Sunday, December 30, 2007


The Gowey family lost another beloved member tonight, the last one of the older generation. Doug's Aunt Kathy passed away this evening due to complications of a broken hip. She broke her hip about 3 or 4 weeks ago, and she never really recovered from it.

Aunt Kathy was the one who gave Sara her early appreciation for tea. She had small teapots (brown betties) that the girls (her great-nieces) were always allowed to use when they'd come over to visit. She had a marvelous doll house that was the anticipation of many a visit for the kids. She and her husband Hal (who passed away many years ago, not quite sure how long ago) would make the kids wonderful homemade toys - dolls, small knitted items, trucks, boats and many miniature items. Every Christmas would have a new intricately designed Christmas card.
She also had a very dry wit about her and she knew so much about the family history.

Kathy and Hal never had children of their own, so really took an interest in their nieces and nephews and their families. She will be greatly missed by us all.

Knitting still goes on here, but I've just taken a "too busy" break from blogging I guess. I hope to be more consistent soon!

Monday, December 3, 2007

"Darlin' it's betta, down where it's wetta"

And the rain just keeps coming. I don't know how many inches so far today, but wow. I ended up not going into work - I tried getting down Juanita Drive towards work this morning and got stuck in standing traffic. Apparently there is quite a bit of flooding in Kenmore, and then also in Lake Forest Park. I called into work and Deb and I decided there would be enough warm bodies there today for me to turn around and go home. Deb called back later this morning and said someone else had gone my same route and it took them 3 hours. It usually just takes me 20 minutes. All around me are flooded roads - Kirkland, Bothell, Kenmore. Wet, wet, wet.

Doug called earlier today and the parking lot where he works was flooding. The rain will let up for 15 minutes or so, and then we are back to torrents. I'm glad I live on top of the hill, away from the ravine!

So, I'm home today, drinking tea - checking for reports and catching up on knitting.

Stay dry and warm!

It's raining....

It's pouring! We have had quite a weekend of weather around here - two inches or so of snow on Saturday, and then the temperatures quickly rose 10 degrees and it's been raining buckets every since. There are apparently quite a few mudslides around town, and many roads are starting to be closed due to flooding. Great. We should be getting a windstorm sometime this afternoon too. I didn't have a blog last December when we had the huge storm, but I can tell you it was a mess. And it can be a bit scary (and most likely stupid!) driving underneath huge fir trees leaning over the road.

So what have I been doing during my time under a rock in November? I definitely have been knitting, but nothing really has been finished. Patrick came home for Thanksgiving, and tried his sweater on. I had worked and worked to get it up to the underarms. Now, he's very athletic, and likes his clothing to be more profile fitting. No baggy clothes for him! So, I made the size small, and got to his recommended 17" long from the underarms. Tried it on. Drat - it needed to be another inch or two bigger around. So, I spent two days powering through restarting the sweater. It's now 8 stitches bigger around, and 18 1/2" to the underarms. I've now started the sleeves - we'll see how that goes!

I also finished a pair of socks for my brother. These are out of Lana Grossa Mega Boots stretch in color 719. Looking at the skein I had, I thought there was just browns and greys in the mix. There is actually a section of blue in there too. Hope he likes them! He doesn't understand the merits of handknit socks, so we shall see.

Also new in the mix are a whole flock of sheep!

I really like the Fibertrends sheep pattern. There are two at the shop that I made a few years ago. Really cute with a waxed linen string around their neck and a rusty star. Sort of reminds me of the old German sheep. These are destined for my sisters-in-law. (Psst - Eliza! Don't tell!)

I still have 2 pairs of socks to make, one more fetching glove, a scarf of some sort out of the new Manos silk blend (ooo, yummy!) finish Patrick's sweater, a SeaSilk wrap for my mom and finish one more block on an afghan. Whew!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Day Late....

Happy December 1st! Although today is really Sunday, I had really wanted to post yesterday, just was out all day and busy last night.

In our family, December 1st has been the day to kick off the Christmas season. I buy a wreath for the door, the Christmas dishes come out, we have a nice dinner and it's okay to start putting out decorations and play Christmas music. When the kids were at home, they would get their advent calendar at dinner. Sundays in December are always a nice sit down dinner, and we even get dessert!(we never have dessert!)

