Monday, July 16, 2007

Tour de France At Home

The first few days of the Tour de France, for us, are always the same. Who did not make the teams, (Bobby Julich you were missed) who is new, what teams were reorganized, who went from here to there and so on. We like to be able to pick out the little things in a race and not depend solely on the announcers. At 2 hours and 40 minutes the "bathing suit" was interesting! Not my style but interesting. At 4 hours forty minutes the guy in the bermudas who was clothes-lined off the course by another spectator before he caused the bike rider to hit him was a joy to see. How often I have waited to see other "stupids" pulled off the course. Then watching our Discovery boys and trying to figure out what, if any, the team strategy was. Contador definitely proved himself a climber. Our hopes for George Hincapie faded as the climbs continued. Levi played it cool. He loves the Pyrenees and there are only 1 and 1/2 minutes separating 3rd and 14th places. Go Levi!
But you have to love Rasmussen, all alone and asking for nothing. What a ride!!

My knitting has suffered but the rest day will allow this team to regroup. I have been mulling over the design on my TDFKAL dog cape and I may have solved it. I have been working the KAL baby hoodie and I am ready to shoulder seam but I am going to graft or 3 needle bind off the seams. Less scratchy and bulky. Never tried it so I am out here on the Col alone and bracing for the climb! Bring me good fortune, Rasmussen, I was pulling for you!

Shep just returned from 6 weeks exploring the East coast of Australia so we feel we have a vested interest in the Aussie riders. It was wrenching to watch Michael Rogers slowly slip away until he finally had to acknowledge it was over for this year. I used my kleenex a lot. ABout 5 years ago my husband touched a wheel with another rider and went down into a roadside ditch. His new bike, a birthday present from me, was OK as everyone kept telling me. But my John had 4 broken ribs, a broken collarbone and a punctured lung. 5 days in hospital, and a long recovery at home ensued. Since the breaks were in the back and side, sleep was difficult, and he wound up sleeping in a recliner on an eggshell crate mattress. I thought he looked like a baby bird in a nest. So our sympathies are also with Stuart O'Grady as we know what lies ahead. Robbie, how we have missed you. You bring us such great joy as we look and look for you at the sprints, trying to be the first to spot you before you burst from somewhere and take it all. Your fall must have been worse than we knew and your courage was admirable. Riding with banged up knees and wrists are murder on a cyclist and we ached with you. You'll be back soon for more last minute thrills.

After yesterday's stage 8 I am exhausted, (where is MY masseuse) and some slow pedaling on the in home recumbent are in the works while I wonder what tomorrow will bring. Wonder what Lance thinks of all this?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tour de France KAL recipe

We love asparagus, never met a spear I did not love. My favorite way is to grill them after marinating. Last night I had . . .in honor of the yellow of the competition
Asperges pour les maillot jaunes. .

1 pound asparagus, wash and remove woody end

Mix in blender
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
grated rind of one lemon
juice of that lemon
dash of cracked pepper
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon sugar

drizzle over spears, rest at least 30 minutes
grill over low flame about 5-8 minutes or until color change
and grilled to your taste
we like a little crunch

Bon appetit!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bob is on a Roll

Bob Roll has always had a special appeal to us. Maybe because like me, Bob cannot talk without his hands. It has been said that I cannot describe a spiral staircase without using my hands. Have you noticed that his bobble-head doll is the only one whose hands move! I do enjoy his comments and I learn more from him than any other.

I just finished a book by Eric Delaney "Inside the Tour de France", containing the little told and untold stories of the tour. Each is just one page making for pick up and lay down reading. Some great, some not so but the photos, especially the older ones are captivating. I found it at the library and really enjoyed it.

My Tour de France KAL project is suffering, it may qualify for the Lantern Rouge at this rate. The yarns have had to bring forward another team member. Oh, yes, we have plenty! This is a blue and yellow hoody in a sixe 1. It is all stockingette stitch and I call it my knitting yoga. I can watch the race and knit with so much pleasure. I'm seeing the knitsters on Thursday to find out how to encourage the dog cape.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Crash and burn

In Dunkerque the Tour de France peloton crashed near the finish and I did too. I had to regroup as my design-on-a-dime dog cape had to be redone. I have never designed a pattern before and it is and is not easy. HUH? Well, the sizing was great but the edge curled up terribly and I can not figure were to put the holes for the legs. But if the riders in the peloton crash can ride to the finish cradling their arms, wrists and sore heads, I guess I can try again. To the Tour de France, allez, allez!

Has anyone seen Whitney's "Giotto-go-with-the -flow" socks posted on her website. See her name under the polka-dot jerseys listed on the TDF KAL, I am awarding her my personal huzzahs for good knitting/good idea. You inspire me Whitney. I did not think I was ready for a second pair of socks but for these I am, I am.

