Aug 30, 2007

ECF - Sunflower Edition

Today I present sunflowers. I took a few pictures but this was my favorite shot.

I took these pictures on the Biltmore estate. It's probably obvious by now, but I could probably keep posting pictures from Biltmore endlessly. I won't though.
I don't know if you can tell but these were really big and tall. We saw the long, wide strip of sunflowers along the side of the road and I just had to take a picture. I wasn't the only one either. There were quite a few of us taking pictures of thes gorgeous blooms. You can't see anyone else though because tthe only way to get a good shot was to get into the middle of the flowers and once you did, you were hidden from sight. DH stayed in the car and said that he couldn't see where I went at all.

Have a great weekend!

Aug 29, 2007

For Jess

I could've called this post a lot of things - How do you like me now? One down, one to go. New and improved. Finished Objects: bathroom edition. - You get the picture. The title I chose is a nod to my sister who's been picking on my nasty bath for a long time.


What you see above is the before. My house is a bit over 40 years old and it really showed. The bathroom was completely original. Can't you tell? Witness the lovely yellow tiles, sink and toilet. You can't see it but the shower door had a crack since the day we bought it and probably long before that. That shower was just pitiful. I wanted it redone for-freakin'-ever! In fact, the peeled wallpaper is a testament to my impatience. I'd get frustrated and tug on it.
As of today that bathroom is finally done (except for a missing tile and a little touch up). I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out. The tile is a combination of stone and crackled glass. As a bonus you may see that we installed water tiles in the shower. The hardware is brushed nickel and the cabinets are cherry. I love it.
Now lets see how long it takes for bathroom number 2 to be completed.

Nine Times Three Equals...

Last night was all about the blankie. Once more I spent my evening slogging through the garter stitch but it was accompanied by a spirited discussion with Stinky over the relative done-ness of the blankie. She has grown impatient.
Knittin' 001I'm not sure if it has more to do with her wanting to snuggle up with the blankie or that the blankie is getting in the way when she wants to snuggle up with me each night (let me tell you, it is super hard to knit with an 8 year old in your lap). It could really be easily attributable to either of these.
No matter... she looked at it last night and counted up the strips on each side of the center square. She came up with six on each and pronounced it done. But wait I said, there are still 3 more strips to do. The blankie used 9 colors and I wanted to repeat each an equal number of times. Wouldn't 7 be a nicer number... a lucky number even?
Knittin' 002Stinky was appeased and I started the next strip. Now the question is, what do I do with the last strip. To make things even, I'd need 4 more strips (including the one in process right now) but there are only 3 colors left. Do I leave it slightly uneven with 7 strips on 3 sides and 6 on one? Do I go back to the first color in the strip progression? Should I do another 9 strips to make it all come out even? What about if I take the color of the middle square, use it for the last strip and then continue it around the perimeter as an edging?
I have 2 and a half strips to complete before I need to decide.

Aug 27, 2007

Garden Pondering

Musk MelonLook what's growing in my garden now! This cute little guy is a musk melon. I'm not sure I've ever eaten one before but I can't wait to try this one.
Having a garden is a funny thing. I'm sure that there are lot's of people (those who think things through - BORING!) who only plant stuff in their garden that they know they like to eat. I suppose that thre are also people that love all fruits and veggies. I'm neither of those. As I've said before, this garden was a whim.
The funny part of having a garden is that it inspires. Suddenly the family wants to eat more fruits and veggies because we're growing them. There is something special about home grown stuff. Not only are we inspired to eat the stuff we're already growing, we've started to plan an improved version of our garden for next year. Ambitious plans.
This may be influencing our future garden plans a bit.

TJ Garden 001
This is the garden at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. Now that's a garden! There's even a sweet little space to sit among the veggies and read a book.
Jefferson had all those rows of nice, neatly arranged plants. The variety was incredible and they were grouped according to the part of the plant that was edible. Nifty!
TJ Garden 003He planted all kinds of stuff. I took pictures of the artichoke because I'd never seen how one grew before and the peppers because they were just so pretty.
As hubbo and I wandered through the garden feeling like we were going to melt we thought about all of the work it must have taken to maintain a garden like this and the poor slaves who would have been required to do it. One can only imagine how hard it must have been. Even watering the garden would be quite a feat.