Last night, we had a smaller version of what I've done in the past. Doug and I had been out shopping all day (we are trying to find a new loveseat/couch for our living room) and time was getting short to make dinner. I ended up making Butternut Squash Risotto with Kalamata Olive bread from Trader Joe's and Steamed Asparagus. We also had some pink champagne to drink. Dessert was to have been lemon tarts, but we were too full!

Happy December 1st!

Monday, November 12, 2007


ETA - I did finally get in and I did get my classes just fine. I'm taking Ruth's designing with Kauni yarn all day Friday, and Judith's Spinning for Socks on Sunday afternoon. Village Yarn and Tea will have a vendor booth there too, so I'll spend my non-class time working there and having fun with friends at night!

I got up all ready to register for Madrona Fiber Arts this morning. Got everything all filled out, my classes were still open and - bam!- an error message. Not twice, but five seperate times. I really wanted the class with Ruth on designing with Kauni yarns and the class with Judith on spinning for socks. Now registration is suspended due to technical difficulties, and I have to head off to work.

Poor Suzanne - I know it's not her fault at all - we are also having a bit of a windstorm out here, so I wonder if that was part of the problem.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Goin' for it~

I learned a nifty new bind-off technique today from Naomi and Melinda who had learned it at the Nihon class they are taking. It's similar to a 3-needle bind off, but it doesn't have such a thick selvage on the wrong side. Nice. So, after accidentally seaming the two front edges together (oops!) I'm ready to baste the steek stitches and cut the armholes. Oh my. Here goes!This is my new sewing machine. It's not fancy at all, but it's fairly heavy duty and has what I need. I've sewn since I was 10, and I'm not one for the computerized or embroidery machines. Maybe one day, but this is good for now. I had a great Bernina Sport machine but I gave it to Sara when she moved into her apartment in September.

Here's the beginning of the basting.

And the cut. There's no going back from here! Next I need to pick up stitches for the sleeves. At least I'm still breathing!

Over the (blue) moon

Amy, Naomi and I did a group order for some Blue Moon goodness a couple of weeks ago. It arrived yesterday!
I bought STR in Rocktober, Grinchy and JingleBell Rock. I also was talked into Laci in Red Clover Honey (I see Bee Fields in my future!) and I also got a Sheep to Shoe kit in Thistle. I really want to get better at spinning for socks, so we'll see.

I'm off to get a haircut and then Naomi's for an afternoon of knitting, friends, and fun. I'm hoping to finally decide if and how I'm going to get my shoulder seams finished for my Kauni. I need to move on with it.

Patrick's sweater is coming along. The pattern is written to be 15" from the cast-on edge to the armholes. I'm there now, so I've sent off an email to him to measure himself and a favorite other shirt (he doesn't wear sweaters - hasn't found the right one yet - )to figure out really how long he wants it.

I've made a bit of progress on my Ella Rae sweater - I put it aside for a bit to work on Patrick's, but since I'm waiting to hear from him, I can work more on it. I've been working it two balls at a time, switching them out every second row. It's looking great! I think it's doing a great job of not pooling or flashing.

(No, this is not me)

Friday, November 9, 2007

I think I can, I think I can....

I think I have my Christmas gift knitting all set. Of course various people who will be recipients of same gifts pop in to read my blog from time to time, so I guess I can't say too much about them. Patrick knows what I'm making, as he picked it out. I'm modifying the ribbed cardigan in Last Minute Knitted Gifts to be a 1/4-zip pullover. He picked Plymouth Tweed in charcoal and away I went. I swatched Tuesday night, got gauge and finally cast on Wednesday night.
Let me say here and now that I am not a perfect knitter. I know. It's shocking, huh? So, I got about 5 inches into the thing and I realized the whole front was going to be wonky. You see, the pattern is for a full zip cardigan. There are k2 ribs on either side of the zipper and the body is knit all in a one piece 4x4 rib. So I had merrily cast on my full cadre of stitches and went on my way. I stopped to admire the work and I realized that the zipper placement will just not look right with a K4 on the right and a P4 on the left. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Off to the frog pond with that baby.

Cast back on yesterday morning and I left four stitches off on each side. I don't need a zipper selvedge, and Patrick wants to make sure it is not at all baggy - more athletic cut. So now I have the center front centered on a K4 rib and that will be divided (K2,zipper,K2) at the appropriate time.
Here's progress so far:

It does seem to be going rather quickly - I need 15" until the armhole shaping - I think I'm around 9 inches right now.

