Monday, August 12, 2013

The excitement of being me

G'day all!

I haven't blogged for a while.

I've been away.

I try not to advertise when I'm away, though anyone following me on G+ whom I've encircled will know where I've been.

But first, I want to tell you about the excitement of being me.

Upon our return from places not so far, the first thing we were greeted with was this:

You have to be joking!

We are some of the abovementioned tenants.  We have been paying our share of the utilities each month but it seems that our property managers have not been paying Seattle Public Utilities (SPU!  hahahahaha)...  Hmm...  We have small recourse - if the water does get turned off then we can charge the property managers $100 a day (or part thereof) and all costs of arbitration.  I'm pretty sure we could also break the month to month lease but that would mean finding a new place at short notice.  I've sent an email to our property manager rep but have not heard back from him.

Then the second fun thing?

Getting a recall notice on the car.  Apparently if I have the front wheels at full lock, the stability control may not function.  I have to take the car in to get that fixed at the dealer.

The third fun thing?

Getting in the car tonight to drive across to craft night in Capitol Hill.  Turn the key, dashboard lights come on and then nothing.

Battery is flat.

I remembered that one of my friends said the battery in her car (same make and model) is woeful and has been boosted a couple of times, and her car is maybe 14 or 15 months older than mine.  Anyway, I had to get roadside assistance out to get my car started.  The RA guy was in a 323 sedan with swish mags (very different from the roadside assistance in Oz, where the guy pulls up in a ute of variable age and cleanliness) and had a very nifty little battery pack thing - lithium I'm guessing cos it was about the size of a small laptop bag - that gave enough juice to the battery to get the car started after less than a minute of charging.

So I'm missing craft night and our friends are coming over this way for dinner.

I can hear a car that won't start at this very minute.  It isn't mine - it doesn't have the right cranking sound.

Anyway, where did we go?

A few months ago, DH came to me with a list of places where his work will send him to do interviewing.  Chattanooga (Tennessee), Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), NYC (umm in New York, unlike Idaho City which is in Colorado... or the Arkansas River, also in Colorado), Cheyenne (Wyoming) and Dallas Fort Worth (Texas).

Cheyenne is not very far at all from Fort Collins in Colorado, where we lived for five months.  I always wanted to go back and hooray!  We were off to Cheyenne and DH took some leave so we could have two weekends and a couple of extra days away.  We chose to get a rental car at Denver international airport and drive up rather than pay an extra $600 each (work would pay for DH's airfare) to do a half hour hop in a small plane.  There's lots to see between Denver and Cheyenne as long as you don't mind going the long way.

Words cannot describe my excitement when we went to pick up the rental car and I saw the signs on the airport road and then I70 saying "Ft Collins".  It was a visceral thrill to go back - I remember when we left and flew to Canada to get new visas that I swore I would return, one day, and that day was fast approaching.

Our car was black, woe and betide us because the Colorado sun is fierce.  A very pretty black with purple and green sparkles in it.  I became more and more pleased with the car (despite its boot/trunk having a woefully small opening - getting the suitcase in was difficult! and the hinges in the boot were massive), particularly when I discovered that I could change the mileage and outside temperature info to metric measures - L/100km and Celsius.  Plus over the trip, it averaged around 6L/100km (about 39mpg) even though we did a lot of mountain climbing in it.  (It was a 2013 Ford Focus sedan, for those interested.)

We shoved our gear into the car after getting ripped off by the limo driver (we were quoted $41 to get into Denver itself and paid $65 after he drove us down south and then back up into the city - we dunno if he was deliberately ripping us off or if he didn't understand what we told him.  We have Aussie accents and his Italian sounding accent was very thick) and took off for the hills.  Literally.

I have so many pics from the phone (around 2 GIG worth!) that I can't share them all in one post.  I can't distill down the very best pics for just one post.  You'll have to cope with a number of posts.  There's over 14Gb of pics from the big camera for me to go through but DH insisted on doing HDR set up so quite a number of the pics are three different exposures of the same shot.

So in this post, I'll just share my new stash with you.  I did go to one quilt shop but forgot to take pics of my cash splash there.

Hmm, shoulda rotated this one...
My Sister Knits was my LYS in Fort Collins.  I would ride my bike up there on Tuesday nights for knit night.  There was usually a train that came through town (literally - it runs down the middle of the road ) on Tuesday nights not long after knit night broke up and I would regularly speed past the train and get ahead of it - the train has to travel at about 10mph when it is travelling through the middle of the road - so that I could get across to my side of Fort Collins before I had to wait for the mile long train to pass.  Seriously.  Freight trains are about a mile long in the States.  It is a long time to wait for the train to pass.  Anyway, I bought some pretty Swans Island naturally dyed merino (both with indigo in them) and a cashmere sock blend yarn there.  And I had a good chat at knit night - the owner recognised me but couldn't remember my name.  That was ok - it was nearly six years ago when we left.

Local yarn!  Bought in Cheyenne, Wyoming
I found locally grown and produced yarn in Cheyenne, plus some bright stuff.  There's two balls of the pink/lime/cyan Bamboo Pop but I've already started knitting one of them.

Oh gosh, I've forgotten the shop's name.
Ewe something in Cheyenne.

Nebraskan yarn bought from
Brown Sheep's mill.
Upside down - ahem.  Stupid phone.
Whilst DH was busy doing business, I drove out to Nebraska.  I wanted to see Scotts Bluff again (an important feature on the Oregon Trail) and Brown Sheep just happens to be less than ten miles away so... More seconds for me!

The purple laceweight yarn - close to
true colour.

Another upside down pic - you guys can
read upside down, right?
 I bought yarn online from The Loopy Ewe some time ago, and when I found out they are now in Fort Collins and have a shop front, I was extremely happy that I don't live there any more.  If there's anything that is more seductive for a yarn junky than looking at yarn online, it is looking at the same yarn in person.  Various of the yarn I bought there will self-stripe.  I wish I could do some dyeing - I liked setting up self-striping yarn, but it takes a fair whack more effort.  Finding the place was more difficult than it should have been - my phone thought I was in a trailer park and I misread the instructions and drove into the trailer park instead of driving about 300 yards to my destination.  A friend had given me excellent instructions on how to find the shop and it was very helpful cos it ain't easy to find :-)

Closeup of pretty sock yarn :-)

I also visited Lambspun, where I bought some of their own hand-dyed stuff (50:50 silk/merino), some yarn for a face washer (aka a wash cloth) and two hanks of silk.  I mostly visited Lambspun when I had a car as it was a little bit further away and getting there required riding my bike along faster, scarier roads than My Sister Knits.  And The Loopy Ewe was in St Louis then, which is a fair bit of a ride away.  The funny thing is that there is a cafe attached to Lambspun and I never ate there, but it turns out it is one of the favourite local cafes according to Yelp.

Such me colours.  So very me....
So that is the stash round up.  I have lots more to share about this trip and the resolution/completion that has come out of it.  Hopefully I'll have time to share them with you soon!

anon!

1 comment:

  1. Sorry for all the troubles. We really did just miss each other. I've been to DFW, Cheyenne, Denver, and Fort Collins in the last two months. :( Sometime maybe I'll make it out your way.

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