Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wherein I Weave a Rug

Yesterday I did something I've been promising myself for a long time I would do.  I wove a rug.  My handweaving guild owns a number of looms which are always ready for someone to rent for a day to weave with.  An added bonus for me is that those looms are stored in the studio of one of my good friends.  So yesterday I drove over to her home, sat down in front of one of the four harness looms and wove my first rug.

Picking through the balls and scraps of old fabric, I chose my favorite color scheme--mostly blues.

Since the loom was already warped, I was able to start right in and weave a twenty-three inch wide rug which is forty-one inches long.  It'll be a perfect addition to the back entry hall.


I think I may have found a new hobby.

Friday, July 25, 2014

So Unstructured I Forgot the Day

Oops.  I just realized that it's Friday.  I mean, I knew it was Friday, but I forgot it's Friday Fave Fives time.  That's what happens in the summer when my schedule is less organized.  But now that I have remembered, here are my five favorite events from this past week.  I'll link them up with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story, late though I am.

1.  Summer.  Obviously, I love it when I can take long trips, return home and hang about and FORGET what day it is.

2.  Those summer days allow for relaxation like take evening walks and sometimes ending up a friend's house for a leisurely fun chat.  ( I think I'll do that again...)

3.  Summer Specials is a tradition at our church.  Every Wednesday evening during July and August, our church serves a roast beef dinner with mashed potatoes and beans and rolls and salad and desserts created by our resident best bakers.  It's all volunteer labor and we pay $6 for the meal.  Since I don't eat the meat, I just take my own dinner and nobody cares.  The focus is on fellowship and we all sit around inside or outside and chat with new and old friends.  I like to make a point to learn one person's name each week.  Our congregation is larger than our building so we have three Sunday morning services--you don't meet people who attend a different service than you do.  Summer Specials help bring all of us together at the same time.

4.  What would a week be without some knitting?  I'm creating a stack of sweet things for our expected little grandgirl.  Currently I'm working on a blankie for her crib.  Pickles.no has this free zigzag blanket pattern on the website.

And I just finished another, larger Pickles Plain Vest for her.  Yes, I *heart* Pickles patterns!

Ten more hats for the local NICU.

5.  We are continuing our Project: Declutter.  The Professor recycled a bunch of old used up highway maps.  We tackled the garden tools and let go of the extra ones we don't use.  I passed on some magazines I have finished reading and enjoying to someone who will do the same.   Our shredder got quite a lot of use as we recycled more papers we don't need.  A little bit each day adds up to a lot by the end of a week or month.  Yay, us!

It was a quiet, less structured week (except for the two days of training I did for new teachers and TAs).  How was your week?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Routine Week

Having been home in our own place for a full week, I am beginning to feel rested and centered again.  Life takes on its usual routine which can be so very comforting.  It's also great to be back on my usual Friday Fave Five schedule (thanks to Susanne at Living to Tell the Story for hosting).

1. We visited a new Wednesday farmers market in town because the market was closed on Saturday for our Camarillo Fiesta Days which is held in the same place.  Some of the Saturday vendors were there and greeted us like long lost friends.  Sprouts, carrots, lettuce, broccoli were bought (and consumed).

2. We have resumed our big clear out and declutter which we began before we left on our road trip.  We've pulled out bags of stuff--clothes, old towels, and the like.  Oh, it makes me happy to have more open space in closets and drawers.

3. Part of the clear out included our storage shed.  We finally made the decision to let go of our back packing packs.  We haven't used them for years.  I listed them along with some quart canning jars and a lovely solid wood quilt rack on a local resource exchange site.  Today they are gone, and I'm $60.00 richer.  I love the double win--declutter and get cash for it.  And the buyers were thrilled to get a good deal.

4. This week on Bastille Day was our wedding anniversary.  When you've been married as long as we have, you don't need all the fuss (we never did; we're quiet people), so we drove up to Santa Barbara and visited the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens.  We've been there before but wanted to stroll again through the native California garden along the famous Mission Creek.  In fact, we bought ourselves an anniversary present:  a year membership to the garden so we can visit as often as we want.

5. Back to our anniversary---I am a most blessed woman.  We have had a wonderful and long marriage.  We both possess a refined sense of adventure and that has worked well for us--we've lived in crazy places and done crazy things.  We share the same goals to live as true Christians and share the same beliefs.  Sometimes people ask us for advice for a successful marriage.  We have two suggestions.  1) Don't take everything seriously.  Laugh a lot.  Like every day.  2) Don't make everything a hill to die on.  It is guaranteed that if everything is so important that you make it a hill to die on, you will die on a hill.  Give a little, or a lot.  Choose your battles.  Happy Anniversary to The Professor and me!

A fun snapshot.  I was trying to photograph the wild flowers as we were driving through Cimarron Canyon in New Mexico.  What I got was a surprise.  Prairie dogs...do you see them?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Home Again, Home Again

Friday, July 11th.  I've missed a few Friday Fave Fives because of our travels.  There's SO MUCH to catch up on!  Here's the link to FFF at Susanne's blog.

1.  Home after 6,845 miles and 4 1/2 weeks.  That is a fave on so many levels.  We *heart* traveling, but it's great to be home.  (cleaning, laundry, garden, meetings...)

2.  Projects finished.  I knitted 25 hats and gave away 5 of them.  I also made The New Boy his afghan.  By the time we reached home, I had knitted my way through all but 3 works in progress I had taken on the road trip.