I'll post more later tonight - Amy and I are headed to IKEA to check our their Christmas stuff and who knows what else. I'll leave you with two recently finished shop models.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

even more....

Just a few more pictures from Cannon Beach, and then on to new things: We went to the Lazy Susan (awesome breakfasts!) Sunday morning. I had a oatmeal waffle - who knew it would be a happy waffle? The other pictures are Amy and Naomi's food. Yum!

Other favorite landmarks are the Cannon Beach Bakery (Haystack Bread!) and Bruce's Candy Kitchen. I guess all things change at some point. The bakery has moved into new quarters since the last time I went, and Bruce's is up for a major remodel starting soon -I think they said November. That would be the lovely Amy pointing out the bakery sign.

Onto knitting! In mid-September, I talked about taking a workshop with Evelyn Clark on designing lace triangles. I did finally finish mine.
I used 1 skein of Malabrigo Lace and size 4 Addi lace needles. I'm not sure you can see the detail all that well, but it starts out with leaves, then a ripple motif, a medallion and then repeats the ripple and leaves. Fun to do. The book is marvelous. A great jumping off point to start to wrap my head around designing shawls.

While at Cannon Beach, we made many, many stops at Coastal Yarns right there in town. It was the first stop before even checking into our motel (we arrived 15 minutes before closing) and stopped in a few more times Saturday and Sunday. I ended up buying some STR and some Atacama in color 500 to make the Ella Rae t-shirt sweater. Since it's a handpainted yarn, I'm going to work two balls at the same time so I hopefully won't get too much pooling.

Obviously, I've started the sweater. I couldn't help myself!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Happy Halloween to you!

No, I did not get washed to sea at Cannon Beach, I did not get blown away in the windstorm we had two weeks ago and yes, I'm fine. I've just been really busy with work and getting some stuff done around here, but mostly trying to get knitting projects done. It seems most days for me are get up early, work on a shop model (once in awhile something for me) go to work and work and teach for up to 10 hours and come home, make dinner and knit for a few more hours. I'm not complaining at all - I said I could work more hours - I'm just tired alot.

I've decided on a self-imposed knitting break for shop models for a bit. I need to be able to get a few of my own projects done and I have some gifts to make. I forgot to take pictures of the lastest shop models to post here, so I'll try and remember tomorrow. I hope.

So, instead of a hugely long post, I'll just put up some new pictures and tell you about them. I'll probably do this for a few days and hopefully catch up. That's also one of the reasons I haven't been posting - things start adding up, then I get overwhelmed about the amount of time it would take to chronicle it all. Okay, enough jabbering,let's have some pictures. I realize I never posted anything about Cannon Beach. Here's a photo montag- basically we knit, hung out, shop,ate, knit some more, got soaked by rain, then knit and ate more. See a pattern?

This is a picture of the house that my dad's side of the family owned for about 40 years. It was bought by my grandparents in 1959. We sold it in 2001. I still miss that we don't have ownership, but that's another story. I love that it still looks exactly the same. I miss you Beach House!

Guess that's it for pictures for now - Blogger isn't letting me upload anymore. Maybe they went to bed. I think I need to do the same!

Thursday, October 4, 2007


I've finally decided on a name for ravelry. Look for me as middlename!

Friday, September 28, 2007

"All my bags are packed.....

I'm ready to go! Today is the day Naomi, Amy and I are headed out to Cannon Beach for a quick little knitting weekend. Of course, there is more to do in Cannon Beach. Bruce's Candy Kitchen, Bill's Tavern, Lazy Susan Cafe, Pizza a Fetta and more await us. Oh, of course there's Coastal Yarns too.
Patrick knows I'm only a cell phone away. He's out of the hospital as of yesterday afternoon and back at his dorm. He has lots of friends visiting with him, and I'm sure quite a bit of homework to catch up on. I don't think I'll be headed over right now, but of course I had already checked out all the airline flights (of which there were none, I'd have to drive) just in case he had gone to surgery.
Oh -there's the Noni adventure bag - yes, it holds a lot of stuff. I've got sweaters and sweatshirts and more in there. I think I may add some shorty handles on the sides later though. It seems that I'm asking a lot of that one strap!
I'll be back late Sunday night - hold down the fort!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Oh my.

