Sunday, December 28, 2008

100 Things About Me

I finally finished 100 Things About Me.

3.  I have 1 sister and 2 brothers.
4.  The house I grew up in had 12' ceilings, huge pocket doors, a cubby space (our clubhouse) under the front stairs, accessible only through the walk-in closet and a small winding back staircase.
5.  I lived there for 18 plus years. The house next door to us on the north side was about 2' away.  We would crawl out our attic window and  into the neighbors' window to visit.
6.  I remember the milkman delivering milk in glass bottles in the box on the back porch.
7.  I played high school varsity field hockey.
8.  I played high school varsity lacrosse.
9.  I never had a cast on any part of my body.
10.  After high school I starting running to stay in shape.
11. I like to run; it puts me in a meditative state.
12.  I like to run alone.
13.  I like sneakers; I really like sneakers.  It would be so easy for me to go overboard and buy a new pair every month.
14.  My longest run ever was the St. George Marathon in 1991.
15.  My most challanging run ever was the Imogene Pass Run 1992.
16.  I have not been running much lately.
17.  Now I dash - after our two beautiful little ones!
18.  I met my husband in 1977.
19.  We married in 2001.
20.  In March 1987 I had an in-office biopsy to remove a grape-sized tumor from my neck.
21. In March 1987 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease.
22.  In April 1987 I had a staging laperatomy to remove my spleen and move my ovaries, moving the ovaries would keep them from getting "zapped" if I were to get radiation treatments.
23.  In Summer 1987 I had radiaiton treatment.
24.  I've been cancer free for 20 years.
25.  I guess I like a challenge.
26 .  My brother and I rode our bikes across the US in 1989.
27.  I've climbed Mt. Rainer in Washington.
28.  I've hiked The West Highland Way in Scotland.
29.  I like to wash dishes because I find it very calming.
30.  A window over a kitchen sink is a must for me.
31.  I don't like to unload the dishwasher.
32.  I hate to iron.
33.  Green is my favorite color.
34.  I hate teal.
35.  I like math and numbers.
36.  I think palindroms are cool.
37.  The like two kinds of cake:  carrot cake and (now) Jan's cake.
38.  I like pie, almost any kind of pie.
39.  I do not like to talk at movies.
40.  I like to stay through and watch all the credits.
41.  I never was able to get popcorn or other snacks at a movie as a kid.
42.  I like to hike and camp.
43.  My feet hardly ever get cold.
44.  I like to knit.
45.  I blush easily.
46.  I am a Unitarian Universalist.
47.  I have an undergraduate degree in Geography from Northern Arizona University.
48.  I've worked as a cartographer in a County Assessor's Office.
49.  I've worked for the USGS as a cartographer mapping Mars.
50.  I've worked as a programmer.
51.  I've worked in a day care center.
52.  I've worked as a janitor at a ski area.
53.  I've worked for the National Forest Service in cleaning bathrooms in campgrounds.
54.  I've worked for the National Forest Service as a fee collector in campgrounds.
55.  I've worked as a forest fighter in Idaho and Montana.
56.  I've worked at McDonald's - for about 12 hours over a 4 day period.
57.  I've worked as a secretary in Alaska.
58.  I like the toilet paper pulled over the top of the roll.
59.  I like to play with Playmobil.
60.  I like to play board games.
61.  Cribbage is my favorite two-person game.
62.  I like to play cards.
63.  My favorite game these days is Mr. Thurston's Mother's Game, a variation of Oh, Hell.
64.  My favorite solitaire game is Accordian.
65.  I like to work in my garden.
66.  I always notice when someone misuses the words "fewer" and "less"; it makes me cringe.
67.  I like to make snow angels.
68.  I like to listen to the birds sing.
69. I like to type.
70.  Thanks to my sister, I'm a touch typist.  In my high school college-pre students were not required to take a typing class.   My sister was in college at the time and told me to take typing!
71.  I don't have any cavities.
72.  Cheetos Snacks Crunchy are my favorite junk food.
73.  Lucky Charms are my favorite junk cereal.
74.  Ginger Ale is my favorite soda.
75.  Someday I want to knit a blanket like this.
76.  I like to ice skate.
77.  I like to be outdoors.
78.  I'm not much of a reader.
79.  Someday I'd like to own a yurt.
80.  I want an iPhone for Christmas 2008  (got it)!
81.  I like eggplant.
82.  Geometry has always been my favorite subject.
83.  I'm not a good swimmer, I sink.
84.  I recently got a Nikon D50 and want to take a digital photography class.
85.  Groundhog Day is my favorite holiday (harmless hype), fun movie too.
86.  I like to do jigsaw puzzles.
87.  The first car I owned was a Pea Green Ford Maverick with 3 on the column.
88.  Then, Phyllis, the yellow Fiat.
89.  On to, a Subaru DL 4WD wagon.
90.  Then, a Isuzu Trooper for a brief time.
91.  Then to a 1990 Toyota Camry, what a great car!
92.  In 1997 I bought my first brand new car, a Volkswagen Passat Sedan.
93.  I learned how much trouble a brand new car could be.
94.  In 2005, went back to the realiable Toyota.  With our second child on the way we traded in the Passat for a Sienna LE.
95.  I usually buy white cars.  I like white cars.
96.  I like snow.
97.  In November 2008 I started taking Body Pump classes at the YMCA.  The weight-bearing exercise is good for my bones.  I feel stronger.  Also, I'm enjoying the camaraderie; it's a fun group.
98.  Hadn't ran a race since 1999 and I ran a 5K on Dec 17, 2008.  My time was 37:11; my time was not great, but I had a great time.
98.  I like crossword puzzles.
100.  I like to read mysteries. 