TJ Garden 004We also noted that this garden is terraced much as ours is- only better. It gives one hope to see that a garden can thrive in a space that might not be considered ideal. Next year we hope to use retaining walls and shrub removal to carve out a larger spot for our garden. We got seeds from Monticello to plant so that we can follow the process from the very beginning. A compost program for our house is also in the planning stages. We just need to pick a good spot for our composter and get started. Just think of all the lovely rich soil we'll have for next year.
Sadly we don't have room in our yard for an arbor like this but I can dream.

TJ Garden 005

Aug 26, 2007

Food, Friends and Miles of Garter Stitch

This was such a nice weekend. We saw a great movie (Knocked Up) at the cheap theatre near our house. How cheap? Try $15 for 2 tickets, 2 sodas and popcorn. Supa-cheap! We also went out for dinner with friends on Saturday night at a place called Harry's Tap Room. The company was terrific, the food fabulous and the evening just perfect. I hope that you all had an equally wonderful weekend.
IMG_1702While we did get out and play this weekend, it wasn't all fun and games. We took care of a few renovation chores and other huge things. No matter what we were doing, this was my view for most of the weekend. I took Stinky's blankie with me everywhere we went and it's still not finished. OMG! It just feels like miles and miles of garter stitch. I'm getting close though. I just have 4 more strips and the edge to do.
My girls return tomorrow and I couldn't be happier. It sounds like they've had a wonderful time with their cousins and other family but I'm ready to have them home. It seems like all summer people keep asking where my kids are. It must sound like I'm constantly sending them away. In reality they have spent a good part of the summer away from me but I've missed them every minute. Every single minute.

Aug 23, 2007

ECF - Saturday Sunset Edition

Last weekend was all about family time, including the moment on Saturday night when, stopped at a light we all suddenly noticed how beautifully the sky was lit up. This weekend it'll be decidedly quieter around our house since my girls will be away again. Maybe I'll get some quality knitting time in.

Aug 22, 2007

Thoughts of Blue

No finished objects today. When you finish a few, it's time to start some new. Right? Aren't there rules against idle needles?

Feeling Blue?
As you can see, I've got quite a way to go with both of these projects so it's a little early to talk about much beyond the yarn itself but don't worrk because I'm in love. After dealing with all manner of splitty yarn lately I am being rewarded with pure joy in fiber form.
The project on the right in this picture is a Clapotis that I am making in Brooks Farms. How do you like that color? I promise you that it's even more beautiful in real life. I could not love this yarn any more than I do today. It is so soft and has a sheen that is simply amazing. I just want to pet it all day long. I LOVE THIS YARN!
The socks I started are Yarnsmith's Sockezze. The color in this picture is't quite right. In reality the dark blue is actually deep purple. I don't usually do 2 socks at once but.... I only have one ball of this yarn and I want to make the most of it. The thing is that when I first saw this yarn and snapped it up I saw it becoming a Dream Swatch. Then, I pulled it out and hubbo pointed out that it's totally Stinkerbelle's colors. What can I say, he was right!
Not only is the Sockezze gorgeous to look at with it's saturated colors - it knits up really well too. It's not splitty at all and the fabric it creates is nice and even and soft and perfect. It is wonderful to work with.
With all this in mind I held the socks-in-progress up for Stinky to see expecting 100% approval. What did she say? Nice socks mom but when will you finish my blankie? OK, 'nuff said. Guess what's in my lap now?

BTW. I heard from my Sock pal earlier today and she likes the socks. Hooray!

Aug 21, 2007

Yet Another Finished Object

Well, here it is, the third in a string of finished objects. I had been waiting to post it after my sock pal received them but I'm just not sure when that may be. I'm a little concerned that they're taking so long to get there but, then again, they did have quite a way to go.

