Saturday, May 27, 2006

Summer Reading Challenge 2006

Summer Reading Challenge 2006 Goals 13 weeks?

One book a week, alternating somewhat evenly between fiction which
I love, and non-fiction which I have a hard time getting into most of the time.

Some of the books that I want to read this summer in no particular order:


Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser
Eating in the Dark: America's Experiment with Genetically Engineered Food by Kathleen Hart
DONE Unveiling Islam by Ergun Mehmet Caner Library book
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss
The Power of a Positive Mom by Karol Ladd
Raising Strong Daughters by Jeanette Gadeberg
DONE Knitting Rules: The Yarn Harlot Unravels the Mysteries of Swatching, Stashing, Ribbing & Rolling to Free Your Inner Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee This needs to be done before she comes to Portland this book tour.
Boundaries With Teens: When to Say Yes, How to Say No by Dr. John Townsend
Mayada: Daughter of Iraq One Woman's Survival Under Saddam Hussein by Jean Sasson
The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn by Diane Ravitch
The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands by Dr Laura Schlessinger
DONE Plague: A Story of Science, Rivalry , and the Scourge That Won't Go Away by Edward Marriott
DONE A Heart for Any Fate: Westward to Oregon 1845 by Linda Crew
DONE Ladies Were Not Expected: Abigail Scott Duniway and Women's Rights by Dorothy Nafus Morrison

The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway The Finca Vigia Edition
DONE The Rapture by Jerry Jenkins and Tim Lahaye Library Book
The Davinci Code by Dan Brown
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
Divine by Karen Kingsbury
Even Now by Karen Kingsbury
DONE Grace In Thine Eyes by Liz Curtis Higgs Library Book
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

It looks like most of the books on my list are non-fiction. All but five are on my shelves, three are library books, two I have right now, and one that doesn’t come out until June 6, and I know there are already several people in front of me with it on hold, and two added to the list this afternoon are from a friends' library. There's just not enough time to read this summer!!

EDIT: I've also read some other quick reads since starting this:

Self Made Man: One Woman's Journey into Manhood and Back by Norah Vincent

Without A Trace by Colleen Coble

Sharpe's Eagle by Bernard Cornwell Audio
Sharpe's Tiger by Bernard Cornwell Audio
The Boggart by Susan Cooper Audio
The Boggart and the Monster by Susan Cooper Audio
The Dark is Rising Series of 5 books by Susan Cooper Audio

Wise Child by Monica Furlong
The Copenhagen Connection by Elizabeth Peters Audio
Sofie Metropolis by Tori Carrington Audio
1906 : A Novel by James Dalessandro Audio
SisterChicks in Gondolas by Robin Jones Gunn

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Amazing Lace Challenge #1

I will be doing occasional posts about The Amazing Lace. Here is my intro:

Cue theme to Mission Impossible or your favorite action flick.

If I take this mission, ha, I’ve already taken it, so we'll cut to the chase, here are my team members:

The blue/lavender is for myself, the dark purple is for my sil, whose birthday is the second week of June, so I have a deadline, the ugly lime green (my nemesis) is for dd who is 12 and loves anything of that hideous color, need I say more?

My team notes with writing all over the backside:

The pattern I adapted with the help of a friend from Barbara Walker’s “A Treasury of Knitting Patterns”, and the photo of this kit from Fiber Trends.

I love this pattern, it’s mission is easy to memorize and it is pretty in the end. I chose the Microspun from LionBrand because it is so soft and I just wanted a light wrap for the coolness of Oregon during the summer without spending an arm and a leg.

Who knows where this foray into lace knitting will take me, on to new missions of impossibility?