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Wrap Up

Celebrating Christmas this year was especially fun with our three-year-old and five-year-old.  They were so darn excited.  "A" kept talking about how she was going to walk downstairs and see Santa and then run back to her bed.  "T" couldn't wait to spread the magic reindeer-attracting dust (oatmeal and glitter) she made at school.   

Here are some of my memorable moments:
  • On Dec 23, "A" did something that made "T" really mad.  She stomped downstairs, yanked "A's" Christmas list from the mantle and with pen in fist, scratched the items off the list.
  • After "T" hung her stocking, she stood back and recited the words to "The Night Before Christmas".
  • "A's rendition of Deck The Halls cracks me up.  She sings "deck the halls with bells and jolly, fa la la la la".  Then she announces that she does not know any more of the words.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Stash Burner

Tell me, can you look at this ornament without saying "aaw, how cute? I think it's so darn cute we'll keep it for our tree, but I do have another on needles as a gift. For me the button at the hanger makes it.  I also love color combinations suggested for these festive ornaments designed by Julie Williams.  For me it was the quick knit I needed last week.  No, I have not wrapped one gift yet.

Yarn:  Frog Tree Alpaca Sport Wt, oddments from stash
Needles:  US2 dpn

Friday, November 21, 2008

Surprise Snow

This morning we woke to a winter wonderland.  Here's what T had to say about that "it's not even Thanksgiving yet!"  We built a snowman family and enjoyed the fluke snow.  It has put me in the mood for Christmas earlier than usual.

All summer I waited for my parsley to grow and it never did much of anything.  Now after a bit of cool weather it's much healthier.  I'm going to try to protect it and enjoy it all winter long.  

BTW yes, I have been knitting.  On needles now is an adorable pixie.  I got the kit from E at our knitting group's yarn swap.  I'm also working on a scarf for Special Olympics.  I've decided to crochet it to give my hands a different action.  At night I've been having pain and numbness in my right hand.  The project specifies you make the scarf with specific colors of Red Heart yarn it's an awful yarn to work with, but affordable to most people.  

