Thursday, August 31, 2006

Photo Opportunity

I forgot in all the camping hoopla that there was a quilt given to dd. My dad made this quilt, and the photos do not do it justice.

Top of quilt.

Bottom of quilt

The quilt is made with blocks for the top, middle and bottom. You sew the three together, leaving approximately two inches around the edge. This edge you will cut into, making ties that you use to tie the quilt blocks together. The middle filler section is going to be that same amount smaller, so you aren't having to cut it out, you don't want that as part of your tie. You work from the inside out, until you have the size of quilt that you want. On the top section, all of the ties are seen, on the bottom, you don't see them, except for the edging. This quilt might fit a double size bed and it is pretty heavy, so it won't go on the bed for another month or two. It took him almost 8 months to make it.

No updates on my knitting, it's happening ever so slowly, same with my quilt blocks which are due to be sent tomorrow!!

Friday, August 25, 2006

I am Content!!

Aren't they just adorable? Obviously they aren't this size anymore. What with one being almost 17 and the other 12 1/2? Tonight, both of my children are under the same roof as me. I am content with that!! I don't have the worries that have plagued me off and on for the past week, or three weeks before that. I can rest easy tonight.

Ds had the "best week of my(his) life" at the "Survivor" high school age Audubon Camp. 15 kids that became friends easily and worked together. Now to find more camps or classes to suit this interest of his. Any ideas?

Dh's nephew is coming up on Monday afternoon to spend the week with us. He's almost 7 or 8 is it? It should be an interesting week. I already have several activities going, as well as one child going on a sleepover (just for one night).

Thursday, August 24, 2006

10 Random Quotes That Kind of Describe Me

1. The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself. Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873)

2. I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. Bill Cosby (1937-)

3. Life only demands from you the strength you possess. Only one feat is possible - not to have run away. Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961)

4. I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business. Michael J. Fox (1961-) quoted by Lorne A. Adrain in 'The Most Important Thing I Know'

5. The central struggle of parenthood is to let our hopes for our children outweigh our fears. Ellen Goodman (1941-)

6. The most important thing is to be whatever you are without shame. Rod Steiger

7. To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive. Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

8. My evil genius Procrastinator has whispered me to tarry 'til a more convenient season. Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882)

9. The Internet is like alcohol in some sense. It would accentuate what you would do anyway. If you want to be a loner, you can be more alone. If you want to connect, it makes it easier to connect. Esther Dyson Interview in Time Magazine, October 2005

10. A witty saying proves nothing. Voltaire (1694 - 1778)

To do one of these yourself go to Random Quotes. If you don't see any you like, click on New Random Quotations at the bottom of the page. Let me know if you do one. Thank you Kris for starting this.

A Needed Pick Me Up!!

Thank you Donna, you knew I would need this on Monday!! I dropped ds off at Audubon Society Survivor Camp for the week. Later that morning the mailman brought me a box, from a REAL person!! In it was lace weight yarn, a scarf pattern, some other merino/microfiber yarn in a beautiful color, a slip-stitch (?) scarf that Donna had made (with the pattern), (which I put on right away as it is chilly here this week) some chocolate, candle, soap and little notepads. Just right for a day of quietude. The lace yarn reminds me of those hard candies that are swirled pink and white, Creme Savers.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Part Three Back at our campground and the Falls

Facts about the Falls
129 feet tall
42-48 F
100 million gallons goes over in one day

On Saturday, back at our campground, we saw that there was a planned hike on the Falls Loop trail. It was only an hour long so the dh, the kids and myself took that hike. It was a good hike, learning that the park has no poison ivy at all, and the difference between white oaks and black oaks, and there are 5 main trees in the park. White Oak, Black Oak, Douglas Fir, Ponderosa Pine, and Incense Cedar. There are other trees, but these ones make up the majority. I know there is more information, but my brain can only hold so much. Once we got to the bottom and started up the other side, we did see one of the rare Black Swifts that nests behind the Falls. That was kind of cool. There were more earlier in the summer, but most had migrated already. They migrate before the falls start to freeze up in the Autumn, at least that’s what the sign says.

