Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"From Don's Past....."

Former co-worker Erik, with partner Kari, came by last weekend for a visit. Erik had also worked with Jess, so arrangements were made for everyone to stop at our house at the same time. Pictured are from left to right: Erik, Jess, and Kari.

Here are the 3 amigos from days past......Erik, Don, and Jess.

After introductions and chatting for a bit, we went to dinner down at Pasqual's on Monroe Street. A festive time was had by all. ;)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"June's Crank In....."

I went to the monthly circular sock machine crank in last Saturday. Basically, I drove to the Hawthorne Branch Library where it is held, unloaded, set up, began working, got frustrated, packed up, and came home. Truthfully, that is a little simplistic, but I was home within a few hours. The yarns I had taken with me had been "squished" somewhat and would not feed easily from the cardboard tube. It kept hanging up, and after knitting, unraveling, and rewinding the 3 colors I had, I figured it was a lost cause that morning. So I packed up and came home where I set up my ball winder and rewound all of the yarns, so I had at least some positive results for the day. ;)

Here are mentors Barbara (smiling) and Pat (cranking), with Renice in the background. Renice had asked me to try and dye some yarn she had bought, which I did yesterday. I knit a short tube of her yarn and added a short tube of my yarn next to it so that I could see how hers took the dye compared to mine. It was a sad experiment. My yarn took the dye nicely, while hers became a muddy and dull mess. Unfortunately, she has quite a bit of the yarn......hopefully she likes knitting white socks!

More of the attendees at the crank in.......

Pat following my request for a smile. ;)

My next organized crank in will be in Laconia, New Hampshire, when I attend the National Convention of Circular Sock Machine enthusiasts. Jacquie Grant, the owner of the only company which currently manufactures circular sock machines, the New Zealand Auto Knitter, or NZAK, will be attending the convention. She will also be attending a local "meet and greet" gathering of "crankers" in Mineral Point, WI, while visiting Barbara on her way east to the convention. I will be missing the event as I have another commitment. Hopefully, I will meet her at the convention.

Monday, June 28, 2010

"Friday's Bike Ride....."

Don took a vacation day on Friday.....and Oh, Surprise.....we went on a bike ride. ;) We rode to Marshall Park, in Middleton, where Don took this photo, while on a platform which overlooks Lake Mendota.

He also took photos of my new front and rear fenders (with mud flaps!).

It was a beautiful day for a ride and we took a very scenic route through Shorewood Hills.....a route we would never have taken prior to his giving me the electric assist bike! It is so nice for me not to be concerned about hilly terrain. Yep......I'm spoiled!

Friday, June 25, 2010

"Backyard Camping....."

Maniphone sent me these photos yesterday. Simon and Henry wanted to camp out in their backyard, but they are still too young to do it alone. Jonathan agreed to "go camping".

Here they are in their tent...........

They look too wound up to be going to sleep, don't they?

"Settled down for quiet time........."

Henry is one "happy camper". ;)

The morning report was that they slept through the night and only had a few sprinkles of rain. Simon and Henry enjoyed the experience so much, they wanted to do it again last night......the jury was out on that, last I heard. Definitely a fun and positive experience!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"7th Anniversary and Father's Day"

Don's and my 7th anniversary coincided with Fathers Day this year. We celebrated the events by going out to dinner at the Nau-Ti-Gal. It was a gorgeous day and we were able to eat outside on their patio, which overlooks the Yahara River.

We had a very enjoyable meal with the company and conversation being spectacular! ;)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Wingra Park's Annual Event"

Each year we try to go to "Jazz in the Park", the annual event held at Wingra Park, hosted by the Dudgeon-Monroe Neighborhood Association. I don't think we've missed more than one in the years I've lived in Madison, and that one, I "think", was due to weather.

Last Saturday was a beautiful day. It was bright and sunny, warm, not too humid, and a great breeze blowing off the lake.

The bandshell was new this year. In years past, the band was in a huge white tent, which made it hard to see them from a distance. This worked out very well for everyone/anyone in the park.

Don, Perry, and me. This was Perry's 2nd visit of the day. He stopped by earlier while on a run, went home, got cleaned up, and came back to enjoy the music and people.

I got to hold Nevada awhile, too, giving Dad Seth a short break. Tough work for me, eh? ;)

Rob rode down to the park with us, and Seth joined us as we rolled our bikes to "our site".

Krista and Jacob came down to the park with the twins, too. Here Krista is with Zoe (in her new butterfly hat for the occasion).

Jacob with Kai, who is also wearing his new hat for the event.

Kai enjoying some time on Don's recumbent trike. This was Don's seat during the entire day. He sat with us for awhile, then pedaled around chatting/enjoying the event with others in the park.

Here I am, all packed up and ready to head home. The trailer made the trip down to the park very convenient, carrying our cooler with snacks/refreshments, plus our folding chairs.

A great time was had by all! Hopefully, the weather at next years event will be as nice.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"Marquette Waterfront Festival"

Ending the garage sale day......Don and I, accompanied by Rob, rode our bikes to the Marquette Waterfront Festival. The day was cloudy but fortunately, no rain ( "heavily" misted as we left the festival).

Rob and me with some brew........

We saw Erin and Seth, with daughter Nevada, along with a friend of theirs (unfortunately, I've forgotten her name) soon after we arrived at the festival. The park was packed with revelers and the music was great!