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Shore Thing

This past weekend we went to Ocean City.  Fall is one of the best times to visit the Jersey shore. We enjoyed the deserted boardwalk, the view of the rough surf,  dancing with strong winds, playing plenty of cards (Mr. Thurston's Mother's Game), plenty of Mack and Manco pizza and family fun!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Knitting In Public

Imagine my surprise when, on our way to my nieces field hockey game today, we drove by this statue! It's located outside the Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College. The metal piece is so realistic I thought a college student set a black leather purse next to it as a joke. Do you know of any other outdoor knitting sculptures? If you do, please share.

I know where I'll be knitting on June 13, 2009 - wwkip day.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Big Apple Circus

Today we went to the Big Apple Circus in New York City. Marsha told us about it and I'm so glad we got to go.   The girls' memories are reflected in their play; they created circus acts and NYC skyscrapers.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Congratulations Phillies!

Today hubby went to the parade celebrating the Phillies victory over the Tampa Bay Jays for the World Series Championship. He said his walk from work to the Broad Street was like a walk in a "sea of red". He described a huge police presence at the parade: police in cars, on bicycle, on motorcycle and police on horseback. Maybe that's why, reportedly, the crowd was well-behaved.

I remember back in 1980 when the Phillies beat Kansas City. Yes, it's true. I don't watch a heck of a lot of baseball, but when it comes down to these seven-game series for the championships, I can't stay away from it. It is great fun and great for knitting by!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Some Serious Pumpkin Carving

This year the girls really got into carving pumpkins.   T was quick to announce "I'm making mine scary, boo!"  However, A was not so sure about the whole thing.  She told Gram that she was afraid of witches and Mommy knew it.  So, Mommy never told her stories about witches or showed her pictures of witches.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Five Spares, Zero Flats

Would you sit in a car four hours out and four hours back in a day to ride your back thirty-two miles?  On Sunday my two brothers, sister, nephew and I rode our bikes from Meyersdale, PA to Cumberland, MD along the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP).  This 32-mile ride completed our ride which we started back in May.  Mom and Dad went along to shuttle our vehicles for us, that was a great help.

It was a beautiful day for a ride, clear and a bit windy, but not too cold.  Most of the ride was downhill.  We rode through three tunnels.  One was about a half mile long - that felt long.  You could not see the light at the end of that tunnel.  That one was well-lit, the others were not lit; we used head lamps.  The one tunnel felt like a wind tunnel.  A steam engine travels between Frostburg and Cumberland for weekend riders.  The bike trail follows along it.  At one tunnel, a sign advises "Do not enter tunnel with oncoming train"  duh!

As we got closer to Cumberland, there was a beautiful vista looking over the countryside.  Cumberland looks like a really neat town.  We had a late lunch there at The Crabby Big - a BBQ place along the C&O canal.

Just to log the drive/log.  We left my place at 7:15 AM, started riding at about 11:45 AM from Meyersdale, got to Frostburg at about 2 PM and rode on, arriving in Cumberland at about 4:00 PM.  We left Cumberland at 5:20 PM and were back at my place at about 9:00 PM.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Most Wonderful Wallaby

As far as charity knitting is concerned, this sweater for afghans for Afghans (AFA) was the most rewarding project I've knit.  I took on the sweater as a challenge to myself, there was a need for the sweaters and the US deadline was October 14.  I finished the sweater on October 13, e-mailed AFA and they said just ship it out to CA and they will get it in time to go to Afghanistan.  Phew!  I had fun with the whole random stripe thing using the dice (see previous post) and I used up a bunch of yarn in my stash. Most rewarding of all is that it gives me a great feeling to know that the sweater will help keep a child warm this winter. 

T was cooperative enough to try it on for me while she was playing in the leaves.  I really like the way the colors worked out, even though I ran out of options at the yoke and had to finish up the top-most knitting with purple.   It was a pain to knit in all the ends.  I really do need to learn the technique of weaving them in as you knit.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania

We spent Columbus Day weekend with friends at a cottage in the Wellsboro area.  The weather could not have been nicer.  The cottage was located near Ansonia, just yards from Pine Creek Trail, a rails-to-trails bike path which paralells Pine Creek in the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.  The photo to the left is the view from the front of our cottage. 

