Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Images from Our Trip to Arkansas
Sometimes I like to play with black and white images. Here are a few:

Ross, Steve, and Michael wait for the ferry at Bull Shoals Lake

JP, Ross, Steve

"Wormy" and John, Bull Shoals Landing

JP, "Wormy" and William, Bull Shoals Landing

Waiting for the ferry to dock


Rickey, Michael, Steve

Boarding the Bull Shoals Ferry

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oh, My Goodness!
I haven't posted here since June? I am a bad, bad blogger. Someone should take away my blogging privileges... BUT, since they have not done that, I will attempt to rectify my neglect.

So, what's been happening? Two rooms of the 'new' house are finished, with the exception of the bathroom cabinetry and the baseboards. Well, ok, they still need some other stuff done, too, but when you've lived with plywood floors and raw drywall for over a year, this is a huge leap forward. They are splendid! Our dear friend Steve (a.k.a. "The Polecat") spent several weeks here with us in July and August, mudding and taping drywall, and let me tell you, he is a wonder at that job. He will be coming back soon to finish the work.
Rich has been designing and building the wood trim for the finished rooms. There are no words for how beautiful his work is. In one upstairs bedroom, we have a pressed-oak bed and dresser set that was a wedding gift from my great-grandparents to my grandparents. Rich matched and hand-carved a part of the design from the furniture to make corner-blocks for the door and window trim. I can't get the pics out of my camera at the moment (missing camera-computer patch cord), but will post them as soon as I can.
In the upstairs bathroom, he designed the MOST wondrous trim, painted white to accent the pale-gray walls. Again, pics to come. He will be building a vanity and some other cabinets for that room, as well.
The master bath, downstairs, is making progress, too. Rich beadboarded the walls, and will be using a tile design that mimics an antique tin ceiling for that room.

There has been knitting! The last of the Fifty Socks for Fifty States samples have been knit and mailed off to Washington for their photo ops, and the patterns are in the process of being edited as I type. They all turned out beautifully, and I am proud to be included in this compilation of patterns. Guess what...those pics are also being held captive by my missing camera patch cord.
Travels on the BigYellowBike
We only got to make one motorcycle trip this year, thanks to the economy and Rich's pay cuts. I know, I know, at LEAST he still has a job...we hear that a lot, but let me tell you, it's cold comfort when it's time to pay the bills and when we are missing our dearest friends.
So, we didn't make the Tennessee Lunch Run in April, and the Chatamoochie Run in August, and WOTS in September, but we DID head off to the Harrison Gathering the first weekend in October. This is, as always, my favorite ride of the year. Most of my chatroom friends make it to Harrison, and I look forward to this ride all year.

We started out Wednesday evening, September 30th, as soon as I got off work. We had everything packed the night before, and Rich loaded up the bike and trailer when he got home. Our nephew, Rick, lives just down the road from us, and he had promised to care for our cat and keep an eye on the house while we were gone. It was chilly, but we layered up and headed for Logansport, IN, to spend the night with our friends, Joyce and Ross. PoleCat was already there. We discussed the idea of heading on out, as the weather forecast for Thursday was threatening cold and rain, but decided the risk of running deer was scarier, so set our alarms for early morning and headed off to bed.
Thursday morning, we layered up again and headed out, Ross, Steve, Rich and I. Sadly, Joyce is suffering the effects of an attack of shingles from more than a year ago, and cannot stand to wear a helmet. I surely do miss having her along on our rides! It was cold, about the same as last year, but with layers, warm riding gear, and rain suit on the top to cut the wind, it was not terribly uncomfortable.
We rode part of the day in light drizzle, but mainly managed to stay ahead of the huge storm front that was coming across Illinois. Others on their way to Harrison were not so lucky, and rode in the rain from Wisconsin to Arkansas. After a mostly uneventful but long day, we stopped for the night in Poplar Bluff, MO. We called Galute (Rickey) in Arkansas and set up a time to meet him for breakfast on Friday, along with John Parsley (JP) and Michael, who had ridden in that day from Alabama and Tennessee to stay at his house on the way to the gathering. We got a text message from John Hicks (FrigNbored) who had already arrived in Harrison and was safe and warm at the hotel. After supper, off to bed to rest up for the last leg of the ride.
Friday morning, we saddled up and headed to Ash Flat, Arkansas, to meet up with the gang. Hicks was too lazy to get out of bed and join us, so he missed out on this:

ONE biscuit at Meacham's Restaurant, in Ash Flat, was as big as half a loaf of bread!

