Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cycling through September ...

Most of the interesting things happening in my life lately involve a bicycle.  Or at least, those are the ones that pop into my mind first. 

I *did* bike 24 miles to mom's and back two weeks ago. And lived!  I've been biking 3-4x/week, usually 10-15 miles per outing.  Not wanting to be a wuss, I kept waiting for my seat to feel more comfortable, but it didn't, and at the encouragement of one of the ladies from Knit Night, I took myself and my bike to the bike shop.  (Have I mentioned the bike shop door is about 8 feet from the yarn shop door?  It's handy).  I came home from the shop with a reasonably priced new seat, chain lube, a lubed chain, and the knowledge of how to remove my front tire.  The things they've invented since 1970!  (That's my other bike of reference.  Quick release wheels did not exist on bikes in 1970. At least not on my dad's bike.)  I know it can take a while to get used to a new seat, but I'm an optimist so Filius and I set off on a 16 mile ride after we got home and had a great time.  It was the first time we'd traveled that 'block', and I certainly got a workout.  New seat = new trunk muscles in play. 

Today, our plan was to bike to the next town south of us for dessert after lunch.  Except my rear tire was totally flat.  We reinflated it, biked around the town block, and wondered if we could make the trip (12 miles) if we brought along an air pump.  Wisdom prevailed, and we decided against it.  Then inquisitiveness came to the fore, and we managed to remove the tire from the bike, the tread and tube from the rim, find the leak, patch it (yay, Roho patch kits!), reassemble everything and ... head off for dessert.  And order two hand-thrown cups. 

God has perfect timing.  Yesterday, I learned what I needed to know to be able to fix my bike today. 

Today is also applesauce canning day.  Eleven quarts are cooling, and another 4 are about to jump into the water bath.  I think I'll make some apple leather next.  And then pie filling.  And somewhere in there, pumpkin pie filling.  A neighbor dropped off some of the bounty of her squash bed, which survived the bugs.  My squash bed did not survive.

Knitwise, I've been slacking.  My big project is going to be a Christmas vest for Patrick, but the yarn's not in yet.  I cast on for a scarf, to use up some oooold Jaggerspun yarn from the Weaver's Place, but ran out.  Fortunately, the yarn still exists, so I ordered more.  But it's not here yet.  I did knit up Wingspan in leftover sock yarn, finished a test knit, finished the Bavarian Socks, and knit up some socks for Filius.  Nothing is on the needles now, though.  I may just work on Molly's Fault after I get the applesauce cleaned up in the kitchen. 

Homeschooling is quiet these days.  Filia has 16 credit via dual enrollment, so I assist in getting her to college and home from college, and that's about it.  Filius is plugging away at his subjects, including Statistics.  We switched from Coursera's Intro to Stats to Udacity's Stats 101, and are much pleased with the switch.  Better feedback, more introductory  (less deep end), and easier to grasp. Little by little, we'll progress through the year!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

School's Up!

School has been in session for just over a week -- Grannis Academy follows the Bethany Lutheran College calendar, whenever feasible.  Things have fallen and are falling into place.  Filia is enjoying her 16 credit load, and Filius and I are settling into a routine of sorts.  Statistics (Coursera) and Pre-Calc and Physics, oh my! 

State Fair results came out on the 23rd, and I was delighted to see that both Abigail and I won blue ribbons in our categories.  Yippee!

Knitting.  I'm working on a test knit now, so no pictures. Three and a half of the four socks I was working on in my last post are finished, and the last half should be finished in a week or so, once I clear the test knit from my deck.  I'm also plotting and planning for a Christmas vest for Filius.  Plotting and planning is fun!

Cycling!  I decided to return my sloooow bike and see what I could fine.  As divine providence had it, my 'search and learn' mission resulted in finding a used bike for half the cost of the new one I had my eye on (and which was almost in my price range).  I am the happy owner of a Specialized Crossroads of unknown age.  Everything about it is lovely -- but I do miss the comfort seat on the other bike.  My biking distances have increased greatly, and Filius has to work to keep up with me sometimes.  (I would have to work to keep up with him on the hills, but I ignore him and just toodle on up at my own pace.)

Last Monday (the 27th) I dropped Abigail off for orientation at Bethany, then Filius and I rode to my mom's house, had ice cream and pie at the Dam Store, then rode back to the car ... 16 miles.  Then on Labor Day, we took two bike paths to trek through 4 parks (including Minneopa State Park) and ended up at my mom's house again. Tonight, to facilitate getting to youth group, we're biking up to my mom's yet again.  It's 12 miles from here -- and if I'm feeling ambitious, I'll bike home.  If I'm not feeling ambitious, I'll stay there until youth group is finished and the family vehicle can give me a ride home.  I've plotted out the mileage for some of the treks around town.  The 'block' NW of town is 13.4 miles, NE of town is 17.8; SE is 9.3 miles, and SW is 16.7 miles.  Now, that's using paved roads.  Most of the distances could be cut down a bit if we took dirt roads - but I don't like biking on dirt roads.  And the SW block isn't shortenable, unless we invent our own trail and ford the river. 

Yes, I'm having too much fun on my bike.  I've even learned a new term -- Cyclepath!