Friday night after dinner at the cottage we had enough daylight for a quick bike ride towards Wellsboro. A rode in the bike seat on the back of Hubby's bike and T on the tag-a-long behind my bike. 

Saturday morning we all had breakfast and then headed to Colton Point - lovely vistas (right) and a one-mile loop hike. Later Saturday we all biked to Turkey Falls.  C is an avid cyclist;  he rode on for several hours.  The rest of us headed back to the cottage.  After a quiet dinner we played some games and called it an early night. 

Sunday we cleaned up and packed up for the drive home.  We had a lovely and very relaxing weekend, one of those let's do this again next year weekends!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mad Men

Rarely do I find a TV drama series that I can't miss.  Remember Ed  (2001) and Northern Exposure (1990)?  Yep, two shows in 11 years.

Fastforward to 2008, AMC's Mad Men beats them all.  To me it's fun, accurate, sad and sexy.  I've seen every episode.  If you haven't seen it yet, check it out. 

If you can explain this to me please do.  How do the seasons work?  I don't understand it.  AMC's episode list for season 2 list 9 episodes.  I had to search deep into their website to find out if and when there was a 10th episode and when it was going to air.  When does season 3 start?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Roll Of The Die Sweater

My Roll Of The Die Sweater is one of my WIPs - it's a Wonderful Wallaby for afghans for Afghans. I have six different yarns to use in the striping. I've assigned each yarn a number. In order to randomly stripe, I roll. This may be the fastest Wallaby I've ever knit because I can't wait to roll the die! Fast and fun.

In other related news.  When we make it to the main library, I love to walk past the shelf of new books to see if any new knitting books have arrived. Usually I only look at the craft section. However, this week my eye was drawn to another section of the shelf and I found Dice: Deception, Fate & Rotten Luck.  Can't wait to read it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tree houses revisited

Yesterday I visited Longwood Gardens with my girls and my niece.  This time I remembered my camera and got this shot from the treehouses.  

One of my childhood favorite books is Andrew Henry's Meadow.   It began my fascination with tree houses.  If you've never read it, go ahead, buy a copy and you'll understand.  It was out of print for many years, but now you're in luck.  In 2005 it was reprinted in celebration of its 40 year anniversary.

Also, I finally replaced the photo in this earlier post with a treehouse photo of my own.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Cemetery

This is the most beautiful cemetery I've ever seen.  It is a small cemetery on top of a hill in rural Pennsylvania.  To get to the  site you have to drive down a narrow dirt road in the middle of a field.  At this time of year the corn is high and lined the road on both sides creating a tunnel effect.

My grandparents are buried here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Today my grandmother died.  She was 97.  I was at home with my girls and watching a friend's daughter when I got the call.  Within minutes of hanging up with my mom, my friend returned from her appointment to pick up her daughter.  Immediately I told her of the call I just received.  Luckily she was there to give me a nice warm hug.  She stay at the house for a few minutes while I walked and I cried.

Gram has been in poor health for a long time.  On most of my visits with her at the nursing home, I don't think she even recognized me.  Some days she'd be quite agitated and some days she'd be calm and quiet.  Last week my Mom reported that Gram was vomiting and in pain.  It was decided that there was not much to do for my Gram except to give her some pain medicine.  She could not handle tests to find out what was causing her discomfort. 

My Mom called me on Monday and said that Gram had asked my uncle "not to leave her alone".  He spent most of the morning by her side there at the nursing home and Mom decided to go up and take his place.  I drove up to join her.  When I saw Gram, I leaned up, kissed her and said "it's Beth".  For some reason I felt like she knew who I was.  Later I learned that earlier that day my uncle held a photo for Gram and she had correctly identified the names of her children on a photograph - all 12 of them!  

While there Gram kept repeating over and over again 'Jesus loves me, Jesus love me' - sort of creepy.  She threw up blood while we were there and then kept saying 'why does this keep happening to me?'  - sort of gross.  But what I'll remember is how I sat by her side and held her hand.  She looked into my eyes and at one point, when I pulled my hand away, she reached out to grab hold of it again.  She wanted me there and you better believe I wanted her there.  I will miss Gram. 

