Yep, I have been lax…really lax…when it comes to blogging. I guess I only have myself and summertime to blame. Lots of stuff going on, thanks to Mother Nature behaving herself. That, and I think everybody wants a part of me right now.

No single men, but such is life.

As for the knitting, I’m still plodding away on a Rowan Denim pullover that is using up yarn that has been stuck in Ikealand for the past…um….ten years or so. Just entered Sleeve Purgatory today–I’m doing both at once to prove I’m amazing. OK, not really. I’m doing both at once because the only size 6 circular in the house is a 47 incher. It seemed more logical. The only issue with the yarn is the indigo; my fingers turn a lovely shade of blue if I knit a little too long.

Just call me Smurfette.

As you may have guessed, I’m working my way through Ikealand because a Stitches event is in my future. I signed up for Stitches East. Haven’t been out in that direction for years, so it should be fun. As for classes, I signed up for Chris Bielsma’s Neckline Love (anything to cure a sweater of a boat neck is a good thing…bra straps need to be hidden), Laura Bryant’s Strategies for Hand-Dyed Yarn, and Lorilee Beltman’s Vertically Stranded Color Work (that’s the one I really look forward to attending). Of course, I need to make some headway on emptying out some of the stash before October rolls around. Not sure what’s next on the knitting agenda, but I may need to think about a Knitting Olympics project.

Of course, that project will need to be one I can knit without looking at it. Those swimmers are eye candy.

I have yet to hit the local fishing spots, but I have been practicing casting in the side yard. I think I’m getting better. I have done some fishing up on Kelleys Island from the seat of a float tube out in the middle of our bay, but all I caught was seaweed. And sunburn. What I really need to do is get out to the river after work some night. Of course, this week, I have stuff going on every night except Thursday, and I have the beeper that night.

Not sure it would be kosher for me to take call in the middle of a river. It’s pretty much a guarantee that I’ll fall in and trash the beeper and my cell phone. I wouldn’t mind trashing the beeper, but I like my Angry Birds.

The garden is growing like crazy right now. The stalag-inspired fencing seems to be keeping the larger vermin at bay. I have over 20 tomatoes on the vines, several peppers and cucumbers, flowers on the green bean vines, and watermelon vines that are growing up the trellis like weeds. The cabbages look healthy at the moment, too. My fingers remain crossed that things continue to go along without too much drama. The biggest issue right now is that one of my largest tomato plants, the one with the most flowers, does not seem to want to give me tomatoes right now. I’m going to be patient. And talk to it a lot.

I can be very persuasive.

Golf seems to be going well for some reason this year. I can’t putt for crap right now, but the rest of the game seems OK. Don’t know why, but I’m just going to roll with it. I may just get another putter out of the garage, though. Let the old putter know I mean business.

It’s not like I didn’t warn it last week. Yes, I talk to my clubs, too.

And most importantly of late, I’m down 32 pounds! Yay! I’m noticing a lot looser clothing, which is awesome. I also cannot eat as much as I used to before I feel full. It’s awesome! And I can still enjoy my wine and beer…within reason. It’s a very good thing.

No, I didn’t drown

But I did catch 3 fish!!!  Here’s Number 3:

Do I look cute in those waders or what?

The weather was about as spectacular as could be…maybe a little too warm for the waders (mid-80’s).  I managed to come to work on Monday with one of the best tans I have ever had.  SPF 30 is my friend.  Not one spot of sunburn.   I felt so healthy.

Now I knew that there was going to be an “expert” instructor there; I didn’t realize he was the guru that he is.  The school was instructed for 2 days by a gentleman named Joe Humphreys, who apparently is the Michael Jordan of fly fishing.  The guy is 83 years old, and can still cast a fly over 80 feet with pinpoint accuracy.

He’s good.  Really good.

And I had him all to myself for a half hour on the second day on the creek until I hooked a trout.  One of the other guys I was fishing with wondered how much that kind of instruction would have cost outside of the school.  Anyhow, I learned a lot of stuff, but I still need lots of practice.  I was trying to cast up on Kelleys Island this past weekend; some was good, most was shaky.  I think I’ll hit the side yard this week and cast some worsted.  Hopefully, I won’t snag a tomato stake.

