Happy Fourth of July! Today is only the third but people are celebrating the entire weekend.  We've been listening to fireworks for the last two nights.  They sound an awful lot like pop corn popping in the pan.

Our town cancelled the fireworks for tonight.  "budgetary constraints".  We have opted not to travel to find some locally.  A few small towns around here will have displays but it's difficult to get there and home without sitting in traffic for well over an hour.

We took a few days off this past week.  We had some vague plans and then Pk wrenched his back on Sunday.  Nothing serious, just painful.  He had trouble standing and walking.  We have a massage pad and a support belt and some pain patches and now he's moving easily. 

Unfortunately, we had to abandon some of our plans.  We had hoped to go to the lake today but it was raining this morning and there was a 70% chance of rain all day.  We're going to try to go tomorrow.  I say "try" because it's often crowded and they only allow so many cars into the park.  We're leaving early in the morning and will spend the early part of the day there.

Today we're sitting as still as possible since it's hot and very humid.  We're in the middle of a Star Wars marathon. 

I've managed to do some spinning and I finished the anklets.  Unfortunately, when I pulled out the camera to take a photo, the battery was dead.  It was on in my purse and ran completely dead.  I do have some photos of the alpaca fleece I washed.  (Is alpaca coat called a "fleece"?).

Soaking the fiber

Very dirty water

We bought bags of alpaca two years ago at a show and it's been sitting in the closet since then.  I took out the cream colored bag and filled the dishpan with cleanser and warm water.  Then I used a mesh laundry bag to wash the wool.

The amount of dirty that came out was amazing.  It took one soapy wash and then several clear rinses to soak the bag and have the water run clear.  There is still a lot of dirt left in the fiber.  I took several handfuls of the cleaned fiber and flick carded it to pull out the vm and other dirt (all the while trying not to imagine what I was cleaning out of the fiber).
Washed fiber

I have a pile of fiber still to card and prepare.  It took all afternoon to pick a ziplock bag full clean.  It's very time consuming and I'm not sure I like it.  I'm fairly sure I'd rather pay for the already processed fiber but I'll see how nicely this spins.

I am taking part in a Tour de Fleece challenge this year.  I am pledged to spin at least 10 minutes each day of the tour.  I seem to go through fits and spurts with the spinning and I'd like it if I could just get into the habit of spinning regularly.
No knitting goals this time.  I don't do well with those kind of goals.

Darth Vader is getting ready to reveal to Luke that he is his father.  I remember seeing this in the theaters.  They are some of my favorite movies.  We've also pulled out a Monty Python and Batman and of course we still have another Star Wars movie.  This is one of my favorite ways to spend a hot summer afternoon. 

I have been absent from the internet for a while.  I have not turned on the computer much while we've been on vacation.  Today, I needed to charge the camera so I figured I'd update the blog.  I haven't been reading much, just listening to a few good books and knitting and relaxing.  We've been taking it easy so Pk can mend.  Something bit me at the park and I have a large welt on the back of my knee.  I smashed it so I have no idea what it was.  I only know it left me with an itchy painful bump. We're keeping an eye on it since I have a tendency to cellulitis and am a MRSA carrier.  I'd rather not be hospitalized again.

It's getting too hot to sit here with a computer on my lap so I'm going to say goodbye. I hope you all are having a good weekend. I am enjoying the fact that we have one more day off. When I go back to work on Tuesday, I am teaching our new crop of interns how to use our computer software. I figure they'll be easier than teaching a bunch of middle aged social workers since they all probably grew up using computers and won't look upon them as tools of torture. I think they'll be fun.

Happy Birthday USA! 



amy said…
Happy 4th! We decided we'd avoid the beaches this weekend (our usual beach is down to half as much parking due to construction of a new pavilion, and our 2nd choice has a small lot). The tourists have hit in full force. I heard on the news that 3 million people visit my part of the state during the summer. I believe it.

I hope you're both on the mend soon. :)
Rose Red said…
Hope you have a lovely relaxing 4th of July. I shall be knitting and watching the TdF, which I've taped. I think I've been a bit optimistic with my KAL goal this year, but not to worry. I hope you manage you spinning each day, it must be a good way to relax and wind down (ha! No pun intended!) each day.
drkknits said…
well its already the 4th here, so i hope its as lovely a day there as it is here! ive decided me and KALs, or any kinds of knitting deadlines, dont match, but im loving watching the actual cycling. i cant wait to see how that gorgeous alpaca turns out. and it doesnt matter how many times i watch star wars, they never get old! enjoy!
Olivia said…
Well, even if it is a one-time thing, processing from dirty fleece all the way to final knitted product will surely be very satisfying. One of those skills that will make you a valuable member of survivors after the apocalypse/rapture/zombie infestation. Right?
I hope PK's back and your knee are both better soon!
Roxie said…
And teaching them to use software is much easier on you than teaching them how to do take-downs and break holds.

I love your approach to a hot afternoon!

Don't worry about the dirt in the llama. It's not poop. They like to roll in the grass like a horse.
Alwen said…
We went to early fireworks last night (me and our son) and will all go to the real 4th of July ones tonight.

It rained earlier this week, then was humid, so today's cooler weather is greatly appreciated.
KnitTech said…
Hope the bite has cleared up. Staying home for the holiday, is a smart idea.
Bells said…
i haven't been around much either (visitors etc) so am catching up on all your posts now!

Sitting around knitting and spinning and reading just sounds lovely.

I'm with you about star wars. They're a great bit of escapist cinema - we watched the entire lot over a few days last year and it was so fun!

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