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fun In The Sun

Several weeks ago we got a flyer in our mailbox advertising 'Fun In The Sun Day Camp'.  It was to be held right around the corner at a neighbors' home for 3 to 10-year-olds, Monday - Friday, 1pm to 4pm. The camp is run by neighborhood teenagers.   What a concept!  The price for one week of camp? $40 per child with discounts for multiple children in the same family. What a bargain!

Was this the camp for my oldest? I had no idea, but I wanted to support these local entreupeners and decided to sign her up. I went in with no expectations, figuring I did not really care if my daughter went to camp or not. I was in it to support the neighborhood teenagers.  

As it turned out my daughter had a wonderful time.  She particularly enjoyed the crafts, coming home each day with something she had made.  Things including a decoupage cigar box, a simple wind sock made from paper plates and streamers, a tye-died shirt and a bird feeder made of a milk jug and wooden paint stirrers.  On the last day she greeted me with a big smile and a gold medal around her neck.  The ribbon on the medal was personalized (by the teenagers) with 'Fun In The Sun Camp 2008', her name and 'Best Painter'.  She was so proud and can't wait until next year.  What a week of fun!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

As Seen On TV

Back in December we bought a very comfortable sectional for the family/TV room.  I don't even like watching television, but now that we have that comfy seating, you can find me in there quite often with my feet up.   Usually I knit instead of paying much attention to the tube, but it's hard for me to keep my eyes off those As Seen On TV commercials.  They crack me up -  check out the AwesomeAuger.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Big on Bridges

I'm big on bridges.  When I first went to college I studied civil engineering, dreaming of designing bridges.  Pictured above is The Senator William V. Roth Jr. Bridge along Rt. 1 in Delaware.  We crossed over it enroute to Bethany.  It is the most amazing bridge I've ever seen.  Quickly I pulled out my cell phone to take a snapshot.  Not a bad photo for a cell phone huh?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Socks and Scarf

At Bethany Beach I made a lot of progress on knitting projects.  I started a new pair of socks for me with Panda Cotton. I had two socks knit to the heel beginning, but I frogged sock B last night after realizing I had caston four fewer stitches than sock A.  After trying it on, I decided I really needed those four stitches for a comfortable fit.

I made good progress on my landscape scarf as well.  It is fun to work on, but I find that it takes a great deal of concentration for me. Luckily I have the simple socks on needles now for mindless knitting.

I also took a good look at the Mobeius scarf I made awhile back.  It would be nice if it were a bit wider, but I tried a few times and did not like the way it was looking.  I've decided to leave it the way it is and make my next wider.  The scarf drapes fine when it is wrapped twice around my head and I like the way it fits as a gaiter.  If it were wider it would work better when I pull it up over my ears.  Oh, well, next time.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


We spent the week at Bethany Beach with my parents.  It was very relaxing.  The girls had a great time at the water and it did not take long to get into a daily routine of waking, breakfast, beach, back for lunch, naps, back to the beach, dinner and bed.  We had plenty of time to play cards after the kids were asleep.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fore! The Golfer In My Life

Pattern: Spiral Rib Putter Cover by Sarah Peasley
Yarn: Knit Picks Andean Silk - Cinnamon #23507, held two strands together
Needles: US 5 dpn
Start Date: 06/03/08
Finish Date: 06/11/08
Notes: Maybe I'll knit Sarah's club covers to match! Row 2 of rib pattern was hard to follow.

Last night I casted off a putter cover for my hubby. This is the third one I've knit for him, so I hope this one is around for awhile. The first one he lost on a green somewhere. Therefore, on the second putter cover I attached a note saying "If found, please call ph # and my wife will knit one just for you. Thanks." That cover fell apart.

