Saturday, August 30, 2008

Friday Night Lights

Ah, what better way to spend a Friday evening in the Fall (or nearly Fall) than attending a local high school football game.

In some ways all high school football games look the same. The stands are filled with the adults, parents who have a child on the team, die hard fans who come to all the games. The kids rarely sit in the stands. They are all congregated off to the side, talking and socializing but RARELY paying that much attention to the game.

My favorite part of the whole process is the marching bands. That is most likely because I was one of those kids during high school and I know how much work they put into the performances. I have a great appreciation for a solid marching band and both these schools did a great job.

Of course, I would never go anywhere without the knitting and here is proof of that. I am working on a pair of socks for Socks for Soldiers and I wanted to get several more inches done. I did watch the game faithfully for the first quarter and then monitored it for the second while I was knitting. I didn't have to be looking at the field to know what was happening because "Mr. Big Mouth fan", who was sitting right behind us, made sure that ALL of us in the stands knew exactly what was happening and what he thought about it.

Friday, August 29, 2008

It's Sarah Palin!!!!

Oh my word!! I cannot tell you how excited I am by this. Sarah Palin has been my "hope against hope" choice for VP for at least two months. I just didn't think that the McCain camp would do it but they have. I have been behind McCain for a while but now I am totally jazzed. She is articulate, cool under fire and beautiful as well. The Obama camp is already saying that she has no experience behind her (oh man that is the pot calling the kettle black in my opinion) but she has been running a state for the past two years and doing an awsome job of it.

Here are some facts about Sarah Palin that you might not know.

1. Sarah Louise Palin (nee Heath) was born Feb., 1964 in Sandpoint, Idaho. Her family moved to Alaska when Sarah was an infant. Her father, Chuck, is a retired schoolteacher.

2. She attended Wasilla High School where she played point guard on the state champion basketball team. Her nickname was "Sarah Barracuda" because of her drive to win.

3. Palin graduated in 1987 from the University of Idaho with a degree in journalism. She worked briefly as a sports reporter in Anchorage.

4. She refers to her husband, Todd, as the "First Dude." He's worked as a commercial fisherman and as a production operator on the North Slope for BP. He enjoys snowmobiling and has won the Tesoro Iron Dog, billed as the world's longest snowmobile race, FOUR times.

5. Palin and her husband have been married for 20 years and have five children, Track, Piper, Willow, Bristol and Trig. Trig, born in April of 2008, has been diagnosed with Down's Syndrome. Her son Track joined the Infantry on 9/11/07 and leaves 9/11/08 for a tour of duty in Iraq.

6. Her favorite meal is moose stew.

7. She comes from a family of outdoor enthusiats. Her parents, Chuck and Sally Heath, enjoy hunting and fishing and have both completed marathons.

8. Palin was named Miss Wasilla in 1984 and was a runner-up for Miss Alaska. In 1996 she was elected mayor of Wasilla.

9. She's a lifetime NRA member and enjoys hunting, fishing and snowmobiling.

10. Elected in 2006, she's Alaska's first female governor and the youngest governor elected in the state. She had to beat the incumbent REPUBLICAN governor in the primaries and then the former Democratic governor in the election. Her current approval ratings are OVER 80%.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dave Barry makes me laugh

Whenever I need a little pick me up (one that doesn't involve chocolate or the buying of unnecessary yarn or books) I read a Dave Barry column. If you haven't ever experienced the humor that comes from Dave Barry then you should. His column appears regularly in the Miami Herald and on his blog. His recent trip across the convention floor at the DNC Convention is worth the read.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tarzan of the Apes

Tarzan of the Apes
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
Knitting Sticks: 5

Well, what can I say about Tarzan of the Apes. I never thought I would read this book let alone like it so much. Who knew!

It is the rare person who hasn't encountered Tarzan in some form whether it was Johnny Weissmuller in the original Tarzan movies or the Disney movie of a few years ago. We all know what happens or at least we think we do.

English Lord Greystoke and young wife sail for Africa-mutiny on the boat-marooned on island-baby on the way-eventual death of parents and adoption of Tarzan by a tribe of "Apes" (not gorillas who are not as smart as the apes)-eventual interaction between Tarzan and "civilized whites" brings him back to his own country and people. Sounds familiar right? Yes that is the way that the story goes but that is really just the bare outline.

