Friday, April 25, 2008

4 Mile Road Fire

A friend invited me to a Partylite candle party last night in Grayling. Love Partylite candles so did not hesitate saying yes. She picked me up at 5 and we were on our way. Grayling is only 15 miles from my house no matter if we take the expressway or the back roads. We chose the backroads just because! We were having a good time chatting, laughing and wondering why 127 was closed northbound from Higgins Lake to Military Road. It has been closed for a couple days with "Emergency Detour" signs. Nothing on the news. No one seems to know. Wow. A great mystery. We proceed on.

We get to Military and 4 Mile Road and a State Trooper is there stopping traffic. He tells us we cannot continue on toward Camp Grayling. We have to turn on 4 Mile Road. OK. No problem. I75 is just a couple miles down 4 Mile Road. We get to the expressway and DOT is there telling us we must turn around and head back to Military Road. The entire town of Grayling is shut down due to a wild fire. "Where?" we ask. We don't see or smell smoke. We turn around and head back to Military Road. My friend calls the lady having the party and finds out it has been cancelled due to the Partylite rep having to be evacuated from her home. Well now. That's interesting.

We get stopped again by DOT asking where we are going. We tell him. He gives us a bit more info about the fire. It is burning about 1100 acres, the town is shut down, the expressways are shut down, you can't get there from here, go home. Hmmm.

We try to go home the way we came; down Military Road. The State Trooper turns us back to I75. We turn around and pull into a golf course parking lot about half way between Military and I75. She gets on her phone, I get on mine. I call my Mom. She knows everything that's going on around the state. (She watches way too much TV) Anyway, she tells me she's watching the news and they are showing air photos of the area and she can see the truck stop and hotel at 4 Mile and the fire is right up to the hotel. I tell her where I am, She tells me to get out of there because the fire is very close. She asks if I can see it? I'm looking everywhere and can't even see smoke. I get out of the car and look between the trees. Aw s#*t. There it is. My friend asks what I'm looking at. I tell her FIRE. "Let's go home." "Home NOW." "Start the car." She still can't see the fire. I grab her, push her back to the car and when she turns around to look, the words that came out of that sweet young thing's mouth amazed me. In a matter of seconds where there was no sign of smoke, no sign of flames, the fire was there. Right there.

We head back to Military Road. The Trooper tells us to go back down 4 Mile Road. I get out and tell him we are not going back that way, the fire is at the road. He asks which way we want to go, I tell him, he lets us. We are finally on our way home. A 15 mile trip takes us 2.5 hours.

It is amazing how fast fire moves. This area is all jackpine. The fire goes up a tree and then leaps from treetop to treetop. A fire like that is extremely difficult to control. The winds were blowing in the fire's favor, too. Gusting at 40 mph and coming from all directions.

We got home safe and sound. I hope everyone that was evacuated did the same. I cannot imagine how exhausted the firefighters are. They were on scene all day and night. Thankfully, we are getting some rain right now. A thunder storm is blowing in. I hope there is no lightening. We will problem take a ride up that way again this weekend once all the clean up is finished just to see the devastation.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


As I was reading Joansie's blog I realized just how much our lives are attached to these silly computers. She was having a horrible week with all things electronic. I have just come off a similar series of events. My computer was over 6 years old. A very good one in the day. I use my computer every day for work and pleasure and it very seldom gets shut down. My hard drive decided it needed a long over due vacation and just up and quit. Now don't get me wrong; I seen it coming but was in total denial. I mean, after all, this is a good computer. I dust it twice a week and keep the screen clean. It wouldn't do anything to cause me distress. My whole life is on this hard drive. Well, the clunking and whizzing sounds kept getting worse. I couldn't back up the hard drive anymore. As a matter of fact, I couldn't rip a CD, save to file (at least the correct file) or send data to the printer. I told myself that it would hold on just a little longer or at least until I could really afford to get a new computer. Hmmm. I might have forgotten to mention that to the old one because right in the middle of my on line banking it happened....POOF! Gone. Totally without fanfare. No prior warning (other that the above mentioned stuff but really, now. Who would have thought?!). Nothing. I screamed. DH came to the room. "What's wrong?" "The d%#* computer quit." "Is that all?" "Is that f*%#^&@g all? Our whole life is on this thing. All the banking, my work files, the grand kids pictures. Gone!" He stood there a minute letting this all sink in. (Probably choosing his words well as he knows how I react to disasters) "Our whole world?" "Yes." Silence. Then "Get your coat. We're going to Circuit City." An hour and half later we walk into CC (yes we live that far away from civilization) and start the love/hate relationship with another computer. And guess what? Their tech support came to my house, set up the computer AND was able to retrieve most of the information off the old hard drive. Yippee! We are shackled at the ankle to another computer. Man, it feels good!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Today is hubby's birthday. We are such old farts that for excitement and celebration we will work on the jigsaw puzzle we started a month ago! Yes, I know, that's pretty sad!! It's really too cold up here to do anything else and the people are starting to return for the last weekend of Tip Up Town, so town is getting crazy. Maybe I'll go all out and cook dinner tonight....naw. He does all the cooking and would probably shoo me out of the kitchen anyway. It is also my father's birthday. Both of our mother's were born on the same day, too. What are the odds?

