Happy (early) Birthday to ME!!

I come from Photographer stock. Both Mom and Dad were into photography when I was growing up. I remember Mom would put together a really cool slide show using pics of flowers and set to classical music. This was a good 30 years ago now. I was thinking how much WORK that was... Mom, please confirm. And I was also thinking how in this digital age, how EASY it would be to do today... cause I had this great idea of putting my nature pics in a slide show set to classical music... :) I guess it's been done before.

Anyway... over Memorial Day, my dad, who is still a camera buff, gave me an early Birthday present. Ok, he didn't remember that my birthday was coming up... (Not to be confused with Mom and Pop who ALWAYS remember.) but regardless, he had a lens for me.

Check this baby out! It's a Kalimar 800 - 1200mm lens. Don't tell me if you think this lens is crap... I don't know the difference, so don't blow it for me. :)

So, what can an 800 - 1200 mm lens DO FOR ME? Well, let me show you...

35mm: Where's Lee?

50mm: I think I see Lee.

200mm: Oh, there he is, and he's holding something.

800mm: Ah, it's a Coke can.

1200mm: Sweet Sassy Molassy! It's like he's RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA!

P.S. Forgive the low-resolution of these pics. They looked better in their original formats. And, boy, do you ever need a tripod for this bad boy. I need to get a remote so that the depressing of the button doesn't shake the lens. My camera does a decent job of anti-shaking, so I'm pleased. I'm looking forward to taking pictures of things that are FAR AWAY. It's exciting. No, really, it IS! :)


Travel Weekend #2

Let me start by saying that the SS Badger ROCKS!!

We took the carferry from Manitowoc, WI to Ludington, MI. This was the best idea ever... let me count the ways...

1. We didn't have to drive through Indiana
2. It was just like being at home in our living room... except with hundreds of other people
3. We arrived refreshed in Ludington... instead of the usual "exhausted from driving" feel
4. We didn't have to drive through Indiana

We spent the night in Ludington, then drove to our final destination: Mancelona, MI. ON THE MAP, it looked like about a 2 hour trip. Au Contraire! 2 hours in, and we were in Traverse City (which is beautiful, but not as beautiful as it WOULD HAVE BEEN, had it been closer.) Looking at the map was not encouraging, so I made the call to my father's cousin, whose house we were going to. (Sorry about the prepositional ending.) Someone named Chad answered and told us of an alternate route to avoid the detour on 131. About an hour later, we were feeling pretty chumped, since this route, although beautiful, was possible LONGER than the detour would have been.

We were starving when we arrived, but everyone was going on a hike, so we went.

This is a very old pine and an oldish father (for scale):

Here's a nearly beaver felled tree (scale is very important to my dad):

Finally, we got back to Don's. Met Chad. Don wondered why I had phoned Chad instead of him. "Um, I called YOUR phone, and Chad answered." Snide comments were made about the "shortcut", although Beautiful, we were sent on, by Chad.

Also, these signs don't mean as much to us as they used to... Exactly HOW closed is this road? Do people live on this road, and are they still able to get to their homes?

But, THESE signs mean a lot, and it's not good... Lee was laughing at me for taking a pic of this, but I liked the name of the place. Or at least got a grim smirk out of it.


Travel Weekend #1

I got together with some girlfriends 2 weekends ago. We all met at Cedar Campus and all lived in Driftwood (the girls' cabin). So every couple of years we have a "Driftwood Reunion" at someone's house. This year, it was Marion's turn... so we all flew in to Lexington, KY.

Here's me in the University of Kentucky Botanical Gardens. Sarah, Mel and I went there while Marion and Dan went to a funeral.

Sarah was pregnant the last 2 times we met, so it was nice for her to be unencumbered this time. She and family are about to move to NY, due to her husband's military reassignment.

Melodie is training for the Chicago Marathon. We all offered to meet her at the end of the race with cookies. She was the only one who exercised that weekend.

Marion, who really DOES have a husband, but since none of the Driftwood ladies had ever met him, we couldn't just take her word. Thanks again for the hospitality, Mimi!