The pattern I used was the Traveling Eyelet Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks. It was simple and although it doesn't look like much here, on the foot it looks pretty nice.

Sockapalooza Socks

These socks feel pretty nice too. The yarn I used was Wildfoote. I've had ambiguous feelings about this yarn from the start and I still do. Let's start with the color. The label called it Brown Sugar. I guess that works but I'd probably have called it something like "Campfire". The yellow, red, orange and blue are like flames against a brownish, woody, background. Do you see it?

Whatever you call it, I do kind of like the color. It's warm and interesting. What I didn't care for was how splitty it was. These socks feel nice and the nylon content will hopefully insure that they'll wear well. I just wish they had been more fun to knit.

Aug 20, 2007

DQ's Shawl

My second finished object for this week is the handspun shawl I made for DQ. You may recall that I finished it while she was at camp so I postponed the photo shoot.

DQ in her Shawl

Here is DQ in her shawl and the dress it was indended to match. This picture was taken last Saturday. We had a Bat mitzvah to go to and this was one of the many outfits DQ tried on. Sadly, the dress may be a little short on her now but it did match really well, didn't it?

Handspun Flower Basket

This shawl may not be of the softest wool or my finest work but it is very special because it was made with some of my first significant handspun. As I've said earlier, I learned so much while knitting this. I learned that I was spinning quite tightly when I made this. There were way too many corkscrews in it. On the positive side, there were many sections that were quite thin - thinner than I would normally feel comfortable with but I found that it knit up just fine. I hope that in the future I'll be less afraid to get thin.
I learned a bit about selecting the fiber too. I recall that when I bought this last October it was a spontaneous decision. I liked the color so I bought it. End of story. Working with this yarn I see that it's not the softest thing in the world. I'd like to think that I'm more selective now. I've tried a few diffferent types of wool since I spun this and I can see the differences. I'll take my time and consider what I'm buying and what I'd like to do with it. At least I hope I will.

Aug 19, 2007

Stealth Knitting

Lately there has been very little bloggable knitting but this week I aim to stop that trend. I'm not just going to stop it - I'm gonna start a new trend and present a whole bunch of finished objects.
Item number one is a sweet little dress I made for my friend Felicia's baby.

Baby Dress for PeapodTrim Detail for Peapod

This is actually the debut of this project on the blog. I couldn't post any of the project shots for two reasons. First, Felicia reads the blog and I wanted to keep it a secret. Second, I spent much of the past few weeks wanting to throw this somewhere... out a window, in a corner, at someone. I just wanted to be free of it.
Here is the dress on Peapod. That's what we called her before she was born. Naturally she has a real name now but I can't help calling her Peapod. Isn't she cute? Better yet, the dress clearly fits and it will for a while more. Yay! There is nothing better than completing a gift while it still fits the giftee.
Peapod in her dress 2So lets talk about this project in a bit of detail. In truth, it's not a bad pattern and I love the colors (chosen by Stinkerbelle) used in this sweet little dress. The pattern was a Dale of Norway pattern and it was pretty simple and not horrible to follow. There were a few spots where a little more instruction would've been handy but if you have a bit of experience it all works ok.
What didn't I like about it? For starters this is knit on size 2 needles. I saw that and thought no problem. It was a baby dress! Small! How long could it possibly take? Ummm.... it took for-freakin'-ever. I knit it throughout our vacation and in every spare moment since. I will say now, for the record, that aside from socks I can't think of too many things I'd like to make on 2's.
The other issue I had was with the yarn. I didn't hate it and I suspect I'll use it again but it was not fun to work with. It was kind of splitty and it tended to fuzz if I fussed with it too much. Yuck! On the other hand it is washable wool which is a plus with baby wear. It also comes in great colors that are soft and have a nice sheen.