From Ash Flat, we headed for Harrison, by way of Melbourne. Rickey led us on a beautiful ride through the Ozarks, with a stop to visit friends Larry and Rita at their new home, fondly called Chatamoochie by the chat room bunch. What a lovely house in a perfect setting!
It was late in the afternoon by the time we reached the hotel. After a shower and some clean clothes, we joined the parking lot gathering to meet new friends and catch up with old ones.
Friday evening, we set out for supper with Frig and Michael, but had a small mishap in the hotel parking lot. Rich turned a bit too sharply and the BigYellowBike went over. I grabbed him to try to stay on board, but managed to pull him off along with me. I am told I rolled twice and Rich made a complete somersault before we came to rest on the sidewalk, embarrassed but unhurt, and laughing hysterically. Several of our friends rushed to help upright the bike and get us going again. There is a saying: "There are two types of motorcyclists: those who have dropped the bike, and those who WILL one day." This was not our first time, and it probably won't be our last. Oh, and if you talk to Frig, I was NOT drunk and I WAS wearing more than just my yellow boots at the time, no matter what he tells you!
Poor Michael...he has been described to me as "the happiest man I have ever met" and it is absolutely true! Michael loves to laugh, laughs easily, and laughs long, and he was so tickled by our unscheduled get-off that he giggled throughout supper. The man needs to cheer up a bit! :D
Saturday, we rode...and rode...and rode. Galute led us once more on a tour of the hills and valleys of northern Arkansas. Eighteen bikes were on the ride, more than G usually likes to lead, but he did a splendid job, as always. We crossed Bull Shoals Lake on the ferry, ate lunch at Cody's and finished with a ride on Push Mountain, where we all had our photo snapped by the Push Mountain Pics photographer. You can see the proofs here. Rich and I are on the BigYellowBike. It was a perfect ride, as always, Rickey! Thank you so much for taking such good care of us all.
Back to the hotel for the evening, to chat and kick tires.
Sunday morning, we packed up, had breakfast with the gang, and hit the road again. Ross, Steve, Rich and I followed Galute and Denise to their house. They took us to see the breathtaking property that will hold their future home, fed us like royalty, and put us up for the night. We are SO blessed in our friends!
Monday morning, we parted company with Ross and Steve. They were aiming north and west, toward the South Dakota Badlands and the Wisconsin Dells, and Rich and I were going north and east, toward home. They are dear friends, great riders, and perfect traveling companions, and we look forward to many, many more trips with those two nuts!
We said our good byes and thanks to our hosts, and headed out. It was a wet ride for us for much of the day, although we did see some sunlight in Illinois. We made it as far as Champaign, Illinois, before stopping for some supper and a rest.
Tuesday morning, we woke up to heavy rain, thunder, and lightning. We don't mind riding in the rain so much, but the light shows are a little scary, so we waited a bit before we hit the road. The skies did clear a bit, but we ended our trip riding four hours or so in wet, chilly, windy conditions, arriving back home in Constantine, damp but safe. All in all, a wonderful trip to a wonderful place to see wonderful just doesn't get any better than this.
Addendum...Ross and PoleCat continued riding throughout the next week, traveling in snow and cold and rain to the Wisconsin Dells gathering. On Saturday, the PoleCat hit a patch of gravel in a curve and went down, hard. He is bruised and sore, with a couple of cracked ribs and a severely damaged motorcycle. A friend from central Indiana drove up with truck and trailer to pick him up and take him and his bike back home to Ohio. We are thankful that we did not lose a dear friend. Y'all be safe out there!

Thanks to Denise from Arkansas and Sheila from Kentucky, I do have some pics to share:

Rickey, Rich, Denise, PoleCat, and Ross at Meacham's Restaurant in Ash Flat, AR.

Riding the ferry across Bull Shoals Lake is one of my favorite parts of the Harrison trip. This year, we had fifteen
Goldwings and three other bikes on the ferry.

The approach to Bull Shoals Lake.

Two Johns (Hicks and Parsley), on the Bull Shoals Ferry.

Mr. William McGee, our dear friend and sometime riding companion from Tuscumbia, Alabama.

There are more pictures here, at Galute's online photo album.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Catching up...
These are ready to be mailed off for their photo op...
Everything's Bigger In TEXAS

KANSAS: Sunflower Ripple

NORTH CAROLINA: Great Smoky Mountains, reknit in the Muir Woods color....much, much better!

Still on the needles is the second reknit of one of the Indiana socks, in a different colorway, and the reknit of the Alabama sock. There is some serious yum! there.

There was an Auburn car show in the town where I work last Saturday. This was the view from my store's windows:

Beautiful cars!

Let's see, what else has been going on?
The back tire on the BigYellowBike went bad, and a good friend from Florida made us a tremendous deal on the wheel and nearly-new tire he'd taken off his bike when he recently triked it.
I'm sure there's more, but I'll have to save it for another post...