Hubby said that the second cover fell apart because it was not heavy enough, it had to be knit more tightly. I tend to knit very loosely so this time I held two strands of worsted weight yarn held together and knit on US #5 dpn. If this does not hold up I'll felt the next one.

Hubby, here is another putter cover for you and I hope it is strong enough to withstand the rigors on the course and I hope it brings you good luck on Saturday!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

New Garden Square

In case you haven't noticed, I've been playing some catch up with posts.  After a bit of a writer's block, I'm back to blogging again. Over the weekend, we started our new garden. Hubby got the 4x4's lined up and in the ground using these nifty anchor joints. (Thanks to Marsha for the suggestion.)

The  girls had  most fun watching us and taking photos.  Especially as the sun went down and the camera flashed with every photo they took.  Now we have plenty of photos of the car, their bikes, the driveway and us (or parts of us) working on the new garden.

I went ahead and filled the bed with this soil, recommended by Mike McGrath of You Bet Your Garden.  Personally, I despise his call-in show, but I have used his suggestions for container gardening with much success.

I know it is way too late to start much from seed, but we'll see how it goes.  My sister has to thin her young spinach so I'll have those plants.  Also, I'm not opposed to buying plants.  

Note:  I planted some Cosmos seed in one of the 1' squares on 8 June 08 and I noticed sprouts already today, 10 June 08.  Is that possible?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

"Take Me Out To The Ball Game"

Recently, from one of their magazines, my daughters learned "Take Me Out To The Ball Game".  How can you know that song and never been to a ball game?  So off to the field we went.  We saw the Reading Phillies play the Harriburg Senators.  It was the day of free baseball caps for the first 2500 kids, dollar hotdogs and run the bases after the game - at $9.00 per seat.  

We had no idea how our two-year-old and a four-year-old would do at a game, but it was worth a go.  They did great.  We sat through the first three innings (at one point moving away from an obnoxious heckler)  These seats in yellow section 7 were good, why were they in front of this guy?  There were plenty of empty seats, so we moved above several rows and off to the side a bit.  When the girls were ready for a walk we explored a nice shady outdoor eating area and enjoyed a snowcone.  We went back to our seats until the long awaited seventh-inning stretch and then headed home.  What a way to swing into June!

Note:  ok, so I wrote my post before reading the Wikipedia reference for the song, apparently the guys who wrote the song had never been to a game.  I think that is hilarious.  I guess we did not have to take the girls after all,  but I'm sure we did.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Relay For Life

Today we attended the Relay for Life.  I've been involved at various levels for several years now.  I've been a team captain and a team member, but for the past couple years we've been regular attendees.  We like to support the cause and watch the girls play the games that some teams set up for the youngsters.  This years highlight was to watch them stand in a wading pool of water and see how many marbles they could get out of the water using only their toes.  Or was the highlight that hubby won a round of golf for a foresome at an exclusive private country club?  Bottom line is that money was raised for a worthwhile cause.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Couple New Dishcloths

I knitted a couple new dishcloths for our hosts during our recent trip to Pittsburgh.
The blue one is the Criminy Jickets Garterlach Dishcloth and the yellow the Sunny Days Dishcloth from Knitting Pattern Central.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Market Bag

Tonight I finished the knitting part of my Everlasting Bagstopper.  Can you believe that all I had to do was cast off and the bag sat there on my needles for over a week?  The bag turned out great and was fun to knit.  I absolutely love the result.  Now I just have to figure out the handles. I'm thinking of using some sort of webbing. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Great Allegheny Passage: Day 2

On Sunday morning despite the heavy rains, we were ready to roll.  We planned to ride 74 miles from Ohiopyle, PA to Cumberland, MD.  Before we got on our bikes, my brother taught me some back stretches; my sister enjoyed putzing  (see photo on left).  We were riding by 8 am, stopped in Confluence for breakfast at Sister's cafe 11 miles down the trail at about 10:30.  

