Friday, September 29, 2006

Icarus unblocked II.

Not sure what happened, but 40 minutes of uploading of pictures interspersed with writing disappeared. Aargh!

It has been two months since my last post - yeah, about the way I write letters too.

The whole point tonight is to share pictures of Icarus. Completed almost a month ago, languishing in its' unblocked state. But hey, I finally got around to taking pictures of it!

First photo is of Icarus on my Haralred apple tree. Good crop this year and so far no broken branches or bear maulings. The apples need to be picked soon, but they are a good eating and storage apple, so we will be enjoying them into the winter. I should have gotten a picture of our plum tree and it's crop. We had to prop some branches and were begging people to come share in the bounty. Lots of plums were eaten (even Porter likes them) and shared in the Duluth area.

Second photo is a close up of the edging. Pretty nice as is - can't wait to see it after a hard blcoking.

Third photo - Autumn crocus at the base of the apple tree. One of my favorite flowers. Emerges just in time for my birthday :->

The last photo is a good visual description of why I have been away so long. We started the game with 9 players (full team is 11), eventually got 11 players and even a sub or two for the injured players :-> I had run a 6.6 mile trail run (Bangin' in the Brush) the day before and the photo is from the second half I believe.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Some pictures from last Saturday's hike north of Grand Marais. The orchid was a highlight. As were the falls and Devil's Kettle. All of these are located within Judge Magney State Park.

In knitting news: starting Chart 3 of Icarus today. Slow going on any knitting when temps top 100 in Duluth. Yesterday we had a cool down (loving those winds from the east) and knitting became possible again.

Take care in the hotter parts of the state. Duluth will be joing you again when the wind switches!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Thank you Lake Superior!

For those of us living in Duluth, todays' weather took a surprising turn. High today at my house was 89.6 degrees farhenheit. That happened before 10:00 a.m. this morning. The temperature in town has been steadily dropping since then and is currently 68.3 degrees. All it took was a wind off of the big lake. Thank you Lake Superior for never really warming up! You really are God!

"One of the many pleasures of living in Duluth is that you have to look at the lake a lot," writes Barton Sutter in his 1998 book Cold Comfort: Life at the Top of the Map. "You might only mean to get some groceries or a hammer from the hardware store, but on your way you see something so grand, so terrible and beautiful, that you absorb your daily requirement of humility just by driving down the street....I finally realized that the lake was God." (City Pages February 2001)

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Need I say more!? Downtown Duluth and the lakeshore hit 100 today. The high at my house? 98 degrees fahrenheit! Did I mention most Duluthians (including me) do not have air conditioning or central air?


This has been going on long enough - and the nights have been so warm - that closing up the house is pretty pointless. We still try, but by the time early afternoon rolls around, opening doors and windows to catch the wind is better than stewing inside the house.

Friday Lake Superior was a refuge. Cool water, but not so cold your feet went numb seconds after entry. Ah, but today the wind was blowing hard from the southwest (which is why it was warmer by the lake). Out blew all the warm surface water, in came the frigid stuff from down deep. Provides a lot of entertainment in the form of watching all the humans behaving like plovers, running in and out of the water quickly, but lessens ones ability to just sit in the water cooling off.

Worked on Icarus a bit last night when it had cooled off enough that the yarn wasn't sticking to my hands too bad. Just a few more rows and I will start the second lace chart. I've been keeping an eye on the Yarn Harlot and her progress on the shawl. She is ahead of me, but not by much.

The socks are coming along. Finished one as I stood outside the International Flights area of the Mlps/St. Paul airport waiting for my daughter to appear. Worked on the second sock while sitting in the sun today watching the same daughter play soccer. Temperature when we left for the field: 88. Temperature when we arrived home an hour and a half later: 91. Number of players on her team today: 8 (yes, there should be at least 11, but you can legally play with 7).

Kept working on the sock later as we sat in the Rose Garden, overlooking the Lake and watching Dances on the Lakewalk. This was the 10th Anniversary of this event and the girls and I have attended every year. By 7 pm there was shade to sit in, but the dancers still had to perform in the 100 degree heat.

Did I mention that Duluth rarely sees temperatures like this? Yeah, we are reknowned for our cold in the winter - and the summer. I rarely head downtown without a sweater or fleece shirt in the car. But now I am trying to figure out how comfortable I am with bare skin! Needless to say, running is on hold until temps moderate a bit. I had got myself used to running when temps hit the mid 70's and have even played soccer into the 80's, but this is crazy hot and this northern gal is not acclimated to exercising in this kind of heat.

Hope you are keeping cool wherever you are!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

It has been awhile and I thought I would add an update:

- I am now the proud "owner" of a: Minnesota RN and Public Health Nurse license as well as a Wisconsin RN license.
- Still trying to keep to a running schedule, though the 85 degree days are messing with that. I skipped my five miler this weekend, but will need to just go out and do it tomorrow - or forget about it and continue on as if I had run it. Did I ever mention how much I hate running in the heat??
- Won my age group in a small local run last weekend!! Despite it being a hot running day :->
- Still playing soccer, still collecting bruises, still having a great time playing.
- Getting a bit lonely for my kids - they are both gone right now - a little peek at what an "empty nest" will be like.
- Icarus (the black shawl) is coming along nicely. I have just started the fourth repeat of Lace pattern 1. One more repeat and then I move on to another lace pattern. I would show you a picture, but my digital camera is in Norway.
- Socks are coming along, I have started the toe decreases on the first sock. It is now traveling with me, filling in those moments when I have nothing to do and am waiting, or am sitting in a meeting and need to keep my hands busy so that I can listen attentively.