Wed. morning update: I called Patrick at 8 this morning. He did not have to go into surgery last night, he doesn't know anything else yet. He's very tired and hungry (he hasn't eaten since 3 pm Monday. Hopefully I'll hear more later today.

I got a call from Patrick (my son) while at work this afternoon. "Mom, I messed up my leg playing soccer last night (he plays on two intramural teams) I'm not sure if it's broken."

So a couple of calls back and forth with updates. Yes, he has indeed broken his fibula. By getting kicked. He spent a majority of the day at the WSU clinic, and they noted that the capillary pressures in his leg were elevated to a degree that they weren't comfortable with. They transferred him to the hospital in Pullman, where they are monitoring him overnight. If the pressure goes too high, they will be performing emergency surgery.

I really want to be able to go and sit with him, but I can't. Work is such that I can't be gone right now, we don't have anyone to cover for me. Patrick is actually a really healthy, athletic kid - he has never had a broken bone, never been in the hospital except for when he was born. Right now, we are just checking in on him by phone. I did speak with the orthopedic surgeon tonight, and, after checking him out on the internet, -don't we all love Google!! - it turns out he had played football for the Cougars for a few years in the 80's, got hurt a few times too many, and decided to go into medicine. He graduated with his MD from UW, and is the football team doctor for both WSU and Univ. of Idaho. I think Patrick is in great hands, I'm just hoping the pressure will go down and he can skip surgery and the resulting scars and rod in his leg.


Knitting - finished my humongo Noni bag tonight - got the rings for the handle on, and zipper is sewn it. I wanted to get purse feet for it tonight, but obviously I had other pressing matters to attend to. Hopefully tomorrow night. I plan to use this bag this weekend!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Heroes and Cannon Beach

I'm so excited that Heroes finally started again tonight! I love, love, love this show. Both my daughter and I watch it, so it's kinda fun to compare notes and see what insights she might have.
I also really like Grey's Anatomy - I often go over to Amy's to watch it . It's really fun to watch a favorite show with a friend! Besides, Amys is pretty much the ultimate hostess.

Knitting front - I'm going to Cannon Beach with Amy and Naomi this weekend, so I'm trying to figure out what to bring. I've already decided to not bring shop knitting (duh!) so I'm leaning towards my Kauni, Elsebeth Lavold's Margery and the latest Socks that Rock club socks. That should keep me plenty busy.

What are you working on?

Friday, September 21, 2007


Thanks everyone for your well wishes for my mom. I spent the day at the hospital today and the surgery was just fine. Very routine surgery. Mom will spend the night at the hospital tonight, just to monitor her, and the Dr. said he plans to release her tomorrow. Knit a bunch on a monkey sock (2/3 done) and just chatted and read a book. Tonight, we are folding the programs?/bulletins? what ever you hand out at a memorial service. Tomorrow will be Ed's service and we will have a family pizza get-together afterwards.

Not much else - enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm in! I'm in!

I just got home from work and my Ravelry invite was in my inbox! Hurray! Now I can see what the fuss is about. Of course, first I need to stress over what my user name should be. Is thatsmymiddlename too long? Should I pick something else?

of bento, lace and fun

This past Friday (okay, I know it's almost been a week, but I'm trying!) I went and saw a harlot. Not just any harlot, but this one.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka the yarn harlot was in the 'hood. I met up with Naomi, Amy,
Ryan and TMK
at Third Place Books. She was hilarious! I had met her before (she stopped in at the shop before her talk for the the first book), but I had never heard her speak.

Earlier in the day, Amy and I took a quick break in our days to head over to Bad Woman Knits and Trophy Cupcakes. I didn't get anything at Bad Woman, but I did have a vanilla with chocolate frosting cupcake and bought 2 buttons for my knitting bag. The cupcake was good, but since I don't really each much sugar, it was a bit too sweet for me. I felt like I was on extreme sugar high for the rest of the afternoon!

Do you know Jane Jenni buttons? They had a bunch of these that I hadn't seen before. On my knitting bag I've had happy camper and busy bee for a while. Now added to the collection are black sheep and goof ball.

I've been trying to get another sweater done for this weekend. Saturday will be my father-in-law's memorial service, and I wanted something not so somber to wear. This will be the Tithe sweater (no link available) from the book "Noro Unlimited".
The sweater is fairly unstructured, and didn't even have ribbing at the edges. I changed that to four rows of seed stitch, as I really didn't want the rolled edge look. The sleeves are elbow length, so I really think I'll be able to get it done today, block at work and seam tomorrow. Oh - the yarn is Noro Kureyon, color 188 (scrumptious, no?)

