Monthly Archives: September 2008

We interrupt this vacation to bring you…

Finished Projects! 🙂

I have 2 friends that are due to have babies soon and they received these gifts from me.  The baby bootee pattern is the same one I used for these.  The pink ones have the ruffle around the cuff that is in the original pattern.  The burp-cloths are more of the same burp-cloths that there are a hundred tutorials for.  I used this one.  The pink fabric on the burp-cloths is Amy Butler fabric and the cowboy fabric I found at Hobby Lobby.  Oh, and the yard I used for the blue booties was Paton’s Grace.  The yarn for the pink was DMC Senseo.

Back to vacation posting next. 🙂

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What we did on our Summer Vacation – Part Deux

Ok, we left off as we were driving into Nashville…that part is not particularly eventful so I’ll move on.

We really loved Nashville and if presented with the opportunity we would probably move there without a second thought IF Jen and Chad were still there, which is doubtful seeing as how they are freakin’ nomads!  They do provide us with interesting vacation choices though :).  The day after we arrived we visited the Nashville Farmer’s Market which was oh so fun and filled with photo ops.

They had a bazillion peaches which was a treat because they aren’t in season here until mid-August (our trip was in mid-July…no comments about the time between then and now please).  We bought 500 pounds and went home and made a fresh peach pie.

We also got some of these lovely purple bell peppers.  Purple Peppers.  Say that 10 times…fast.  I’m not a pepper fan.  In fact I find them to be “the ruiner of all good things”, but Jen put them in a ravioli pesto dish that she made and I LOVED them.  Too bad I’ll probably never see them again.

We also bought enough tomatoes, various peppers and onions for Pip to make a vat of salsa.  So yummy!  We went to the Farmer’s market with a friend of our hosts who gave us the lowdown on some Tennessee history.  In Colorado you are taught about the Civil War but we found that we really know nothing.  People are passionate about the Civil War down there.  And we learned not to call it the Civil War as we were told, “There’s a Civil War memorial.  Well, the North calls it the Civil War, but there was nothing civil about it.  It was The War Between the States.”

In addition to various historical information we learned how to pronounce things correctly.  Nashville is pronounced Nashvull and a major street there called Lebanon is pronounced Lebnin.  Let that be a lesson to you.  That was not a lesson to DQ and TM.  On the way home from church on Sunday in Nashville we asked the kids what they learned in Sunday School.  DQ said she forgot.  We said, “Come on.  You must remember something.  It was just 10 minutes ago.”  She replied, “Yeah…I didn’t understand a word they said”.

The graveyards were of particular interest to Pip, as he’s really into morbid and creepy.  He suckered Chad into breaking into a confederate graveyard under cloak of darkness to take pictures.  I don’t think I’ve mentioned that Pip is into night photography.  He has to set up his camera on a tripod and leave the shutter open for minutes at a time to get a good exposure in the pitch black creepy night.  They hopped the fence into the confederate graveyard and just after Pip set up a shot they saw headlights coming towards them…you see, the graveyard is part of the Hermitage grounds.  The Hermitage being the former home of President Andrew Jackson.  Knowing they were in there illegally and not wanting to get arrested for being…well…morbid and creepy, they dropped to the ground and rolled away from the lights TOWARD the graves.  It was really dark and Pip could not see where he was rolling until he slammed his lip into a gravestone.  He scooched behind it and lay ON A CONFEDERATE GRAVE.  At night!  Let it be know you will never find me lying on graves, Confederate or otherwise, at any time of the day but ESPECIALLY at night.  That should really go without saying because who does that?  Pip and Chad, that’s who.  The security guard stopped and shone his lights on the graveyard but left without incident.  Probably because he saw one of them rolling and thought, “There is no way I’m getting out of this truck in the middle of the night to search graves for something I just saw moving towards them and disappearing.  I don’t get paid enough for this.”  Because that’s what I would be thinking.

