Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June Wrap-up

June is my favorite month of the year. The longest day is in June, my flower gardens are at their peak, the weather tends to be not too hot and it's all around delightful.
I went to the Frederick Art Fair along the canal earlier in the month. My friend, Macee, had a booth, selling her jewelry.

 The canal is a perfect place for a festival. The city of Frederick has done a great job of sprucing it up, with cool water features, sculpture and paintings.

 We went to the Beer, Bourbon and Bar-b-que along National Harbor. I really don't care for any of those three things but we got to ride in this cool limo.

 The crowds were wee 20-30 year olds and their main objective was to drink as much bourbon and beer as they could. I hadn't seen these pretzels-on-a-necklace before and thought it was a clever idea. Folks would just grab a pretzel from their friend's necklace.
Seal had a garden party on the most glorious day.

Her garden is like an arboretum, with over 200 trees and gazillions of perennials and shrubs. It started out 17 years ago as a corn field and is now a wonderful retreat.

To celebrate the June birthdays, a friend had a Breakfast/Birding party at 7:30 in the morning. 

Folks came with their professional binoculars and we sited quite a few types of the
little feathered creatures.

Got some kayaking in...

Spent some time in Cumberland with my 'western' girlfriends...

I got to hoop with my girlies on my birthday.

 My long time girlfriend, (from WAY back in high school days) Nancy and Joel came for a visit from Albuquerque for a few days. 

June is peak time for the day lilies on Harris Road or what I call, Lily Lane.

 And our own little lane went from this....

....to this! Ta da! I know we live in the country, but it's still nice to have a paved driveway. We had pot holes at the bottom of the drive that, when it rained, the newspaper would invariably land in the puddle. Trapper is inspecting the drive from his place at the top. So...good-bye to June. You went waaaaaaayyyy too fast.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


 Every now and then I go to our local dump. It's actually called the 'Beauty Spot' but it's not so beauty-ful. No yucky household trash is allowed though, just debris from building projects, old fence stuff, and things that are too big for street trash removal. But boyohboy, people throw away so much good shit mon. Over the years, I've gotten to know most of the guys who work there and they know me. There were two new guys (identical twins!) there last week and they told me that I seem to be hauling away more stuff than I brought to the dump. I said, "That's why I don't bring my husband!" 
This time I got:
two cute kid chairs, perfect condition
two pot liners (I was just going to go to Lowe's to buy one)
a case of never used Perrier bottles (I passed up 2 more cases)
a brand new professional telescoping window ice scraper
and 7 new gallon jars, perfect for mixing my dyes
a never used large pad of water color paper and a ream of card stock

and the big ticket item which the new boys loaded for me, a five-drawer filing cabinet. I really need this as I want to totally reorganize my filing system. 

 But first, it needs a re-do. I could do this....

 or this... (love this one!)

or any of these. There's removable fun sticky type graphics you can get, lots of design, lots of ideas. Oy, how to decide?!

I got these jars because I saw this great idea of painting them...

....like this! Cute, huh?

In years past I scored this concrete birdbath base,

This iron cart/stand that I use on my patio for putting plates, wine glasses, food, etc.
I've had my boys load so many shutters into my truck that they told me I could build my own house out of shutters. I've gotten concrete urns, old wooden ladders, a large kitchen table and chairs, plates, cups, saucers, cake pans, rakes, pitch forks, even a bumper pool table with balls. One time I was bragging to a girlfriend about all the stuff I found at the dump and she said that if I ever found a wing back chair to take it. I told her I'd never seen one at the dump so don't hold your breath. Well, the next day, one was there! She took it to an upholsterer and he said it was in great shape, very well made.

 Got this retro coffee table on one of my forays.With a little imagination, lots of elbow grease, plenty of storage and a pick-em-up truck, one can keep quite busy on 'shopping' at the Beauty Spot!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Clean Sweep

It was really past time to do something about re-organizing my dye kitchen.  I was just waiting for a super hot day so I could enjoy the coolness of the basement.
 Lordy! This is how it looked before I did the re-do. After all the dyeing for my shows this spring, my workspace was a total, what-the-hell-happened-here mess! I can't believe I'm actually posting these pics. I never let anyone into the basement for fear they'll nominate me for one of those makeover shows. This is the same dye kitchen that the vulcher found so appealing.

