Friday, June 27, 2008

Today We Went to Paradise

Pennsylvania that is. Today W and I took a road trip. One of those lazy travel days with a couple objectives but not much planning. Sort of just go where the road leads you. In Philadelphia, we were hoping to find the jewelry store from which he purchased a bracelet for me last June. The bracelet is too small and he was told they could make it larger. We couldn't find the store so I am going to try to contact the designer. We drove around Philadelphia a bit and then headed out to Valley Forge. Now that is one cool little national park. We spread a blanket under the trees and read and enjoyed nature. We saw several deer that were within 50 yards of people. They acted almost like they were domesticated. W had been there last year and wanted to go back to enjoy the serenity of the area and take a picture of a memorial. And of course I forgot the camera! No problem, just a reason to take another road trip one day. On the way home we drove through Paradise PA. I say the whole day was pretty "paradisy".

Monday, June 23, 2008

Christmas (Cactus) in June

My gorgeous Christmas Cactus - in June. Obviously, this cactus does not have an internal calendar! I got this plant from a friend several years ago. She wanted to get rid of it because it never bloomed and I wanted it because I couldn't bear to let her throw away a perfectly good plant. Then, waa-laa... it bloomed for me... not once, not twice, but now three times. A maverick plant I guess. I don't care when it blooms, I love it every time. It speaks to me of hope and of promise and isn't that what Christmas is all about anyhow?

Speaking of hope and promise, I am hoping and I promise to try to actually get some papercrafting and scrapbooking done very soon. In that vein, I am cleaning up the studio and sorting out... ribbons and beads this week...

There's a bit of hope and promise in some recent knitting too. M's friend had a darling baby girl a couple weeks ago and M asked me to make a baby blanket for her. I decided on the Bliss Blanket using a yarn from Universal in wild pinks and purples since the mother is crazy about pink. This was also my first attempt at entrelac but it won't be my last.

I couldn't resist a couple other little things for darling Emma too - a Vine Hat and a pair of modified Saarje booties made with Colinette Jitterbug yarn. I'm sorry about the bad lighting - it's really hard to take a good picture in the house at 3 pm when it is dark as night outside because of a really big storm (not to worry, this was a couple weeks ago).

Monday, June 2, 2008


The Alaska trip was amazing! The weather was awful but the rest of the trip was wonderful.

We arrived in Seattle a few days before sailing for Alaska. One day was spent in the Southern Cascades in the area around Mt. St. Helen. It was not a clear day and we were never sure we actually saw Mt. St. Helen. We went as close to the volcano as we were allowed. Partway up the mountain the road was still closed due to the snow. We hiked a bit on the trail farthest up that was open. While the mountain in this photo may not be the volcano, it is an example of what the area looked like. The weather was too overcast for us to see Mt. Ranier before we left for Alaska.

Of course no visit to Seattle would be complete without strolling through Pike Market. Rows of gorgeous flowers first caught our eyes, then produce, pasta, fish, and lots of artisan booths and all sorts of shops.

My cousin M and her SO joined us on the cruise and what fun we had. R proposed to her on the first formal night and without hesitation she agreed to marry him. We are so happy for both of them! After beer and champagne, we tried to figure out if they could get married on the cruise, but in the end, the wedding will be in Phoenix next year.

One of the highlights of the cruise was sailing to the Hubbard Glacier. We got within a half mile of the glacier and just stared in awe at the massive wall of snow and ice. We saw calving several times, which is when part of the glacier breaks off.

The cruise included port stops in Ketchican and Juneau, Alaska and Victoria, British Columbia. While it felt like winter to me for most of the cruise, spring had definitely sprung in Victoria. (sorry, I couldn't get the picture rotated the right way.)

We took this cruise as part of a group of knitters. M and I attended classes on knitting and spent lots of time knitting and talking with other knitters. R and W seemed to have no trouble filling their time when we were knitting. We played cards and dominos and drank coffee with Bailey's. And in each port, we shopped at yarn stores. The SEX was pretty good... er, that's Stash Enhancement Xperience. I concentrated on purchasing yarn from local, independent hand-dyers. The four skeins to the left in the photo were in the goodie bag and everything else except the two skeins to the bottom of the photo are from local hand-dyers in Alaska.

Perhaps one day we'll return to Alaska, our 49th state.