Last weekend I was lucky enough to get to take a workshop with Evelyn Clark. She is such a nice person. We worked on making our own designs using her new book (great stuff!) and also how to chart and design our own lace. She is so gracious at sharing information so that we too can design. I also love that she throws in quirkly sayings like I do, such as "wonky". Naomi also took the workshop, so we carpooled together. Very,very fun weekend. Here is my progress on a shawl using the book:

It's sort of hard to see, (very hard to see?) but it will have three sections of leaves at the top, transition to ripple, then medallion, ripple, and 3 sets of leaves. What's my story? It's leaves, with wind (ripple) and the sun (medallion). Evelyn talked about having a theme or a story to your work, so that it had a flow to it. So, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
I'm really looking forward to putting the designing bits into practice, but want to finish this green number first, and probably finish the Mystery Stole also. Oh, I decided that even though I'm a bit hesistant about the wing on the MS3, I'm just going to go for it as written. The finished stoles I've seen on the web are quite pretty.
Why bento in the title? Sara spent the summer commuting to her job and class on campus at the UW. She has long been into everything Japanese, so she made bento lunches most days. I was even the lucky receipient a few times. Here is one of her creations. I especially like where she took two different colored plums, cut a star shape out of each and then swapped colors. So cute!
It's a bit hard to see in the pix, but it's the dark purple moundy thing near the top.I signed up for Ravelry a few months back. Now that it's old hat for most people, I'm almost on! I checked this morning, and there are only 180 people ahead of me. I bet I get on it the day before they are done beta testing. Off to finish my sleeve!

ETA: For any of you that pray, or can just wish good thoughts my way, I'd appreciate it tomorrow. My mom is going in for some vascular surgery (carotid artery) tomorrow morning. Should be fine, but it is considered pretty major surgery with risk of stroke among other things. My brother and I are headed down to wait it out with her fiance at 5:15 tomorrow morning. The procedure starts at 6 am, should last three hours. Thanks, I really appreciate the support.

all the pretty houses

See these birdhouses? When Doug and I took Patrick to WSU in August, we took a few afternoon side trips in the Idaho countryside. This was just outside of one of the many small towns around Moscow. There was this big red barn, and then on the east side of the barn, every fence post had a painted red bird house attached. I thought they might be bluebird houses, but I think they are too low to the ground and on a fairly busy road. The west side of the barn had pastel bird houses, laid out in the same manner. I just thought they were so charming!So, too much time has passed since we took him over to blog about. But, Thursday night (when we were looking to pass some time) we went and saw "Hairspray" and had beer and a light dinner at this cool old pub in downtown Pullman. I saw Hairspray at the 5th Avenue theatre on the premier night and loved it, so was really looking forward to seeing the movie. It was great. I laughed so hard - very funny to see John Travolta in a pink sequined dress, dancing and singing. Oh my.
On the way home after our weekend in the Palouse, we decided to get some dinner. We don't always like to stop at the chain restaurants(McD's, Taco Smell and the like), and usually have good luck with those little local hamburger places you find in small towns. We both really like onion rings, so we informally started an onion ring tour this summer. Not that we have been going out of our way to do so, it's just something fun. Anyway, we thought we'd stop in at Ellensburg to get some dinner. The exit we took just had the usual chain places, and we decided to skip them and keep looking. We spotted a sign for "Red Horse Diner" on the freeway and decided to investigate. This is what we found:

It's an old gas station themed diner. Hamburgers and sandwiches are named after cars. Really good food too (including, yes, onion rings!) The funny thing about this place is that when I was growing up in Portland (Oregon), there was a Mobilgas station just around the corner from our house. I could see this same horse sign out my bedroom window, and it was sort of what I remember as my nightlight.

Knitting has been taking place around here - the Noni bag that ate my firepit has been felted,it definitely is smaller, yet still quite large. I finally found some rings that will work, and now need to put the zipper in and attach the rings. I plan to use this as a weekend travel bag.

We have a Noni trunk show in at work right now. One of the bags is the medium adventure bag. I hope to get a picture of all three of the bags lined up in a row, since I have also made the smallest adventure bag awhile back... guess I need to hustle and get this one done!