My husband did his three-four times a week ride this AM. He rides at a bike shop here in Virginia Beach called Fat Frogs. They ride every morning at 7:30 AM. He got up to 28 MPH today (not for long) after all he is 75 but he is amazing. While I wait for knee surgery he keeps the cycling going for the family. He has been impressed with this KAL. I can keep him updated with little tid-bits of info. Keep it up Debby and Meg, you make me look good.

The Tour de France ended in Gand/Gent/Ghent, Belgium . . we have a Ghent (same pronunciation different spelling) Historic District here in Norfolk. A lovely section of town where the water , the Hague, curves through and houses line one side. They are very European in look and the roof lines resemble those in Belgium. I wish we had the Belgium bike paths.

Sunday, July 8, 2007


Just when this Apple fan thought iPhone thought of everything . . this Mom (GrandMom) knitted one!! No kidding see for yourself and even included instructions to knit your own. Grandmom knitters rule!!

Frankly, I think she just won the Tour de Knit!

MyTDF KAL project is a "knit by the seat of your pants" design. The teacup pug belongs to my cousin who has never asked me for anything in her life. Her baby "Miss Beulah" named for our grandmother is 11 1/2 weeks old and weighs just under 2 pounds. I have never seen her BUT I am told this is a similar image. Now my personal choice for a dog is one who can warm your feet on a cold night and growl loud enough to wake you if there is danger AND protect you if needed. My rottweiler Liebchen is 72 pounds and a real love bug. But my cousin is in love. Her pug is black so we have the Neon pink cape in progress.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Vive the Tour de France Knit along!
Last night the yarns of my house discovered the Knit ALong. They came for the prologue from my knitting basket, from under the couch, from the basket in the side table, from under the pillow on my bed, the depths of the old armchair, from the boxes on my shelves, from the little sock tote bag my secret pal sent me, and even the shopping bag from my lys, the Knitting Corner that I bought today. They came from places where I did not know yarn had been stashed. The excitment among them was palpable. The chatter built as the time for the start neared. Soon they began to form into teams, the greens seem to model Discovery. I distinctly heard one say he intended to be carbon negative. Once they chose up teams, the race began in earnest, each one trying to be THE ONE to be knitted first. A small skein of neon pink was not a favorite but really put up a good show and had an perfect gauge on the test swatch. We have a winner. Destined to be a cape for a teacup pug this yarn came in first. All the others were gracious, after all, we have many days ahead. As I cleared up from the prologue I heard a yarn who had been here a while explain to a newcomer, a laceweight, that the peloton could be hard on the newbies and to stick close.

J'aime tricoter
J'aime le Tour de France Knit Along!

Friday, July 6, 2007


Tomorrow's start of the TDK has pushed me to finish at least one UFO before I add another. So, Viv, I now present 2 of my favorites, my very first socks (yes, both of them are done) and my daughter who is very happy for me and proud.


Described as one who has an intense, occasionally overwhelming liking of . . . . as in my liking of the America's Cup race, and the Tour de France. We tape, and back up and argue about what we saw, look up terms on the web, rules of the road (water) and argue over sportscasters. We fawn over Bob Roll. We read articles in Bicycling, Yachting, pour over web sites, pass over the front pages of the sports section grasping for the tiny paragraph buried in the middle pages about Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton and the fight for better policing of the testing procedures for possible doping violations. We root for New Zealand to return the cup to New Zealand and died 10,000 deaths when New Zealand was awarded the first penalty ever in AC racing. The last 5 minutes of the last race were possibly the most exciting in yachting racing history. A one second difference, a near photo finish to win the America's Cup.

Today I entered the Tour de France KAL. I am going to attempt to build a team and knit the peloton! First I have to get the logo on my blog. This is possibly the hardest part of the whole race.

Voila! a tour de force for the logo! See the sidebar for my jersey choice. if you want to knit along with the riders you have until 3pm, London time, on 7th July 2007 - that's when the official tour begins. Come join the fun.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


When my husband was active duty USN we were transferred to the Philipines. Megan was 1 and Shep was born over there. When our orders came to return to the States Megan was 3. She could not understand going "home" or going to the "states". Shep turned 1 the day our ship sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge. In the ensuing year we tried to explain the concept of our country and had a birthday party for America on the fourth. We invited all the neighbors, had all the traditional favorites and sang "happy birthday" to America. This continued for a few years and gradually fell away when the kids wanted to go places to see fireworks and to the beach. I miss it. This year Shep was on a plane from Australia today and will be landing in DC as fireworks go off over the Capitol. Megan and her friends are going to the beach for fireworks. I will stay home with a swollen ankle. I will miss festivities but not the day. Independence day lives in my heart aong with my pride in the USA.