I am a follower

So, not only have I joined The Amazing Lace and need to do the first challenge, a write up about my team, I have joined the Summer Reading Challenge, which I think I mentioned last night, and NOW I've joined a Quilt Block Swap. Dd has been learning to quilt with my aunt. It looks like so much fun. I have bought some quilt books over the years, gone through them, brought back wonderful memories of a quilt my grandmother made for me as a little girl, and thought, hmm, I'd like to make a quilt some day. Well, here's my chance. My theme for this quilt block swap is Sunbonnet Sue. It's the quilt grandma made for me. I feel the need for another one, since I don't know where the one is that grandma made. My mom might have it, but likely it got tossed when it got old and ratty. I'll have to go through my boxes of photo albums to see if I have a picture of my quilt or at least part of it.

Here's what I wanted to leave you with last night. You should be able to click on it to get it a little bit bigger.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Drs., brownies, reading and lace...oh my

I can't believe how much or should I say how little leaves me feeling exhausted. I just marvel at how moms or dads who work outside of the home do it!!

I ran errands this morning so dd could have some alone time at home, came home for a short bit, took both kids to piano lessons, came home, had some lunch, then headed for a check up/physical for dd. She's healthy! Though "we" are concerned more for her reading or lack of. Our pediatrician is a homeschooling mom, though probably more of the school at home kind of homeschooler that pushes her child. So, when she asks about school, Kim tells her we are still struggling with the reading. Well, now we should have a tutor, some one who will work with Kim to get her caught up so we can move on to other studies. URGH!! I've been frustrated with the reading thing before, but have been able to let it go, until now. Because she is a doctor she has a responsibility or obligation to her patient, and what education or not, her patient is getting. I realized that after we left the office and thought, "oh great, here's the one person who could penalize us for homeschooling". Oh, and to top it off dd had to have a shot, Tetanus booster. Not a happy camper, though she doesn't almost pass out like other family members!! So, after the doctor's office, we stopped at the yarn store, she bought yarn to appease the sorrow. And we came home to make brownies. Yum! What a day, and it exhausted me!!

A couple of weeks ago, I joined The Amazing Lace. I figured I'm doing lace with my 3 wraps/shawls I am planning to make this summer (actually already half way on two of them). I need to come up with a great intro to post to my blog. Any suggestions? I've never seen the show they are parodying, "The Great Race", but that's ok, they aren't judging by that. If you are interested, the sign up goes until midnight of May 29.

The second thing I have joined is The Summer Reading Challenge 2006. I would like to expand my mind with what I am reading, so will need to come up with my own challenge there as well. I think I need a thinking cap.

Blogger isn't liking my photos tonight, so I will post some tomorrow.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Great Coast Sites

Thanks to a reader from BC, who wanted to know where to see beautiful coast pictures, here is where we enjoy going on the Oregon Coast.

Warning, many, many website links, all of them are different, so click on all of them. Enjoy!!