We headed back to camp for lunch, then some more hiking, at least a little bit. Ds, grandma and grandpa and I headed for the Headwaters Trail after lunch. We wanted to see how far we could go with grandpa’s scooter before having to turn around. Technically I don’t think we were supposed to have the scooter on that trail, but I didn’t see the sign until we came back. I should say that we were working on some questions in the camp newspaper to earn a patch. One of the questions had to do with The Pacific Crest Trail. How far is Canada, and how far is Mexico? So, we did that first on this trail. We crossed the fisherman’s bridge above the falls, and took a very short little hike to the sign.

Then back the same way we came to start up the other side of trail. We needed to find a building with signs on it. I didn’t know it was a pumphouse. Anyways, we knew it wasn’t too far up the trail, maybe ½ mile. There were some tight spots for the scooter, but it wasn’t too bad. There weren’t any ups or downs, it was level ground. The signs on the pumphouse? Warnings about raccoons and other animals dangerous to your health, Warnings about leaving tangled fishing wire, and Don’t Feed the Animals. We hiked for that!?@!

Fortunately some of that trail was shaded, but we were very hot and dusty when we returned to camp. Dh, dd, grandpa and I went down to the lake after that to swim, while grandma fixed dinner.

After dinner, dd, dh and I hiked part of the Pioneer Cemetery Trail. We needed to locate the cemetery and find the I inscription on the gravestone of one Earnest Baker. I did not take any pictures there, really dumb or me!! Instead I took pictures along the way of a burned out tree. It looked like a forest fire had come through there fairly recently. So, the inscription on the headstone said: Earnest Baker, son of ……& M.C. Baker; died Nov. 24, 1893; Aged 21 years 8 d’s; Lost in the storms of earth, but saved with the Saints in glory. We came back covered in more red dust. It’s like visiting Mars or something, there is so much red dust there. (I took no pictures at the Pioneer Cemetery, which was really dumb of me!!)

Later that night we drove down to the lake for a meteor shower viewing. It was supposed to be the peak of the Perseids, but I think I saw a total of 6 meteors, dd saw 10 or so. It was kind of a dud.

Next morning saw us packing up camp and heading to Redding for breakfast. We ate at a pretty good place, Country Kitchen on Hilltop Dr. They were doing a booming business, which was a good sign. Then we said our goodbyes and headed for home. The drive was fairly uneventful, and by 8:00 pm, we were home, airing out the house, unloading our junk and saying hello to our kitty.

I don’t think I forgot anything, but who knows. So much has been happening here this week that has taken my mind elsewhere.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Part 2 A Day at Lassen Volcanic National Park

I started adding the pictures on Sunday and finally finished Wednesday night.

All of the pictures should be clickable to enlarge. I've put in as many pictures that Blogger will let me.

On to Lassen Volcanic National Park. First stop was the visitor center. Dd has a National Park Passbook, so she likes to get the stamp at each park we visit. She forgot her book though, so we used a piece of scrap paper to get the stamp. We also asked for specific sites, that were wheelchair or scooter friendly. (Dad has severe nerve-damage in his feet so uses a scooter to get around some places.)

One of the things we could do was to stick around the visitor center for a talk about old-growth forests. We decided that we would have a quick lunch at Manzanita Lake, nearby, then come back for the talk. We were late for the talk, but it was ok. The ranger doing it was showing us the difference between fir trees and pine trees. I don’t remember a lot of what she said, but once donned her “old-growth/snag tree suit”, it became more interesting. She told us how insects, fungi, bacteria, disease, fire, animals and birds help to destroy a tree before it becomes a snag. Did you know that some of our best forests have hundreds of fungi down in their roots, which make them very healthy? Apparently in Germany, there are some areas where there are only a couple of fungi, and the trees are not doing well at all. (That’s the one fact I can remember from it.)