My bike was covered with dirt my trunk and so much grit in the teeth of the zipper that I could not pull it shut.  I poured clean water out of my new Sigg bottle all over the zipper so I could close the bag.   Sometime in the early afternoon, the skies cleared.  We crossed an impressive 1900' bridge and rode as far as Meyersdale.  At which point we ended our ride.  I was the
one who first said (without a doubt) that I was ready to stop riding for the day.  We all plan to return to complete the 30-mile stretch from Meyersdale to Cumberland sometime in 2008.   

It felt great to be back on my bike.  I had fun hanging out with my siblings, but I was ready to return to my girls and hubby. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Great Allegheny Passage: Day 1

After a delicious breakfast at my sister's friends' "wanna be" B&B in Pittsburgh, we loaded into the van. Truly our hosts in Pittsburgh were lovely; she always dreamed of owning a B&B so to have the four of us (me, E, A and Pop) spend the night was like a dream come true for her.  She even went out and bought four new sets of towels in four different colors (not boring white) so they would not get mixed up!

Our weekend goal was to bike 130 miles on The Great Allegheny Passage.  Pop agreed to drive the van as sag wagon.  We started riding in Boston, PA with information from a local bike shop owner that the trail was closed four miles ahead due to a mudslide. He did not have specific information so we decided to ride on. The photo to the left shows what we found. After waiting a few minutes, the dump truck pulled off and the digger stopped digging to wave us by. It was a bit slow going through the mud, but on through we went.

Day one took us 56 miles from Boston to Ohiopyle.  The air was cool and the sky was clear until the last mile into Ohiopyle when we rode through a downpour to the MacKenzie House. The days' highlights: deer, daisies, waterfalls, meeting up with Pop who rented a bike, pb & j on bagels lunch (note:  it tasted good at the time, but turned out to be too much of  a gut bomb for me, don't eat that for lunch next year).

Thursday, May 08, 2008

An Early Mother's Day Celebration

My oldest daughter had a Mother's Day gathering at her school yesterday.  Her teacher compiled a booklet of recipes that the children "wrote".  She asked each child, "What is your favorite meal that your mom makes and how does she make it?"

Here's T's recipe:

"Mommy makes the best mac and cheese!  She takes the mac and cheese out of the box and puts it in a bowl with water.  She puts the bowl in the microwave for 10 minutes.  She takes it out and then we eat it!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Knitting Knews

It's sad to admit that the last time I posted about a completed project was back in February.  I don't have too much to report, here goes.  My recent knits include a couple hats and some felted Christmas ornaments.   

Hat one (left) I worked up for myself in Morehouse 3-strand Merino.  I was hoping for different pooling, not so stripey looking. The yarn was great to knit. So far even though I did not have many cold day opportunities to wear it, I've been able to wear it right against my ears with no itch. I made hat two (right), the Halfdome Hat, for my husband. It was designed specifically for the Bay Area.  However, it woks just as well for us here on the Eastern seaboard and guess what? My husband wears it!

I made felted ornaments for a friend and I'm really happy with how they turned out.  They are knit swatches which are felted then cut to shape.  

Sunday, April 27, 2008


During our visit to Longwood Gardens today, we explored the most impressive tree houses I've ever seen. In every detail these were not your ordinary backyard treehouses. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so I'll update this post with photos of the place as soon as I can.

At The Lookout Loft, a treehouse overlooking the meadow, we enjoyed a leisurely hike through the woods. At The Birdhouse, a treehouse towering high in the sky, we walked on floor boards reclaimed from an old toothpaste factory.

However, oddly enough, I got to see my favorite architectural feature on the property all because my four-year-old daughter had "to go potty". Of course there was not a toilet in sight. So, we quickly ran to the closest building - the lovely Peirce-du Pont House. At the door an employee, intent on clicking her counter to keep track of the day's visitors, looked up.

Me: Excuse me, can you tell me where the closest restroom is?

Employee (E): For her? (pointing to my daughter)

Me: Yes.

E: Walk in the library to the front left, just push on the corner wall and it will swing open to a bathroom. It is very small, but I think she'll be able to fit in. And don't tell anyone about it.

Me: Thank you.

