June 2008


There are some new squares to talk about! First, I have finished the first two rows and have started on the third! The lone third row square (the yellow on the far right) is Louet Gems (not sure of the colorway). It is a pretty, soft yellow. I got the yarn in the May BlankieMania yarn ball swap.

Here is a close up of the new blocks in the first and second row of the blanket. The very dark square on the far right (top row) is from the May yarn ball swap, as well. It is dark blue (almost black) with a bit of lighter navy. It is really soft. I am not sure what the yarn is. The rest (except the gold block) are from the Sunshine Yarns mini-skeins. The gold block is the one that was unattached in the previous post.

The Sunshine Yarns blocks are all from the Twist and Soft yarns. The pink, brown, and white block is called Neopolitan. The brightly colored yarn with pinks, purples, yellows, blues, and greens is called Wildflowers. The green and brown block is Graffiti Green. The blue-purple and white block is Violets. The green and blue block is Algae. The blue, white, and brown block is Tundra. I think that Neopolitan and Tundra are my favorite (although I also love Wildflowers). I may have to get some full sized skeins of those! I like all the colorways, but those are my favorite (I think they would make really nice knits for babies, kids, or adults).

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The Secret Pal Question of the Week is: As a kid, what did you look forward to most about summer vacation/break/holiday?

For me, it was several things. First and foremost was loads of uninterrupted reading time. In the summers, I would read around 12-14 novels a week! I loved just being able to sit and read for long stretches without having to do homework or go to class. I would totally get lost in other worlds! I learned to do all my chores very quickly in the morning so that I would only have to put my book down for meals (and not always lunch if my parents weren’t home)!

Another thing that I always looked forward to was camping and hiking. I grew up in Wyoming, so there were plenty of opportunities nearby. During High School, my best friend and I spent nearly every Saturday exploring and hiking (and getting lost…although we always managed to find our way home before rescue was called). Every other summer, we have a family reunion for my maternal grandmother’s family at a campground near my hometown. I loved those trips most of all. Seeing relatives from around the country, campfires at night, activities during the day, and the food (of course the food). Those times were extremely special to me. So special that my DH and I got married at the campground (actually at the big lodge adjacent to the campground, but it is all the same property). I don’t get many camping opportunities now, but I still love those reunions. I had to miss the last one because I was pregnant (and too far along for travel). DH and I are already saving money and making plans for the next one!

My grandfather’s passing is something I am still processing, so this post may ramble a bit, but I feel the need to write it. The loss of my grandfather is particularly acute today because it is Father’s Day.

The one thing that I feel has become very clear is that death is what makes time precious. If people lived forever, the time spent with them would lose it’s value. The small moments wouldn’t be important. It is only because people aren’t forever that time with them is so precious.

When I think about the time with my grandfather, I realize just how short it is. The memories that I have are all those “everyday” moments. Those are the precious ones. There are things I want my boys to know about their “Grandpa Great”.

My grandfather was a family man. He wasn’t always affectionate, but there was never a doubt about what was important to him…his family. He was instrumental in organizing family reunions. Some of my best memories are from those reunions. For the reunion on my grandmother’s side, Grandpa was the one who organized and cooked for the pancake breakfast. He was a tiny man, but he wore this giant chef’s hat. It always made me giggle. At those reunions he taught me to play horseshoes, baseball, volleyball, and to fish. He went hiking, caving, rafting, and rappelling with me. We always stayed in his camper. He taught me the right way to clean a fish and play poker in the camper.

My grandfather loved baseball. I vividly remember being taught how to hit and pitch at a pretty young age. He was a stickler for the rules. We played with “real” baseball rules even when we were small. his love of the game was infectious. The sights, sounds, and smells of the ball field are all intertwined with my memories of my grandfather (he always smelled a bit like the dirt on a field). He was a minor league umpire for many years. My mom said that as a small child I thought all umpires were my grandfather.

My grandfather loved the outdoors. Some of my favorite summertime memories involve feeding and watching birds and squirrels with my grandfather. He taught me the names of all the birds and what they ate. He loved cardinals. I have them in my yard now. They always make me think of him. I know just what to feed them too! I also have squirrels. My mom was impressed by my squirrel feeders when she visited. She pointed out that they are “just like grandpa’s”. I know he would have loved my yard! I wish he had had an opportunity to visit it!

As a small child, my favorite thing was to “do” grandpa’s hair. I have pictures of me as a small child standing on grandpa’s recliner. He was sitting in front of it, with his hair loaded with pink foam curlers. I had a comb in my hand, “fixing” the hair not yet in rollers! My mother tells me that he would play this game with me for hours! Given my grandpa’s fairly tough exterior, I know this is a true sign of how much he loved me!

One of the things that pleases me is knowing that as I pass all of this onto my own boys, my grandfather’s wisdom and love live on. I also hope that I pass onto them how precious and short that life is! They didn’t get to know him in person, but I hope that they will get to know him through my memories.

Yay, you made it to the new blog!  Make sure you update your feed reader of choice. If you notice anything that doesn’t look right, please let me know. I will be making changes to some of the layout soon.

Some things that have changed…I have a list of my FOs and links to all my Secret Pal 12 related posts in “pages” now.  I hope that commenting will be easier!

Yup! All done! These socks are huge (around a 12 or 13 men’s). They seemed to take forever! I finished them on the way home from Orlando. These are made of the Regia Stretch. I didn’t love the yarn while I was working with it. I washed them (that took care of the ladders…yay!), and they got really soft! I like it better now that it is soft! DH loves the socks and plans to wear them to work on Monday. I am just glad to have them done!

