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Three bags full

I hit my tipping point.  Last year I bought a beautiful fleece at the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival. Long grey locks with lots of crimp and clean with some lanolin.  

 
Then a few weeks ago, a fellow spinner gifted me this beautiful, clean fleece, a 4th place Romney.  Long locks, beautiful color and did I already say, clean. 

  
Finally, the other day we received a box from Terhune Orchards.  I thought it might be sweet, NJ peaches. Imagine my surprise when I opened it and found 10 pounds of raw fleece. 

  
That was it. I had to clean these fleeces. I bought a plastic bucket and tub and a bottle of Power Scour. Yesterday was sunny with a light breeze so I broke up the day by processing two of them. The third is so clean I plan to comb it lightly and spin in the greece. 

Here’s my production line. 

  
I soaked them in hot water with the power scour, rinsed them, put them in pillowcases and spun them in the washer, then hung them from the clothes line in little hammocks made from sheets. It was too breezy to spread them on the ground. 

  
After a day and a half indoors, it’s finally sunny and calm enough to let them finish drying on the front porch.  

   My fingers twitch at the thought of all the wonderful spinning and knitting I have in my future. 

Seen on the street

I have a pet peeve with floss sticks. 

  
I believe in flossing, but in the privacy of your own home, preferably in the bathroom with the door closed. Why do these turn up on the street in some of the most beautiful places in the world. The first time I saw one was on the street in the island country, Dominica. Now they follow me whereever I run. I see one almost daily. Yesterday at least I found a beautiful turkey feather too. 

  
I meant to post about all graffiti I saw in southern France. But I didn’t. Here’s what I saw in Albany, NY this weekend instead. 

   
I too believe you should quit what you don’t love.   

Here is an impressive building in Albany, part of SUNY. 

  
And some great sky at my office on Lake Champlain. 

   
 I found these right in my backyard. The best crop I have ever seen. I didn’t even have to venture into the brambles. The blackberries became a delicious pie and french toast topper. 

  
And I’m still happily weaving. 

   
    
 

 

Or thinking about weaving. Some time at home has let me do some loom work. I finished a pair of cotton chenille bath sheets that seemed to take forever. I had to order more yarn for the warp so it languished on the loom. But it was well worth the wait. They’re soft, absorbant and huge. I think I’ll need more. 

  Now I’ve got placemats in process. I’ve made several sets for friends. I noticed  that I always admire them when I see them again, so now it’s time for my own set. 

   

They are warped back to front and I made this nifty raddle and set it up in an ingenious way I learned at Red Stone Glen. 

Our outdoor shower mat became loose so I wove the boards together in a plain weave. 

  
This works much better except I am on my guard these days because there is a new milk snake near the shower! And bear scat near the garden! I tell you, it’s a jungle out there. 

  
I moved the wildlife camera but have only picked up deer munching AROUND the garden, not in it. I spray liquid fence (cayenne, sulphur) around the perimeter and it works. 

My last strawberry rhubarb pie had a 2 x 2 twill crust and was delicious. 

  
I needed some supports for my garden and sort of wove a twig tuteur. I decided two would dominate the raised bed so one sits between the tomato plants. 

   
  Summer has arrived, and with it, we have frequent afternoon thunderstorms – and dramtic skies. 

   
   
We need the rain for the flowers. 

   
  
  

Then I can spend more time weaving instead of watering the flowers. 

 

Cloudy days

Grey clouds with shafts of sunlight create beautiful colors. Storms don’t seem too bad from the comfort of my couch. 

Here’s a friend’s barn on Sunday. The colors were  

 very dramatic. 

Tonight, pink clouds formed over the mountains, followed by lightning and gravel sized hail. 

   
    
 
Who needs TV with all this drama outside. 

    

  We both fretted about stepping the mast. We thought we might have the option of hiring someone, but no such luck. So we searched the internet for suggestions. The marina had a crane, but we had to figure out how to hook the mast, lift it without harm to us or the boat and then detach the crane,  

 named giraffe.

 
I found this great knot and article

Then I researched a rolling hitch on Grog’s knots and came up with Ashley’s variation, knot 1734. 

  
This kept the mast knot from slipping up the mast as it was raised. 

All went well until we couldn’t undo the knot ( because we strayed from internet suggestions and tied it above our radar and spreaders and couldn’t slide it down).

We attracted spectators including one who provided helpful suggestions. We tried tilting the boat to the bulkhead but ultimately fixed a knife to the end of the boat hook and cut the loop.  Not elegant but only two feet of line was sacrificed.  Next time we’ll attach our improvised sling below the radar and spreaders. Then the crowd dispersed until we mistakenly hung our Canadian Maple Leaf, courtesy flag, upside down. We’ve been known to do this before. 

Tomorrow, when the wind lies (lays?) down, we’ll put the sails up and Tim will be on his way while I walk to the bus, take the bus to Longuiele, take the Metro to Montreal, a bus to Plattsburgh, walk two miles to the marina and drive an hour home.  I have to remember it took me 4 days to get here by boat. 

Here’s our evening sunset over the St. Lawrence Seaway before we had pizza delivered to the boat!

  

Oh Canada.We spent a day and a half traveling under bridges and through ten locks to descend about 70 feet to the level of the St. Lawrence Seaway where we are docked tonight. 

We are stunned by the friendly and helpful people we have met. While we waited for a lock passage, we wandered ashore to get our hands on a phone Tom could use in Canada. Both of our phones are too old, without SIM cards, to use internationally. A car pulled over and asked us if we were lost. Tim asked the driver if he knew of  a phone store and Stephan said there were none near by, but hop in- into a fairly new BMW.

 After the briefest hesitation, we did. He drove us to two different stores, explained what we needed in French, then waited while our new phone was activated!!

Later that night, we had a small mishap and an electrical fire. Only a ground wire burned and we needed a replacement for our 12 volt charger. We asked a lockmate but he didn’t have any aboard his 50 foot  cruiser. But a father, who was cycling along the canal with two toddlers in a trailer, overheard and said, “Wait here. I live only 30 seconds away and will bring some back”. And he did and now our outlet is working again. 

Tomorrow’s tasks include trying to get the depth finder to work, although our lead line comes in handy; step the mast using a crane at the marina (I’ve been watching youtube videos); shopping; laundry; and repairing a leak or two. 

Here are some shots of our canal passage. 

   
  
 These cute buildings were at each of the locks. At several, the keepers traveled by car or foot and met us at the next lock.

The doors were opened and closed by hand cranks and the majority of lock keepers were women.

   
They packed us in very well.


   
 
In contrast to yesterday’s glorious weather, it rained all day today so I have nothing to show for today’s journey other than wet foul weather gear. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.
 

Customs

I drove an hour to meet Tim after 7 hours of sailing. Lovely day – not.  20+ knot winds and 3-4 foot seas and drizzle. After the wind subsided he took a nap and left me to motor the upper portion of Lake Champlain, around Isle la Mott to Rouses Point and the border. 

   
 After an hour in Customs, we learned our boat’s Blue Book value is pretty low and for $380 Canadian, we imported it to Canada. There’s a slim, probably none, chance we’ll get this back when we return the boat to the States.

Few small problems at the moment. We can’t find our Topclimber, which Tim uses to go up the mast.  Not much of a problem now since the mast is lying on the deck. More importantly, our depth finder is not working. So last night we poked around with a lead line, found a decent spot and dropped anchor. Then Tim let out plenty more line because wind picked up overnight, as predicted, and we rocked and rolled for at least 4 hours. 

We must still be in the United States though because I still have internet.  But I can see the Canadian Customs house from my cockpit.

  
 

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