As for my listening material for the drive, I’m not sure I have experienced a bigger mess of literary dreck in my life.  I stopped listening soon after she finished reading the contract she had to sign to agree to bondage and beating.  I lost count of the times either one of them murmured or whispered (apparently, there’s no need to speak in anything but an “inside voice” in this book).    Someone actually did a Kindle word search for “murmur,” and came up with nearly 200 usages.  She bites her lip enough that it should have been chewed off by Chapter 6.  She also says “holy crap” a lot.

Or should I say, there was a crapload of holy crap?

Added to this mess is the chick that Audible has reading the thing.  She is a complete Valley Girl.  And she does all of the voices, including the men.  Her imitation of her Latino male friend is particularly comical.  She was supposed to be an English literature major in the book; she sounded more like a chick majoring in surfing.

This would be better:

So, in conclusion, the first big sex weekend was interesting to listen to while driving through rural Pennsylvania, but otherwise, I’m done.  The LL Bean Complete Book of Fly Fishing is far more entertaining and well-written.

I feel so dirty

So, I read an excerpt of 50 Shades of Grey for free (Amazon sent the first chapter and change).  First of all, it reads like just about any trashy novel I have ever read.  Granted, Amazon conveniently didn’t send along any of the saucy stuff, so my review is incomplete at best.  I wasn’t going to buy the thing, but fate stepped in.  Turns out the new GPS I got for the car came with a free audio book!

Guess who’s next long car trip is going to be a bit more entertaining?  Better make sure the AC works.

So, a trip is forthcoming this weekend.  I’m going to a 3 day fly fishing school.  Everything you wanted to learn about catching trout but were afraid to ask.  I’m looking forward to it–I love learning new stuff.  I have my boots, my waders, rod and reel, and some decent “outdoorsy” clothing.  To top it off, it looks like the weather is going to cooperate (70’s and sunny…perfect for trudging around a river in Pennsylvania).  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll meet a tall, dark, and handsome guy who rocks his waders.

If not, I have my audio book.

I finally got to play with one of my Christmas gifts this weekend.  Put this puppy together while hanging out on Kelleys Island:

It’s a Loom in a Tube, which is a very clever tapestry loom whipped up out of what looks like plumbing parts.  After a great deal of frustration trying to warp the damn thing, I used some Brown Sheep and whipped this up:

A 4 inch square of woven wool coaster goodness.  Took about 3 hours.  The next one shouldn’t take too long…once I figure out how to do the diagonal that they’re asking me to do.  Only ripped the second one out 3 times so far.  I’m going to finish these things and refuse to put drinks on them.  Maybe I’ll laminate them.

There is knitting going on when I don’t have to concentrate so hard.

It’s just a simple pullover using Rowan Summerspun cotton/wool.  It looks a lot less “pooly” in person.  I may be adjusting the length, but otherwise, I’m pretty happy so far.

Now I watch Survivor.  It’s knitting time.


Fifty Shades of Grey…should I or shouldn’t I?  I’m a bit curious as to how this book differs from all the Fabio-covered trashy romance novels out there.

I realized this evening that it has been over a week since I wrote something to you all out in blogland.  I managed to make it through the Browns’ draft days without screaming at a TV, which is unusual.  Sadly, I think we’re going to start all over again at quarterback this season.  I love this picture; it truly represents what we have been going through since the team came back in 1999.

I’m so upset that I traded in my old Couch jersey years ago.  For a discount on a William Green jersey.  Who’s William Green?  Exactly.  So it is to be a Browns fan.

The forecast for the next several days calls for heat and rain, so I decided to plant my tomatoes a few days early.  They were overgrowing their grow lights in a big way.  This is a photo just after they were planted 2 days ago.

That’s before two days of off and on rain.  Tomorrow and Thursday, we’re heading into the 80’s….with more rain off and on.  At this pace, I’ll have tomatoes by the 4th of July.  Easy.

Yeah.  Right.  I think I may have swallowed some fertilizer.

On the other end of the plot lies the cold weather plants, which have been in the ground since March.

