Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bears, graduations and mountains

Yep, that's a bear.  DH and I went to Gatlinburg last weekend and after spending two days hiking in the mountains and seeing only deer and squirrels, we try to take a detour around some traffic in Gatlinburg proper and drive up on this bear.  It walked down the street towards us, turned towards this condo, checked that the trash can was chained shut and then went back into the woods.  I thought it was pretty big.  DH said it was only a couple hundred pounds, so not very large for a black bear.  I still think a couple hundred pounds is large enough for a black bear.  We were probably only 20 feet away when I took this shot from the car window.  

But before Gatlinburg, my life was busy.  Finishing exams, I went to Atlanta for my sister's college graduation and to house sit for a friend of the family.  We are all so proud of my sister, who graduated with an awesome GPA.  She can do anything she puts her mind to, and is going to do great things!  Go Megan!

After I arrived home, class started, and I had a couple of those before we left town.  Friday we drove to Gatlinburg and spent the next couple of days hiking and viewing spectacular sites.

This is off Clingman's Dome, the obligatory self-taken photo.  Despite not having worn proper footwear and having aching legs, we climbed 330 feet in .5 miles to reach the highest point in the Smoky Mountains.  This is off of the side of the mountain, but was still pretty darn high.

This is a beautiful picture from Cades' Cove, a historic settlement that is now a living museum in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

This is Laurel Falls.  It is an easy 1.3 mile paved path off of the main road leading to Cades' Cove in the park.  It is named for the mountain laurel that was flowering while we were there.  Some nice man took a picture of DH and I at the falls, but I was wearing unfortunate shorts that day and appear about 30 pounds heavier than I actually am.  I'll be cropping those pictures.

Knitting wise, I kept things pretty simple.  I bought some new yarn at the spinning shop in town and cast them on.  After several false starts, I know have 30% of a pair of Trilobite Socks from Wendy Johnson's new book, Socks from the Toe Up.  

This is how far I was once we reached Georgia and were only an hour from my parents house. 

Friday, May 8, 2009

On Con Law, counter butter and fibery goodness

This is my new counter butter dish. I'm not sure what it is really called, but it keeps the butter at room temperature, so its wonderfully spreadable. The butter goes in the small container attached to the lid, which is inverted into the larger cube that has cool water on the bottom to keep air out. Reading online, I discovered that butter will go rancid eventually at room temperature, but it takes a while. Also, until it goes rancid, it won't hurt you, but when it is rancid, it would be bad to eat. But when it goes rancid, its pretty noticeable and so DH keeps smelling it closely when I put it on bread. I have faith I'll notice rancid butter before I eat it. I put one stick in there, so hopefully that won't go bad. If it does, we'll use half a stick. The best part? $5 at TJ Maxx.

This is just a taste of the dyeing I did this week. I dyed 8 ounces of Correidale that I purchased at the Spinning Loft.

I got the dye from Indie Dyer at Stitches South. I got several other beautiful colors and dyed up around a pound of fiber. Now to get to spinning!

Speaking of spinning. The above yarn is my handspun from Lisa Souza's fiber I purchased at Stitches. Its Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) and spun up wonderfully! If I hadn't dyed up my own... I would probably order some more!

And the Con Law part (constitutional law)...  that's what I've been really doing.  I outlined, and now I'm studying for that exam, my last. I'm also finishing up some written work for two other classes.  Overall, I should be done soon, and boy, I can't wait!

Ok, now off to study.