First off, let me say that I can really understand why this book would appeal to every young boy in a less cynical time (pre 1960's I would think). It really is quite gripping and bloodthirsty. Tarzan, once he grows up a bit is no whimp let me tell you. He fights, he defends the weaker apes, he wins, he kills, he eats his prey without benefit of cooking the meat first. It is a story that reflects bygone ideas of what a man should be and how he should act if he is a "gentleman". It just drips with British upper crust ideology.

Now there are some things that were a tad hard to take seriously but this book was written in 1912 so you just have to cut it some slack. Tarzan teaches himself to "read" by studying the books that he finds in the abandoned cabin where his parents lived. This happens without ever having encountered any human being, only apes. A tad farfetched I know. He also figures out how to use a knife purely by accident. He learns to make rope through experimentation only. When he finally meets up with other humans he can communicate with them by writing them letters, and he even uses punctuation! After he rescues one of the men and as he nurses him back to health he is able to learn to speak...and READ French in a short period of time. AND by the end of the book he is speaking articulately and even driving a car. Like I said, farfetched.

However, even with the parts that made me shake my head (all the frail and fainting females were a tad annoying too) I really enjoyed this book and have the second in the series on request at the library. I know how the ultimate story ends but things are left up in the air at the end of the book. Will he ever take his rightful place as Lord Greystoke and in so doing kick out a rather nice fellow who is his cousin and who thinks he is the rightful Greystoke. Will he win the hand of Jane Porter (you already know the answer to that one) who is currently engaged to marry his cousin. Will he ever get back to the jungle. I HAVE TO KNOW.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Word of the Day

Oh I haven't done one of these for a long time and so I think that before I sign off for the night and go off to slumberland I will give you a word for the day.

Aboulomania: pathological indecisiveness

Now I think I will go off to bed, maybe, but there are other things I could be doing, if I could decide what I wanted to do, but I really am tired, but my gut tells me that maybe I should be doing something constructive, but.............

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Towers of Trebizond

The Towers of Trebizond
Macaulay, Rose
Knitting Sticks: 2 (and that is being generous)

Well, this was a disappointment I have to say. I had high hopes and they were not realized. Sigh.

The opening line of the book is excellent. Who wouldn't be captivated by this opening sentence, " 'Take my camel, dear,' said my aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass." I thought, oh this is going to be good and parts of it were entertaining but on the whole it was one of those books where you work to get through it and you don't really like any of the characters and you don't get some of the references. You get the picture.

The Towers of Trebizond tells the tale of Laurie and her travels with her Aunt Dot through Turkey, Armenia, the Levant and beyond after WWII. Accompanied by the Anglican priest The Rev. Hugh Chantry-Pigg and Aunt Dot's camel (no name, just "the Camel") they embark on a journey for varied reasons. Aunt Dot wants to "liberate" the women held in ignorance by the Moslem religion, the Rev. Chantry-Pigg wants to convert the natives and scout out a site for a possible Anglican mission and Laurie wants to get away to think and assess her life (she has been involved in a 10 year long affair with a married man). I don't want to give everything away because you might possibly want to read the book some day ( I don't know WHY you would but you might) so I will just tell you that they meet various interesting people, have various somewhat interesting adventures, view lots of scenery and old ruins that are described in minute detail and the book ends on a less than satisfactory note.

Now it is on to a more exciting book, Tarzan of the Apes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

This came from Kim at Socks for Soldiers a group I belong to on Yahoo.

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.

3. It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

4. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

5. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.

6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

7. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

9. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is probably not for you.

10. Give a man a fish and he will eat of a day. Teach him how to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

11. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably a wise investment.

12. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

13. Some days you're the bug; some days you are the windshield.

14. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

15. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

16. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

17. Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

18. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

19. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

20. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

21. Never miss a good chance to shut up.


22. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Perseid Meteor Shower

Well, we were up at the very early hour of 4a to catch some of the Perseid Meteor shower. When I say we I mean only some of the members of the family, namely the two children who are currently at home (21, 17) and myself. The hubby was still sleeping.