On the knitting front, I bought a ball winder the other day and have been having fun using it. (See, I told you, simple pleasures for simple people!) It's amazing how much more room I have in my stash with the yarn wound into cakes instead of left in skeins. It looks neater, too. I also have the Fiber Trends Felted Clogs OTN and am stuck. I need to get a 16" circ to continue. I've tried using the magic loop method, but it's not working real well. I also have a pair of socks OTN in Wildfoote Peasant Blue. These are my take along project. I really need to finish them off so I can start something else. I'm trying to have fewer projects going at one time this year.

I went to the local re-sale shop the other day and found a HUGE cone of lace weight yarn for $6.00. It's the size of a dinner plate and about 7" in diameter. I'm not sure what it was originally intended for being a cone of that size, but it's going to be many, many wraps and shawls. I will need to dye it once finished, but that's ok. It's a lavender color right now. I also found a small cone of sock weight yarn for $.50 but it, too, is lavender. Someone must have grown tired of that color! I picked up two 100% wool sweaters to be unraveled and re-purposed. All in all, I had a good day.

So until next time, be safe and happy knitting.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

January Mid Month KAL

Here is the mid month KAL from MonthlyDishcloths on Yahoo. I really like the pattern and will do it again, but my stitches are out of whack. I am trying to knit continental (holding the yarn in my left hand) and my tension won't cooperate. They say it's all in the baby finger. That is what controls tension. Well, my baby finger is just that...a baby. It will not listen, will not pay attention and has the strength of, well, of nothing. A mouse's little finger has more strenght than mine!

I am not one to give up though! I watched a video on youtube that showed running the yarn behind your neck while you purled. I tried that, and got better results with purl stitches. It said you could only use that on the purl stitch. Now, I'm a "Why" kind of girl. Why only the purl stitch? I tried it on the knit stitches (just because they said I couldn't!) and it worked for me. I was able to keep the tension pretty much the same the last 1/8 of the cloth. I will be trying this out on a few other things I'm working on right now that it doesn't matter what the tension is. You know, like dishclothes and trebbles.

OTN: two at once toe up socks in Wildfoote Peasant Blue, Felted clogs in Blueberry and a shawl that really needs to be frogged in Lorna Laces Cool colorway.

Until next time....

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Winter Socks

These are the winter socks I finished last fall for a group on yahoo. I've worn them many times, but never took a picture until now.
They are knit toe up, two at a time using Sokkatta yarn. I've misplaced the ball band, so I don't know the color. As you can see they are black, gray and brown. They remind me so much of winter where I live. The cold gray skies, the black tree trucks against the snow and the brown leaves still hanging from the oaks. Yup. Perfect winter socks. I have a beautiful Jawoll yarn for my fall socks that I want to start working with but it comes with nylon thread for the foot and I just cannot wrap my brain around how to use it. I can get as far as the heel flap, but for the rest of the foot, I'm lost. Oh well. I'll figure it out eventually and by then it will be a real "duh" moment!
This was the first week end for Tip Up Town and I believe attendance was way down. Probably due to the cold and mostly to the gas prices. I hope next week end is better. Businesses up here depend on this event to hold them until spring. The snow was good and the ice on the lake was perfect. I haven't heard who won the turkey bowling. I'll just have to wait for the paper!!
Until next time......

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Baby Girl

This is my Baby Girl. She is 7 going on 25 and the most precious thing in my life. I miss her terribly since she's moved and try to keep up some semblance of our relationship. It's hard, though. I used to stay the night with her every other week and we would watch videos, talk and play games. Now we try to have a movie night where she watches the same one I do and we talk on the phone. It's just not the same. Whenever we do get a face to face visit, it flies by so quickly and we don't seem to get enough of each other. (insert heavy sigh!) I cannot wait for our next visit.