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Monday, August 31, 2009

Skater's Gloves (in progress)

I have not picked up my knitting needles since spring, when I thought I wanted to make geisha socks. I got this far, then decided I would not wear wool geisha socks very often. I considered starting over toe up and making regular socks, but I liked the subtle varied shades of this pink wool too much to hide it in regular shoes. So I unraveled it before - just before - it was time to snip the yarn to begin the toe.

Then, there was no knitting all summer while I made sock monkeys.

Recently I realized this pink yarn would be perfect for mittens for my daughter to wear ice skating. Acrylic store bought gloves tend to get a bit sweaty while skating. I think this sock weight wool will be more comfortable, plus, wool is a natural anti-microbial fiber, so they should not get germy from sweaty hands.

I decided to do a simple cabled cuff with a plain stockinette hand. Easy peasy. When I got to the first try on point (end of thumb gusset), my girl asked if I could make them gloves instead. So gloves it will be - my very first pair, in fact.

Today, during my four hours of mandatory service time at my children's school, I finished up glove number one. Now the hard part: making the other glove match in size.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Butterflies


Yesterday, we went to the Butterfly Pavilion with my brother and his family.






Instead of taking pictures of the butterflies, I took pictures of the children looking at butterflies and holding butterflies and tarantulas.






I enjoyed watching the kids as much as they enjoyed watching the butterflies and other insects.

Friday, August 28, 2009

My personal tech support

Time to take a break from talking about me. I figure anyone who reads my blog regularly should be tired of hearing me ramble on about sock monkeys and small dogs, and will be relieved to hear about anything else.



So, here are photos of my husband's hobby. He fixes, refurbishes, rebuilds, builds, or upgrades computers. He does this not just for me and the kids, but for other people, too. For example, last week he fixed a church computer. The power supply and something else had gone bad. In July, he fixed Mimi's computer.

This summer, or maybe it was spring, he became involved in a local ministry that makes his hobby a blessing not just to his family and friends, but to many others. They take old donated computers and revamp them to give away to people and organizations that need but cannot afford basic computers. I think most or all of these parts belong to that ministry.

I do not understand computers myself, but obviously I use them all the time. So I truly appreciate my husband's talent in this area. He keeps every computer running and up to date so that I do not have to think about how these machines work at all. He's tech savvy, generous, and good looking, too. I'm rather spoiled.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stormy skies, sunny smiles


Yesterday my brother and his kids came to spend the day. (They are vacationing in our state.) It was such a fun and relaxing day. My daughter loves having her cousins around to play! After lunch, we went to a nearby playground. It looked stormy, but nothing came of it.





Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wii Fit Wednesday

Sorry, no photos of me on the Wii.

This is my Wii Fit status, especially for Heather:

I'm about ready to give up on the yoga portion. I really cannot tell what I am supposed to be doing or how it should feel. I think I'd need an actual, not virtual, instructor to show me what to do. I have - I don't know when - lost the ability to stand on one leg. So for all those one-legged poses, I cheat. Even then, the Wii comments on my wobbliness.

The balance games are my favorite. I finally got my bubble down the river! I like the one that is like one of those games with the balls and the holes. The soccer thing just confuses me. Same with snowboarding. The ski jump seems arbitrary; I either fail at takeoff or do pretty well.

The aerobics exhaust me because I am so out of shape, but I do them anyway. I think my posture is really bad on the hula hoop, and it makes my thighs feel wobbly. I hate to run, so even the little jog is torture; I can't figure out how that one scores. Is it how fast you run? How consistent a pace? The step thingie always tells me I have no sense of rhythm; sometimes it says I'm too fast, others too slow. Oh well, knew that.

The strength training is another that I am pretty certain I'm doing wrong. With that and the yoga, the Wii will comment on feeling certain muscles working, but I don't. So I must be doing them wrong.

I don't know why, but I like the Wii Fit even though I am truly inept at it and confused by it. I only play with it a couple times a week.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Possesive Female

I finished up two monkeys this week, and it's only Tuesday! I posed them with Lumpy for a photo shoot. While I was getting the camera out of my purse, Trixie decided that she needed her pillow. So she knocked one of them out of her way. Whom did she target?