Dan, whose first name is actually Larry, warmed up to us, I think. Although we may have scarred him forever by singing Gei Lobetsei (sp?) while standing behind our chairs at dinner. A Cedar Campus classic which is sung heartily and in parts.

When we all got there Friday night (Sarah was late due to the Detroit airport hosing her.) Dan was out fishing. He apparently got in around 3 a.m. I was the 1st one up on Saturday and was startled by a big fish in the sink. I kept my eye on it to make sure it wasn't still alive. (Although, what I thought it would do to me if it was alive, I don't know.) Sarah came up next and was startled too. Marion came down and rolled her eyes, then found the camera, and saw that Dan had taken about 10 pictures of himself with the fish in the kitchen. Here's one I took of him later, but that's his "fish face."



I realize my posts have started to dwindle. It's not 'cause I don't love you guys! I have not been knitting much... just started that 2nd #$%@ teal sock... can only bear to do about 8 rows at a sitting.

Since most of life is seasonal, I'm kind of in the "not sitting and knitting" season. I've been working out for an hour 3 times a week, and I also started Weight Watchers again. (Got to pay the bill for the winter eating.) I weigh in for the 1st time tonight. I think I'll have a loss. Even if I don't, I already feel better. Here's some free adverts for WW (skip the rest of the paragraph if you don't want to hear it): I love their new sytem of points. I get 21 points/day PLUS I get 35 Flex points for the week to use however I need. So! Last Friday was a Women's Banquet at church. Saturday lunch was Thai food for mother's day. Saturday evening was a potluck. Ordinarily I would have stuffed myself and felt bad about it. This time I ate until I was full, even if stupid Thai food cost me 16 points. Yikes. (Oh, yeah, plus I get 6 points everytime I go to the KickBoxing class.) So, if anyone else has a hefty (heh, heh) bill to pay from the sedentary winter months: go ahead and try WW again.

End of Advertising...

I will try to post about other things as I think of them. I get some wacky ideas... just ask Lee. OH! I signed up for a photography class that starts in June. It's all about aperture and whatnot (see how much I have to learn?!?) and I'll get to use the Manual setting on my new camera. So I'm PRETTY SURE I'll be posting my pics from class. :)

For those of you who don't know, and are interested, Lee and I are blogging about our adoption journey here. His entries are the long funny ones... mine are the shorter, whiny ones. :) Also, I know the name of the blog is long, but I tried about 50 other cooler ones that are taken by UN-COOL people who are just sitting on the URL and not using it. See? Whiny.


One down... One to slog through...

One cable sock is down. I didn't really think through the whole "ending the cables in a place that wouldn't look goofy." So... I got goof. They are for me and I just wanted to get on with the Kitchenering already, so I think I can live with it. I started the 2nd sock, but made a mistake way back, tried to fix it by just unraveling those 4 stitches... not sure I can live with the results. I believe I should have just left that cable going the wrong direction. But... eh... they are just for me, and I don't think it'll bother me since it's up near the cuff. No Mo' Teal!

In unrelated news, Lee and I are watching Battlestar Galactica today. The 1978 movie. Ha ha ha. In one of the 1st scenes, Starbuck (played by my BFF Dirk Benedict) is talking to... Hey! that's not Richard Hatch... that's RICK SPRINGFIELD. (He played Apollo's younger brother.) The movie is 10 minutes in and they've already made about... um... 13 foreshadowing references to the duplicity of the cylons.

Oh, and is this a bad sign?

And as soon as I saw Rick Springfield, I knew he was a red shirt. Sure enough... It's a TRAP!!! And he pulls the "No, no, you go on..." And Apollo says "No, I won't leave you." Rick says, "My engine is out... you have to inform the fleet... I'll be ok." And Apollo says "Ok." and leaves. Then SOMEHOW... Rick beats Apollo back to the ship?! And gets shot down right after he says, "I made it!" Ha ha... no you didn't. THEN Apollo comes running in, breathless saying he wants to go back out to get Rick.

Nooooo... Boxey's dog just got killed. Ok, what kind of a name is Boxey? He's very annoying. But his dog seemed nice. And his mother is hot. Young Jane Seymour. I'm pretty sure she dies later. I remember crying about that when I was little.

