allen chose to teach Russ how to change the cord.

Of course, first Russ had to find cotton clothesline. It had to be cotton because a knot has to be tied in the window cord and a nail put through it between the pulley and the window weight. It took three stops to find cotton clothesline. Nylon is popular and much more expensive these days. Family Dollar had 100 ft. packages for $3.00 each.

Then Allen discovered that the cord was broken on both sides. And he discovered that one of the sash pieces that hold the windows in (of which there are four) had been installed incorrectly the last time the cords were changed decades ago.

After all was installed, the left cord was too long. It only took about three minutes to fix that problem, though.

And Allen asked for a trashcan! And cleaned up the mess! Russ was the one to say that that was a first this summer!

We heart Allen!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Family (Knitting) Time

we find at Meg Swansen's Knitting Camps.

Sometimes we even bring family with us. I'm not the only one to bring my precious cargo.

Sometimes sisters-in-law (Char and Linda) both knit and come to camp together. A best knitting friend from home, Penny, came, too.

Rollie brought her husband Marty.

Linda and Jim came together, too.

The above photos were taken at Royal Tokyo, where even Russ loved the food!

This year Colleen's husband and daughter both came to camp while also visiting colleges. We just loved Wendy knitting on the couch with Meg. (Colleen gave me permission to post this picture.) Eli is enjoying time with Lucy, Meg and Wendy, too, while getting raffle tickets ready.

On Market Day, Tami brought her Pelerine. (Didn't she do a beautiful job?) Zach was proud to be 'man enough to wear it' and show his mother's work to us. Zach, you are indeed. Thank you, Tami, for consent to use this picture.

Al (our generous 2.75 photographer) and wife Leanne come together as knitters, too.

Cathy and Gwen were roomies the first time during their freshman year of college!

And there are more!

Quickly we knitters bond and love each other with a passion often found only in the most closely knit family members. (Pun intended.)We hug and cry and laugh and share and learn from each other.

Learning...we'll see some of the possibilities in the next post.

I do miss 'you guys'.

(Links are purposely not listed in this post.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Apples and squash

A little earlier than most years, the apples were ready to process no later than today.

Russ shakes them off the tree with his apple tree hook, into a 5 gallon bucket and then takes the apple peeler/corer to them. There is a mixing bowl for the apples (perfect for a one gallon baggie finished measurement) and a pan for the peels and cores. The peels and cores go into the compost pile.

Because there were 5 yellow zucchini and 2 yellow crookneck squash from Chris and Dan which all needed to be blanched and frozen today, too, it was a hectic few hours.

The pasta pan serves for blanching apples and garnering Russ' favorite beverage, homemade apple juice! There's not much making to it, though. I steam the peeled and cored apples and the steaming water plus apple juice that drips through the inside colander are then cooled and put in water bottles in the fridge. The smaller quart and a half pan on the back burner is the squash blanching pan. Rather than blanching all in a dutch oven, this smaller stainless steel one is just right to pack pint-sized freezer baggies. Today's haul? 5 pints of squash, 5 water bottles of apple juice, 8 gallon baggies of steamed apples.

Yesterday we were talking about how we love the country aspects of our lives. We both wish the Wisconsin farm had still been in the family when we were married. That was the one thing that would have taken us directly to live in Wisconsin. Russ had the experience with cattle while I had rabbit, chicken, horse and sheep experience. The gardens, pastures and fields would have been wonderful in the warmer weather. In the winter? That could have been a problem; but, we'd have overcome it to farm together.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Remember this mess? At least we knew then that the bumps in the dining room walls were original plaster problems and nothing to do with studs or lathe or the adobe in the lathe.

However, this ordeal has been going on since May 15th. The man has no respect for women, customers' instructions, customers' homes or appropriate behavior.

When DIP (Don the Painter -- middle initial left to your imagination) pulled away, I jumped up and down in the living room and yelled, "YES!" Less than a minute later there was a "YEOWLSS" from the stairs where Nikki had come out of hiding and added his pleasure at the departure. DIP had scared Nikki on purpose at the end of the first week and laughed, thinking it funny, though Nikki, Russ and I did not appreciate that behavior in the least.

Now Russ will be finishing some trim, etc. before school starts the 31st. I will be vaccing (once again --- one and a half hours minimum was required every night to make area habitable where DIP had worked and trod that day.)There are other chores like carpet cleaning and trying to undo thousands of dollars of furniture finish damage and sorting and arranging. Russ and I will be working on this together, though, and we are at our best working together.