Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Non exploring projects.

We have not been in places where extended exploration is possible very much this year. While this is unfortunate in that there are far fewer things to write or talk about, it does have an advantage in that there is more time for other interests to be explored. A lack of adventuring also leaves time for important things, like preparing for the fast approaching cold weather.

The Admiral has often mentioned that a good sock is hard to find these days. He tends to make these comments most especially when he notices that I am knitting a pair of socks. Being a very loyal captain, I took the hint. The Admiral's socks have proved an interesting project. He wanted socks that came higher than the tops of his boots. This isn't really a problem, but it is scary to knit socks with long legs. I tried it on a pair for myself once and had to rip out the entire sock and start over because there wasn't enough yarn for the foot. So I knit these toe-up instead of top down. Second, the Admiral does not have really big feet, they are considerably bigger than any feet I had previously made socks for, and I could not find a pattern that catered to his particular foot size, which is really not a big deal, but does require some recalculations. Following some advice that I picked up somewhere or other, I decided to start both socks at the same time. It was excellent advice. When I finally finished the first sock, I really don't know if I would still have had the courage to start on the second if it had not already been halfway through. 

This is the Admiral's sock. 

 This is the Admiral's sock compared with my sock, which 
is about the size sock that I usually make. 

 This is the Admiral's second sock. It is not really benefiting from this post. 

My other project is one that I have been planning to work on for a long time. I never was quite brave enough to begin before, but once begun it turned out not to be so difficult, and thus far, has taken less time than the Admiral's socks. 

Voila! the top piece for a very small log cabin quilt. Of course, it isn't finished yet, it still needs to be quilted, but it is at least started, which is the hardest part. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ten things we've learned. Part 2

#1. It is still a good idea to be ready to dodge when opening the cabinets after a drive. The 1st Mate has really taken beatings over this one.

#2. People honestly think that the summer is hot, wherever they live, and however not hot it is. People in Montana WILL insist on commenting on the heat in July, even if you are standing in front of them wearing a sweater.

#3. When going fishing, it is a good idea not to bring the captain.

#4. The Granary in Norfolk, NE is one of the best places to eat EVER. You can choose from beef that taste like it is from West of the Mississippi River, or chicken that tastes like it is from East of the Mississippi.

#5. People can die from being spiked by a catfish, but usually only if that person is allergic to the venom. Also, it is much better to be spiked by a catfish out of a pond than it is to be spiked by one from either the Mississippi or Des Moines Rivers.

#6. The incredible dumpiness of some campgrounds can be negated by the proximity to an excellent Greek restaurant.

#7. The incredible dumpiness or unfriendliness of some campgrounds cannot be negated at all, by any factor that is present. The only option for these is to get out. Fast.

#8. It is cold in North Dakota. This was proposed by a man wearing shorts in the snow in Minnesota, and confirmed by a Montana track inspector who works in -50 degree weather.

#9. Kitty litter is an excellent deterrent for getting stuck in the winter. It can also come in handy during certain scenarios in the summer. The minute you say "Why are we still carrying a twenty pound bag of kitty litter (in case we get stuck and need traction) when we haven't seen ice or snow in three months" and toss it in the nearest dumpster, you will need it.

#10. Freshly baked cinnamon rolls and a cup of hot chocolate are the best remedy for the day when you wake up freezing cold in September and realize that the first frost date is only a couple weeks away.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A quick list.

So, since the last post, a long, long time ago, our travels have looked something like this:
Baytown, TX- camping on Galveston Bay. Fishing.
Scotts Bluff, NE.
Douglas, WY. Home of the Jackolope.
Miles City, Montana.
Jamestown, ND. Home of the World's largest Buffalo and three white buffalo.
Detroit Lakes, MN.
Minneapolis, MN. This is where the 2nd Mate jumped ship and headed for the home port to strike out on her own. Sort of.
York, NE.
Brookfield, MO.
Hannibal, MO.
Quincy, IL.
Granite City, IL. Terrible campground, nice people. Awesome Greek restaurant.
Keokuk, IA. No terrible fishing incidents this time.
North Platte, NE. The best ice cream cones in the world are sold at Cody Park.
Wheatland, WY. Where we are now.

Wheatland is a nice town. There isn't a lot to do, but it has a great view of the mountains in the west.

And that is where we've been.