Aug 16, 2007

ECF - Monticello Butterfly Edition

Last December I visited a butterfly conservatory in Key West and took a ton of pictures because I'd never seen so many beautiful butterflies before. Over the past week it seemed like butterflies were everywhere. Maybe it was the warm weather. Maybe it was a coincidence. Whatever the reason, it was certainly cool. Is there anyone not uplifted by a sight like this?

Visitor in Jefferson's Garden

Aug 15, 2007

Sheepy T Magic

Yesterday I shared the pictures from the touristy spots we visited but in the course of our travels we saw so much more. We walked all around Charlottesville and Asheville. There were galleries and street art to see everywhere you looked.

Vacation Summer 2007

Above are just a few samples of what we saw. The nifty sculpture of a wine bottle and glasses is perched above the entry to the Revival Grille in Greensboro, NC. All I can say about that is YUM! The picture with the flag was taken during the opening ceremonies at an Asheville Tourists game we saw. There was a group of VIP's there the night we went so they pulled out all thte stops and started things off with a group of 4 skydivers landing on the field and ended with a very nice fireworks display. We also saw several street performers in Asheville. The one in the picture did amazing things with spray paint.
Are you ready for the really good stuff? This is a knitting blog after all.

From the Needle LadyWhen we were packing for this trip, I made certain to pack my Guide to Yarn Shops as I always do but, to be perfectly honest, I really wasn't planning on doing a lot of yarn shopping. No, really... I wasn't. I did plan to go to The Needle Lady(where I bought some lovely red sock yarn) because Krista recommended it but there was only one other yarn store in my plans - Yarns to Dye For in Hendersonville, NC. Somewhere along the way I found myself needing to visit 2 more yan stores and they were great. Blame it on MDS&W.
I've been to MDS&W twice and both times I waited on the ridiculously long line to get a t-shirt. The day that we went to Montpelier I wore one of them and when we stopped in the gift shop to return our audio units, Phyllis, one of the women working there, noticed my shirt and the conversation went as you'd expect it to. The grounds of Montpelier is where the Fall Fiber Festival is held. That's the event I usually refer to as Mud Fest. Phyllis assured me that she's never seen the event so muddy before and insisted that I have to come back this year. She also insisted that I had to go to Limerick Fibers. She even had a colleague write me up directions. How could I say no?
Limerick FibersLimerick Fibers is a lovely little shop in Gordonsville, VA. They had a great selection of yarn, fiber and tools. A ball of trekking pro natura caught my eye instantly. I really like the colors and it's a wool/bamboo blend. It will certainly become socks for hubbo. The other purchase was a ball of fiber from a breed of sheep I'd never heard of before - California Red. You can't really see it in this picture but there are little red fibers mixed in there. I can't wait to spin it up. I'm thinking that I'll leave it natural to show off the red fibers.
From Stony MountainThe next place we visited was Stony Mountain Fibers. This was a tip from Terri (?), one of the guides at Ashlawn who noticed my MDS&W shirt too. (Hubbo is threatening to "forget" my t-shirts at home on our next vacation. ) We called ahead to make she that Barbara would be there and also to get directions. This is not a place you find by accident! It was well worth the trip because Barbara was really nice and she had great stuff. The ball of fiber is Cormo from her "girls" and the red braid laying on it is merino/tencel. I haven't tried either of these before. The coolest thing I bought there is the yarn laying next to it. It's sock yarn dyed with onion skins! I have a collection of onion skins at home that is earmarked for the same thing. I asked how she got the different shades and she laughed and looked at me funny. She used a few different mordants. I've never used any mordants at all so clearly I have a lot to learn before I break out my onion skins.
Yarns to Dye ForThe last yarn shop I visited during my vacation is actually one that I planned to visit 4 years ago, the first time I took DQ to camp. I couldn't find it then because it wasn't where I expected to find it and I inexplicably failed to consult a map. Duh! This time I carved out the perfect chunk of time to go and I was prepared with a map from Google. I was not disappointed. If I ever had a yarn store of my own - this is what it would be.
From the front, this shop doesn't look like much. It's quaint and charming but nothing to write home about. Step inside though, and you'll find a space that is wide open, warm and inviting. There is a circle of comfy looking chairs that just beg for you to stop and sit a while. Next to it is a work area with large tables set up for dyeing classes. This lovely skein of sock yarn was dyed at those tables. Of course, there is yarn too. They had a nice selection that was displayed in cubbies and on hooks. It really sucks you in and demands to be petted. If this store were near me I would probably live in one of the comfy chairs. On the positive side, DQ is already counting the days till she goes to camp next year so I'll be back.