I also have some new yarn. Just before I left on vacation, I got the June Nefarious Yarn Club selection. It is some of Carrie’s Bamboo Sock. It is really lovely and soft. I keep petting it. You can see it here.

Today, I got my June Wee Tiny Sock! It is so cute! Andi (the organizer of the monthly swap) was my spoiler! It is made of Tofutsies. I love the colors too!

The trip to Orlando was great (although short). We left early on Tuesday morning. CB slept the whole way down. LB watched a movie, quietly. I had quite a bit of “nearly alone” time. It was nice…peaceful. We stayed at the Coronado Springs Resort (the link plays sound…just a warning). It was nice. Our room was overlooking the “Quiet Pool”. I was worried about it, but it really was quiet! As soon as we got there, LB and DH went swimming. CB just watched. There was a duck swimming in the pool. It was really neat, but I couldn’t get a good picture. LB has only been swimming a couple of times. He has really taken to it (I see lessons in our future). He decided he wants to be a lifeguard when he grows up. DH is relieved since he had gone back to telling people he wants to be a princess and a firefighter when he grows up!

After a bit of swimming, we headed to Sea World. As we got there, everyone was leaving! We were able to see almost everything we wanted to (not rides or shows, just exhibits) in a few hours. It was a good thing. As we left the Shark Encounter, a storm formed. We ended up hanging out under the shelter for over an hour. There was a tornado warning (actual funnels but none actually touched down). There was a severe thunderstorm. Lightening struck the big tower three times setting off fireworks each time. We were only a few hundred yards from it (an employee told me less than two football fields…that is less than a skein of Lorna’s Laces sock yarn away)! The picture is our view of the tower (just behind the trees). It was pretty scary. CB slept through it. LB kept telling the women behind us (who were crying and screaming), “It’s ok. It is just thunder. Do you like the fireworks? Maybe we will see more.” It was so cute. After the storm passed, we debated going to see a show. Ultimately, we decided to leave. LB was exhausted (no nap), and was starting to get ugly.

We spent all day Wednesday at Animal Kingdom. Unlike Sea World, it was packed! We only waited for one ride (the Safari). We waited for an hour and a half. It was miserable. At the end, both kids were crying. I am sure that everyone around us was silently hoping we would be on another vehicle. Fortunately, both kids calmed down the second we got on the jeep. LB talked non-stop to the driver (we were right behind her). Everytime we would see an animal, LB would say, “Thank you so much for showing us that!” It was adorable! CB slept through it (which was fine…at least he wasn’t crying). After the safari ride, we did the rest of the stuff in Africa. Then we went to Camp Minnie Mickey. LB was getting quite ugly, so we knew it was time to eat. I actually got a picture of him being grouchy. I normally don’t post pics of the kids, but the picture is too funny to not post. We ate a late lunch at Rainforest Cafe. The kids absolutely loved it! We were seated next to gorillas. I was afraid that CB would be scared when they moved and made noise. He wasn’t. He just watched intently. After lunch we saw Dinoland and the Bug’s Life show. The show scared LB, but at the end he wanted to do it again. Unfortunately, it was a little late. LB was spacing out a lot and even put his head down in the stroller (him even sitting in the stroller was a good sign he was about done). We left. We went back to the hotel. LB and DH went swimming again. CB napped in the stroller, so I got some knitting time in. I almost finished DH’s socks! We then went out to dinner and put the kids to bed!

Thursday morning, DH had “class”. I took LB and CB to the playground. LB played and CB just watched. I knit some more on DH’s sock. Then we went to the kiddie pool (really shallow). LB had a blast. I took the inserts out of CB’s diaper (it is a pocket diaper…it makes it into a swim diaper). I then set him into the water. He just sat and splashed and giggled. I think I have two fish on my hands. When DH’s class was over, we packed up and left. LB managed to stay awake all the way home (no nap), so he was quite ugly when we got home. Both boys had an early bedtime!

We plan to go back to Sea World in the fall (we have yearly passes). We will have to go back to Animal Kingdom again as we missed a big section of the park. It was a great couple days away (and a much needed break)!!

1. Thank you to everyone who contacted me about my grandfather. For some reason, the blog wasn’t allowing comments. I got so many messages on Ravelry when I logged it. It was so nice to hear from all of you! Thank you so much to everyone who sent me their thoughts and e-hugs. They were needed and really did help. My grandfather did pass away on Tuesday. I will post about it when I have some time to gather my thoughts in a coherent manner.
2. We had a great couple of days in Orlando. We nearly got struck by lightening, saw Sea World and Animal Kingdom, stayed in a Disney Resort, swam a ton, and got some knitting in. I will also post a lot more about it (including some pictures) when I can sit down and really do a good job on it! Despite having our new air card, we did not have internet connectivity! Turns out that the resort is built in such a way that there are no cell phone signals in the room. We had to go out to the hallway to talk on the phone. I didn’t want to sit with my laptop in the hallway (no chairs).
3. The SP12 Question of the Week is: What is your favorite summertime drink?? I almost always drink Diet Mt. Dew. I am terrible about drinking way, way too much soda. I am trying to drink more water, but have been bad about it. I try not to drink bottled water because of the waste from the plastic bottles. I need to start carrying water with me. No good excuse why I don’t. I keep saying I am looking for the perfect bottle. I should probably just buy one and get it over with.
4. I finished DH’s big socks (finally)! I knit a bit on them poolside and while LB played on the playground. They are in the wash. I will get pictures and do a proper post tomorrow.

OK, so this post was mostly a promise for more posts later…I realize that!

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