Everything was helter skelter.
Yarn was spilling from bins. I usually pride myself for being so organized but this was so bad that I hated going down there to try to make pretty yarn.
 But with new shelving,

new dye shelves and painting the cabinets black and the walls white again, it's a total new space.

Now I won't be able to dye because I'll mess it up!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Strawberry Pickin' Time

Last week Ann and I picked strawberries at a local 'pick your own' farm. It really was the end of the season but we were able to pick pounds and pounds in just under an hour.

Homestead Farms has a darling little cottage right on the grounds. I just wanted to go right on up the path and have tea, scones and strawberry jam.
They also have a goat bridge. A sort of Billy Goat Gruff bridge.Those crazy goats must be part mountain goat because they tiptoe on those wood walkways to get to their 'perch'.

 And there's old Silly Billy up there now.

Couldn't get him to look at me though. Probably sleeping.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Water, Agua, Voda, Vatten, Vasser

Along with riding on rails to trails, we rode on back country roads, staying off the main highways as much as possible. We had to get used to big trucks hauling coal whizzing past us at 60 mph though. For what good it did, I'd pull in my elbows when one approached. Not that I ride with my elbows straight out, but it was just a reflex. We had some nice stops along the way, including this old abandoned country store.

I like downhills much more than the uphills. We could really get up some speed on the downhills and I'd yell "Whoopppppeeeeee!" But I was damn quiet on the uphills except for my huffing and puffing. I do little counting games on the uphills...1 ... 2... 3 ... 4,  2 ... 2... 3... 4...,  3 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4, etc., anything to keep my mind off the pain in my knees. We only walked up one hill the entire trip, but had some breaks half way up some of the hills. Coming out of the Ohio valley, the only way out is up and that day was a bloody hard day too. By the end of the day my knees were a'hurtin' and I swear there was a nest of bees on my bike seat! (say no more!)
After our night of hobo camping and being robbed of a hotel room, we checked on in to a Hampton Inn the next night. This was our 'camp'. We spread out our wet gear, cranked up the fan, hopped in the shower (ahhhh!) and went out for margaritas! Bike touring is fun!

We chose a great night to be holed up in a motel room. This scene from our room is before mayhem broke loose with violent storms, including tornadoes, hail and inches of rain. The tornadoes were a bit north, near Akron, but the news on the tv said beware of flooding along all the rivers. And that's exactly where we were biking the following day. Oh well, that's tomorrow and tonight we are not in our little tent with rain and hail beating down on us. We are dry and clean and I burrowed in my down duvet.
                    I didn't realize there were so many canals in Ohio.

So back on the E & O Canal. Lovely day.

 Yellow flag iris are abundant along the canal. Sometimes used in sewage treatment plants for removing metals, it has escaped into other water areas and is a noxious weed in some places.
Bikes share the trail with horses. The sign directs horses to the right, bikes to the left.

The river was really high, but it seemed just fine so we biked on.

The canal was on our right, river on the left. The canal water started escaping over to the river side and still we biked on, pedaling through and soaking our shoes. Soon we were biking through snake infested water, well only one snake but it sounds really dramatic.

Then the trail turned into this....a lake with ducks and geese. No-sir-eeeee-bob, not going into that!

How appropriate, a little arc in the playground. Climb aboard children!

Picnic anyone?

Time to turn back...

We consulted Miss GPS for an alternative route.

...and were on our way on country back roads once again.

On our last day, Houston and Garrett were just a half day behind us. We waited in a little town for them to catch up so we could ride the last 7 miles to Oberlin with them. I spotted a Subway a lit right on over there for a sandwich. Food is a huge factor while biking and I don't think I was ever so thrilled to see a Subway.

Big smiles.

Soon Garrett rode in...
...then Houston
Tami's daughter, Hannah, rode out a few miles to meet us. I've known Hannah her whole life and was so happy to see her. We were in Oberlin for her graduation, and it was Garrett's 5th year reunion. We really earned party time in Oberlin. Good times! 
Since I've been home a week or so, I've had time to reflect on my first bike tour. I had a great time biking/camping with Tami. Thanks Tami for making me do this! I do really like it (have to work on those hills though) and am ready for more. Houston is planning our next adventure, biking the Blue Ridge Parkway in September. I'm on board! We're even looking at another bike for me. Yippeee!