Living in Oregon for 17 years now, we have always loved going to the coast. DD has some issues with it now, but if it’s a day trip she’s fine with it. Our favorite spots are many!! We haven’t ventured south too far past Newport, except in passing through, so can’t address too much down there. With that said, I’ll start at the north part of the Oregon Coast and head south. You can reach the north coast from Hwy 30 out of Portland, or from the Washington side, using Hwy 4 and Hwy 101, you’ll have to see a map of Washington to figure that one out. Astoria is the farthest north city on the Oregon Coast, and has many fun activities in the area. Just a listing of them, The Maritime Museum, Fort Stevens State Park with it’s link to the Civil War all the way up to WW II, Fort Clatsop National Memorial, and The Astoria Column. If you want to visit the area, there are many motels to stay in, a really cool bed and breakfast that used to house officers during the time that Fort Stevens was active, and the state park has camping, and yurts. Most of the time for the yurts, you will want to make reservations nine months in advance, especially for the summer months. Traveling further south, you reach Seaside, with its Promenade, and fun downtown tourist shops including the Carousel Mall. There is also a place to rent little boats that you pedal. I think there was an aquarium at one time, but I haven’t seen anything about it lately. Also in Seaside are the Saltworks that Lewis and Clark traveled to from Fort Clatsop. South of Seaside about 10 miles, if that, is Cannon Beach, a very touristy town, and a big, wide beach, with Haystack Rock as its backdrop. South of Cannon Beach, there are a lot of little towns that I really can’t tell you about, we rarely stop at them. On our last drive through, there did look like a couple of little stores that would be fun to stop at if I was with a friend or by myself. Between Cannon Beach and the next town is Oswald West State Park, an interesting camping area. You park at the top of the hwy, put your gear into a wheelbarrow and wheel it down to the campsites. It is a primitive campground, but apparently has some of the best surfing on the Oregon Coast. Next on our stop is Tillamook, with its two cheese factories, the smell of cows, the Tillamook Air Museum, and there is a textile museum that I would really like to get to one of these days, sans family. If you take the Netarts Hwy to the west of Tillamook, and the Bayocean Road, it will take you to Cape Meares State Park. Before you get to Cape Meares though, you will want to take the Bayocean Dike Road. There is a wildlife area now out on the spit, but the story of the area is very fascinating. Bayocean was going to be a resort town for the people of Portland who wanted to get away. Read the story to find out what happened!! There are 3 Capes along this road, Cape Meares has an 1890s lighthouse, nesting common murres, bald eagles and peregrine falcon nests. The next cape is Cape Lookout. At Cape Lookout, there are yurts, but there are also deluxe cabins that have a small mini-kitchen and a bathroom with shower. That way you don’t have to share bathroom privileges with the rest of the campground. It is a nice place to stay, usually quiet because the day use are is closed at dusk, which is where these cabins are. There are only 3 cabins, and they are very, very close to the beach. Last is Cape Kiwanda, (captured from the website) "Cape Kiwanda is part of the Three Capes Scenic Route (along with Cape Meares and Cape Lookout). Kiwanda is the smallest of the three, but it’s one of the best places to experience spectacular wave action. Pacific City is the home of the Pacific Dory Fleet. South of Cape Kiwanda is the dory boat launching area. North of Cape Kiwanda to Tierra Del Mar is a stretch of beach popular with picnickers. Kiwanda provides great hang gliding and kite flying opportunities."

Back to Hwy 101, and further south is Lincoln City. In Lincoln City, there aren’t too many things that we find interesting to do, except visit the Outlet Mall. I happen to enjoy visiting these stores and there’s no sales tax. South of Lincoln City is Depoe Bay, with some tourist shops, Devil’s Punch Bowl State Natural Area, and Beverly Beach State Park, another nice campground with yurts. We have stayed at Beverly Beach many times and like it as a coastal campground. On the north side of Newport is Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area that is worth going into for the lighthouse and the tide pool area that is handicapped access. On the north side of the bay bridge is Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site, part of the state park system. It is worth going into for the light house. There are many lighthouses on the Oregon Coast, some still working, others as museums that can be visited. Even just being able to spot the light houses as you are traveling the coast is fun. In Newport there is the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and Oregon State University’s research facility, the Hatfield Marine Science Center, which is open to the public for a donation. It is a great hands-on experience. If you go to the Aquarium, you have to go the Marine Science Center as well. One of the other favorites in Newport is the Rogue Brewery, and they do tours at 4:00pm every day, I think. It is free and anyone can go on the tour. These are all on the south side of the bay, but back on the north side, there is a waterfront with tourist stores, Aunt Belinda’s Candies, and the Rogue Brewery Pub, which minors can go into the restaurant side. Sometimes there are tours of the docks, and once we had a tuna boat come in with freshly grilled tuna that they shared with us. They had a load of tuna they were selling to anyone who wanted it. It’s not like the canned stuff at all. South of Newport is South Beach and a state park with camping and yurts, another nice campground. I have been further south, but really can’t tell a lot about it. Shore Acres is a nice botanical garden south of Reedsport, and is a state park. A lot of the state parks have a fee which can be found on the website, if you are going to be visiting those with a fee, it is worth it to get a pass and I am sure there are many options for that. The pass will not pay for any camping that you do at the state parks, but if you are camping, your camping tag can get you into the day use fee areas. I with we had more time to explore the coast, and all of Oregon, there are many fascinating places to go in Oregon. I will try to do another post later with some of the places I know we have been further south, or places I would like to visit.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Too tired, but had to show this