We did see some meteors but not as many as the last time we watched "the show". NASA tells me that at it's peak we should have been able to see one or two every minute and we didn't see nearly that many. We did see some and that is always excellent however, our house sits in the middle of the woods and so we don't have a complete view of the sky. We stationed ourselves out on the driveway and made sure all the outside lights had been turned off and that helped. But the best part was just being outside doing something with the girls, trying to be quiet, worrying about all the noises that we kept hearing in the woods. We were trying to be quiet not because we were worried about waking up the cute little forest animals but because the windows were open and we didn't want to wake up dad.

So, we were outside for about 40 minutes and did see some shooting stars. But I have to tell you that the woods are really creepy at night. There wasn't any wind so you could hear things rustling in the leaves and weird bugs making noises and the deer passing by and who knows what else. We tried not to think about it and just have fun.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Breaking Dawn

Breaking Dawn
Meyer, Stephanie

Knitting Sticks: 4

I have to say right off the bat that vampire stories really aren't my usual cup of tea. Yes, I loved Dracula but that is about the only book of that kind that I have loved. So, when my friend Mary Lyn kept raving about Twilight and telling me that she loved it and that I had to read it I finally gave in. I didn't expect to like it, I certainly didn't expect to love it. I didn't expect that I would blow through the first book, all 544 pages of it, in just 24 hours (less if you count the fact that I had to sleep during that time). I was hooked. I blew through New Moon (book 2) and Eclipse (book 3) with decadent haste. And then I had to wait......I had to wait for 6 months for the last installment. What would happen with Bella and Edward and Jacob. Would Bella and Edward get married? Would Bella convince Edward to turn her? What about the Volturi? Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Well, this book certainly answered all those questions and more. I am not going to tell you here what happened. There were tons of surprises and "oh my gosh" moments that kept me on my toes. You will just have to read for yourself. Just know that it is worth your time and effort to do so. I have given it only 4 Knitting Sticks because, yes it was a great book but it wasn't as good as Twilight. I am still in conflict over how I feel about Bella, she was so selfish at times. I am sure that I will read it again, I think that I have to because I read it so quickly the first time.

Team Mad Hatters

Sorry that I seem to have been absent. The in-laws are here and of course there is the Olympics. I am competing in the Ravelympics over at Ravelry and so have been knitting up a storm. I am hoping to complete 5 hats in the "Hat Dash" competition. The hats will go to Caps for a Cure, a Yahoo group that I belong to that knits hats for cancer patients. Here you can see finished hat #1, a Little Cables hat done in Lion Micro Spun.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Hey, go over and check out some of the artwork that will be appearing on my oldest progeny's new blog. She is an aspiring cartoon artist and she is REALLY good, not that I am biased or anything

Ashley's blog

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's Here, It's Here, It's Here!!!

Oh joy, Oh rapture. My copy of Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyers is here. It actually arrived yesterday and the UPS man put it by the front door and I didn't see it! I am holding it in my rather sweaty hands right now. (Just as an aside the sweaty hands are because I have had latex gloves on for the past two hours while I was outside weeding.) Now I have a dilemma. I still have several hours of weeding to do, my in-laws are arriving Friday afternoon, my house is very dirty and needs to be cleaned, there is laundry to do, I have knitting for Socks for Soldiers that needs to be accomplished every day and I STILL don't know what the menu will be for the weekend. But.......there is sits, waiting for me to open it, to find out what happens with Bella and Edward and Jacob. Oh what to do, what to do.

I have will power, I can do it. I will shower (that is going to happen regardless to assure you dear readers) and get some things done that need to be done and then this afternoon I will reward myself with a cup of tea and Breaking Dawn................. shivers with delight.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Movies that make me laugh

Oldest progeny Ashley and I had a discussion recently about what movies make us laugh. I thought I would just put some of them up here for you to see. Ash and I don't agree on these but it is my list not hers.

What About Bob
Auntie Mame (Rosalind Russell version NOT Lucille Ball version, which is awful)
Turner and Hooch
The Trouble With Angels (a scathingly brilliant movie)
Zoolander (such a guilty pleasure)
Bringing Up Baby (brilliant!!)
Mrs. Doubtfire
Best in Show
My Big Fat Greek Wedding

I am sure that there are others but they don't come to mind at the moment.

Father of the Bride 2

Friday, August 1, 2008

Well dear readers and lurkers. It has been quite a week let me tell you. So sorry that I have been lax in the blogging department but hopefully, when you read what has been going on, you will understand.