Left to right, it’s cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, onions, shallots, and peas.  I’m expecting some serious happiness on this end this week.  Hopefully, the heat will cool down as forecasted; hot weather makes the broccoli and lettuce bolt pretty quickly.  Bolting means you see pretty flowers, but the veggies are done giving you their yummy goodness.  So far, I’m pretty happy with the progress.  This weekend, I may finish up the planting by putting in the peppers, cukes, and melons.  That should be a production number…

A little over a dozen plants, a 6 foot tall A-frame trellis, and several yards of chicken wire.  Should be fun.

Prior to tomatomania, I headed off to my favorite bike shop.  I need to get out there and exercise this summer, and the bike I have just isn’t cutting it any more.  I came home with this beauty:

It’s an Electra Townie, which is the perfect tool around the neighborhood bike.  I have ridden it twice, and I really like it.  Only one problem…

My butt hurts.  A lot.  Like jamming a post on your tailbone a lot.

I discussed this with a good friend of mine who used to work at the bike shop.  He thinks it’s a matter of my not being on a bike for a while.  I need to toughen up my butt.  Good grief.  I return to the bike in earnest on Thursday (rain today, golf tomorrow).  By that time, the keester should be feeling better.  I’m also going to tinker with the seat and handlebars a little bit to see if I can fit them a little better to my body.  Gotta figure out how to totally enjoy the ride.

I mean, it’s already equipped with a sound system.

If anyone out there has dealt with this bike, I’d love to hear your experiences.

Nothing on TV

So I’m on a repetitive stress injury break from my knitting, and I’m sitting here watching the Gem Shopping Network.  For those of you never awake at 3 AM, it’s a network where some disembodied voice and hand are showing off pieces of jewelry that are being auctioned off.  At the moment, they’re trying to sell off a pearl necklace “direct from the pearl farmer.”

Not sure how the pearl farmer fits in the knotting of the pearls and the forging of the gold and diamond clasp, but I digress.

They opened the bidding at only $6900, which seemed to really shock the voice.  Didn’t sell.

Now they’re trying to sell a necklace that looks exactly like the last one, but it’s “AAA quality” pearls.  Starting bid: $19,250.

I understand the fascination with home shopping.  Heck, I have some really nice dishes that I got from QVC a few months ago, and I’m typing on a QVC-purchased laptop.  But, c’mon!  Those opening bids aren’t exactly conducive to the “impulse shopper.”  Except maybe one of the ones who got my PowerBall winnings.

Comical thing, though, is that this show is crazy addictive to watch.  It’s perfect entertainment while I’m waiting for a decent TV show to start.

Almost as addictive as the Knife Show.  Except without the Tennessee accents.  Check your cable listings to see what I’m talking about.

After tossing aside a few dozen items of clothing from my closet, and finding a pair of pants I didn’t know I had that now fit (yay!), I was inspired to take a few photos of the stuff I got done this week.  First of all, the purple Mardi Gras pullover:

It’s very fancy.  I wore it to my birthday din-din.  I think I stretched it out from all the guacamole I inhaled.

Secondly, I blew through the Noro boxy pullover.  Size 10’s are your friend.

I wore it to the theater on Wednesday night with different buttons.  I only had 3/4″ buttons sitting around the house, which tended to slip out of the buttonholes.  They also gave no support to the front band.  I just put new buttons on, which look sooooo much better.

Much better.  Thanks to a crappy, cold, Spring in Cleveland forecasted high of 50 tomorrow, it’s getting worn when I go back to work.  Despite being mostly cotton and silk, that Noro stuff is a bit toasty.

While musing over what to do with that stripey pullover, I decided to start up a brainless pullover using some sweet Rowan Summerspun wool/cotton I scored with the help of a birthday discount from one of our LYS.  I’m using a DROPS pattern that I have used before.  It’s beyond simple, which is perfect for this yarn.  So far, the ribbing is done:

I can feel the excitement out there.  It’s downright palpable.

So, Cassy, are you happy now???

And after a week that started with 3 days of complete non-adherence to the diet, but finished with good behavior, I was only up 2 pounds.  Not bad considering after Wednesday I was up 6.  I’m pretty satisfied.  Those two pounds should be gone pretty quickly.  Heck, golf league starts Wednesday!