I spent the whole day working at BMFA, but I can't tell you what I did, yet. I am exhausted though!! When I got home an Airmail package was on the doorstep. YEAH!! A while back, I saw on another knitter's blog a sweater she was making, (third one over on the top row) so I asked her if she would get the pattern for me and I would repay her. She suggested a swap, so I sent her yarn, cookies, and other trinkets, and she sent me this! An entire book of patterns. She told me the type of yarn, but it's not easy for me to convert what they use into what is available here is the US. So, we arranged another swap. She would get the yarn for me in the color I wanted, and I would order some dance tights for her ballerina dd. I have so many projects right now, but I love this color and just want to start knitting on it now. I have a birthday project due in one month exactly that I have to get done first, then maybe I can start my sweater.

Oh, the color is lavendar, but it looks more blue in the picture.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


I've been having a nice lazy morning, reading other people's blogs. This one is a new one that I discovered, she is hilarious. From her comment section I went to this one, (it caught my eye, since dh likes to homebrew) and found the "You Know You're From...." I am content to sit and read blogs for a while.

I tried uploading this photo last night, but Blogger didn't like it for some reason. YEAH it did it. My friend Jean helped me figure out the math to make this the width I wanted. Thank you Jean. I am having fun with it, dd wants one, and I want to make one for my sister-in-law's birthday in June.

Everyone seems to think I am doing hard patterns, exotic stuff. What's with that? The everyone is my grandma, who taught me to knit, then she tells my mom, who knits as well. Good grief, it's easier than cooking dinner!!

OK, VERY IMPORTANT!! I got a comment last night about our coast photos. Thank you Corinne. She would like to know where to go on the Oregon Coast with her teenagers. I plan to do a post about that this week sometime, maybe even later today if I get to it. But I want to hear from the rest of you that lurk (you know who you are) where you like to go on the Oregon Coast. You can either email me at the email address in my profile, or post it in the comments. If it's different than what I come up with, I'll add it to the post.

Oh, and Corinne, the suspense is killing me, how did you come across my blog?

Even More FUN!!

You Know You're From Portland, OR When...

Two-thirds of the people you know are from California, yet there is no sun.

You can list five reasons why Starbucks is evil.

You blame everything that's not right on ex-Californians.

You remember the date, severity, time of day, where you were, and how long you were out of power for every winter weather event for the last five years.

You know what and when the Columbus Day storm was. Bonus for having been there.

You go to a coffee bar and see two guys get into a fight over who makes the best India Pale Ale.

You own more than 10 articles of clothing that have microbreweries/brewpubs printed on them. Bonus for embroidered stuff.

You can go a whole week without seeing the sun or a person of color..

You have a bookstore, coffee bar, and brewpub all within walking distance of your house.

You think downtown is scary 'cause you were panhandled there ... once.

When you drive out of town, every other guy in a pickup looks like the governor.

When you drive out of town, even the Hondas have gun racks.

When the weather gets above 50 degrees you put on your shorts, but you still wear hiking boots and your parka.

When the weather gets above 60 you replace your hiking boots with sandals.

You think people who use umbrellas are wimps.

You can recount more than five anecdotes about why the East Side is a crime-infested jungle
... OR ...
You can list more than five reasons why the West Side is a boring, snobby, white-bread suburb.

You know what it is in between the East Side and the West Side, and how to pronounce it.

You are sitting at a red light surrounded by Subaru Legacy Outbacks.

A tree or mudslide has ever damaged your house or car.

You live equidistant to a symphony hall, a winery, and a volcano.

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Portland, OR.

Having Fun!!

You Know You're From Oregon When...

Your children learned to walk in Birkenstocks.

You throw an aluminum can in the trash and feel guilty.

You complain about Californians as you sell your house to one for twice as much as you originally paid.

You only honk your horn if collision is imminent and never for anything else.