As you might have guessed we were on vacation last week. We had a great time just being lazy at "The Cottage" in Cedar Lake, IN. We ate, read books, ate, walked, ate, went tubing (thanks Rob), ate, went to the movies, went out to eat, visited with the maternal parental units, ate. You get the picture. Of course, Dan would have been riding in RAGBRAI if not for that pesky broken ankle (spiral fracture playing baseball on June 29th) but instead he came with us for the week. He was still "non-weight bearing" and using crutches but he could get around and go in the boat but was spared the ignominy of tubing as an aging adult. We were all set to return home on Friday (the 25th) so that Dan could see the ortho doc, get the cast removed, have new x-rays taken and hopefully get a walking boot. That was OUR plan. GOD had different plans.

A tad past midnight on Friday morning Dan woke me up with his groans of pain. I have to say first off that my husband has a VERY high pain threshold and is not a complainer when it comes to pain. He was IN PAIN, lots of pain, under his left rib cage, his left shoulder and he had some shortness of breath. I am a nurse by background and started running different scenarios through my head (heart attack?, kidney stone?, gas?, pulmonary embolism?). I also made the decision to go and wake up my father who happens to be a physician (thank goodness). We quickly decided that it was most likely a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung for those of non-medical background) in the left lung. Dan would be at risk for one because of the broken ankle and weeks of sedentary lifestyle due to the break. PE's are nothing to fool around with.

So, we all got dressed and off to the hospital we went. I didn't know how to get there so Dad drove the van (at a greatly increased rate of speed) and we walked into the ER at St. Anthony's Hospital about 12:45a. The ER doc was great, efficient and pleasant (or as pleasant as someone can be at 1:15a). He sent Dan up to CT scan where they confirmed that, yes, he did have a moderate pulmonary embolism in the left lung. They had Dan up in ICU by 4:15a.

The rest of the weekend and the first part of the next week were spent in the IMCU (step down unit) of the hospital as they worked to get Dan stabilized on blood thinners. He didn't have much energy the first day or so but by Sunday he had his Blackberry and computer to do some work. I spent every day at the hospital with Dan while Mimi and Papa kept the home fires burning and brought the girls over to the hospital every day. On Friday (the day of admission) the orthopedic surgeon came in and took Dan's cast off, ordered an x-ray and said he would be back Saturday. After reviewing the x-ray he felt that Dan didn't need another cast and could be fitted with a walking boot that could be taken off at night. YAHOO!!!

Instead of arriving home on Friday th 25th we finally got home on Tuesday the 29th. Just a small detour. I have heard of people (that means you Lauren) who get to extend their vacation because they are having so much fun. We extended our vacation but we just didn't do it correctly.

So what does this mean for us? I must say that the Lord's gracious hand in all of this is so evident to us. We are praising Him for all that He has done for us, both seen and unseen, during these days.
- We were close to good medical care in the form of St. Anthony's Hospital.The care that we recieved (with one exception) was excellent from the CEO of the hospital (yes I did have a conversation with him) to the woman who came in every day to clean the floor. The nurses and patient assitants were amazing.
- We were with family and the girls had some place to stay. Mimi and Papa were AWESOME!!! They are the best parents in the world. Mom kept cooking excellent things. Papa was a tower of strength and did some internet research for me.
- Dan's little "crisis" could have happened anywhere along the 6 hour drive home. That would have necessitated getting off the highway and finding an ER because this wasn't a situation that could have just waited until we got home.
- We have discovered that the Lord has been protecting Dan physically for a long time. In the course of some blood testing that was done at the hospital, it was discovered that Dan has something that causes him to be 3-6 times more likely to develop clots that might cause DVT's and possibly embolisms. As some of you know, we travel fairly frequently to places where good medical is scarce. If this had happened in say Ghana or India the outcome could have been different. Praise the Lord for His loving watch care over us!!
- Dan and I got to spend lots of hours together talking. Now, I would have prefered to do that talking on the beach in Hawaii but I was grateful that Dan was THERE to talk to me.

So sorry that this has been long but there was no other way to do it. We are home now and I will be back to blogging on a more regular basis. I have a ton of things to talk to you about, you will be sick of it.

Bye for now.