You might think that that would be enough graveyard experience for them, but no.  A few nights later they went to Mount Olivet cemetery which is ginormous and dates back to…a really long time ago.  Did you like that?  How’s that for specifics.  I do my research people.  In this cemetery they have not just headstones but also mausoleums, statues and an old chapel.  All the better for taking pictures!  Here is one of the really creepy pictures Pip was able to get while there:

Pip said that he could barely see Chad standing a couple feet away.  He also noticed that though they were talking and acting normally, they were both constantly scanning the field of graves.  You think?!  Pip said he was really creeped out there because he kept hearing what sounded like two rocks banging together but no sign of animal or any other movement.  I would love to say that it was Jen and I hiding behind a headstone and banging rocks together but again…there is absolutely no way you would ever get me in a cemetery DURING THE NIGHT.

Oddly (or maybe not so) Pip’s paranormal experiences in Nashville do not end there.  Our family decided to visit the Hermitage while we were there, since it was right across the street from Jen and Chad’s house and since we had checked out a book on Andrew Jackson for the kids and read it on the way there.  If you’re ever in Nashville, I would say that the Hermitage is a must.  It was really great.  They had little headsets to wear that told you about various points in your tour and separate talks for the kids.  They loved it.  Here are some pics:

That last pic where Pip and the kids are standing in front of what looks like and is the grave of Andrew Jackson and his wife Rachel?  That’s the weird part.  We were all standing there and since Pip likes to take his time at places like this (don’t even get me started on museums), I took the kids and we went to look for butterflies and bees in the surrounding garden.  Pip came over a few minutes later and asked if I sent DQ over to get him.  I told that I had her with me the whole time.  He said, “Huh, that’s weird.”  I asked him what he was talking about and he informed me that while he was standing there he felt someone come up next to him and put their arm around him.  He thought it was DQ coming to get him and told her, “I’ll be there in a minute.”  He turned to look and there was NO ONE THERE.  My personal opinion is that it was Rachel Jackson and she couldn’t help herself because Pip’s so cute.  That or the confederates were pissed off and wanted to freak him out.  Either is entirely believable.

To be continued yet again…(it was a long trip).

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What we did on our Summer Vacation-2008 edition

At long last…the annual “What we did on our Summer Vacation.”

I figured I should get this out before it’s Fall, and since I’m now under a deadline, and since I procrastinate,
I’m more likely to actually finish.

This Summer’s vacation was a cross country (almost) road trip to Nashville, Tennessee.  It would be a lie if I
said we went because we really wanted to see Nashville, because we really went to see these people:

Because we love and miss them.  I use present tense because we still love and miss them (weeping and gnashing of teeth).

Our trip started out with me freaking out because we didn’t have our hotel’s address and reservation number, as our internet decided to go down the night before we left and lo and behold was still down the next morning.  It also started with a drive through the local Starbucks to feed our bad moods from internet issues and lack of sleep, and with that the usual OCD that Pip displays with his drink sleeve lining up with the logo on the cup and being centered with the drinking spout (I’m sure that’s not the proper name for it, but I don’t care.  That’s what I’m calling it.)  We had driven about 1/2 mile before the kids started to complain that they were hungry.  I very stupidly (I blame the lack of sleep) decided that they could tough it out until we got to the next major town to eat.  You see even though I know from experience that hungry kids on a road trip leads to unpleasant stomach issues that then lead to unpleasant mess and smell in the car, I thought some paltry snacks would solve the problem.  This led to holding DQ’s ponytail and rubbing her back while she bent over a toilet in McDonald’s in Limon, CO.  Her nausea passed without incident though and she ate all her pancakes and orange juice and kept them down.  So yea for our side.   It was also at this time (70 miles and over an hour into the trip) that we realized we forgot to put ice in the cooler.  Warm mayo anyone?  We ingested said mayo in tuna sandwiches at a rest area in…somewhere in Kansas.