Favorite lines so far:
Starbuck, it's dangerous out here!
Why would the Cylons attack us? They're the ones who wanted peace.
It's true then... we're defeated. Destroyed. (Jane Seymour.)
May as well live for today... we might not have many left. (Starbuck.)
What if we miss a mine? Well, one of us will know.
Smells like a trap. Feels like a trap. I believe it IS a trap. (Commander Adama.)


No Knitting for YOU!

I COULD just show you the same picture of my 1/2 finished sock, because that's as far as I am. Still. I have not had time to work on it. Plus, maybe I am having an affair with my camera. I went to a wedding shower and a kids' birthday party this weekend, and brought my camera (unasked, of course) and just took pictures of people. I then threw the pictures up on the web in albums and emailed the link to the people. It was SOOO fun. Here is my favorite pic from the kids' party... I won't tell you what evoked this reaction. Ok, I will. It was bubble gum.

But THIS could maybe be another favorite, although she will hate me later, when I give the picture to her mama to show to suitors. I believe the boys "took ALL the leaves."

She mostly looks like this photo though:

Ok, ok... I think I have to post at least one knitting item. I want to keep my membership in the knitting rings. I am INORDINATELY proud of this. This is my stash. Yep. ALL my yarn and accoutrements fit in or on this little guy. Maybe some of you think this makes me a poseur... like how can I talk about knitting, when my stash fits in 9 square feet. Well, I'll tell you... I can't stand clutter. (Don't laugh, Mom! People change! My clothes no longer live on the floor! I put my clean clothes into drawers instead of pulling them as needed out of the basket!) So, in our de-cluttered house... if new stuff comes in, old stuff must go. This has worked really well for clothes. All of our clothes (all seasons) fit in the dressers and closet space we have in our room. We don't have/need other clothes storage. I love that. This also works with yarn. You know that yarn I bought x years ago to make x? I am willing consider them acceptable losses. I'll give it away or trade... but everything has to fit in the yarn caddy. I told you I was inordinately proud of this. Oh no! Pride goes before a fall! I'm sure I'll pay for that.

Ok, I'm exhausted. Can't spell anymore... time for bed.


This Jury is Rigged!

So, just like you, I was reading the Dictionary last night. I was in the J's...

Here's what happened earlier in the day...

I was talking to a teacher and I used the word "jury-rig". Only, I'm never sure if it's "jury" or "jerry". So I asked, "Is it Jury or Jerry?"

And the teacher says "Oh, I heard that was a slavery term, so I don't use it anymore."

And my brain went Wh-huh? I thought it just meant built with spare parts. And I said "Well, how about if I McGyver it?" He agreed that that was ok.

On our drive home, I was telling Lee about it, and he thought it was a sailing term.

Here's the scoop:

JURY-RIG according to wikipedia and dictionary.com and good old hard bound Merriam Webster is "to erect, construct, or arrange in a makeshift fashion" and also it's a sailing term from latin and old french. I googled it in connection with slavery, and there was only one page that associated the 2 words and that was somebody's BLOG, so you know you can't trust that.

JERRY-BUILT, for your edification is, according to wikipedia and Merriam Webster, "1 : built cheaply and unsubstantially 2 : carelessly or hastily put together"

Now you know. Go in peace and use these terms wisely.


Progress is Slow, but Steady (Eventually)

It took me forever to turn this stupid heel. It's not like it was short rows. I thought I knew what I was doing... that was my 1st mistake. I thought I had read the directions... that was my 2nd mistake. Anyway, eventually, I got the heal turned and I'm now on the foot. I'm liking the teal and the cables.

It's not just me, is it?

I was leaving work the other day, keys in hand, kind of swinging them. La la la... I walked with a devil-may-care attitude, until I saw this...

I suddenly became very paranoid about my keys. What if they fell in? How would you get them out? Oh no, oh no, oh no... where are my keys? Ok, whew, they're in my hand. Ok, easy... easy... walk FAR away from that nasty old grate that's going to suck the keys RIGHT OUT OF MY HAND...