Rob is entertaining......... ;)

A band from Texas was playing while we were there. Their salsa music urged and succeeded in having people get up and dance. The whole park became a dance floor! It was a very happy celebration! Hopefully, next year we'll see some of you out there with us! :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Garage Sale...."

Ugh! For those of you who have taken the time to set up a garage sale, you know what I mean when I say "Ugh!". I give MANY, MANY thanks to Don for sorting through a multitude of boxes, closets, and basement, making that end of the business much easier. I had the joy of sitting outside for the sale. :) I know I had the better part of the deal, too, which, while I was sitting there, I did not appreciate.

Fortunately, many of our things were given away or sold prior to the garage sale. We asked neighbors and other friends to take a walk in the garage and take whatever hit their fancies, although we did sell a couple of major items, too. Don sold 2 of his bikes that he had used in times prior to his becoming a recumbent lover, and a couple of larger items were happily carried and placed in friends cars, so when I opened the garage door for the sale, everything was under control. ;)

The garage sale was the idea of Christina and Christen, who have since moved back to Arizona, as Christina finished her post graduate degree at the university. This photo shows Lonny and Charlie's house with their sun rooms set up (one of which we enthusiastically gave them for their future camping trips) with their sale items set in and around them. Charlie was nice enough to be responsible for items from a few other neighbors, too.

I have already eaten the words "I will never again have a garage/yard sale" by having this sale, but once again I say......."NEVER AGAIN"! I truly hope I can stay true to my word this time......... ;)

Friday, June 18, 2010

"Zoe and Kai's 1st Birthday!"

Twins Zoe and Kai celebrated their 1st birthday with us on the deck. It could "almost" be considered a 1st anniversary, too, since they made an appearance at happy hour when they were less than 24 hours old.

Here are Dad Jacob, holding Kai, and Mom Krista, holding Zoe.

David, a friend of theirs, was bearer of the cake, ice cream, paper plates, and forks.

The candle will soon be blown out, but Kai had already a taste of what was to come. Hmmmmm....from the looks of it, Zoe may possibly be "daintily" taking a wee taste, too. :)

Christine, a friend of Jacob and Krista's, neighbor Mary on the steps, and Michelle, a co-worker of Don's (her 1st time with us for happy hour).

Michelle is also a fiber enthusiast. I took her in and gave her a tour of my fiber "stuff". Here she is turning the crank of my circular sock machine.

Michelle also brought a friend of hers along, Lisa, with neighbors Rob, Seth, holding daughter Nevada, and Made', keeping an eye on things.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"June 4ths Happy Hour......"

I am so behind in my photos due to the many posts of Memorial Days cookout. At our happy hour of 2 weeks ago, Don was getting our bikes out so people could experience riding his 2 wheeled recumbent, his recumbent trike, and my electric assist.

Here is Made' riding Don's 2 wheeled recumbent.

And there he goes up Gregory Street, while Rob rides towards us on Don's trike.

Here I am giving Made' instructions on the electric assist before he takes off.

Tera, who took the bagpiping class with Don here in Madison, tries out his recumbent, too.

Tera again, as she rides the trike........

Several other happy hour attendees also tried the bikes/trike but unfortunately Don must've been chatting too much to think about documenting their rides by taking photos. Tomorrow is another permitting, eh? :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"That Little Old Pasta Maker.....Me!"

As some of you may remember, Don had bought me a Kitchen Aide Mixer awhile back. He also bought numerous "attachments" for it as well, which I have not been good about trying/using. I finally made the conscious decision to begin using the pasta maker, and am VERY happy that I did! Yes, it does take a little time, but the pasta is SOOOOOOO worth it!

I begin by mixing the pasta dough (using our "girls" fresh eggs, too!) in the mixer using the dough hook. Then I divide it into several balls of dough and begin running it through the rollers. This process reminds me of the wringer washer my mother used when I was a young child.

Starting with setting #1, the dough is run through several times, folding it and stretching it until I feel it is "done" with that setting, then it is set aside and I do the same thing to the rest of the dough balls.

I set them aside between each setting so they have a short time to dry, sometimes dusting them with a little flour, too, which makes it easier for them to go through the next thinner setting.

When they are thin enough for me, I then hang them on the drying rack or lie them flat, turning them occasionally, to dry them enough to make the cutting (to make noodles) easier.

If the pasta dough is too moist, the noodles will stick to each other and not cut or dry, nicely.

Of course, the longer the flat piece of pasta, the longer the noodles.......

Just about finished.......

The cut noodles on the drying rack.

Place in boiling water and they are done in a few minutes (compared to 10 or more for store bought), ready for whatever is planned for them. They truly are light and fluffy, very different from the bags of noodles bought from the store, which in comparison, seem rubbery now. If you've not had homemade, I certainly would recommend trying some.........maybe I should make some dinner reservations? ;)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"The Last of Memorial Day!"

Barb also was interested in Don's "grocery getter" bike that he hoped to sell at the garage sale. It never made it to the sale.....she rode it home after the cookout. :)

The grand finale of the day was the "football game". Rob and Christina on one end......

And Christin and Lonny at the other. I asked about the game, made some comments, watched the tosses......but do I know who was on whose team, who won? Not a clue.....

There were so many more photos of the day that I could have posted about it many more times. I choose not to and feel I should move on. I know I had a very nice day. I think I can vouch for others as well and say we all did. ;)