Once we left the visitor center we headed up to Devastated Area Interpretive Trail. It is pretty devastated!! Actually it is amazing how much re-growth there has been over the years. We walked the trail there. I thought it was going to be a mile round-trip, but it was maybe ½ mile. It wasn’t bad at all. The scrubby trees help to shade a lot of the trail.

We continued on around and up the side of the mountain until we came to Upper Meadow. It was a beautiful alpine meadow with a creek running threw it. Dd had to stick her feet in the water. Goofball. It’s straight off the glaciers.

After the meadow you keep going up and around the mountain, to the highest point of 8,512 feet elevation. I was just amazed that we were at such a high elevation. Lassen Peak is 10,457 feet.

After the highest point, you start coming down the other side, where there are several lakes. The first one, Lake Helen, had cliffs of snow/glacier on each side of the road all the way to the lake and even under the lake. It was so blue!! The second one is Emerald Lake, very aptly named as it is green!! There was no place to stop at Emerald Lake.

Our last stop was Sulphur Works. You can imagine the smell there. Dh had a name for this place, but I don’t think I have it right. Mubbling Pudbots or something like that, instead of Bubbling Mudpots. It was actually pretty neat to see the steam rising from these holes, and you could hear the bubbling mud. Occasionally you would see a sploot of mud pop up.

There was one place we didn’t go, but ds really wanted to hike it. Bumpass Hell. I think it should be pronounced Bump Ass Hell. I mean really, that’s what it looks like. Apparently there was a guy with the last name of Bumpass, was walking through this area where there are geothermal vents. He fell through into one of them, losing a leg in the process. I did find some really good links when I googled it. One day, I am sure ds is going to go back to all these places we missed and hike the ones he wants to.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Part One, the start of our camping trip to California and Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Tuesday afternoon we wanted to be out of here by 2, but dh said it probably would be closer to 3:00 pm. Well, he was right. Even though it was close to 2 when we left the driveway, we had to stop and get gas, stop for a quick Subway trip for ds, and stop back at home for one forgotten item. By then it was 3, and we were finally on our way. It was decided that if we were going to be that close to Corning, CA, we were going to go that extra hour south and back to stop at the Olive Pit and pick up some delicious green olives, stuffed with almonds, or garlic, or in smoke flavoring, or wine. They are so good!! Dh’s sister advised us to check out the Olive Hut instead of the Olive Pit. It is smaller, homier, and less expensive, oh and less of a tourist trap. So, we drove straight through with a quick stop at sil’s to drop off some mirrored closet doors. That was a very long drive!! 8 hours!! We stayed at The Holiday Inn Express and the next morning found us at the Olive Pit, just checking the prices, and on to the Olive Hut. Sil, was right!! We did like the Hut better. I started in on a migraine though as we left the first place. (I am attributing it to the heat, by 9:00 AM, it was 90+F). It lasted a short while fortunately, and did not go into the usual pain; it was just that aura stuff going on.

I think we left Corning around 10:30 and headed the hour back to Redding and across to the east to Burney. We had reservations for camping at McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, with my parents, who had dd for the weekend previously. We got there just shy of 2:00 pm, and were able to set up our camp, even though it was in another loop, separate from my parents. We thought it would be good to be a distance from them, but it was a nuisance really. So, when we were offered another site closer to my parents, we took it, the next day. It was soooo gooood to see dd again after 5 days without her. I felt I could totally relax once she was within my sight again. Her comment to me, “I never want to do this again…..until next year!!” I know she enjoyed helping grandma and grandpa a lot.

That evening before sundown we took a small hike down to the bottom of the 129 foot falls. It was so much cooler down there, than the 90 F heat of the area. On our way back up we saw bats. At first it was one chasing a dragonfly, then it was 15 chasing all manner of little bugs. That was pretty cool. That black dot in the middle of the photo is a bat.