You consider something a "hill" (not a mountain) if it doesn't have snow on it or has not recently erupted, regardless of its altitude.

You consider "etiquette" a foreign word.

Most of your friends are from California.

You find a wallet with $500 and give it back to the owner.

You used to live somewhere else but won't admit it publicly.

You've ever ordered a half caff/decaf, nonfat mocha grande with sugar-free cranberry whip (or you know what it is).

You know a bride & groom that registered at REI.

If someone ran your car off the highway, you might drown.

You'd be miffed if the store was out of your favorite brand of water.

Every day is casual Friday.

Hear the word "ferry" and think of boats and long waits.

Know at least eight people who work for Intel or Nike, or used to work for Tektronix.

You think skiing always means being covered from head to toe, in snow or water.

Know that Boring is a town and not just a state of mind.

Have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain.

You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit under a raincoat.

You return from a California vacation depressed because "all the grass was dead."

Remember the date, severity, time of day, where you were, and how long you were out of power and phone service for every winter weather event in the last five years.

Have ever called your insurance agent to ask if your homeowner?s policy covers falling trees, flooding, or mud slides

You never go camping without waterproof matches, ponchos, and mattress pads that double as flotation devices.

You believe swimming is not a sport but a survival skill to prevent boating deaths.

You own more than 10 articles of clothing that have the names of microbreweries/brewpubs printed on them.

You think downtown is "scary" because you were panhandled there, once.

You replace your hiking boots with Birkenstock or Teva sandals when the weather gets above 60 degrees.

You believe people who use umbrellas are wimps or Californians, or both.

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Oregon.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Bit of a Scare, But All's Well in the End

Wednesday I got an email from my pregnant cousin, saying they were scheduled to do a c-section on Friday. The baby looked like his tummy was distended, and he wouldn't be able to be delivered normally. They already knew he had a problem with one of his kidneys. But now it looked like they would need to do some emergency surgery on him, once he was delivered. As soon as they pulled him out, he was fine, and peeing in the delivery room. The problems they thought they had seen on the ultrasound, weren't there. Does God answer prayers or what? He is an almost 8 lb. baby, has his daddy's hair and dark skin tone. Mom and baby are doing well, and may be sent home in a few days. I am so glad they are doing well.

On other notes, this is what I saw today!!

The Oregon Coast was absolutely beautiful today!! It was in the low 60's and a little bit windy, but not bad at all.

We rode the Carousel, and had old-tyme photos taken. That was a lot of fun!! Something we will do again in a few years. I will post some of them later in the week. We also bought dh a hat here, it is in the shape of a beer mug that says, "Got Beer?" He will most likely wear it to the Brewer's Festival in July.

HAVE A HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!! I plan to plant some flowers and go to Farmer's Market, to find some more plants.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Monday Meme

One of my blog friends had this on her blog last Monday. I really liked it, so here's my version at the bottom. If you want to do this poem as well, copy and paste the top part into your own blog post. The original is from here. Have fun with it.

I am from _______ (specific ordinary item), from _______ (product name) and _______.

I am from the _______ (home description... adjective, adjective, sensory detail).

I am from the _______ (plant, flower, natural item), the _______ (plant, flower, natural detail).

I am from _______ (family tradition) and _______ (family trait), from _______ (name of family member) and _______ (another family name) and _______ (family name).

I am from the _______ (description of family tendency) and _______ (another one).

From _______ (something you were told as a child) and _______ (another).

I am from (representation of religion, or lack of it). Further description.

I'm from _______ (place of birth and family ancestry), _______ (two food items representing your family).

From the _______ (specific family story about a specific person and detail), the _______ (another detail, and the _______ (another detail about another family member).

I am from _______ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating their worth).