I did block my adventures in color blending Koigu shawl. I think it turned out quite pretty.

I have a question for those of you who have knit lace shawls - how do you store them? On a hanger? In a drawer or storage box? Right now I've been carefully folding them and putting them in a drawer. Just looking to see if there are better options out there.

Monday, September 10, 2007


This past weekend in Seattle I walked 60 miles. Most of you know by now that I participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk for Breast Cancer. I don't have any pictures of the event, because I tend to be a don't break the rules type of person. The packing list said no cell phones, no cameras, so I didn't bring them. Turns out most people did. I'll just have to recap in words (hopefully there will be some pictures somewhere, and I can add them later!)

So here's a "quick as I can" version of my experience.

I couldn't sleep at all the night before. Not because I was excited, but because I was very apprehensive about the whole thing. I was scared. I've had tendonitits in my left ankle all along, I'm not an especially athletic person and I didn't know anyone participating.

The starting point was Bellevue Community College. It began with Opening ceremonies, a group stretch and then we hit the road around 7 am. There were around 2500 participants. It was so cool to cross overpasses and have cars honking and waving. Along the street you could see commuters in their cars - some wouldn't look at us, some were moved to tears. Very inspirational. We crossed over the I-90 bridge into Mercer Island, then into Seattle. Walked down towards the Stan Sayres pits where there was a cheering section, (I saw Patty and Mary driving by - they had been passing out knitted sweatbands and saved me one!) I saw some rowers in the distance (hey Patrick - it was Mt. Bakers masters, 2 8's, 1 quad and a pair), and had lunch at Seward Park. This was my first exposure to how much food they give you. We had pit stops every 2.5 miles or so - port-a-potties, water, gatorade, snacks like chips, pretzels, animal cookies, bananas, oranges. At lunch they gave us a sandwich, chips, an apple, potato salad and cookies. They are constantly telling you to "eat, drink and pee". I ended up carrying a good portion of my lunch along the way because I just couldn't eat it all, and didn't want to throw it away. After lunch we headed down through Renton, and to another cheering station in Tukwila. My mom and her fiance were at this one. she had a poster saying "Go, Ellen", a candy bar (Big Hunk -her favorite - I didn't take it) and a small battery operated fan. The fan was great, and it was great to see someone I know. The cheering sections were fun because so many people were there cheering on not just their family members, but all of us. Lots of cute little kids with spray bottles, candies, stickers, popsicles. I don't normally buy Otter pops - but they sure taste good when you are walking! Lots of cheering and positive things to say. The best is when you see survivors, and they are thanking you. Very moving.

We finished up the first day by heading to Burien, past the back side of Sea-Tac airport. There was this long, gradual hill - it just seemed to go on forever. I was pretty exhausted at that point but I kept going on. It was great to be done the first day. 23.5 miles. Wow. The furthest I had ever walked in my life. Got my gear, grabbed a tent to set up and found my designated campsite. There were two angel-girls there that showed up out of nowhere. They were local girl scouts who were doing community service, setting up our tents. How sweet. I know it's just thread the poles through the holes and pop the tent up, but it was so nice that they did it for me. Waited around a bit for my randomly selected tent mate to show up, but she never did. Turns out some people don't show. I had the tent to myself, good and bad. Good, in that I could spread my stuff out, and sleep in the middle of the tent (there was so much dew, the sides leaked the first morning). Bad, in that I didn't really have anyone to hang out with. It was a bit lonely. Went to dinner, had spaghetti, salad and an eclair (they ran out of green beans and rolls in my line) and then a shower after.

Ah yes, the showers. One of my greatest fears - communal showers. So this wasn't really communal showers, just communal undressing. I did it, but very quickly. Harumph.

Went to bed around 9. I had brought some knitting along - I'm a knitter, I had to! - but only got half a round on a sock and decided I was too tired and just went to sleep.

Day 2: Didn't sleep at all the night before 'cause I was too cold. I knew the route opened at 6:30 so I was up at 5:30, ate breakfast, group stretching and off I went. Day 2 was 19.5 miles - we were by the Sea-Tac runways, saw lots of planes taking off, down to Des Moines along the waterfront there, and past gorgeous homes along the way. There is a fun looking farmers' market on the waterfront. I'd like to go back and visit it. Very, very nice day, lots of breeze. Lots of hills too. It's much harder to go downhill than uphill I found out. Really hard on the knees and toes. We basically did a loop from our camp south, then back to camp.