I will try to get some pictures of the shawl up by next week (when my camera - and Gilah - return from Norway). Until then, have a nice holiday!!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hopefully the promised picture of the sensitive fern has appeared.....

Other updates:

We had our first soccer game tonight. 1v1 with the tieing (why can't I figure out the spelling for this word?) goal (our team) coming in the final seconds on a penalty kick due to a handball in the box. Nice job Kyle on that kick!

Icarus( black lace shawl) is coming along. I am on the second repeat of the first pattern, closing in on starting my third. I read on another blog that I - being of rather limited stature - may not want to knit five repeats of the first pattern. I guess we shall see as we get there how wide the shawl is becoming (I sense a session with cotten crochet thread and a darning needle coming)

The end of my first week at work is rapidly approaching. With one RN license in hand, another on the way soon, things seem to be coming together.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Apologies for the lack of photo. I uploaded it, but where it went? No body knows! At least, I no longer have the energy to figure it out tonight.

I will try again on another day.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis). Okay, not truly a wildflower, but a cool plant anyway. Sensitive to: early frosts and being cut - both will make it wither quickly.

Other items of interest:
- passed my boards and am now a licensed RN - the sick feeling a the pit of my stomach last Wednesday was over nothing.
- started my new job today, so far so good.
- Icarus shawl is coming along, even managed to finish a few rows at the soccer game this evening.
- socks are languishing by the green couch though the heel is turned and the gusset is at least half worked.
- started playing soccer with a women's league in town. Now I have sore quads and bruises rivaling my girls'. this should prove an interesting combination with my running schedule - three miles and then a 90 minute game on a full-size field???

Otherwise not much going on around here.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

IT IS DONE! Well, at least the test is over. Now the wait.... did the computer shut off because I passed or because I failed? Did the questions seem hard because I was being tested at my highest ability level or becuase I was not prepeared? Questions, questions, no resolution for at least 24 - 48 hours.

So, do I celebrate that I have taken the test or wait for my results and celebrate ( or drown my sorrows)?

I am not sure if working on my socks is a good plan right now, gauge does matter with socks. Maybe the shawl is the answer, soothing lace... Well, that and going to watch a soccer game.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Well, I spent the day driving... dropped Gilah at the airport (she is
off on a Norwegian adventure), got a little knitting in as I waited
for the Light Rail train to come (I love cities with good public
transportation!), then drove back home.

The shawl is being reborn! This is the first time that I have used my
yarn swift to undo a project. After winding the yarn back into a ball
(letting it rest on the swift overnight), I did a first for me. I
rewound the ball! It needed it, and I could have probably done it a
third time but I really wanted to cast on. It's lace, it will relax
and gauge is not a huge issue.

Two more days until I take my boards, then a few days of "free time"
and it is off to a full-time job.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

As promised a photo of a wildflower - Pale Corydalis (Corydalis sempervirens). Loves rocky places and blooms from spring through fall. This species is a biennial (2 years from seed to maturity to death). The corydalis species is a member of the Fumitory family (includes Bleeding Heart and Dutchman's Breeches). One of my favorites, and abundant in this land of rocky places - though you often have to go looking for it.

The shawl is no longer a shawl. Yesterday I took it apart after realizing I did not have enough yarn to finish it off. I decided rather than being unhappy with the results I would just start over. I was asked how long I had worked on it (about a month - off and on) and then the head-shaking began. The knitting is more than half the fun. Besides, it was a good distraction from studying on a day that was too hot to be outside hiking or running (88F. in my yard - in Duluth - in early June!).

I did end up running yesterday though. Temps were still in the low to mid 80's so I took it pretty easy. Being in not great shape, combined with running on muddy trails with big puddles (I ran through them) helped to keep the pace slow.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Apologies to anyone who has stopped by looking for a post. I set this up and then disappeared to take finals, go on a trip, study for my boards, interview for a job and get some hiking in. While I was gone I did get some great pictures of wildflowers and will try to post some of my favorites at some point in time.

As far as knitting goes: one shawl under way and closed to finished, but I am now worried about running out of yarn before I get to a good stopping place in the lace pattern I decided to insert halfway through knitting the shawl. Also, a pair of socks is in the works, helping me to focus while I study.

Great moment of the past week: running along the Superior Hiking Trail form Jay Cooke State park to Beck's Rd (in Duluth) and encountering a very young fawn laying on the trail, trying to be invisible. I was stunned, awed and ... well I have run out of words to describe how I felt. Needless to say, after observing the fawn I moved on. I was worried about the stress it was under. The group of hikers that came along later did not see it, so mom must have come back and moved the fawn away.