Poor Lumpy! He was sitting right between the two new monkeys, yet he is the one that Trixie decided to displace. My husband was watching her while she did it. She moved him completely out of her spot with her nose. Later, she used him as a pillow. J. Fforde and Rita were completely undisturbed. I guess they have guest privileges, while Lumpy is a resident who should know better than to sit on Trixie's pillow.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Summer Yum

For the past couple weeks, this has been my favorite thing to eat. It's peaches and gingersnaps. In a bowl. That's it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A bit of hiking

I went on a short hike this morning with a couple ladies from church and thought I'd share a few photos. I've not been hiking since last fall, and I really enjoyed walking about in the woods again. It's good to get out of suburbia!

My only wildlife spottings were a very small snake, squirrels, and chipmunks. I'm not counting the horse flies and other pestery bugs. (The horse flies were in abundance because this trail was open to horses. We did not see any, but there was ample evidence of them.)

The river was very pretty, cascading down the slope. It cooled the air above it noticeably, making every little footbridge crossing it a place worth lingering.



Friday, August 21, 2009

Lumpy's night out


Lumpy had fun playing Bunco this evening. He choose orange for his name tag and wore it with pride all night. He called it his "Lucky Orange Sticker."

It was not so very lucky, as you can see from his score card. He won 9 rounds, and lost 9 rounds. No buncos. He had a great time, though, chatting with all the other players.

The hostess is such a sweet lady. Everyone got prizes. When it was Lumpy's turn to choose a bag, he decided green was his new lucky color, and grabbed a prize with green paper.






His prize: "Lucky Green Monster Gloves." He is thrilled with their versatility. He says they are good for picking bananas in Brazil, pruning rosebushes in Colorado, skiing in Switzerland, and scaring monsters worldwide. He was so excited about his own prize, that he did not even notice what the actual winners received.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My baby done left me.


He looks happy, doesn't he? My son moved on campus today. We all went with him, because we wanted to see where he'd be living and going to school.

His bed was too small. We knew it would be, because all the paperwork the school sent told us to bring bedding for a standard twin. Fortunately for us, the boys' friend, K, was moving on campus, too, and he knew that if you happen to be very tall, they will bring you a longer bed.



They brought it up immediately. Of course, we didn't have bedding for the longer bed, so we non-college age people went to Target, and the boys went over to K's dorm.

I was really glad K was there, because there was no way that standard twin was going to work for my non-standard boy.

I should have taken more photos, because then you could have seen the cause of my culture shock. See the stuff under my son's new longer and taller bed? That is about what he brought. Other students were bringing in enough stuff to furnish a small house! New in the box big screen tvs, ps2's, boxes of dvds and games, extra chairs and tables and bookcases, bins and bins of clothing. I had no idea.

After we brought the new sheets back, we took the boys to lunch and said good bye. I did not cry, in case you were wondering. I will miss having him around, but I am so excited for him! Not that I find campus life exciting or even appealing, myself, but I am excited about his future, about him moving forward, taking the next step forward in his education, taking responsibility for his own success, and just plain seeing what comes next for him.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Art and the Bible and me

One of the things I am blessed by doing is putting together the Sunday bulletins for my church. It took me a bit to get the hang of using publisher and my husband's ancient computer, but now that I am over that hurdle, it's something I enjoy.

Our bulletins are 16 pages long, because we put all the music into the bulletin - no hymnals. The front cover features different art work each week that aligns with the sermon text. Googling around, finding the artwork is fun for me. I am always coming across things I've never seen before, and I enjoy reading about all the different artists.

Some weeks, I easily find public domain artwork. Daniel in the lion's den - very popular topic. Nativity scenes galore. Crucifixions, of course. Artists have painted scenes from much of the Old Testament. Narratives, basically, are more apt to be painted. I do not always personally like the art I choose for the cover, but I feel it is suitable for the text.