I Am From

I am from pencils
from Caress soap and soft yarn.
I am from the small home filled with love.
I am from the bamboo, lilac, and wool,
the snowball bush, roses, but thorny.
I am from Christmas Eve sleeping in the living room,
and freckles
from Leona, and John Wells,
and Fouts.
I am from the pack rats and the move alots.
From "your face will stay that way if you don't smile" and "stand tall".
I am from belief in the Ressurection and
eternal life is for the asking no matter what.
I'm from California and everywhere,
macaroni and cheese, and honeybees.
From the woman who wouldn’t marry a beekeeper,
and later her husband became one,
the children to follow
and always the eldest ones following the path of the beekeeper.
I am from the photo albums, the xerox copies of older photos,
now saved onto my computer,
the photos that bring tears to my eyes because I never met my grandfather,
or I miss my other grandparents who died before their time.
The photos that bring back wonderful memories of
lilacs and snowball bushes and special babies.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Knitting and Reading

Here's one finished object. I have made this baby blanket twice. It is from a book called, The Knitting Goddess. Brigit's Baby Blanket.

The colors don't come through very well, but they are Cherry pink, Grape purple and green. The yarn is TLC Wiggles. I delivered it to the recipient on Friday afternoon. Last Fall and Winter, I saw a physical therapist to help with a shoulder injury. She was pregnant at the time, and she has kept in touch with me. She sent me an email about 4 weeks ago to let me know her baby girl had been born, so I got to work on this blanket. It is an easy knit and fun to change to new colors. The first blanket I made during the Knitting Olympics, it took me one week to make. It was in the same yarn, with the green, blue and red. I sent it to my cousin Ra about a month ago, not knowing I would see her so soon.

While I am knitting, I am listening to this really interesting book on Economics. I am not into Economics just for the sake of it. REALLY. This book is called The Confessions of an Economic Hitman. It is about an economist named John Perkins, during the late 60's through the early 90's I think. He goes into foreign countries to scope out their economics and to forecast their future, convincing them to upgrade and borrow money from the US or rather The World Bank, but hiring US companies like Haliburton to do the contracting that these countries need. It is written in an easy manner to read or listen to, and the narrator has a good reading voice. It really shows how we have gotten where we are with the economics of our country right now. There are many reviews of it on Amazon, some negative, some positive, depending on your views. I am enjoying it regardless of what others may have thought of it.

There and back again…….A Girls Road Trip

Warning: The pictures in this post are not very good. It’s my fault as they were unposed and I was in a hurry.

