Sunday, October 19, 2014

It's October

Fall is by far my most favorite time of year. I love the cooler air, the changing of colors, and even the return of rain.

Fall also means it's time for dahlias, probably my most favorite flowers. Look at these fiery beauties. They were a perfect kick for our perfect gray day.

One thing I am not super crazy about is decorating for Halloween. I only decorate the house one time of year. Halloween is not it. That would mean too much work - storing, decorating, then restoring. It's not worth my time. Plus, I'm not all that thrilled about a lot of the decorations out there. I'm not into gore.

However, I was out with a friend one night and we found this fabulous graveyard that some family and friends put together each year.

That's a lot of commitment. And a lot of storage. I'm happy to just look at it and move on.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Senior swag

SAT test.

AP classes.

Senior project.


Complete all credits.

Senior pictures.

Graduation announcements.

College applications.

Grant & scholarship applications.

Job applications.

Throw in some fun.

This is our year. How did we get here?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Peru trip

The night before the first day of school, my son and I headed out of town. We met up with my mom in Lima, Peru, and enjoyed two weeks of traveling. We saw some amazing scenery and met some equally amazing people along the way.

We started in Lima for a few days. Lima is huge, which means going anywhere takes time and a savvy taxi driver.

We met up with our tour group (11 of us - a nice size group) and headed to Cusco. Cusco was by far my favorite city that we visited on the trip. The streets are original Incan streets and there is evidence of Incan structures all around.

From Cusco we drove, took a train, then drove again to Machu Picchu. This place was breath taking - in view and in walking around the ruins!

After Cusco, we drove to Puno. Unfortunately on this drive, the altitude and mountain winding roads got the best of Alex and he was sick on the bus. He was a trooper, though. In Puno we went to the Uros Islands, which are man-made floating islands built out of reeds. One would think you're stepping back in time until you see the solar panels on the islands.

From Puno we drove to Colca Canyon. Unfortunately, for me, the altitude and mountain winding roads got to me. I did not get sick until we got to our hotel. I was very thankful for that. During this drive we hit the highest point of elevation, almost 16,000 feet. We ended up staying at a beautiful resort and since I was sick, I missed out on seeing the condors flying in the canyon. I was happy to rest in a beautiful spot.

From Colca Canyon we went to Ariquipa. We were only there one day. It was a lovely city too. From Ariquipa we flew back to Lima, spent one more night with our group, then one more day in Lima. We were fortunate to have such a nice group of people to travel with. We made it through the altitude sickness issues, which really was not too bad for our group. My last day in Lima was on my birthday, so I managed to celebrate with two cakes (I shared one with my mom for her birthday)!

Fabulous trip! Wonderful memories! Great traveling companions! What more could I ask for?

How about a nice pisco sour to celebrate?! Salud!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Yarn along

I have just returned home from a two week (plus) journey to Peru with my son and my mom. We had a fabulous trip that included seeing lots of llama, alpaca and vicuna.

Of course, I had to find some yarn while I was there. I didn't buy any baby alpaca, just regular alpaca. I bought two packages of each color and I think I saved at least $50. I did end up buying a wonderful baby alpaca sweater for a steal of a deal.

I had a lot of time on buses and planes, and ended up finishing a pair of socks. These are Stepping-Stones made with Socks that Rock heavy weight. The pattern is in the book, The Knitter's Book of Socks. I love these socks! In fact, I have another skein of the same yarn in a different color and I think I'll just make another pair of these. They will be perfect for the cooler weather that is bound to come.

I managed to finish two books as well - Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver and The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Dorrow. Currently I am rereading a classic, The Scarlet Letter. I haven't read this since high school and I don't remember it starting out so slow. That shouldn't surprise me though.

Link up at Yarn Along!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A quick get-away

A few years ago I started following a story of a local woman who was sued by her former pastor because of a review that she left on Google about the church. I couldn't believe that a pastor would sue a former member because of this, and I read and watched any news stories that I could find about it. When she started a blog about what was happening, I began commenting and we started communicating. I finally had a chance to meet her earlier this year (or last year - we have a hard time remembering) and a friendship has grown.

I decided that I needed to go visit, so I invited myself, and working around school and work schedules we squeezed in a one-night/one-day visit.

We talked late into the night, slept in, and then kayaked (or floated) on the Columbia River.

I was told that I took the "long way" getting there, but the drive there and back was gorgeous. I went through fields, forest, valley and desert. It was the first time I had ever seen hops growing around a corn field. You won't find that in Illinois!

A quick trip to connect face-to-face was well worth the 10 hours of driving!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I'm happy to still have my eyebrows

One of the things I have to regularly do is wax. Upper lip and eyebrows. I blame my Italian heritage. This usually falls around the same time as my dog needs grooming. We both get groomed at the same time but at different places.

Today I went in and while the gal who was waxing me started to put on the wax, she started on a conversation.

Her: "I'm so mad at my boyfriend right now." (Rip!)

Me: While more wax is being applied..."Really? Why?"

Her: "I want to go on a vacation and all he wants to do is go hunting." (Rip!) "I don't think I'll be able to go anywhere this summer.

Me: More wax being applied. I start hoping she's not going to take her anger out on me. "That's too bad. Maybe you can go somewhere yourself."

Her: "No, I don't think I can. I just sold  my boat and bought a pool." (Rip!) "He only thinks of himself."

Me: Yet more hot wax goes on...Please, please don't get angry thinking about it!..."Oh, a pool! In ground or above?"

Her: "Above ground." (Rip!)

The conversation continued on. She was going off about being mad at her boyfriend while at the same time ripping hair off my face. I tried to steer the conversation away from her boyfriend, but she wanted to go on.

She finally finished and all ended up well. I was a bit worried, though. Hell hath no fury like a waxer angry at her boyfriend.