Friday, October 18, 2013

Autumnal travels

G'day all!

I've been quite busy recently.  MiL and FiL visited and we saw lots of things.  DH took several days off, which meant we could go for a drive earlier this week and see a bit more of Washington state.  We had a lovely break and it was wonderful to catch up with MiL and FiL - they had just been in Italy and Jersey.

Random mountains by highway 20, Washington
I think I should start up my travel blog again - it has been mouldering for a while now and it's not like I don't have plenty of pics for it!

Anyway, it has meant that I haven't had a lot of time for knitting or quilting or blogging.  Or work.  Ahem.

Detail of current knitting.
I have been knitting a very pretty pattern called "Wildberries".  Those of you on Ravelry can look it up.  I was knitting away and it was knitting up pretty quickly and I was very pleased with my progress.  I had gotten halfway around it...

and then I tried it on.

Oh woe!  It was too long!  I had added a few stitches cos I thought it would be too short but when I sat down I realised that the bottom stitches flipped up because they hit the crease of my leg!  I needed to shorten it, not lengthen it.

So I ripped it all out!

This was the fourth time I'd frogged it - I had stuffed up stitch counts and the length three times before.  Then again, that is the joy of knitting.  Most of the time you can fix up your mistakes - it's not like sewing garment where a screw up mostly means finding more fabric to cut a replacement out of.

The Reading Room at UW

I thought I took a pics of the mess of yarn I'd frogged but I can't find it - not that surprising really as we took about 4,000 pics in the week of MiL and FiL visiting.  Despite all those pics, I realised as they were leaving that I didn't have a single pic of them together and had to get one at the airport as we dropped them off!

One of Washington's many hydroelectric stations.

So today I was going to see the laryngologist about my stupid vocal cord.  I am a lot better than I was even a month ago but I'm still not good.  My voice is unreliable and I often sound like I'm about to burst into tears (not a good sound!) and I still get winded pretty easily.  I had to hurry to the bus cos the mongrel is leaving early these days and guess what?  I missed it by 20 yards!  He wouldn't sit and wait for me and DH didn't get him to either.  It isn't as if he's running late, he just likes to get his shift over and done with it seems.

Liberty Bell mountain at Washington Pass

Anyway, it means the next bus runs a bit late cos they end up picking up all of the people like me who just missed the previous bus and are now feeling pretty pissed off because they've waited 20 minutes instead of 15 (or even better getting the bus that they missed because it was early).

Part of Ladder waterfall/cascades.

Topping things off nicely, the Ballard Bridge got stuck in the up position this morning.  It had opened for a boat and then could not lower all the way down to restore the road.  This meant all the traffic that would normally flow down 15th Ave NW had to go down the same road the bus uses and cross the Fremont Bridge (which also goes up and down).  It took twenty minutes to go less than a kilometre/ half a mile or so.  I realised that I would not make my appointment in time - the bus was going to take at least another half hour to get to downtown and I need ten minutes to putter up the very steep hills and I only had twenty minutes to get there.

Yellow leaves

All of this means I have no updates on what to do next about this silly throat.  I will see the ENT on Tuesday instead.  But I did get a good walk in - I walked all the way home from Fremont, via Fred Meier which just so happened to have some cheap tops in colours I need for some of my outfits and a purple microfleece top and one in eye-watering pink and orange.  Hooray!

Hmm what else has happened? 


We have looked at two houses that are for sale.  One was good location but a bit small for the price and um has interesting decorating features (and this is coming from us, two people who normally like interesting decorating features), the other not as good location but a much better price and a marvellous little house.  It has an upstairs area that would be a brilliant craft room - DH says quilting room but it would be a study and craft room, mostly because I'll get lonely up there by myself and will end up in the basement with DH if there's nothing for him up there.  But we can't get ahead of ourselves because it isn't ours.

Wenatchee River loop, Leavenworth

I have taken many many pictures of autumnal leaves.  Many pictures.  There are so many fabulous trees around.  I'd love Fall if it didn't mean winter came on its heels.  I like my days long and warm, not short and frosty, though I'll take short, frosty and clear over short, dark and rainy any day.

Golden fire, blue sky.

The weather has been a bit bizarre again.  A strong high pressure ridge is sitting over us.  This would be good except there's an inversion layer and it is foggy down here in the lowlands.  Higher up and on the Cascades, it is brilliantly sunny but the fog isn't lifting until some time between midday and 3pm, which doesn't leave a lot of the day to be sunny in.  It looks like it will remain like this for another week!  If it were sunny all day long, I'd be in seventh heaven.