Those were the words at our house this week. It was a warm, bright and sunny day when DD Kim and I took a quick trip up to Walla Walla, Washington, from our home on the western edges of Portland, OR. What a drive!! It’s almost 250 miles one way from our driveway to my cousin’s home on the outskirts of Walla Walla, so about a 4 hour drive. Now I know why she chose to live there, well, besides the fact that her husband is going to school there. It is so much like Central California, where she is originally from. It’s better though, there are not so many cows about; the smell of cows in California can be just horrible. Anyways, my dear cousin is expecting her first child. She’s had some complications, but not too terrific until now she’s been put on “bed rest” for a few weeks. I put it in parenthesis, because bed rest just isn’t the same as it used to be. Ra reclines on a small sofa/love seat instead of in bed. She is up for a bit at a time, but she isn’t supposed to be lifting anything, and has contractions most of the time that she is up. I’ve always had a special connection with this cousin and her mom. (Her mom had driven up from CA on Monday) Ra, my cousin is 12 years younger than me, her mom 12 years older than me. We are all first girls in our families. Though Chris her mom and I are the firsts of all our siblings. Ra is the second sibling. When Ra told me last week that she was on bed rest and on Terbutaline, to stop the contractions she was having, and her mom was coming up for a week, I thought, I’ve got to get up there, regardless of gas prices right now. If I wait until after this baby is born, I’ll be spending a lot more on gas, so now’s the time!! (Even though I do want to see this baby after life has settled down for them) DH agreed with me on going, and Kim and I set out at 9:30 or so on Wednesday morning. We made good time!! We got to a rest area just before the turn off near Umatilla around 12:30 or so. Sat there to eat lunch, and met another homeschooling dad and his four kids. That was pretty interesting!! He just came up to us and asked us if we were homeschoolers. We must look the part. And no, we don’t wear the jumper dresses, or anything that would make someone think that. We were in capris, matching Tinkerbell shirts, though dd was in a patchwork type skirt. Maybe it was the fact that we were out in the middle of the day when no one else is out of school. I asked him how homeschooling is in the Pendleton area. They have upwards of 40 families in their homeschool group, and each family homeschools for different reasons. Some religious, some just don’t like the way the public schools are headed, etc. There are another 25 or so families in another town that is less than an hour away, so support in this part of Oregon is good!! Back on the road, we saw some really cool birds along the way. Magpies, a White Pelican, which seems to be out of its zone, supposedly just California, several different hawks, Kestrels, several Osprey, and possibly a Golden Eagle, besides all the little birds that flit about. I think it took us about an hour more to get to Ra’s house from that last rest area. We took a short cut that the man at the rest area recommended. We cut off before we got to Pendleton, and it probably took at least 30-45 minutes off of our trip. Once we got to Ra’s we just kind of crashed for a while, visited, I knit, Ra crocheted, and we waited for her mom to get back from doing some shopping. All the kids were there, Ra’s younger siblings. That was really cool to see them; they are almost 15yob, almost 13yog, and 9yob. Ra also has two other siblings, one older, 28yob, and one younger than herself, so maybe 24 yob. So, six all together. My cousin Chris is a GREAT mom!! She has raised these kids in such a way, they are hard workers, they love the Lord, and they are just great to be around. The last time I saw them was at Ra’s wedding, 5 years ago. The younger siblings were little, and now have grown up so much!! Time flies too quickly. Kim and all of her cousins just hit it off!! These kids really know how to play with kids of all ages, and know how to interact with adults as well. While we were there the kids were digging some ditches so Rick, Ra’s husband could put in a sprinkler system. He is a full-time student right now at Walla Walla College, one of our church’s universities. He also was working on the grounds team, in charge of the guys who keep the campus mowed. But, due to some really stupid circumstances, they fired him. We think it was a bogus claim!! So, he’s pretty stressed right now, with this imminent birth and no job. Hopefully he will find a job very soon, one that he enjoys. He has less than a year left of school; Spring term of next year he will be done. Later in the afternoon, the two girls, started working on dinner, fixing the lettuce and tomatoes. I brought the fixings for Taco Salad, so they worked on part of it, and I worked on the rest of it. It was enjoyed by all.

That evening I found out that my grandma’s younger sister lives in the area, so she came over the next morning to visit. I do not remember meeting Aunt Eileen. It seems that the last time she remembers seeing me; I was pretty little, probably around 2 years old. She is a very spry 82 year old woman, getting herself around to different activities!! Grandma would be 90 this year if she had lived this long. Aunt Eileen took off around 11:30 and we started thinking about lunch. We ended up going to a Mexican restaurant close by. It was sooo good!! It was real Mexican, nothing like Chevy’s Fresh Mex, or any of the chains here in our area. After lunch we got the kids some ice cream and root beer, and headed back to Ra’s for root beer floats. The kids watched a DVD called Sky High, while Ra, Chris and I sat and visited some more. I finished the Prayer Shawl I was working on for Ra. I did not put fringe at the ends, so the baby wouldn’t get his fingers entangled in it. It is made from LionBrand Homespun, the color is Windsor 790-341: Painterly' color Medium blue, lavender and a touch of green evoke the gardens of Windsor. I used almost three skeins. The stitch pattern is the basic prayer shawl pattern. It reminds me of the painting by Monet, Waterlilies. The pictures I took of it are bad, but it gives you an idea.

I finally decided about 3 pm that we really needed to get out of there, or we wouldn’t make it home until after dark. It was so hard to leave after having such an enjoyable visit with them. Kim and I hit the road at 3:30 pm, and arrived home between 7:30 and 7:45 pm. One of the places I stopped for gas was $3.09, so I only got a little bit, then filled up at a place closer to home that wasn’t over $3.00. We are exhausted still from this quick trip, but would do it again in a second.