Monday, February 23, 2009

Yet another cross stitch

Here is the latest finished pattern. When I pulled the picture off the camera and discovered that it was fuzzy, I was too lazy to take another one...

If you can't read the title on the right bottom, it is 'Baroque'. As in: "The kitteh baroque the bust, and took its spot."


This one amused me. I'm not sure what the next project will be, but I've got a bunch of choices. I went a little pattern-happy when I was looking for cross stitch patterns....

Other than that? I just came back from a 4 mile paddle - and the 2 miles up took about 3 times as long as the return trip; the water was moving pretty fast downstream, and I'm tired. Maybe I can convince Gary to have popcorn for dinner, and I can take a nap!
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Not your mother's needlepoint

This is the latest finished project. I think it sums things up nicely!


And yes, I still need to buy an iron.... Mom and Dad - I'll probably wait until I finish another one before I send them to you for the 'full service' ironing and framing!
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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Same-old Same-old

I haven’t posted because, well, it’s pretty much the same-old-same-old.

We’ve been cycling, but Gary has been fighting the bubonic plague so he was sidelined today. Actually, he was pretty miserable last night, and as a precaution, I decided to go to the Pharmacy of Death ™ this morning to get a prescription for antibiotics filled (he’s had pneumonia enough times that we are able to diagnose this on our own; it wasn’t clear that he absolutely would need it, but I figured we’d be better to have it, just in case he really did go bubonic). Armed with the prescription from our family doctor, I timed it so I would get to the pharmacy right at 10am when they opened. I was there at 10:01. And the pharmacy was closed. Okay. It’s only 10:01. And I could hear voices (behind the closed counter; not the ones in my head that were telling me that only a crazy person would be at this pharmacy, expecting them to be open on time), so it was all cool. At 10:10, the pharmacy was still closed, and the store’s assistant manager came back and I could hear more voices (most of which were still not in my head). From what I could hear, there were only two employees there, and at least 2 other people had called in sick.


At 10:15, they finally opened the counters. The assistant manager took my prescription and told me that it would be “a while”.

A while. Yippee. Good thing I had brought my needlepoint with me.

Since I had some other prescriptions to pick up, I went to the pickup counter and the one poor harried guy finally got to me. And they only had 2 of the 4 prescriptions that I had expected to pick up (not counting the one I had just dropped off), but the poor guy didn’t have anyone to help him, so he didn’t have time to figure out why the other things weren’t ready. It wasn’t an emergency, so no biggie. But as I was waiting in line, I saw the z-pack (azythromycin) packages on the shelf – the prescription that I had just dropped off for Gary, and had been told would be a while. Since this is not the first time that he’s gotten this particular (nuclear-strength) antibiotic, I know that it is nothing that the pharmacist has to actually count out; they pick a package off the shelf, run it through the insurance and give it to you. But because they were so short staffed, this whole process was going to take a couple of hours – mostly because they had to bring in extra employees from Lake Havasu (50 miles away).

But as I was standing in line I was able to discern that the only other employee was an actual pharmacist. So after I got the couple of prescriptions they DID have for me, I went back to the drop-off counter, and the pharmacist came over. I explained to her that Gary was dying of the bubonic plague, and then I fibbed a bit (okay, I lied) and told her that I was a nurse, and knew that it was a really easy deal to do a z-pack. Much to my great surprise, the pharmacist just handed me the package, and told me that they’d “work it out later”.

Huh. Go figure. So I took the pack and ran like a thief. (I have no idea if/when they will ever figure it out, as the pharmacist made no notes whatsoever on the prescription. Not my problem.)

Luckily, it turned out that Gary didn’t need the prescription. But yet again, the Pharmacy of Death ™ did not fail to mystify.

Other than that, I’ve been out in the kayak a fair amount (again, with Gary being run-down/sick, he hasn’t had as much of a chance to get out), and Fiona is becoming a champion ball-chaser. The kids got their hair cuts, and look great (although TaiChi’s hair is a little short, and since the nights are cool, she’s been wearing her coat).

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By drliz

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By drliz

Other than that excitement, I’ve been needlepointing up a storm (pictures will follow as I make a bit more progress). Again, same-old-same-old here.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I can actually be pretty crafty at times!

We’ve been a bit sidelined the last couple of days, for a couple of reasons. First, our main road that we ride was taken out of commission as the area was getting ready for the Parker 425 desert race. 260 entries, each with 4 drivers, the main pit area was similar in size to the paddock at the Solo Nationals, and the spectator areas were crammed with people parking their RVs days in advance to get a good viewing spot. I really wish I had my camera out on the last day we were out there, because the number of spectators alone was quite impressive (and we only say one spectator site; there were several).

Anyway, there was the desert race prep, so we hit the river with the kayaks for two days. Which was great fun. I’m so thrilled with the kayaks!
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But 80 degree days can only last so long. It started raining on Friday evening, and has been raining on and off ever since. And for some unrelated reason, I had decided a week or two ago that I’d like to do a little cross-stitch. I get on a cross-stitch kick every once in a while (I think it is the only thing that stuck with me from my 150 years as a Girl Scout). It’s one of those ‘crafty’ things that I actually enjoy. As an aside, several years ago when I was on another cross-stitch kick, I was early for a meeting at work, and whipped out the pattern I was working on at the time, and the next person to come into the room was a very devout Mormon woman who only knew me as a ski racing, gun-toting tomboy. Her eyes bugged out of her head as I placidly stitched away before she finally stammered, “I wouldn’t have ever expected you to do hand-work.” Hand-work? Okay. I just smiled and told her that it was my deep, dark secret. I forever after that she kept looking at me for horns on my head.