3.  Wonderful memories of visiting people and places.  Here's a list of the US states we drove through, in order:  California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Lousiana, Alabama, Florida, Alabama,Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and finally back to California.  We visited children and grandchildren and siblings and cousins and friends.  Oh my.

4. Favorite town.  At least this week as I sort through photos.  Taos, New Mexico.

World Heritage Site: Taos Pueblo

St. Francisco de Asis church in south Taos

5.  Special knitting projects to keep me busy the rest of the summer.   Infant size Plain Vest by Pickles--with a little hat.  Pink?  Yup.  For a new little PAL joining our family in October.  Excited?  Yup.

It's SO GOOD to be back with the regular schedule of Friday Fave Fives!

Friday, June 27, 2014

On The Road 2

I've been absent from Friday Fave Fives hosted by Susanne for two or three weeks.  When I travel and have uncertain internet access, sometimes it just doesn't work.  But I'm back again.  Not from my road trip, back on to Friday schedule.

1.  Road trips involve long periods of enforced sitting in one spot.  For me because I'm not the primary driver of the vehicle, this can either feel like prison confinement or like extended relaxation.  I choose extended relaxation.  Mostly in the form of knitting.  I planned carefully and brought way too many several projects which were in some stage of progress.  I even made a word document on the laptop to keep myself on track.  I had fifteen projects listed and nine of them have been crossed out.  Hats, more hats, accessories for knitted bunnies.  I didn't include on the list the afghan I am making for The New Boy which is nearly finished. (Photos to come)  I am fortunate that I am one of those people who can read or do projects in a moving car.  Good thing, too, because I don't do well with confinement.

2.  We are seeing so much of the southern United States again on this trip.  California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, (Tennessee and Kentucky again), and Ohio.  What's the best part?  It's two, really.  First we love visiting new places.  So far, my favorite new spot was Santa Fe.  The colors really are the vibrant tan, turquoise and orange that you see in pictures.

3.  The other favorite part is spending time with my little ones.  Of course.

4.  Hilarious conversations.
     New Boy:  Meema, I'm an omnivore because I eat meat and plants.  Are you an omnivore?
     Me:  No, I'm an herbivore.
     New Boy:  What's an herbivore?
     Me:  I only eat plants.
     New Boy:  I'm an omnivore.  I love chicken.  Chicken makes my tummy soooo happy. {Pause}  Can we go to McD....?
     Me:  No.

     New Boy, after perusing a science/biology book:  Meema, did you know that BABIES are at the top of the food chain?  They are predators and have NO predators that eat them.

5.  Yesterday was The Professor's birthday.  He did four of his favorite activities, all in one day:  visited an arboretum, had coffee at Starbucks, wandered around a museum, and finished up the day with an outdoor play with his wife, his daughter and his grandson.

There is so much more that I just can't put in to Five Faves!  One last photo of a Florida sunset.

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

We Found Our Way to Santa Fe

So, here's why it's been quiet around here lately.  No posts because I've been living life in the passenger seat of the CRV.  We did pass through Santa Fe on our way east.  From Phoenix, Arizona, you drive north past the Mogollon Rim to Flagstaff where you catch Interstate 40 which in places parallels Route 66.  Meandering along the still existing portions of Route 66 makes The Professor a happy driver.  Santa Fe, New Mexico was our first destination.  Two nights camping at +7,000 ft elevation in mid-June=it was a little cold.  But it was fun.

I've always wanted to visit Santa Fe.  There is SO MUCH history there.

We visited San Miguel Chapel, the oldest church in the Continental United States.

The interior is of course similar to that of the California missions.

I found this deer hide tapestry which was created in the 1630s fascinating because it reminded me of the tree bark paintings from Papua, Indonesia which we own.

Another historic building is The Palace of The Governors.  As you might expect with The Professor as a companion, we spent a few hours there.  The Palace of The Governors was first public building erected and occupied by the Spanish in 1610 as the northernmost outpost of the Spanish Empire in The New World.

Santa Fe is not simply an historical destination.  It is also a spinner and weaver's (and knitter's) paradise.  Even the walls along the downtown stream advertise spinning and weaving.

There are (at least) two weaving shops/studios in the downtown area.

On the edge of the plaza is Handwoven Originals, a small shop where handwoven items are created on location.

The lovely lady at Handwoven Originals directed us to Miriam's Well (Santa Fe School of Weaving) which is owned by Miriam Leth-Espensen.

After wandering through Santa Fe museums, plazas and streets for hours, we decided we needed some coffee.  So we googled 'coffee' and, huh.  Up popped Coffee and YARN!  We couldn't resist.

Yarn and Coffee--the perfect combination.  In the same place.  He drank his coffee and read a book.  I sipped mine and knitted a pink hat.

There was SO MUCH MORE we saw in Santa Fe.  Architecture.  Art.  More later...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Gardens in Phoenix

We have been visiting family in Arizona.  They know we love gardens, so they arranged for trips to two spots.*

*Disclaimer:  photo rich post.

The first one was Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park near Superior.  When we arrived, the temperature outside was already over 100F.  That didn't stop us.  It slowed us down some.  But it didn't stop us.  This arboretum did not disappoint.  We walked about 1 1/2 miles mostly in the sun with some stretches in the shade.  Although a creek runs along the edge of the gardens and a pond lies in the middle, this is mostly a desert garden.

One way to keep people on the trails

Since evidently we hadn't had enough of the sun and three digit temperatures, we continued on to Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.  By this time we were hot, hungry and thirsty, so we didn't stay long, and I didn't take as many photos.

If you ever have occasion to visit Phoenix, I hope you will enjoy these two gardens as much as we did.