Monday, September 2, 2019

What ELSE We've Been Up To

Charlie has been so much of our last month,

 that several weeks just slipped away, but BEFORE Charlie:

*  I MADE A KNIT SHIRT!!!!  I've not really sewn much with knits in spite of the fact that I own a serger, and usually I would have talked myself out of doing this because I might ruin the fabric, but instead...
I made a shirt almost entirely on the serger!  I couldn't figure out how to do the hem on the serger, and it turns out I didn't do a great job on it with my old sewing machine either, but it's done and I'm pleased with my first attempt.  In fact,
while the things I would change were still fresh in my mind, I got two yards of another velour knit to make the same shirt again to make sure I was really learning how to do this--and getting some fun new shirts for fall.  I don't think I had any velour in my wardrobe, so these are fun additions.

*  I also finished another table runner for Christmas:
* We've also been spending a lot of time in the early mornings on the nature trail near our new house,  and this is one of my favorite parts:
some houses are right on the path, and guessing from the number of gates, no trespassing signs, and the obligatory signs admonishing bad dog owners to clean up after their dogs, I'm guessing "the public" make pretty bad neighbors in general, but this house has a row of rose bushes that can't be seen from the house--just from the nature path.  I think it's so lovely that someone would have a garden spot just to give a little beauty to strangers walking by that it gives me a lift every time I see it.

Luckily, this
was in a different direction.  As much as I loathe wasps, the nests are always amazing--especially on those rare occasions when I find one without getting stung by the wretched little monsters.

* I am loving the new sewing machine, and lashed out last month during a big foot sale to buy 3 new feet (buy 2, get 1 free), and yesterday I got to play with the first one:
 which is a button foot.  I've always sewn buttons on by hand, and sometimes have done such a lousy job that they came off within short order, and I always struggle with leaving enough slack for them to lay properly, so after all the button-down shirts, lately, I decided it was worth a try, and
 tried it out yesterday on the latest shirt.  It took me a little while to get the hang of it, but it really is an improvement and will be MUCH faster.

* Last weekend Andy ran a marathon and we visited Yellowstone Park.  We made it a 5-day weekend, and I'm glad we did as it was enough of a drive to be a bit hard on my hip.  We stopped for scenic attractions, and let me just say that when the scenic attraction is sage brush,
you're in one of the less-lovely parts of our state.

The marathon takes place in a tiny town called Ashton and is one of the most beautiful marathons you'll probably find around here--if you can check out scenery while running 26.2 miles.

We stayed at this adorable motel built in the 1930s,
and while our shower head with its NINE working holes was probably installed shortly thereafter, the rest of it was quite charming.   The runners boarded the bus to take them to the top of Mesa Falls at a spot quite close to our hotel, so early in the morning Andy walked over and I spent my morning knitting
and exploring the town. 
I was at the finish line in plenty of time to cheer on lots of the runners, including Andy, who finished third in his age group and was pleased just to have done it at all.  There was more knitting while Andy napped, rested, recovered, and then the next day we visited lower and upper Mesa Falls, went for a quick hike, then decided to drive into Yellowstone which was only an hour away, and we made MY day by stopping for lunch in West Yellowstone, Montana, right across from a quilt and yarn shop.   I didn't buy any yarn, but we did purchase some fabric for a souvenir shirt for Andy, a pair of souvenir earrings for me, and some dragonfly prints which are in the dryer right now.  :)

Here's a little tip if you're going to Yellowstone:  It's REALLY crowded and there's a lot of walking, so starting your day with a hike that was a bit hard on your bad hip anyway isn't probably your most brilliant idea.   By the time we hiked up to see this,
I was about done.  Rather than turning around, there was a dirt road just outside of the southern border of the park on the map that would take us back to Ashton, and we thought that would be faster AND give us a view of the Tetons.  There are a LOT of gravel roads in Idaho that really aren't too bad if you're used to them and the note saying the road was closed in winter isn't unusual at all for roads in the mountains, so I really wasn't at all worried--it was only 47 miles...........

WHICH TOOK US THREE FULL HOURS.  

And while we are now intimately familiar with the foothills NEAR the Tetons, as the old saying almost goes, we couldn't see the mountains for the trees.  Luckily, we had a full tank of gas, fun audio books, enough humor to make it an adventure/bonding experience/bad road trip story, and managed to NOT leave any of my car's undercarriage in the many craters and ruts on the "road." 

The next day we drove home using ONLY major roads, to find some kitties very happy to see us:


and Venus would like to go with us on the next adventure:
 *  We got back to work in time for my work's last big event of the year--the balloon classic.  In general, I don't really like crowds so I don't go to things with too many people, but as long as one has to go, the balloons are really fun.  I went to the first day kick-off morning, then took Andy with me on Friday morning.
 
 

It really was fun, and on Friday the winds were such that most of the balloons were able to return to the park.  I think it's called Box Winds, but don't quote me.  We're surrounded on 3 sides by mountains, so sometimes that creates the right conditions for that to happen.  So we got to see balloons launch and land, and it was just a great end to the week altogether.

And THAT, my friends, is what I did with August.......... :)