Yarns to Dye For

Aug 14, 2007

The Thing About Old Houses

I was so whiny yesterday. I thank you all for not complaining about it and here is a little reward... vacation pictures.

Old Homes Tour 2007
As you can see from these pictures, this vacation can best be described as a tour of really old houses. We saw Ashlawn (home of James Monroe), Monticello (home of Thomas Jefferson), Montpelier (home of James Madison) and Michie Tavern and, finally, Biltmore. They were all incredibly different and, taken as a whole, the experience was kind of inspiring and informative.
We started our trip with Ashlawn which is very close to Monticello but much more modest. It's the yellow house seen peeking between the hedges in the collage above. The guide was very knowledgeable about Ashlawn, James Monroe and the times he lived in. Two things stand out most about our visit here. One is the impression that very little of what is there actually belonged to James Monroe. He died without many assets and most of his posessions were sold off so the home is furnished with things that are like those he would have had. The other strong message hubbo and I got was that we had to see Montpelier. All of the guides here said it was a must. We put it on our to do list but we went to see Monticello first.
Monticello is probably the home that is most familiar to people. Everyone knows it as the home of Thomas Jefferson. It was every bit as lovely as you would expect it to be. It's full of nifty little details implemented by TJ to make life more efficient and better. I found the small pond near the house in which he'd hold the fish for upcoming meals to keep them fresh (this is what the reflection of the house is seen in in the picture above) to be rather clever. Other people were intrigued by the whole he cut in his front hall floor to install the weights for his clock. The gardens impressed me quite a lot but that's a post for another day.
Visiting to Montpelier was not initially in our plan but, after the way they talked it up at Ashlawn, hubbo and I were intrigued. Many of the pictures in the collage above were taken during our visit. In the bottom right corner is a picture of the exterior surrounded above and beside by pictures of the details we saw there. If you think it all looks a little rough and unfinished - you're exactly right. Montpelier was owned by the DuPonts for many years and during the time they lived there, they added wings, moved doors and windows and turned the home into something Madison never would have recognized. Upon the death of the last resident, the home was bequeathed to the National Trust with money to return it to the way it was in Madison's time. The process of restoring it is still under way and it's a real treat to visit it and see the workmen measuring, plastering and excavating. A tour of the home today provides a behind the scenes look at the detective work required to achieve the authentic restoration of our treasured past. There is a picture in the collage of a group of boards with many layers of paint and the shadow of a staircase. These boards were found throughout the house and pieced back together to reveal the exact pitch of a staircase in the home. Montpelier was one of the coolest things we saw.
The middle picture is of Biltmore. You may recall that I went to see it last year with a friend of mine. This year I went back with the family. It was really nice to be able to share it with them. The picture in the bottom left of the collage may not look like it belongs there but it was also taken at Biltmore on the terrace. They have concerts there in the summer and was enjoyed watching Chris Isaak's soundcheck. We didn't watch any of the concerts but we were really amused by the one that took place on Saturday night. It was Clay Aiken, and a whole group of his fans were staying at our hotel. They were mostly mature women and they were all decked out in shirts, bags, etc. with Clay plastered all over them. It made me wonder if this is what Clay imagined his following would be like. If he knew that he would be the idol of the middle-aged chick set rather than giggly girls would it have changed anything. Probably not. Ka-ching sounds the same no matter where the cash is coming from.