so Happy Birthday America. You are still my favorite country and I am proud to be an American. I still get chills to say the Pledge of Allegiance and I have sung all the verses to the Star Spangled Banner. When we lived overseas, the base movie would always play the National Anthem at the start of the movie and show scenes of home. On the last line " ... and the home of the brave" they would show the WHite House and I always choked up. Many brave citizens have given their lives to protect the ideals I hold dear and I pledge to protect them also. So Happy Birthday America and many more to come.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

SP 10

Dear SP 10 pal, I feel awful and I don't know how to reach you. I am not sure what happened but I
did not get the e-cards. I checked with COX who dumped my Ravelry invite into a JUNK file. Aargh!
(I hope you signed up . . it is a knitters heaven there.)
But no e-cards were in there. Your last package was so great, I can not imagine what more you
can send. I use my beautiful blue Sock Bag all the time. It is such a perfect size for the car and
wherever I have had to go sit and wait. . If you have read my blog you know how awful some of my
last 2 months have been. Knitting has been my yoga. Since my family wrapped me in spun cotton
and don't let me drive, the few time I have been let out the blue bag has been on my arm.
Last night the thoughtful lady from last week (Hi Cheryl) picked me up and took me to the local
knitting guild. She also has me in bubble wrap and dropped me at the front door while she went to park.

Harry Potter? Hmmmmm? I'll have to sit on the front porch!
Thanks for thinking of me. Just that thought is fun to ponder. While I was here, you were there, shopping
and packing and whatever . . . hmmm. Can't wait!

Monday, July 2, 2007


I kept waiting and waiting . . patiently , ,, only to find out that COX . . bless their tiny hearts . . had sorted my acceptance into the JUNK file! Junk!! I was incensed . . I wish I could dump the JUNK sort!

Anyhoo . I've started inputting . it looks like just the organization I need. First problem, however, is listing the books. I have a very extensive library of knitting books. I was going to put them on a computer log but if I can add them in to Ravelry mores the better.

Daughter ordered her last J.K. Rowliing book. I do wonder what J.K.will do now that the series is finished. Is writing something you can turn off? I don't think so. I could not stop knitting. So what does she do now? I can understand a break but I feel we will see something else before too long.

I've read them all, have to keep up with the younger generation, don't you know! and finally decided to find out who I resemble. . what a surprise! This must classify as one of those "you can fool some of the peole sometime....." things.

You scored as Albus Dumbledore. You are very wise, observant, and analyctical. You have a very "well-organized" mind, which makes you function in a calm and fair manner. Though you get angered easily, its rare of you to ever act our of temper. You are constantly seeing the good in people and are naturally forgiving because of it. You're easy to please and a great person to learn from.

Harry Potter Character Combatibility Test
created with

Maybe now I'll have to find a house. I finished a cranberry and navy scarf resembling the Hogwarts scarves for a young friend. He is a Potter and these were the colors he chose. So we made him a House of Potter scarf. hah, hah! It is actually very attractive. I want a navy coat for fall and maybe I'll do myself a scarf. He has a nice house I could dwell in!

Son is leaving Australia on July 4th. Very bummed as he wanted to be gere for the fourth, instead he'll be on that long flight to CA and then on to DC. He'll see fireworks over the Capitol from the plane. He is having mixed emotions. Time to come home and get a job and leaving the joy of exploration and discovery. He has not only learned about AU but has had a lot of time on his own for self-exploration and introspective thinking. Judging from the lo-o-o-ng phone calls he did a lot of thinking. I feel he found a soul in that country that called to him. Many aspects of the life style and way of thinking were attractive. We all feel that we need to take a long trip down under to see what it is all about.

SP 10 is over. I have very mixed emotions. I have not heard from Kristen Since June 2. I feel her accident stirred up some life actions that had been dormant. I miss her postes and hope all is well. I'm intersted in what Louisa Harding project she will take on. The SP that was my spoiler is a mystery. I had a message in the beginning and then one big box in the middle and quiet. I was never able to contact her and could only thank her through the blog. I tried Yarn Junkies 4 but it was a oneshot affair and over. However the SP blogs led me to a blogger in England and one 3 blocks away so I am thrilled.

We will go to the beach for the 4th. My daughter has a group of friends that gather on the bayside. After the kids are exhausted we eat all the great goodies that this marvelous group of talented cooks prepare and then see the show. The location is such that we see about 4 different shows by turning our heads. Can't get any better than that. I will be making Gazpacho so I ned to be off to the store. It needs 24 hours to meld flavors and really get chilled.