99…100!

As promised, last week when I hit 100 followers, I had a drawing. The logistics of it were harder than I thought they would be, but finally with the help of a random number generator, I had a winner – Diane from http://dianelaces.wordpress.com/

I will do a bit of blog stalking, and I asked her to email me some information, so soon I will know what I am making her. Hopefully, she will like and maybe even find it useful. πŸ™‚ I am looking forward to the challenge. After I mail it off, I will let you know what she got.

Meanwhile, check out her blog, as she is kind enough to follow mine.

What other contests should I have?

It still amazes me that I do have so many followers, and that you are all so geographically diverse – Turkey? Ireland? New Zealand? UK? Wow, how did you find me here in the northest and eastest of the USA? What keeps you coming back? I am not sure I know, but I am awfully glad that you do.

What we do here in Maine in the summer

Or, how I spent my summer vacation.

This is not about knitting, or crocheting, or sewing, or any other fiber arts.

No, it’s about license plates.

Yep. tags, I think some people call them.

In Maine, we are blessed to have beautiful seashore, wilderness, lakes, mountains, a couple of fun cities, really good food, artists galore, boating, fishing, hiking, hunting. You name it, we’ve got it.

And, 9 months of the year, we have it to ourselves.

Then the sun comes out (sometimes everywhere else but here) and the world flocks to visit us. After all, Maine is Vacationland!

Traffic becomes a nightmare by our standards. There is only one thing to do – play the license plate game. So, every Memorial Day (last Monday in may) we start keeping track of the plates we spot. Our goal is to see all 50 US states plus Washington DC before Labor Day. We have never failed yet.

This year, we had 49 states and DC by the 4th of July!!! Unheard of. All we needed was… are you ready for this? No, not Alaska. Not Hawaii… we needed Arkansas. Yep. It’s a tough one to spot as it closely resembles Massachusetts, and we have a dearth of those! So we kept looking and looking and watching the other tough ones sail by – North Dakota… Montana…. Idaho already counted…but no Arkansas!

Finally, last week in Ellsworth, I spotted it while I sat at the light waiting my turn to turn left. Aaround the corner came a nice little Subaru wagon with kayaks on top and the great state of Arkansas plate leading the way.

Hurrah, complete!

So what did we do? We started again Saturday. And we got 34 of the 51 out of the way! Still do need Hawaii, Alaska, North Dakota, and of course, Arkansas. I wonder when that little Subaru will be heading out of town again?

Do we play this game with the Canadian Provinces? No, I am afraid not. We thought about it once, as we see lots of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec plates, but we realized that while we occasionally see British Columbia and a rare Manitoba, we have NEVER seen Saskatchewan or Newfoundland or Labrador, and why set ourselves up to fail? We do pay attention to our close neighbors to the north, and maybe would start the game up if we saw, say two of those in one summer, but for now we stick to our domestic product. And we do give a shout out to those military families who take their time getting rid of their Hawaii plates when they get transferred stateside. We appreciate you making it easier on us! πŸ™‚

a few photos of the yard last week

Veggies and flowers are growing – so are weeds and crab grass.

One thing I noticed in these photos – they sure do show the sandy gravelly stuff that is everywhere.

And I had to include the deer trimmed sunflowers. Very sad in the little wildflower bed.

peas

wild flower patch 4

asparagus

l's raised bed

potato blossom

potatoes during

strawberries post season

tomatoes

wild flower patch 6

wild flower patch 7

wild flower patch 8

wild flower patch chewed sunflowers

CAL free Saturday

Well, it felt kind of strange to get up Saturday morning and NOT log on to do my CAL rows, but A and I had plans with L, and she was coming over early. So instead, I got up, did some laundry, knit a few rows on the toe-up sock and then we headed out.

Here are some photos of the sock, by the way. Sorry, some are blurry – not sure what happened. I like the way the color is coming together, although I wish I had more dark blue stripes in the yarn. I’ll keep dying and working on that.

This shows the nice wide toe box, and the pattern on the top of the foot.
toe up

A little blurry, but you can see where the graft would be in traditionally knit socks. This is not perfect, but it is lots better than any graft I have done to date.

toe up 1

Blurry heel turn – no decreasing and picking up of stitches – just short rows to turn – NICE.
toe up 2

Whole foot done in record time.

toe up 3

Anyway, back to Saturday…

We headed down Rte 1 to the mid-coast area, stopping for donuts at Willow Bake Shop, a visit with Mom and B, and then to our first destination – the Wooden Screen Door company in Waldoboro. We ordered our coveted two screen/storm doors only 5 years into the house! If you check out their web page, we ordered plain doors – one with a cat cutout for the front door, and one with a sloop cutout for our bedroom. It will be really nice to have doors that fit, and screens with no holes. And we went for the additional option of glass panels for the winter, which I think will make a big difference in how cold and drafty the mud room is, and also our bedroom. This was a huge expense, but we have waited a long time, planning for this purchase.