Sockapalooza Socks Save the Day

IMG_1658I just got home from vacation and I should be feeling great but.... I'm not. Stressed - yes. Aggravated - check. Frustrated - absolutely.
I'm actually a bit less stressed than I was earlier today but I'm still not feeling that post vacation high that I ought to have. It seems that right now, all of the good is tempered by crap. Take the picture at right as a case in point (shown super small because nobody really needs to see this). I'm not the neatest person in the world but you can usually walk from one end of my house to the other unimpeded. Not so much right now. What you see in this picture is a combination of furniture and fixtures that ought to have been installed in my bathroom by now and the 4 large boxes of my girls camp stuff (142 lbs!) that we had shipped home. To say that my house looks like a bomb hit would be an understatement.


As I said, there is some good stuff going on like the arrival of my Sockapalooza socks. Check them out. They are fantastic! Anna knit the most gorgeous socks for me - Regia Silk (sooo soft) in a color I love and the pattern is Twisted Flower by Cookie A. They are perfect in every way! The package was made even sweeter by the bar of Green & Black chocolate that came with them. Unfortunately I'll need to wait for it to harden again before I eat it because by the time I got home to open the package it was mush. See what I mean about the lousiness that pervades everything? Not that I'm complaining exactly because, let's face it - the chocolate will still be yummy!
In the interest of getting the rest of the absolute crap out of the way before I share a little vacationy goodness I should also mention that I fried my brand new cell phone during my vacation. At the end of June I bought myself a new phone on a total whim. I'd had the same phone for 4 years and I was seduced (really) by a cute new phone. It was way too expensive but I had built up a bit of credit towards a new phone which made it kind of reasonable. Sadly it didn't take to canoeing as well as one might hope. Yes, I know it was a bone-head move to take it with me. I just wasn't thinking and forgot it was with me until it was too late. Did I mention that hubbo is lousy at canoeing and dumped me into the James River many times? Ummmm yeah, he may have many talents (another debatable point) but canoeing is not one of them. We waded through the rapids rather than riding in our canoe and I prayed for the end of our little jaunt down the river. It was bad. If you find the pair of espadrilles that flew off my feet the last time he tipped the canoe over - don't tell me. I don't even want to know.
On a lighter, more positive, note - I threw myself on the mercy of the nice people at the "V" Experience store in the mall near my house last night and they hooked me up! I had been really worried because the phone was much too expensive to replace without discounts and rebates. I am so relieved that they replaced the whole deal for just the cost of a new battery. I promise never to take my phone canoing again.
Tomorrow I can tell you about some of the great stuff I saw and why hubbo is threatening to hide my MDS&W t-shirts before our next trip.

Aug 4, 2007

August - 1997

IMG_1545This was DQ is the summer of 1997. Back then she was really more of a Drama Toddler than a Drama Queen.

She wasn't the only one who was much younger then - so were hubbo and I. Being very young and a little, dare I say, immature, our thoughts on moving to Virginia tended to be a little rosy and tending less towards those of responsible adults. The promotion for hubbo was exciting and I know we were all looking forward to making new friends and getting to know Washington, DC but I was probably equally enthusiastic about the idea of living in a hotel for a while and having all of our living expenses paid for by DH's employer. It sounded like a party to me. I wouldn't be working. I wouldn't have to clean the house or cook every night. We could eat out as often as we liked and just ask for new sheets rather than making the bed. Woo hoo! I had no idea just how fast that would all get old.
IMG_1544This was home to us all through July of 1997. It was the Summerfield Suites in Herndon, Virginia. We had a unit with a bedroom and a living room with a small kitchen. There was a lovely pool. They served breakfast every morning and warm cookies in the afternoon. As hotels go, it was lovely but one thing was missing - our stuff.

We arrived with our cars full of a few toys for DQ, clothes for us and our computer. It was pretty limited and it wasn't long before we started to crave the things that were packed away - somewhere - in storage. Another thing I learned during this time was that I was the type of mommy who needed to work. I loved DQ and we had a great time finding new playgrounds as we explored our new home but at the end of the day, when hubbo would arrive home, I was often out the door to the mall or elsewhere. Being a full time mommy was hard for me.