It was during this lunch break that I realized that one can of tuna does not so much feed a family of 4.  Pip and I had a very thin spreading of tuna on our sandwiches.  They really could not be called tuna sandwiches so much as bread with some tuna flavor.  Pip was now questioning my ability to pack meals for road trips.  We arrived in Kansas City (well really Independence, Missouri) around 6 or 7. (see, this is what happens when you wait months to write about your vacation)  We met our friend “Stan the drummer man” for a lovely dinner at Denny’s by our hotel.  I left dinner early with the kids so they could swim in the pool before it closed.  For us and our bribery skills it is critical to not only get a hotel with a pool, but also get there in time to use it.  A word about the hotel: ewww.  We paid an exorbitant amount of money to stay in a hotel that should have been rented by the hour, and maybe was.  You know it’s not going to be a comfortable stay when your feet stick to the carpet.  The one plus was that there was a frozen custard place 20 steps from the hotel.  We split some custard and watched I Dood It, which we thoroughly enjoyed.  This hotel did have a decent breakfast (no Fruit Loops and Tang here).  Pip was nice enough to make waffles for us, but in so doing dropped the waffle mix on his shirt and wanted to change.  We had already packed the car.  Though annoyed that he would care about a couple of splashes of waffle mix on his shirt while he drove for 12 hours, it did not surprise me.  Pip has little patience for foreign items on his shirts.  When our kids were babies this intolerance was more pronounced.  If a microscopic bit of spit up landed on the back hem of his shirt, he would rip it off as if it was now contaminated with Agent Orange and was headed toward his bloodstream.  He wanted it off so quickly that he would very nearly forget to put the baby down first.  All while I’m standing there with my shirt dripping with all manner of baby waste.  I’m amazed he was able to look at me, let alone give me hugs and kisses.

After breakfast we set off to the nearest gas station where someone else pumping gas noticed that i was looking at a map and proceeded to ask Pip where we were going.  Pip told him we were headed to Nashville by way of St. Louis. He told Pip, “The difference between K.C. and St. Louis.  St. Louis is more of an East Coast mentality.  K.C. is more West Coast.”  I had to laugh because having lived in L.A. I can assure you that Kansas City is most definitely not “West Coast”.  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  This is often some of my favorite parts of vacation: the people you meet (or that Pip meets really) along the way.  Great stuff.  We drove through St. Louis and were awed by the Arch and excited to show the kids the Mississippi River.

I think Pip was sad to leave Missouri because he had so much fun making fun of the name.  It started out like “Mizzeruh”, and progressed (or digressed) into Mizzer then Mizz them Muh ending with just Mmm, all said like a drunk Barry White.  He used it every time he saw the name, as in “Oh look!  It says The Pride of Mmm…”.  I on the otherhand was thrilled to drive into Illinois so as not to listen to that anymore.

After the previous day’s lunch experience, we didn’t want to relive the sandwiches with essence of tuna.  Instead we went to Taco Bell.  This was a bad move as you can never tell if DQ is going to like something from one day to the next and even though she previously loved TB, she decided to make this lunch a living hell by deciding that no she did not want a bean burrito, she wanted pizza.  Because Taco Bell loves me, this one was of the Taco Bell/Pizza Hut variety.  She got a cheese pizza…that after 3 bites decided she didn’t like and wanted a burrito. It is these times that I have to physically restrain myself from reaching across the table to strangle her.  And in case you’re wondering, she did not get a burrito.  She ate 3/4 of the pizza, but not without making positively sure we knew how abusive we were by forcing her to eat what she threw a fit in order to get.  I think she stopped crying by the time we got to Rand Lake (Rend Lake?) in southern Illinois for another rest.

It was a really beautiful lake, but also REALLY hot and humid.  I actually think the heat and humidity was worse there than anytime we were in Nashville.

I had been trying to get pictures of all the Welcome to… signs as we crossed into each different state, but
missed Kentucky’s entirely because as we crossed we came along side a truck that was truly fascinating.  It was old and large with faded red paint and a gun rack in the back window.  The man driving was sunburnt, shirtless, and had a mullet.  I do not make these things up.  I wanted to get a picture, but Pip didn’t want him to have to use his gun rack…on me.  Once we were in Kentucky, Pip took the opportunity to blurt out “Gettin’ Lucky in Kentucky” every chance he could get.  Fortunately, we were only in Kentucky for a short time.

To be continued…(because it’s been two hours and my fingers are tired)

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Diversions

I should be writing about our vacation, but I’m creating diversions because I know it will take me a good chunk of time.  So instead I’m showing you one of my finished Christmas gifts (yes, in September) because we decided to give homemade this year.  This one is for Gloria. 🙂

Ruby Doll

The pattern is a free download.  I needed easy and this pattern was.  I like it so much that I want one.

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