Day 3: Slept a bit better, had a sleeping bag warmer pouch that helped a bit. We had to pack up our gear and tents before hitting the road, so I planned to get up at 5:30 and get on the bus at 6:30. People in tents behind me had a different idea, as they were up at 4:30 talking and packing. I rolled out at 4:45, packed up, ate and ended up on one of the earlier buses. We were bused up to Lincoln Park near the Coleman ferry docks. Day 3 took us through West Seattle (more pricey homes!) and along Alki. There were quite a few people out on Alki, cheering us on. Headed across the West Seattle bridge into Seattle, up towards the stadiums. There was a Seahawks game yesterday, so we were in the midst of all that craziness too. What I didn't know at the time was that I was in the front of the pack so to speak. We were having to try and get these people who were having tailgate parties to get out of our way, and they didn't really know what was going on yet. Were they going to be in for an awakening later! The last pit stop was right by Qwest field. Awesome - they said we were at the 57-mile point. At that point I knew I was going to be able to finish - 3 miles was a piece of cake! I got a quick snack - I usually grabbed a half banana, filled up my water bottle, and a bag of pretzels and I was off with a new spring in my step. I ended up getting to Seattle Center at 1 pm. It was so cool - there were lots of people lining the sides as we crossed the 60 mile point. People cheering inside the holding area too, where we picked up our tee-shirts. There weren't very many people there in the building at the time. I asked one of the staff people where everyone went, and she said they hadn't arrived yet. This shocked me. For three days, I had been passed by so many people. I actually was one of the first 100 or so to get to the finish. It's not a race at all, but I really pushed myself all three days to be in the middle of the pack. I think I did okay.

Thanks so much to all of you who donated. I needed to raise a minimum of $2200 in order to participate. With your help, I raised over $2700. I am inspired. You guys kept me going. I didn't want to let anyone down. Thank you so, so much.

So, what did I learn?

Just do it. Don't put things off until you are in better shape or whatever. You never know when your time will come. The time to do is now.

Eat bananas. Good for their potassium. Great for achy muscles. Who knew?

Chat with people. Reach out. Share experiences. Take time to listen.

It's okay to break the rules sometimes. Next time, I'm getting a bigger pack to carry, and my cell phone and camera are coming with me.

Burt's bees lipgloss does not have sunscreen. Yes, wonderfully minty fresh, but now my lips are swollen. Ow. Need better sunscreen too.

Last, but not least, push yourself but don't hurt yourself. You can do more than you think you can. There were all sizes and abilities on this walk. Very athletic people, very non-athletic people. Cancer survivors, current cancer patients, old people, young people (16 and older). Some were men who lost a wife or mother to breast cancer.

Okay, I'm off. Have to work and teach tonight.

One more thing. I am definitely doing this again. Hopefully next year. Want to sponsor me?? (I'm starting early!)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thank you!

Thanks for all of your kind words about Ed's passing. And, if you are coming here from Amy's blog, thank you so much for your contributions towards my 3-day goal. Oh my goodness, I am so touched by this - especially when I see the dedications to loved ones who have passed on. Thank you so, so much. Amy had been so sweet to run a contest for me on her blog. Thanks so much Amy!

It's time to post some knitting. It definitely has been missing here, but I have been working on stuff. I finished my first pair of monkey socks.
These were so fun! I used Fleece Artist merino in an older colorway. It took me a bit to figure out the repetition of the pattern, but once I understood the pattern, it was smooth sailing. I did 5 repeats (short legs), heel, then 6 repeats for the foot. I've started another color with some failed hand-dyed that I had hanging around.What is failed hand-dyed you ask? Well, some friends and I had a dye day two summers ago and we didn't realize that the dye had to set for a bit before we rinsed it. Oops. So what should have been a purple, blue and a forgotten third color turned out to be a grayish purple, turquoise, hot pink monstrosity. Monkey socks are so cool though, that any color would look okay. We'll see....

I started this little number at Naomi's on July 28th. It's been ready to steek for a bit over a week now, but I'm dragging my feet. See, I've never steeked. I'm sure it will be fine, I know the decreases are right at the neck, but I'm waiting for a second opinion. I also need to measure it against another cardigan, I want to know that it will fit! (ETA: I just measured it against an Eddie Bauer size M cardigan I have. It's the same - yahoo!)