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I saw this bumper sticker on the way home from work yesterday:

Stop Sending U.S. Jobs Overseas!

it was on the back of a Toyota Tercel...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hello, Spring!
The leaves are unfurling and flowers blooming. Spring, at last! It's been a long, long winter, and a tough one. Unemployment is rampant in our area, as it is in most places. We are both still working, but Rich's job is slow. We shall dig in and hang on.

Here is our big, handsome boy!

Some things that have
happened: Rich got the bike out and had his first ride of the year in early March. He has been riding quite a bit in this warmer weather, and I have ridden with him a couple of times.

My sister and her husband bought a brand-new GoldWing.

A long-time friend of our family
sent me this picture from 1942. That's my mother in the first row, second from the right, and her sister in the second row, third from the left. Pretty cool to have this picture from their Junior High School years!

The marsh marigolds bloome
Aren't they beautiful? They line the banks of the stream and are always one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring.
Our grandson loves to go out and look for fishies in our little stream...

And play on Dead Walnut Tree:

That's his daddy there with him. Robby was walking alongside the tree and saw a branch that had fallen to the ground. He said, "That's broken, Daddy." Then he turned away and said, "I don't want to see that." :D

I am woefully behind on my deadlines for the 50States socks...Laura has been very patient, but I think I need to kick it into a much higher gear and get it done. New sock pics coming soon!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Three More States on the Way...
This is North Carolina, in Crystal Palace Maizy.

This is Kansas in Crystal Palace Panda Silk.

This is Texas, in Panda Silk DK.

These yarns all all just yummy! Soft, nice hand, great to work with. NC and KS will be in the mail to ProfLaura in a couple of days, and TX should be done shortly thereafter.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Mmmmmm.....Yarny Goodness!
It's been a sock-yarn bonanza here these past couple of weeks. I bought two grab-bag packages of Opals from one of my online knitting groups, and then the Crystal Palace yarns arrived for my Friendly Socks book samples. Yum! You can see the beginning of one of the samples at the top of the picture...

I didn't do much knitting over the weekend, though. We had guests from Alabama: Mr. William and Ms. Nina came to visit and to see our new house. It was a wonderful weekend! On Saturday we went to Shipshewana to see the building where I work. In the evening, my sister and her husband, and our friend, Michelle, came up for supper.
Neither Wm nor Nina had ever seen the Great Lakes, so on Sunday morning we rode over to Lake Michigan. It was cold, and there were icebergs on the lake. Ms. Nina couldn't believe that a body of water so large would freeze.
They headed for home Sunday afternoon, after a much-too-short visit. We are so blessed with good friends!
Now, back to knitting...

Monday, February 23, 2009

50 Socks from 50 States!

There is knitting news! Over the past few years some online friends and I have compiled Friendly Socks, two self-published books of sock patterns. Dr. Laura has put in countless hours printing and binding the first two books, but now Crystal Palace Yarns has picked up book three, and it will be coming soon on CD! This book will be called 50 Socks-50 States and will have a brand-new sock design inspired by every state in the Union, plus a few more. You can read more about it here at DrLaura's blog.

The pictures above are two of my designs for the new book-on-CD. They are the Indiana socks, called "Leta's Amish Quilt" and "Susannah's Amish Quilt" in memory of my mother-in-law Lydia (Leta) Yoder and my husband's Aunt Susan, and in honor of their Amish background. The samples were knit by a wondrous knitter named Samantha F. I've designed the pattern to be knit in fingering or DK weight yarns, in bright colors set against a black background in the style of traditional Amish quilts.

My other designs in the book will be "Gulf Shores" for Alabama, "Great Smokey Mountains" for North Carolina, "Sunflower Ripples" for Kansas, and "Everything's Bigger" for Texas, a Christmas stocking. All of the designs in the book will be knit from Crystal Palace yarns. Watch here for pictures and more info.

In other news, winter drags on, and I have a bad case of PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome). We got several inches of new snow over the weekend, and riding season seems to be years away. I know, though, that every day brings us one day closer to spring and time to ride out on the BigYellowBike to meet up with our motorcycling friends. It has been a tough couple of years, including the building of our new home, our son's divorce and long layoff, and my husband's reduced work schedule, but at least we are all still working. We have been through some tough times over the years and this may yet prove to be among the toughest, but we will hang on and get through it.

A dear friend and fellow chatter wrote a post on our Internet motorcycle forum that helps me remember why we ride. You can read it here: All My Heroes Ride Wings. Thank you, John. I hope we'll see you soon!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wow, I'm such a slacker!

It's been a long time since my last post. We had our first snow...

That was a couple of months ago. We've had lots more since then.
I went to Atlanta for a few days to buy merchandise for the store where I work. I finished a pair of socks for myself while there, and worked on another pair, for Rich this time. Pictures to come, eventually.
Robby has grown so much, and is more fun every day!