Friday, May 28, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

For the Record

It always amazed me when we would take trips with the youth at church the number of kids who had not been away from either this town, this county or this state. I realized quickly how lucky I've been to have grown up in a family where we got to vacation every year. (Granted, many of those vacations were spent here in Iowa, not far from home at Iowa's Great Lakes....Okoboji, but we managed to insert a few trips to neighboring states from time to time as well.)

I'm also fortunate to have married someone who likes to travel too. And we've been very blessed to be able to take our kids on the road for a vacation each year as well. Travel widens your perspective. It allows you to broaden your mind. When you visit places different than where you from you have the chance to become more inclusive, tolerant and compassionate. It also makes you appreciate things about your own native spot as well. (I really believe Iowa is a beautiful place with great things to see and do!)

I opened my map and colored in the places we've visited.

It made me realize that there are regions of the country I have yet to explore! I've always wanted to visit New England and the Pacific Northwest. (Of course, Hawaii and Alaska!!) As the kids get off to college and traveling during parts of the year OTHER than summer becomes feasible, I'm sure DH & I will get the chance to see parts of the south and desert SW too. (Too hot for me in summer!!)

I've only been to one province of Canada too. Would love to see British Columbia and Newfoundland (& Prince Edward Island!) [Did anyone else see that PBS program a few years ago where they traveled across Canada by rail from east to west? It made me want to follow the same route!]

Well, enough dreaming of the open road for now. It's time to get to work!

Happy trails!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Caught A Bug

The semi-annual travel bug seems to have bitten again. I'm in the mood to hit the road! Since we don't have time away scheduled for weeks yet, I'm settling for revisiting past vacations. I've been working my way through some photo enhancing tutorials for photoshop and played around with some of my favorite photos. Enjoy!

From last year's trip to St. Louis . . .

. . . visiting the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

My personal favorite destination, Colorado:

Rocky Mountain National Park (Estes Park, CO)

Along the road from Vail to Leadville, CO

A view of the mountains from the cabin in Tennessee:

The beach of the cabin we rented in the Keweenaw on the Upper Penninsula of Michigan:

The world is such a beautiful place, and I've seen such a miniscule part of it! Can't wait to get out on the open road and see more!

Happy shooting/travels/knitting!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hmmmm . . .

What does this:

have in common with this:


Well, together they make up this:

Pretty drastic example of sock yarn gone potentially bad.

The cuff seems to be striping in this mock cable stitch pattern I'm using.

But when I got to the stockinette foot, forget it! It's pooling, BIG time!

I suppose it might drive some folks crazy.

I've decided I like it.

Also, I have entered the extremely tedious "ruffle" section of my second Citron shawlette and it occurs to me I haven't shown you the color. It's blue. BRIGHT blue.

Apparently I don't have too many problems knitting the shawlettes. It's the blocking that is tripping me up. (So far there are two in the queue ahead of this one!)

Happy Knitting!

Friday, May 14, 2010

No Knitting, But Ornate Nonetheless

So I have been knitting, I just don't have any photographic evidence because none of it is at an interesting point to photograph.

I did go to a local cemetery with my DD to shoot some photos the other day. As we were leaving, I noticed the fence and couldn't help shooting a few more photos.

How many times have I been to any number of cemeteries and NOT noticed the fence?? (Those of you who may be unaware, I spent 13 years as a Lutheran pastor in a large parish and did an average of 30 funerals per year. That's a LOT of trips to the cemetery!)

I thought this fence was really cool. (Although I wondered if anyone of a faith other than Christian would be buried within.) It is one of the older cemeteries in the county--and is a township cemetery, not associated with a church. Many of the graves have stones with death dates in the 1860's to 1880's.

I find gravestones and their symbols quite fascinating. It's the last "testament" a person makes about who he or she was and what he or she believed or held dear. (Or what those who said good-bye and made the arrangements thought about you!) The older the cemetery, the better.

On that note, have a great weekend!

Saturday, May 08, 2010


I finished knitting the Citron shawlette several days ago and never got around to photographing it. (I haven't blocked it yet either, so perhaps that explains the lack of photo....)

I knit it from Knit Picks Kettle Dye Shadow (100% Merino) in the Grasshopper colorway. (I kept calling it lettuce because it reminded me of young, spring lettuce....but alas, it's called Grasshopper.)

My guage is off a bit, so I think this one will be a tad smaller than called for. (The pattern wanted 6 spi and I was getting 7 spi with the US #6 needle.) I started a second one using a US #7 in hopes of getting correct guage this time.

I like the look of this little shoulder warmer. It's a very easy knit. However the last dozen rows with 550+ stitches per row tend to take a while.

The pattern can be found at if you're interested!

Happy knitting!

ps....on the moth front: she laid a bunch of eggs in the iris bed before disappearing. We'll see what comes of her efforts.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

A Visitor!

We have been treated to a show by nature the last two days.

Last fall I noticed something near the roots of the iris bed which I assumed a dog had left behind. (Albeit a dog with a HIGH fiber diet!)

Then yesterday morning when I went out to take DS to school, we saw this in the iris bed.

(As a reference, the body of this moth is the size of my thumb.)

After that we left town to move DD home from college. (Don't ask me how the first year can be over seems like we just moved her in!!)

I did a little research on line with Iowa State Extension last night when we discovered our furry little visitor was still on the iris. It is a polyphemus moth, the 2nd largest moth/insect in the state of Iowa.

Much to my surprise, it's still here this morning. Today it has taken full shape and looks like this.

Isn't it lovely?? I'm not sure I've ever seen one of these before and I think it's amazing. We had a cold night last night, so I'm glad to see it gathering some solar energy this morning.

The web info says they hang in one spot during the day, then fly at night. Apparently the adult moths only live for a couple of weeks because they are unable to eat. Their sole purpose for those 14 days is to reproduce.

Off to work now!
Happy shooting/knitting!

Saturday, May 01, 2010


Went out to photograph some bridges in the area for my son's engineering class today. Here are a few shots.

I also managed to capture the moment a train was crossing the high bridge. (And played around with it in Photoshop!)

A quick update on my father.....seems his surgery went well and he is doing well. He hopes to go home on Monday already!

In knitting news, I've completed the first four sections of the shawlette, Citron, from I'm using Knit Picks Shadow (lace weight merino) in the colorway, "Lettuce." It is going to be lovely, but a bit small as my gauge is off a bit. C'est la vie!

Happy shooting and knitting!