Other weeks, like the past two, are so frustrating. Jesus often taught about giving, but artists seem to have avoided the topic. I try to think of all different sorts of search terms that might give me something I can use. So, for texts on giving, I'll search giving, money, charity, stewardship, etc.

Charity, I learned last week, is often illustrated by a woman nursing, and that doesn't really seem like a "Welcome to worship!" painting in our culture, does it? I think that might freak some people out, especially the paintings of Roman Charity, which seem to be the inspiration for the closing scene in Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath. I can't imagine that one on the cover of the bulletin.

That Daniel above I did use a few weeks ago. I like it because Daniel is so calm, not the familiar anguished Daniel of Rubens' giant painting. Here he has passed the night and is fully confident of God's protection. The painting is Daniel's Answer to the King by Briton Riviere.

Chagall's The Sacrifice of Isaac I can not use on a bulletin, because Chagall's work is not in the public domain. I wish I could use it, because I like it. You really have to click on the image to see it larger to appreciate it. I love how he ties it all to the sacrifice Jesus willingingly made for us, with the red flowing down from Jesus onto Abraham and Isaac. Just beautiful to my eye and heart.

Now I should get back to my bulletin. I've settled on the widow's mite, which is not the text being preached upon, but I think it will work.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fathers and Sons

Proverbs 17:6

Grandchildren are the crown of old men,
and the glory of sons is their fathers.


Monday, August 17, 2009

A new monkey in the house


Introducing Loosey Lucy! She's quickly making friends, as you can see.
Lucy's girl took these photos, except the ones she herself is in.











Sunday, August 16, 2009

Points in Between

It seems like so much of life happens at points in between. Between this event and that one, while waiting for the next big thing, life goes on, and it can be delicious.

These photos are from a little leg stretch we took yesterday between the western slope and home in a town called Redstone.

Can you spot Lumpy posing at the Swiss style hotel? He was very excited when he saw it.




While Lumpy was enjoying the Crystal River, Dad and the Doodlebug Girl were buying ice cream.




She was able to enjoy her mint chocolate chip waffle cone and the river simultaneously.






Lumpy is such a moocher. He makes Trixie and Jeb look like amateurs. Good thing the girl likes to share.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dirt Road Yaris


This is my idea for a new reality show. Instead of burly Canadians driving 18 wheelers over frozen expanses, it features middle aged men driving fuel efficient cars in places they aren't meant to be driven. Do you think it could be a hit?

These are actual lines from episode one:

Middle aged man as he heads up an unknown dirt road with a steep grade: "I like to push my vehicles to their limit."

Middle aged wife shortly thereafter: "This is not nearly as fun now that it is raining and everything is slippery and wet."

Preteen girl when yaris is momentarily stuck in mud: "Is burning rubber a good thing?"

I wish I had good photos to go with this, but the ones I took do not convey the grade or muck that was called a "road."

Episode two started with a sign that says, "Road impassable in winter or rain." Good thing it only drizzled.

Stay tuned; I'm sure there will be upcoming episodes.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison


This morning, we went to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. It was a bit hazy, so my pictures do not look as dramatic as the canyon does. I'm tired from our long drive home, so instead of rambling on about its geology, I'm going to be lazy and tell you to visit the site and read about it if you are interested. I'll just say this: the canyon walls are a steeper grade than the Grand Canyon. In places, it looks like they go almost straight down.










Friday, August 14, 2009

Switzerland of America

Lumpy has always wanted to visit Switzerland. We don't know exactly why, but suspect it has to do with yodeling.








Since Switzerland is not in our budget, we took him to the next best thing, or at least the closest best thing, Switzerland of America, otherwise known as Ouray, Colorado.



Lumpy seemed to have a good time. He met some celebrities. They were smaller in person, but that is often the case with celebrities.






To a monkey, everything looks like something to climb. You might think this would draw looks of disapproval, but you'd be wrong. People think it very funny to see monkeys doing what they ought not to be doing.




Except dad. Dads do not find monkey shenanigans amusing.








Girls, on the other hand, will happily share adventure with high spirited monkeys.