24 June 2009


Tomorrow Daughter, Husband, Daughter's-Best Friend (who will from hereafter be called DBF) and I are heading to Baraboo, Wisconsin to go camping for 3 days in Devil's Lake State Park. We go each year with a larger group of people and spend a *relaxing* weekend communing with nature. This is a tent camping excursion, not RV camping or hotel camping, so we're going to be going with just the bare essentials. Since we're leaving shortly after lunch tomorrow, today is precamping day. The day we start organizing our simple supplies.

First, DBF does not have a camping cot, so her family borrowed an air mattress from a neighbor. We wanted to make sure that it didn't have any leaks, so Daughter graciously tested it for DBF last night.

No leaks, works like a charm.

Next we start organizing the tents and tent related equipment.

Tents, cots, sleeping bags, chairs: check. We even had the foresight to get out our tent a couple of days ago and make sure that we would all fit in it. We could, in a major emergency, all fit in the main tent, but no one would be comfortable. The cots take up a surprising amount of room, and if you don't want to get wet you need to make sure NO ONE touches the inside of the tent if it rains. (Ask me how I know this. Or ask brother when he gets done laughing hysterically at the memory.) To ensure everyone's comfort, Daughter and DBF will be sleeping in their own tent this year. What? No I haven't lost my mind. Yes, I'm sure they'll stay in their own tent. YOU can stop laughing now.

Since there won't be anyone catering this particular event, we also need to get all of the cooking related items together, too.

Paper plates, plastic cutlery, cooking utensils, marshmallow forks, etc. All present and accounted for. Also accounted for are the multiple lists that make this whole endeavor run smoothly. Why so many lists? The first year of the camping trip, Husband and Daughter went without me. When they got home Husband mentioned several things that he forgot to take. I told him he should write them down so that he would remember next year. He scoffed. The next year we all went, and he remembered a lot of the things that he had forgotten the year before... because we had forgotten them again that year. I started making a list. I keep it in the camping box. Last year the only thing I didn't have was earplugs. Turns out Rock Cut State Park is 3.5 miles from the Rockford Speedway. Who knew?

After getting everything together I can only say that Lewis & Clark had less stuff to haul around while they were searching for the Northwest Passage. We are probably going to end up putting the spare luggage carrier on top of the Explorer just to get everything there. And we haven't packed the clothes or food yet. They're on another list.

21 June 2009

Rocky Mountain High

Husband, Daughter and I spent a week in Montrose, Colorado visiting Husband's family and celebrating his 40th birthday.

Shortly after arriving at In-Laws' house Daughter snuck my camera and snapped a few pictures of the birds in the back yard.

This is fairly representative of the 37 photos she took. Mixed in with the birds, she also managed to get a couple of pictures of Nephew smiling.

He's almost 5, and he's a great little guy, but he doesn't quite trust me. He was quite serious for most of the time we spent with him. He has recently mastered both tying shoes and putting on belts. He likes to practice these skills on everyone in the vicinity. If you're wearing lace-up shoes and aren't paying attention you'll have your shoes retied and quadruple knotted in no time.

One of the disadvantages my Colorado family has to deal with is the horrible scenery around their homes. This, for instance, is the view looking down the street from In-Laws' house.

Go ahead and click on that to make it bigger. Those would be the San Juan mountains. Imagine having to look at that kind of nastiness all year long. One of the days we were there we visited one of Brother-In-Law's friends who has an annual pit barbeque. This is Bill's house:

He made it himself. Seriously. His own two hands. Sweat of his brow. Here's the view from the front deck.

Again, who would want to live with that? Who would want to be able to walk outside in a bathrobe before taking their shower in the morning knowing full well that no one can see them? Who would want to be able to shoot skeet from the yard and not worry about hitting anyone?

Those two on the left side of the picture are boys aged somewhere in the area of 11 and 13. They were shooting every bit as well as the adults were. It was both impressive and a bit humbling.

One of our other side trips was a visit out to Uncle's house. While we were there he got out his bow and arrows, and we spent a good bit of the afternoon shooting. Even me, though I don't think I've had my hands on a bow in around 30 years.

I remembered many of the things that I learned long ago: Arrow goes on the inside, odd colored fletching faces you, stand sideways. I did forget one thing, but I don't think I will again. Don't turn your wrist in. This is why I won't forget...

I've had that for a week now. It's a little smaller, but has turned some really interesting colors.

While some of us were peppering the target with arrows (or losing them in the bushes) Daughter and Nephew were having fun on "The Red Tractor."

Colorado. It's a nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there. Well, actually if my family wasn't all in Michigan I'd move out there in no time flat.

While we were visiting I came to realize that some of the people who read the blog don't really care about knitting at all. So in order to make it easier for them, I will now set the knitting content apart from the family news. So...

*** Knitting Content ***
During the odd moments in between family functions I made a pair of socks. They're plain vanilla socks made from Deborah Norville Serenity Sock weight.

They should look good with jeans. Which I won't be wearing in the mountains because I live in the flat, flat Midwest.

07 June 2009

H is for...

Happy Anniversary and Hockey Knitting

Only 12 short years ago Husband and I tied the knot.

A lot has happened in the intervening years. Good things have happened, bad things have happened, but Hubby and I keep plugging along. If I had one thing to do over again, however, it would have been choosing a different day to get married on. I would pick one that was farther away from Fathers day and Husband's birthday. If we had gotten married in say October, there wouldn't be much chance that when I handed H his Anniversary card he would ask, "What's this for? My birthday?" Not that I'm saying that happened today.

If only Husband was a bigger hockey fan, he might have an easier time remembering what June 7th is. Brother finds it easier to remember.

He and Sister-In-Law (who was Brother's Girlfriend at the time) spent most of my reception in the bar of the hotel that our reception was in watching the Detroit Red Wings win the Stanley Cup. It was the first time they had won the cup since 1955. They have won it again 3 times since then, and this week they are going for it again. At the moment they lead the Pittsburgh Penguins 3 games to 2.

When you're watching hockey, you have to have just the right kind of knitting. You need to have something that you don't have to look at. Nothing with charts, nothing with lots of counting, just good plain knit stitch over and over and over again. So when the playoffs started (and I will admit that when the playoffs started I was cheering for the Chicago Blackhawks, until they were annihilated by Detroit,) I started working on a wallaby for myself.

Acres and acres of knitting that I don't have to look at.

Because the Cup changes everything, and I don't want to miss a second of it. (Note to the NHL ad department, I wouldn't mind a little remuneration for using two of your tag lines in one sentence.)