The next day we moved our campsite after the other family checked out. Later we headed down to the lake. Lake Briton is a mile away so we took one of the vans. Dd really wanted to swim since it was so hot!! There is a nice beach, very crowded though. And the water is ICY!!

Friday we took off to Mt Lassen, with a stop along the way at Hat Creek Radio Observatory. A few years ago, when we went to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon, we checked out Lowell Observatory. When you hear observatory, you usually think telescopes, right? I do!! Well, this was radio signals sent up by satellite dishes, then when they come back, they are fed into a computer and it comes up with a picture of the image. It was different, but cool in its own way. If you google Hat Creek Radio Observatory, there will be all kinds of links, but I think this one above is pretty good explaining what they do. (They also work with SETI).

More later.......

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Loud Noises, Big Trucks, Buff Men

Today is a stay at home day for us. One of those days where we can stay in our PJ's, not worry about bad hair days, etc. Well, after dh left for work, I thought I should get up and just take a shower. I can wear sweats today, but I should at least take a shower. After I was dressed, I came out to get a cup of coffee and was on my way to have a devotional time, when I heard this huge sounding truck coming. I knew it was headed for our house. You see, this year we have had some roof leakage, and there are some really soft spots on our roof, so we had a roofer come out, take a look and we are having his company do our roof. He called me Tuesday afternoon this week to let us know that they might be able to start by the end of this week. I had been anticipating them coming today so had moved some of the stuff from the front of the house, like the gardening supplies we keep out there. Good thing I did. So, on to this truck. It is huge!!

It is loaded with supplies. There is a big crane that looks like it starts from the back of the cab and extends the length of the bed. On the end of it are prongs like on a forklift. Then coming out from the side of the truck are arms that set down on the ground to stablize the truck.

When they got the crane operating, and the first load onto it, they swung it up and over the little ornamental cherry tree, towards the house and up onto the roof, meanwhile the two buff young men scrambled up the ladder to receive the load onto the roof.

When the crane went into operation, the whole truck shook. Must be a reason for those stabilizing arms. ;) They started unloading it as soon as it stopped moving. Oh, and this crane is operated by a remote control panel that one of the guys has. You'd think I was a girl in a candy shop for the first time, the way I was in awe at what was happening. We've always lived in an apartment until this house, and we've never had the roof done, so this is a new learning opportunity for us. I was trying to be unobtrusive, not wanting to appear like a desperate housewife in Aloha, so I didn't get any good shots of these two guys. :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Cedar Creek Socks

I started my Cedar Creek socks a while back, but haven't gotten too far on them. They did go on the camping trip last week and I was able to get about 3 more repeats done. I have them on one needle, magic loop style. They are the first socks from the Rockin' Sock Club at BMFA. I am taking a friend to an appointment today, so maybe I'll get more done. I actually like the way these are pooling.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Emergency Relief

Even though I am in Oregon, I have signed up for the newspaper. That is Anchorage Daily News. Every Tuesday they have a knitting column by Catherine Hollingsworth. Today's article is about helping fire victims from a recent fire in Hooper Bay. There were 14 homes destroyed and 17 families displaced, losing EVERYTHING!! Right now is the time that they are subsistence-hunting, as winter will be setting in soon. Most of these people did not have insurance and do not have the means to replace the items they have lost. This means clothing, winter/survival gear, hunting gear, even their knitting or crocheting stashes. What would it mean to you if you lost your stash? Please help as you can. I have linked to Catherine's article as well as a Red Cross Fund set up. The Red Cross has been depleted after last year's hurricane season.

If you can't access Catherine's article, let me know and I will ask her if she will let me post the article here. I have emailed her before, and she is really nice.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Start of the Updates on Life

Brief explanation of my hiatus: We went camping for most of last week, just got back last night. Will have pictures soon, but I have to upload them and label at least some of them.