We followed that with Lunch at the Captain’s Fresh Idea across the street – delicious lunch, but a bit pricier than I like for lunch. Really good lemonade, though – real, not chemically tasting. We tried deep fried green beans (strange concept, but yummy.) and L tried blueberry iced tea. A day of adventurous eating. πŸ™‚

Then we got on the road, and stopped at a really sketchy flea market, looking for little saucers to feed the cats, and I did find two. With three cats, we go through lots of little cat food dishes.

We kept heading south, and found ourselves in Mexicali Blues in Damariscotta. I have been to the Portland store, but none of the rest. We were on a mission, looking for 30 small, frivolous fun things. A’s sister S is having radiation treatment for breast cancer, starting mid-September, and we wanted to have a bag of treats, so she could open one a day, to give her a bright spot during this time (prognosis is very good, cancer was in situ, and they performed the first half of the lumpectomy last week. They will have to go get a bit more next week, but they still are not worried.)

Besides a bunch of cute toys, I managed to find a new bedspread for the guest room, very similar to the old one, which is getting really faded from the sun. It is a blue and white (shocking, I know!) India print spread.

We wound our way back out to Rte 1, headed up to Camden and Belfast. We hit the Reny’s in Belfast to complete our pile of presents, and I found a few treats for us as well. Like: A beach umbrella and holder. I never owned such a thing before, but I think I can use it next to the pool, and take it to the beach pretty easily, and sit in the shade like I am supposed to. 😦 Also, some good imported cookies, and a few little cat toys, and more cat dishes.

We got home late in the afternoon, and although we had planned to go to the fireworks in the evening, we were both tired, and just chilled on the couch. Instead of the CAL, I worked on the endless purple scarf – I also had worked on it in the car all day – it is getting longer, at last, but the yarn ball doesn’t seem to get smaller. I know it will all of a sudden, but it seems to be taking forever.

So we had a really nice day, lots of fun together, even if I didn’t start the weekend with a couple of hours of crocheting. πŸ™‚

Friday List

Friday should be a pretty good day –
I have to go to Southwest Harbor to the Farmers’ Market to pick up some cheese being made just for me – how lucky is that?

I have a niece working in Northeast Harbor for the summer, so I hope to connect with her while I am on the Island – maybe take her to lunch? Explore a few shops?

Then it is home in time to grab A and head out to the China Dinah (only in Maine do “China” and “Diner” rhyme!) to meet her sister K for dinner. We don’t see K too often, so that should be a lot of catching up over good food.

As A will drive to the China Dinah, I will get to do some knitting on the purple scarf. Maybe this is the weekend I finish it…

Getting excited – real vacation coming up!

You know, after I wrote that title, I realized that only I would think this is a real vacation… but anyway – NEXT Friday (August 2) I am driving to CT to fetch my beautiful niece, the younger c. She will spend about ten days with us, visiting family, relaxing by the lake or pool, seeing all sorts of cool things, I hope! She is about to be 17, so I think we will have more fun together than ever. I do have to go to a meeting one day while she is here, and part of the fun I have planned for her is our agency staff picnic, which I hope she will tolerate well. There will be other teenaged girls there, so they can go off and make fun of us all. πŸ™‚

Not sure what else we will do, but there is a big family picnic on her last day here, so that will be good. I am just looking forward to seeing her so much. Last summer, she and her sister did not come, and I feared the summer visits were over now that they are teenagers. But she asked if she could come this year, so I jumped at the chance. Her sister doesn’t want to, but that is OK, I don’t want them to feel obligated, and her sister goes to college up here, so I know we will see her soon. It will be nice just to spend time with C and no one else. I’ll keep you posted what we get up to. πŸ™‚

But first I have to clean the guest room and make it pretty for her….

Confession

I broke my own rule. I started knitting my Kool-Aid yarn. I just could not resist the combination of using the yarn I dyed to see how it came out, along with my new book on toe-up socks. I have the toe done on one sock, and am working on the foot. No photos yet, but I will take some before I go too much farther.

I did have to adjust the pattern a bit as 1.) I wasn’t quite getting gauge, and 2.) I have a wide foot. Those two things worked out well together, though, I cast on for the wider sock, soon realized if I went up to the number of stitches she suggested it would fit an elephant, so I stopped at the second size , and got a nice wide toe box, yea! And I only repeat the pattern three times across, instead of 4 or 5.

So far I think I like the yarn and the pattern, we will see what the finished product looks like.

I do keep the purple scarf as my portable project, so I knit on it some each day at lunch time, and I will in the car when traveling this weekend.

98?

As I have mentioned before, I am addicted to my stats page – I find it so cool to see where all you readers are from and what you are interested in looking at.

Today I noticed that I have 98 followers – holy cow, that is amazing, I think, for a blog that is just about what I am doing. I feel like Sally Field – “You really care about what I am doing???” WOW!

So I thought a reward would be in order. When I hit 100 followers, I will randomly select one of the 100 to receive a fabulous handmade gift. Not sure yet what it will be, but it will come to you out of the blue from me to say thanks for caring enough to hit the follow button.

I drafted this post earlier – before it can even post – I hit it! So, to extend the fun, I’ll include in the drawing all (not just the first hundred) who follow me by this time tomorrow.