Not, in fact, a bear

Yes, we did have a bear in the tree save a few weeks ago.  Many of you know that.  Today, a raccoon in the back yard, eating the bird seed that had fallen from the feeder.


Between the time I saw him and the time I got the camera, he went from practically posing, to this.



A nice profile shot.




He actually walked up to the back door, saw me, and then turned and ran. Am I that scary?




Wardrobe Overhaul

Most of my wardrobe is black.  Bickie is ginger and white.  For some reason, she has been shedding like a maniac since we got back from the UK (and maybe even shedding a lot while we were gone, I can’t tell).  Every day I give her a thorough brushing, ending up with about a small ziploc’s worth of brushed-out fur, and I’m STILL covered in pale cat fur when done.  I’m thinking of changing my entire wardrobe to khaki pants and white shirts 🙂

Max doesn’t shed.

Spinning Rant

You know, as a means to obtaining yarn, spinning is SO not worth it.  I don’t mind spinning, but the mood rarely takes me.  About 2 months ago the mood did take me, and I ordered some Rambouillet/silk batts from an etsy seller, dyed them, and started idly spinning them into the finest yarn I could manage.  I just finished plying it today.  Totaled up the number of yards in the final skein (140) and divided by the hours spent spinning (seven).  That’s 20 yards per hour.  That’s appalling!  I can knit faster than that.  A lot faster.

Not to mention that 140 yards is really only enough for a hat.

Now, the cost of one batt (which made this whole 140-yard skein) is about the same cost as a 140-yard skein of yarn purchased commercially.  So, end-result-wise, that’s not a bad thing.

But factor in the cost of the batts, the dye, and the dye time as well, and you’ll see that for me at least, spinning is counterproductive.  All the yarn styles that I spin are also available commercially, either by buying outright, or buying a few different yarns and combining them.  I do not like spinning as an activity, only as a means to an end – and having finally worked out these numbers, that means to an end is nonsensical.  No more spinning for me!



Closeup of my finished skein.



Roses ARE Red!

A little dose of home.  This is our garden as of today, July 15, panoramically-stitched with Digital Image Pro.  Alex and I tied up the roses today.  They had gotten so long in our absence that the tall canes were drooping to the ground!  We only planted them in mid-March, and they were 8″ tall bareroot roses at that point.  They are ‘Amadeus’ climbing roses from Palatine Roses.

This is a huge picture, so if you click it, beware!

A Long Post about Vacations

Yeah, we’re home, all right.  Home to a mountain of laundry and an ocean of rain.  Ah, Seattle.  Still, it’s always nice to come home after a vacation.  For one thing, there are pictures to share!  Here are some of the highlights of our trip.  We took a lot (A LOT) of pictures.
A view from a hilltop, looking down at Plymouth.


Guys at Seaton Beach



Alex being buffeted by the wind on Cox Tor, Dartmoor.



That's Cox Tor behind him. It was a long walk up.



No taxation without representation!



Boys at Widemouth Bay!



Nana and Alex on the boat at Morwellham Quay.



My sole "art photo." A chicken trying to dig itself into a hole at Morwellham.



Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth



A view from Spinnaker Tower



HMS Warrior (view from Spinnaker Tower)



Over the course of the trip, we went to two beaches and six yarn stores (ah ha ha ha).  Chris and Alex did a three-hour “rope walk in the trees” activity one afternoon.  We visited Morwellham Quay (a mining village that’s being restored to a period place), took a train trip into a copper mine, saw a lot of livestock, ate a lot of cream teas, visited various cities and towns, swam in the campground’s pool, went to the Royal Green Jackets museum (95th Rifles), and learned to curse Bank of America, who put a freeze on our ATM card and wouldn’t believe us when we (securely) emailed them about our travel plans.  I finished knitting three projects and started two more.  Finally got to see “Going Postal” (and upon my return to the US, learned that it IS being released here, but not until September).  Oh yeah!  We visited the Discworld Emporium in Wincanton and I bought a load of goodies.  (The proprietor also gave Alex a free whoopee cushion from Boffo’s.)

My brain’s a bit fogged right now, but I do intend to write more about the trip a little later.  Let’s see if the pictures format correctly this time.