Last weekend, while dd was gone visiting her grandparents, I went to a Tea Party. I have never been to a Tea Party before, and was looking forward to it. To me, this was a celebration of how well Laurie, an acquaintance of mine, has done on her recovery road from Leukemia and a bone marrow transplant. But, those who put the party on, said it was for all of us who chipped in to help out. It can go either way!!

I really only have a couple of pictures, but here goes. FOOD!! There was so much food, and it was good!! There's another table, but I didn't get a picture of it. There was lemonade, fresh strawberries for strawberry lemonade, mimosas, champagne, and tea. Everyone went for the cold drinks though, it was a rather warm day.

It was fun seeing the girls dressed up with their hats, parasol, etc. They played some extreme croquet, which I did not participate in.

Here's just a random shot of people at the party. Neighbors, caregivers, and a friendly support system that has been through this same process of cancer and transplants. Laurie is the second from the right, with the short, blondish hair and glasses. The woman in pink with her back to me, is another cancer/transplant survivor that Laurie has connected with through email. This was their first meeting I think. And Christine who has given many, many hours of her time to stay with Laurie and, catered this event (with the help of the daughters) is on the left in the brown dress.

It was a fun party. Thank you Laurie for inviting me. You can visit Laurie's journal for her party recap, dated August 5, 2006. The link is at the top of this post.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Relief from Anxiety OR Bad Blogger

I couldn't figure out what title to use tonight, so you can choose for yourself.

I was told that to be a good blogger, I needed to update more often and to take my camera with me everywhere. Huh, I should have known that!! I forgot my camera at least twice this week, even when I did think about it one of the times. The first time was when I met Mrs. Darling and Mel for dinner on Tuesday. You would have thought I would have it, but I forgot. Then today when I took dd to the airport for her first trip alone. I thought about it as I we were sitting at the gate waiting for her plane to come in. Duh!! What was I thinking?!? Well, I wasn't. I was so anxious for this trip to be done with, I've been in knots. It started yesterday some time. Got worse today, until at 1:45pm, I got the call from my mom, that dd had landed safely and they were on the way to pick up luggage. Instantly my stomach calmed down.

I did take one picture to show you tonight. I finished a CIC vest. Using some of BMFA's Blue Boo's, their unsellable yarn. I took three different colors, combined them and came up with this. I think it's kind of cool looking.

These are the three colors I used....on the left is a sage green with some pink mixed into it, the middle is yellow with some pink, and the right is blue. There's a little bit of rust color in one of them too, I think the greenish one.

I still haven't found the quilt block photos that I sent to Dorie. Oh well.

I scored on fabric today. After the airport, I stopped by Fabric Depot for their 40% off fabric sale. I found some for this months quilt block swap, and I bought all kinds of celestial fabric for dd. She wants to make another Sunbonnet Sue block for me, out of celestial fabric. Planets, moons, stars, etc. They have some beautiful quilt fabric there.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

More Quilt Blocks

I got a comment from Dorie on Monday letting me know she got the quilt blocks I sent out. I am so glad they got there. She has a picture on her blog. Well, I thought I had pictures, but I can't find them, oh, I remember now where they are. I downloaded a new Adobe Reader, since I had such an old one and it would remind me every time I tried to use it that I should download. Anyways, it also downloaded an Adobe Photoshop or something like that. I'm pretty sure that's where my newest photos are. Now, just to figure out where on my computer that program is......

Tonight I met up with two fellow bloggers. Wonderful women!! We had dinner at Stanford's and just chatted away the whole time. Thank you Mel and Mrs. Darling for a wonderful time tonight!!

Off to bed now, I've had a full day with volunteering at the library, knit-in at our house with friends and dinner out with new friends. I've been battling the cruddy migraines for the last week so today was refreshing to not have any, just the residual "I'm not all here yet, but I think this cluster is abating".