Sunday, July 27, 2008

Is it a real blog post if it's without pictures?

Last week I had my first vacation, vacation since oh ... I can't remember when.  Either my trip to New Orleans that was pre-Katrina, or my family's last trip to the Outer Banks maybe four years ago.

Generally my vacations include 1) staying home to get caught up on all the things I can't get done in the normal course of life, or 2) going to my parent's house.  Which, while I enjoy visiting, it's not exactly vacation.   (No offense, Mom!)

My sister, niece, and I went to the Stonewall Resort that sits on the Stonewall Jackson Lake.  This lake is the reservoir of the dam built to prevent the annual flooding of Weston, WV.  It was a fabulous break from the daily grind where we hiked, swam, kayaked, paddle-boated, plus a lot of lying around and staring at the clouds, stars, and the back of our eyelids.

I would show you pictures of all the fun we had, but Item No 1 that I accomplished on this vacation was breaking my camera.  

While hiking to an overlook to have a picnic lunch, the trail crossed a meadow that sloped downhill, packed full of wildflowers, and all I could think of was the opening to Little House on the Prairie with Gracie (was it Gracie?) running down the meadow.  I wasn't so committed to the role that I threw myself to the ground, but I did throw my camera to the ground.  

Actually, I lost my grip and it went soaring, remarkably high!, before it came crashing back to Earth.  Something bent in the lens mechanism because it doesn't open/focus anymore.  So sad.  But also exciting camera!  But until then the only pictures I can offer will be those taken with my cell phone.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Still no yarn and only slightly less rain

After I washed the mud off from the previous day's arts and crafting, my sister and I went to the West Virginia State Capitol grounds.

Fun Fact: While growing up in Charleston, WV, my family would often go to the state capitol grounds. I must have seen enough because I've never been to another one. I lived in Raleigh, NC for almost three years I never saw the NC state capitol. Never even drove by. Ditto for the OH state capitol for the six years I've lived in Columbus. Maybe that should be one of my summer places to go. Anybody know where it is? Want to come with me?

The first thing we did was escape the rain (Rain, Rain, Go Away!) into the WV Cultural Center where we poked around and I covertly took pictures of some of the coolest quilts I have ever seen! It makes me want to learn to sew. Because, you know, I don't have enough going on.

These were my two favorites... I love their motion. I wish I hadn't put them in the same picture, covert photography can be tricky. Both were sold. (See red dots.)

Clicky clicky to see bigger. Can you imagine piecing this together? It was Not For Sale. I wouldn't sell it either. I wish they said how long it took to make.

During a brief rain lull, we made our way to the capitol building.  Here Senior Democratic Senator Robert C. Byrd and I reenact a scene from E.T.

Phone home, Sen Byrd, phone home.

Then we went to see State's Attorney General Darrel McGraw, but were frightened off by bears. Seriously.

WTF?  This reminds me of how we used to saran wrap our professor's office doors in college.  Are practical jokes allowed in the state government?

Apparently my sister likes to taunt bears by picking their nose.

Finally there was a wee bit o' sunshine and we got to walk around the grounds.  The magnolia trees were in bloom, and it dawned on me...I don't think we have magnolia trees in Ohio.  Do we?  I can't recall ever seeing one here.  They are my absolutely my favorite, and I'd completely forgotten about them. 
Much prettier than corn.

And certainly more pretty than strip malls.  Ohio, take note.

My sister says I look pregnant in this photo.   I am not.  
Although I do think maybe it's about time I joined a gym.

Rainy Yarn Days

Over the Fourth of July weekend, I visited my fambly in West Virginia.

One of the things I, personally, looked forward to do over the holiday was visit the Mountain State Art & Craft Fair. And I brought my mom and sister along. Did they particularly want to come? Who cares! It's amazingly easy how fast "me" turns into "we".

One of the things I, personally, did not want to do was spend my vacation trudging through the mud and rain. But evidently I do not control the weather.

Evidence of trudging.

There was tons to see and buy and eat (and eat and eat) but surprisingly little in the fiber fields. Or perhaps I've just been to too many fiber festivals that leave me with skewed expectations. 

There was one booth that I made a bee-line towards, perhaps knocking one or two little old ladies out of the way.

You'll notice there is no picture of me fondling yarn or a final yarn line-up after purchase. "Why?" one might ask. "Were you ill?" Well no, I wasn't. It just seemed like the little old ladies got the last laugh.

While holding a hank of particularly pretty greeny-yellow wool, and trying to decide if I should buy one or two, I hear a raspy, old lady voice off to my side, "Well, maybe I should buy her the green since that's the color she has in her living room." And she takes the hank out of my hand - Out! Of! My! Hand! - and walks off.  She walks off!

And you might wonder, "Why did you not throw this old lady yarn stealer to the ground and take it back?" Because generally that would be my first reaction. But see, my mom was right there. And there were so many other pretty yarns, and sometimes you just have to let the old lady walk away, you know? But the yarn buying mood had passed. My mom did score some lovely, just lovely, golden merino that I somehow failed to take a picture of. Perhaps she'll put it on her Ravelry page?

(Mom, now you'll have to update your Ravelry page because everyone will be coming to see. Well, everyone being about three people. One of which is you.)

My mom, putting on a brave face in the rain.

My sister, wondering how long one person could possibly look at yarn.

Dough. Lovely, lovely, dough.