I even missed the cooking and cleaning - kind of. I could cook in the kitchenette at the hotel but the utensils and space were limited. For once I had the time to really create fabulous meals but all of my kitchen toys were... in storage. I was amazed to realize that even eating in restaurants gets old after a while. Who knew?

It was a huge relief to finally move into our new apartment in early August. I started shopping for new towels and sheets and all of the little touches that would turn it into a home. In Long Island, we had a 2 bedroom that was large but old and had no amenities. Here we had 2 bedrooms and a den in addition to our living room and kitchen! We had our own washer and dryer and, best of all... a dishwasher. The complex had a pool and an exercise room (not that I used it). We even had 2 patios and a fireplace. Best of all, the rent was about the same as Long Island. We were amazed at our good fortune.

We started to adjust to our new life and become reacquainted with all of our stuff. It was a really great time and we felt like we were finally settling down. Hah! Not so much but that's a story for another day.

See you when I return from vacation.

Aug 2, 2007

ECF - First Harvest Edition

I've been saving this picture all week.

First Harvest - Ever!
This is the first harvest from our little garden. That zucchini was 13 inches long and weighed 2.4 lbs. Not too shabby. Sadly my cooking really didn't do it justice. Some of it was fried up and became part of our Sunday night dinner and I made 2 loaves of zucchini bread with the rest. I learned something. I need a new zucchini bread recipe. Oh well - live and learn. It was really exciting to eat something we grew. Hubbo ate the little red pepper and said it was really yummy. the rest is in the veggie bin waiting for inspiration.
Eggplant!As exciting as the first harvest is, our little garden isn't finished feeding us yet. If you look carefully at this picture you'll see 3 eggplants growing. Don't they look great? I guess I'm going to have to learn to like eggplant. Hmmm...
There are still a few squash growing but not all of it will make it to the table because it would appear that we've had some visitors sharing in our bounty. I'm ok with that. I elected not to use any pesticides on our garden. It's about as organic as it gets. We just stuck the plants in the ground and let them do their thing. Next year maybe we'll try to start from seeeds. Wouldn't that be cool?
Next week we'll be on vacation so normally this would be my last post for a while but tomorrow there will be a rarity - a Saturday post. It's the next installment in my look back to the very eventful summer of 1997. I've really enjoyed sharing it and I hope that you're enjoying reading it.

Aug 1, 2007

Good Stuff

Blocking PadsLook what I got tonight! When the girls get home they'll probably think these are exercise mats for Karate. Not any more! As of this afternoon they are my new blocking mats. the Karate studio near our house just got redone and they sold me as many of the mats as I wanted (I took 4) for $5 a piece. Hooray! Now I just need something to block.
Maybe I'll find something good in the new issue of VK which just arrived yesterday. It's the 25th anniversary edition. Have you seen it yet? I started to thumb through it and I'm not sure if I love it yet.
One week from tomorrow I will be picking my girls up at camp. It's not like I'm counting the minutes or anything but I can't wait. I miss them soooo much and no amount of adult alone time can really make me stop craving my girls. There is one thing that makes it a little easier - letters! Today we got a post card from Stinky and a real letter from DQ in which she doesn't ask for anything at all! This is her 4th year at camp and the first really great letter home.
I won't share it all but there was one super-cool part. Two years ago there was a woman, a Holocaust survivor who wrote a book about the experience, speaking near my house. DQ was just getting into reading about the Holocaust and I figured that there wouldn't be too many opportunities to hear about it from someone who was there so I took her to the presentation. It was wonderful and inspiring. At the end, DQ went and spoke to this woman for a moment and got her copy of the woman's book signed. Coincidentally, a reporter from the local paper was there to cover the event and took a picture of DQ and the speaker together and it ran in the paper. (We have many copies) This woman was at the girls camp to speak last week. (Her grandchildren are campers there too.) In the letter, DQ says that when she went to say hello the woman remembered her and they spoke for a while. What a wonderful experience for DQ!