We quietly made our way into the gorgeous library. It was full of chairs and plenty of people enjoying some sort of film. Sure enough we pushed against the dark wainscoat in the corner of the room and it swung inward to a narrow corridor leading to a commode and sink. This bathroom was just as well-maintained as any garden I've ever seen on said premises. It had a tile floor and a small marble-lined sink area. If you ever visit Longwood Gardens, be sure to visit this bathroom. But, don't tell them I sent you.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Welcome Flat Stanley

Recently a surprise envelope arrived in our mailbox from friends in New Hampshire.  What fun to open it and find that Flat Stanley had made it to our door!

Flat Stanley started out in a 3rd-grade classroom in CA. The instructions asked us to mail back a postcard from our area of the country.  The classroom will be plotting Flat Stanley's visits as he makes his way around the USA.  Thus far Flat Stanley had been in Hawaii, Michigan, Missouri and Colorado.

Flat Stanley stayed on as a visitor in our home a little longer than I had planned, I wanted to make sure he got a chance to visit local historic sites:  Independence Hall and Valley Forge.  He enjoyed our Easter celebration with traditional ham dinner and a family favorite at the table - dandelion salad and of course the egg hunt.

At one point I could not find him.  After a diligent search, I found Flat Stanley stuck between the CVS and Genuardi's circulars in our recycling bin!  

Good Bye, Flat Stanley, have fun on the rest of your journey!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Year

For all you knitter's out there. I suggest you celebrate Leap Year by frogging a project that you've had sitting around for more than ten years that is less than half complete.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

This morning my older daughter ran over to our bedroom and wished me a Happy Valentine's Day. My husband had already left for work. I had been out knitting the night before and purchased helium-filled balloons for the girls. T. had found hers at the foot of her bed and was delighted with it.

Later that day we had lunch at my folks' house and Dad showed me his favorite comic from their morning paper. It showed a man and a woman at a rack of cards, each chose a card for the other, they exchanged cards right there, placed the cards back on the rack and declared they'd put the 5 dollars they just saved on seeing a movie. Somewhere the comic was labled The Long-term Relationship. Dad and I shared a good laugh over that.

The valentine I received that morning, however, was way more funny than that comic strip. I found it on the kitchen counter:
"Beth, I took $20 from your purse. Happy Valentine's Day. Love, B"

Truly, it is the most favorite valentine I've ever received. It made me smile a big smile when I read it. I think it does exemplify a healthy long-term relationship and that's right where I want to be right now.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Cardigan Complete

I've been working on this jacket from Baby Knits for Beginners by Debbie Bliss for six months and it is finally done. It feels great that it fits my little one and bettter yet, she likes it. I absolutely love the way it turned out and what a joy to work with the baby cashmerino yarn!

Pattern: Debbie Bliss Jacket
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino - Periwinkle #605
Needles: US 2 and US 3
Buttons: from Kaleidoscope Yarns inVermont
Start date: 8/10/07
Finish date: 2/9/08
Notes: I used just over 4 skeins, for size 24-36 months.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Happy Groundhog Day

Part of the tradition in my home is to make groundhog cutout cookies. This morning I was lucky enough to watch a live broadcast of Punxsutawney Phil's prediction - "As I look around me, a bright sky I see, and a shadow beside me. Six more weeks of winter it will be."

Monday, January 28, 2008

Finally Blocked

Way back in September, I mentioned that progress was slow on the Debbie Bliss jacket. On Friday I finished the sleeves and on Saturday I blocked it. I hope to seam it soon and furthermore, I hope it will fit my 2-year-old for whom it is intended!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year

A friend in my knitting group suggested this and I like the idea - cast on a new project every January 1st. My 08-Jan-01 cast-on is a strip for an afghan. The group is knitting strips to be pieced together for afghans for Afghans.

I'm knitting on US 6 needles, co 35 stitches and using KnitPicks Wool of the Andes along with some yarn donated to me for the project.

Also, my knitting new year resolution is to knit something (anything) for myself in 2008.