Much sadness, not being able to go to the Locks.
They are open again now.
Hmm, I need to add another paragraph but I've run out of things to say for the moment!  But I wanted to add this pic of one of the octopodes at Seattle Aquarium.  He was having such a good time gallumphing around his tank, waiting for his dinner!

Octopus, on the move.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

October already?

G'day all!

The year is really starting to wind down now.  I'm noticing that the sun is sitting a lot lower in the sky, and it is yet to sink really low.  I dunno how those who live in the arctic or antarctic circle can cope with not seeing the sun.  It's bad enough when we get to eight hour long days, if the sun comes out!

Glorious sun at the farmers' market today

Anyway, we've had THREE WHOLE DAYS of sun!  It has been glorious!  It's not going to last but I've been trying to soak up as many rays as I can whilst also doing important things like tidying and cleaning in preparation for the in laws.

A lovely sunset.

Yep, MiL and FiL are arriving on Thursday.  I can expect to be busy! What am I talking about - I already am busy!

Colour in the mountains, North Cascades.

 I still can't talk very well - I've gone backwards today and I think its because yesterday I got the hiccups.  They were quite bad.  I was making some really dreadful noises - thank heavens only DH was about.  I couldn't stop them using my usual trick (thanks kbell even if it doesn't work any more!).  I can't hold air in my lungs - it just leaks out past that annoying vocal cord.  I had been getting quite good - I could sing some low stuff, project my voice a bit.  There's no point resting it from what I read on the net.

I believe this is the Skagit River, hurrying between
appointments with various hydro plants.

It is surprising what you can't do when you have a paralysed vocal cord.  I can't lift heavy things - it turns out that to brace your core, you take a breath and then close your glottis (vocal cords).  I can't do that.  I can't hoist things that usually are not a problem.    Air just leaks out.

Diablo Lake.  Gobsmacking.

Another view of Diablo Lake.

I'm feeling a bit crabby about it all, which is a reason for escaping and going for a drive.  It is really really tedious not being able to project my voice or some times even talk audibly.  It limits you socially and you start feeling like it is All Too Hard.  It is horribly tedious not being able to walk uphill at a pace faster than a toddler can manage without gasping.  DH likes to walk and talk and I can't walk uphill and talk or walk at a decent pace downhill and talk.  I'm probably going to have to have the injection in the cord to make it close off my trachea a bit more - I am told it is very well tolerated and doesn't stop you breathing.  Only problem is the ENT I am seeing does it under general anaesthetic and I really don't want to have a general if I can avoid it.  I know some ENTs will do vocal cord injections with the patient sedated.

A streamlet bounding.

Skagit River looking more calm.
It was still moving at a good pace.

Anyway, in the meantime I clean, I tidy, I knit and oh yeah, I do work.  Lots of work. 

Fall leaves.  Some great specimens around!

I have finished lots of knits in the last month.  Maybe you'd like to see some of them?  This is after all ostensibly a knitting blog, not a Lynne's whinings blog.

DH's new socks at the beach.

A rather bright shawl.

A silk cowl

My new cardie just laying around

Finished this one in time for cool weather, sigh...

Close up of the cowl's shiny silk and stitch pattern
(star stitch - k3tog, knit/yo/knit into the k3tog, k1, repeat)

Plus yesterday we escaped the city and went for a drive in one of the most magical parts of Washington state, and there are many amazing places here.  It is so amazingly pretty!  We drove up to the Cascades part of State Highway 20.  We only got as far as Ross Lake because we left a bit late but OMG!  The pretty!  The fall colours are in and some areas have already lost their leaves but they were the lower places in the upper Skagit valley, not up in the mountains.

The scenery around Diablo Lake was absolutely gobsmacking.  I'm a bit sad that we haven't managed to get up there earlier, but I had planned a weekend up that way for DH's birthday.  Alas it rained a lot up there in August and there were a number of landslips and the road was closed for a while.  My little car is game and willing but there are limits....  Still, better late than never and I can see we'll be doing that trip again, hopefully this year before the road is closed by snow but if not, some time next year when it reopens again.

After a lovely weekend, the weather looks like it is going to get fairly craptastic again.  Hope I've got enough sun stored up.  I'll have to start running the heaters too - it's going to be 5C cooler than average for this time of year over the next week or two.  17C is normal and an ok temperature but 12 to 13C is a bit on the cool side!  Last year my African Violets suffered quite badly because it was too cold (and I didn't realise - I'm not actually into torturing things I am meant to take care of!) so I'll just have to pay up the increased electricity bill and have all the rooms heated rather than the ones I am using.