Where in the world…

has Linda been? Well, a lot has been going on the past few weeks! I've been working a lot, have had one cold and one upset tummy, and also done some fun stuff.

Mark and I went to the National Solar Tour in Stelle, IL on October 7. It was a great day for a drive into the country, but really hot. We saw lots of interesting homes using solar and wind power.

We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary on October 12. We took the day off work and went cycling along the Fox River Valley trail. We stopped out at Fermi Lab in Batavia so we could view the bison.

Then we went cycling along for the Fox River trail for a few miles. Nice. That was Day One of the my head cold, though, so I wasn't really bursting with energy. By the time we got home, I had to lay down for a nap, and still ended up going to bed at about 9:30. Happy anniversary, honey, have a good night.

The next day was Yarn Con. If it wasn't for DayQuil I wouldn't have made it there. As it was, I didn't stay long. Just enough time to do a bit a shopping, meet up with Adrienne, and chat with Katy.

My knitting is coming along slowly. I'm still working on the wrap sweater and the same pair of socks. Even being sick hasn't helped me gain knitting time since I bravely soldiered on and worked a full day every day. I just made sure to do it from the safe distance of home. Thank goodness for telecommuting.

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Simply glorious

This weekend was perfect. The weather has cooled down, the humidity has dropped, and the rain has stopped. I spent as much time outdoors as possible. Yesterday that didn't amount to much, but today I was outside nearly all day.

I'm getting into a routine now: get up shortly after dawn, let the dogs out, fill up water jug, open garage, then venture outside. I open the secure storage bin where I keep the chicken feed and Grub container and make sure it's got a generous amount of food in it. Then I step into the side yard and open the Eglu door. The chooks are right there ready to rush into the run; it's sort of like watching a horse race when the gate opens!

They are giving me annoyed sounding noises that they are impatient to be out and about and that I'm too slow to give them their feed. Then, I open the run door and slip in the Grub container. They are at it immediately; you'd think they had been starved for days! As they gorge themselves, I empty and refill their water container. Finally, I slip them whatever little scraps I've pulled out the fridge: some trimmings from the celery, chopped up stale bread, etc.

This morning I was able to rouse Mark at a fairly early time (about 8:10 AM) with promises of a fabulous breakfast at Lula Cafe if he just got out bed and onto his bike. Today was the farmers market in Logan Square, and I was in desperate need of eggs. But if I'm going to Logan Square, then I must make a stop at Lula!

Although we didn't hit the road quite as early as planned, we still were able to secure a table at Lula with no wait. Amazing! I was incredibly hungry since I'd been up for 2.5 hours already and only had one cup of tea with milk. Oh, and I had just cycled 4.5 miles, too. I dug into a yummy scone and savored a cup of coffee as I waited for my main course: savory corn griddle cakes with amarillo salsa, pinto beans, creme fraiche, scrambled eggs, and pico de gallo. Ahhh!!

We got to the farmers market about 30 minutes after it opened and I nearly fell apart when I heard that they were out of eggs already…until I heard that there was another vendor that just might have some. Yes, he did! I scored one of the last dozen eggs. Hopefully, I will not have to be so cranky about getting eggs for much longer.

After loading up so much last week at the Green City Market, I didn't need too much. I picked up some bread from the nice bakery guy, some plums, a couple bells of garlic, some scallions, and a cut up chicken. The chicken is still defrosting, so we didn't get to eat it tonight. Tomorrow it's going out on the grill.

We cycled home and put everything away, then I let the chooks out to graze for the afternoon. The grass in the back yard was incredibly lush, green and long from all of the rain we've been getting. Mark cut it and used the mower bag to collect the clippings. I dumped these out for the chooks and they loved playing in them. They scratched, they pecked, they ate a bit.

Mostly, they just hung out in the shady part of the side yard and pecked at greenery. There are a couple hosta plants over there that look quite raggedy now! No big deal; if there was anything I was really worried about I would have protected it from their insatiable greed for green.

The dogs are still much too eager to make the acquaintence of the chickens. I haven't tried to introduce them to each other any more for now.

I had a bit of a scare this afternoon, too. I was relaxing on the porch with my knitting, and I guess that was too far away for the chickies. One of them — I think it was Selma, the smallest one — flapped around and ended up sitting on top of the fence! I was alerted to this by the dogs, who had been laying on the porch, but keeping a sharp eye on the movement across the driveway. As the dogs excitedly danced around me, I quickly but calmly stepped out onto the driveway – shutting the gate behind me so the dogs didn't follow — and as I approached the fence Selma was sitting on, she casually hopped back down into the yard. I may have do some wing clipping!

OK, enough about chickens for now. It's time to reveal my knitting progress. I have two finished projects to show today.


First, a pair of socks knit in Panda Cotton. This yarn is soft and scrumptious. Click the photo for all the pertinent details on pattern, etc.


Finally, the item I was referring to in my last post: an easy, but pretty shawl. Again, much more detail available when the photo is clicked.

After so many months where it seems that anything I knit was doomed to fail, it really feels good to have 2 finished projects that turned out so well. I've already cast on another shawl and started swatching for another pair of socks. So far, boht of the new projects feel very "right" so I'm hoping that the time of bad knitting mojo has passed.

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