A couple of weeks ago, I ordered a cross-stitch kit from eBay. One of those things that comes with everything, including a needle. Well, except for a hoop, which you need to keep the material taut so that you can make even stitches. So I ordered one of those, as well. And a pair of little scissors. Because of course, all of my cross-stitch stuff is in Park City, as I didn’t anticipate this whim striking me. And everything arrived just around the time the kayaks did.

So when it started raining, I started cross-stitching. And when it was all said and done, even Gary was impressed (he’s seen me mending things, so I think he was a little skeptical when I started…)

In hindsight, a white dog on a white background meant a lot of white stitches. After several hours of trying to actually see the stitches that I had put down, I finally admitted defeat and stitched the outline of the body before I continued with the white. Of course, this didn’t dawn on me until after I had done the head…. But in the future, I’m going to pay a little more attention to the colors of the stitches and the background material. Another after-thought: I would have liked to have had a reddish/bronze-ish color thread for the dog – it would have been a lot easier to see, and it would have ended up looking more like Fiona… I have since ordered a few skeins of ‘basic’ colors so that I’m not ever stuck in a white-on-white fiasco again.

So here is the fruit of my labors.

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Yes, I need to find an iron before I frame the thing…. Or maybe I’ll send it to my parents and let them handle that part of things! ;-D

And yeah, I’m actually going to start another one. (And yes, it will be another dog-themed pattern. Because the cat patterned kits that I have ordered aren’t here yet!)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

On the water

Day Two with the Kayaks.


You can't tell from this, but there was a pretty stiff south wind, so on the way back, we were getting some nice bow splashing going on!

Gary, quickly mastering the whole kayaking thing.


Notice that we got the carts for the kayaks, making it a whole lot easier to get the boats down to the river!


Me, a very happy camper!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I'm exhausted.

I'm exhausted. Happy, but exhausted.

We started off with a 24 mile bike ride (we finally made it to the end of the road. They are doing a desert race this weekend, and it's amazing to see the number of spectators that are staged to watch this 425 mile spectacle. Kicks self for not having camera in the backpack. It was perfect weather (80 degrees), and a great ride. Did I mention that I LOVE this weather?

After the bike ride, we decided to take the kayaks out.


This would be my kayak behind the motorhome. I've got to figure out how to take the camera along to get some 'on-the-water' shots. I think a Ziploc bag may help...

It's about a half mile from the motorhome to the water (that would be by NOT cutting through peoples' patios), and the kayaks are pretty heavy; 45 lbs each. Gary carried the front ends, and I carried the rear ends of the boats. Uff da! But we made it to the beach with only minor destruction (an outdoor light might have possibly found itself on the casualty list). And we both got in the water with no issues. We paddled about two miles upstream, and then headed back. And carried the kayaks back to the motorhome.

It was fantastic to get out on the water; the water itself is clear, and fairly warm. And I just love the feeling of flotaing along. I've got to adjust my seat to get a little more power with the paddling (oh, and I guess probably actually find some technique...), but it was a blast! I'm so glad that we got the kayaks.

And I'm so glad that ordered carts to help us transport the kayaks. Because the suckers are heavy.

And after the kayaking? Fiona had to go on a walk, so I took her out on a mile walk. It was actually sort of cute; she picked up a stick about 500 yards into the walk and carried it all the way up the road and back, dropping it off at one of the palm trees inside the RV park. It was her stick, and she wasn't letting go of it for nothin'!

After all of that, it was dinner on the grill so that there would be minimal dishes. And now? I'm ready to collapse.

And do it all again tomorrow. Because today was great!
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Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday Morning Observations

1) The commercials sucked.

2) Surprisingly, the game wasn't too bad.

3) Especially since I was watching Boston Legal on DVD at the same time.

4.5) Even though the Cardinals lost.

4) Putting refills in the 'Busy Ball' that the kids got for Christmas resulted in the dogs deciding that 4:15am was the perfect time to start playing with it (on the bed, of course):


5) There are a lot of stars in the sky when:
    a) you live in the middle of nowhere

    b) there are no lights on outside, other than the flashlight needed to keep an eye on whichever dog happens to be outside at the time

    c) you are out at 4am with said aforementioned dogs

6) Fiona NEEDS to get some exercise. She's been on bedrest because of her spaying last week, and she's starting to (literally) bounce off the walls. 42 feet of motorhome starts to get small with a 45 lb dog racing around, flying off the couch, the dog beds, and the people bed.

7) I'd really like to get on a bicycle ride.

8) And I'd really like my kayaks to show up sooner rather than later.
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Sunday, February 1, 2009

The ads are the best part....

Yes, we'll be watching the Superbowl today. Luckily, the actual game starts late enough that we can (hopefully) get a bike ride in, first. And being in Arizona and all, we're sort of morally obligated to root for the the Cardinals. (Except that I've always had a soft spot for the Steelers because I've actually seen them play at Three Rivers stadium. For Mom and Dad, who are now scratching their heads wondering when that happened, it was in high school - it was considered a 'cultural event' - it took us a million hours to get there in those school vans, but I remember having a good time.)

In truth, I really only care about the commercials. Particularly the Budweiser ones, because it's always interesting to see what the Clydesdales are up to. But occasionally someone else runs one that's good. So I'll pay close attention to the first half, when the commercials are generally better.

But speaking of commercials.... Who remembers this one? (Have I just dated myself?) And before you see the end of the ad, do you have ANY idea who the ad is for. After seeing the ad, do you have any idea who the commercial is for?!? Still my favorite tv ad of all time.

And yes, as my Great Uncle Paul would say (have said) "too much TV"....