Oh - another quickie flew off my needles. I don't have a picture of it on my camera, but I did an Everyday Cardigan in Peace Fleece, colorway Grassroots. I started it in the car on the way to Pullman 8/15, and finished it this past Monday 8/27. I made the size 44" to be able to layer it. It's at work right now waiting for some cool buttons to finish it off. Hopefully in the next few days. I like Peace Fleece - it's not the softest wool, but I like it's rough, workhorse nature. Apparently we got our shipment in at work yesterday, I might get some of the pink to make an hourglass sweater from Last Minute Knits.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Edward Archie Gowey

My father-in-law, Ed or "Papa" as my kids called him passed away this morning at 6:59 am. I was closer to him than I am my own father, and really a great model of what a father should be.

He and his wife, Donnie, would have celebrated their 60th anniversary next week. Wow. It's so hard to believe that they are both gone.

Ed was king of the silly songs - "you are my favorite chunk of cheese" was one that kept running through my head this morning as family gathered to say our last goodbyes before they took him to the funeral home. He also worked at the same job for either 54 or 55 years, as an accountant for Fisher Flour Mills - those in Seattle would know this as the family that also owns KOMO tv and of the famous fair scones.

He died peacefully and without pain, his blood pressure just got lower and lower- his heart was just too weak. He had suffered from dementia for the past 2 1/2 years or so, there were times he would know us, and other times he wouldn't. But he also had 6 children, children-in-law and 14 grandchildren and some of them with spouses to try and keep straight. As our kids were growing up, he would often pull one of us to the side and say how proud he was of how we were raising our family and how he himself had such a wonderful family.

Ed, you were and are so very loved by your entire family. You will be sorely missed, but I'm so glad you are at peace now and are home with Donnie.

Edward Archie Gowey b. 1-24-1924 d. 8-29-2007

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Chatter Creek

The first weekend of August, the majority of Doug's side of the family went camping at Chatter Creek campground, 16 miles outside of Leavenworth. The last time we did this was 14 years ago, Sara would have been 7, Patrick 4. It's hard to believe it was so long ago! We did this for about 3 or 4 summers (no one is sure exactly which) and the kids (nieces and nephews) wanted to reinstate this tradition. We were able to get a reservation for the group site, and plans were made.

All in all, there were 21 of us, 8 adults and 13 kids. These "kids" aren't really kids anymore -except for two of them -2 year old Amanda and almost 5 year old Kayla. The others ranged in age from 18 to 30 (her birthday is next week). Our nephew Robert (Rob) was even able to join us - he currently lives in Colorado.

It was just a short, 3 day trip, but fun nevertheless. It was fun playing games around the campfire and just hanging out and chatting. Two of my sister-in-laws and I went into Cashmere to check out an antique mall. On the way, we saw a mama deer and 3 (3!) babies. I'm not sure if she "adopted" one, or if it's possible to for deer to have triplets. Unfortunately, I was only able to get a picture of two of them crossing the road.

Whenever the Gowey boys get together, much silliness ensues. They are all adults, with adult jobs, but get the four of them together and they are silly boys. Christmas, they make the stuffed animals "talk" and throw candy across the room. Easter, the kids might find olives or carrots in their plastic easter eggs during the family easter egg hunt. There are 6 kids in their family, 2 girls, 4 boys. (girl, boy, boy, girl, boy, boy) The girls didn't come on this trip (oldest sister's 2 daughters came with their husbands)but all four of the boys were there with their families. There is always some type of a friendly competition going on, which included this time, among other activities, frisbee golf. But the end of our trip was the best. Doug(my husband, 5th child), Patrick and Mike (3rd child) made boats to float down the creek. Doug had the Bud boat (modified beer can), Mike had a juice bottle boat, and Patrick had a wood boat he had been carving part of the weekend. The passengers were some army guys some previous camper-child had left strewn around the campsite. Everyone got all packed up, and then it was time for the race. This is pure silliness, but I was able to get a portion of this excitement preserved as a video clip. (Hmmm... I just spent 5 hours trying to get it to download - it's taking much too long, I think I'll skip the video!)

Here are some more various pictures from the weekend (no glamour shots, we were camping, no makeup was involved....) I guess it looks like we just sat around all weekend!
We're going back next year!