I have been a busy gal of late. I have enjoyed 3 mini get aways since last I posted. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and I don’t have any time away from work planned until the end of the summer. I definitely need to plan more short trips away. It’s amazing what a change of scenery can do for your attitude. However vacation time has it’s own stresses, rarely do things go exactly as planned, but all in all it was 90% positive.
My first mini-trip was to “Knitopia”, a knitting retreat that happens annually in Lexington MI. Tina really out does herself every year. I don’t know how she manages to organize the whole thing. I spent 4 days, hanging out at the house (it’s huge), took a walk on the beach, knitted, spun, made new friends and re-connected with some peeps that I knew from 2 years ago. Of course some of my local girls were there, Lynne, Angela and Amy. My only downside to this little jaunt was that I literally started to come down with a cold/sinus infection on the drive up there. My nose started tingling and I just knew what was coming. I was a snotty mess the whole time that I was up there. Everyone was very kind, one of the gals gave me a box of Puffs and Lynne picked up some Nyquil for me on one of her runs in to Port Huron. The highlight of the trip was a “field trip” to a local alpaca farm. They had 9 alpacas of various colors. They were so cute and there was one that loved giving “kisses” to everyone. My big score was a pound of alpaca roving for $25! A steal of a deal. I managed to finish one of my charity shawls that I was working on for Kim and Chris’ lymphoma gigs. I also learned how to seam with a slip stitch from Lynne and honed my dying skills with Coggie. I also designed and executed an “antler cozy”. As usual there was lots of great food and cocktails, kudos to Angela for making the “Bobby Flay” Margaritas.
|Tiff, Gus and yours truly|
My next mini trip was to see my niece Tiffany graduate from nursing school in Tennessee. I did the 8 hour drive all in one day. I started out early and got there about 3ish. I was trying to surprise Tiff so I had to coordinate everything with her mom, Gus, who’d flown down from Michigan the same day and Tiffany’s s/o, Matt. I was waiting at the Starbucks next to the hotel when Gus texted me and said that they’d arrived. I went over and knocked on the door and said “housekeeping“. I heard Tiff inside saying “If it’s housekeeping, they’ve got a key”, Gus told her “Just get the door”. Tiff opened the door and saw me, her eye’s were HUGE, she looked at me and said “NO SHIT!!” My ruse worked. The graduation ceremony was really nice, I’m glad I got to see her walk and receive her diploma. I didn’t make the pinning ceremony as I wasn’t feeling very well. I think between not eating/sleeping and some very sweet wine the night before my stomach was not happy. I can’t handle sugar + alcohol, makes me barfy every time. There was a graduation party afterwards with some of Tiff’s extended family at Matt’s dad’s house. Tiff’s cousin Casey picked me up at the hotel and we all rode over there together. Which brings to mind….Tennessee is a different world, come to think of it, any time you travel south of Cincinnati, things are a little different. For starters, it seems that there are a lot of really large pick up trucks, and everyone has access to a firearm. Brings to mind my days of living in Houston. The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful. I spent Sunday AM with Tiff, we went to breakfast and then did a little shopping. As with all family events there’s a certain amount of stress and…..you know…..family issues. I’m not going to lie, there were moments, but all in all I’m glad that I went and supported Tiff.
|My 198 Yards of Heaven|
My third and final vaca was to go to Columbus for Rock on the Range. I went a couple of years ago and had a really great time so I planned for my stay for 4 days. Rock on the Range was a 3 day event this year but I only bought a one day ticket because all of the bands that I wanted to see were playing on Sunday, the closing day. I had Singaporian food the first night I was there. I would say it was a blend between Thai and Vietnamese. I would assume the place was very authentic based on the Asian population present in the restaurant. The next day I had planned to spend the day in German Town, hanging out at the book store, having lunch etc. I drove down there only to find that they were having a HUGE garage sale and the place was absolutely packed. Needless to say I had to park several blocks away and navigate through some pretty heavy crowd traffic to get where I was going. I spent a few hours at The Book Loft and then had lunch at the original Max and Erma’s. Afterwards I spent a relaxing afternoon walking around the neighborhood and knitting in Schiller Park. The next day was ROTR! I was really looking forward to seeing some new bands and some acts that I was familiar with. There was no way I was going to have breakfast at the hotel, I did that the day before and it tasted exactly like the food in the cafeteria at work; hospital food. So I went to the Beechwold diner for sustenance to get me through a long day. The “new” bands that impressed me, Aranda, Black Stone Cherry, Mastadon, Lacuna Coil and James Durbin. The latter whom I knew nothing about. He looked like this geeky little Bieber kid with leathers on. He said he was going to sing “Rainbow in the Dark” as a tribute to Dio. All I could think is “yeah right”, I was sure it was going to be awful. As he started to sing, I looked around and saw everyone’s jaw, drop ever so slightly. He nailed it, spot on, really impressive. The bands that did not impress me; Escape the Fate, this was my second time seeing them and still not impressed. Redlight King did not impress, Megadeth sucked, and the least inspired performance…Marilyn Manson. I had really been looking forward to seeing Manson and I was pretty disappointed. He was bitching about getting a tepid response from the audience but I think that the performance warranted it. Who totally brought it? Rob Zombie of course and Anthrax. Anthrax played as if their life depended on it and Scott Ian shredded like a little bald madman. I left about three quarters of the way through Zombie’s set. I’d seen him 2 years ago and he’s already played the songs I wanted to hear. I had wanted to beat the majority of the traffic so back to the hotel. The next day I got up, packed up and stuffed everything in the car for the trip home, but first, I had a mission. Whenever I tell someone I’m going to Columbus they inevitably say, “go to Jeni’s Ice Cream“. I made it a point to head to the North Market where I had a delicious breakfast of Mediterranean vegetable stew and then it was time for desert. All I can say is if you’re ever in Columbus, “go to Jeni’s Ice Cream”. I had the Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet, and the Juniper Lemon Curd ice cream. It’s like a party in your mouth. Then it was back home to find Mr. Larj right where I left him on the couch. He’s been on the couch for 9 days and cant figure out where his energy has gone.
Knitting, actually I’ve been doing lots of fibery stuff. I finished my 198 Yards of Heaven when I went to Knoxville. I like the way it turned out, I used all hand spun in dark green with a coppery brown border. I’m currently working on a Chudnovsky Pi shawlette using my hand spun slubby brown. I’m spindle spinning and plying a lot of my little bits of sample stuff to make a Boneyard shawl with a mix of colors. My pal Coley did this and it turned out really great. I finally finished plying the blue lace/light fingering weight that I have been working on for-ev-er. I just counted 800 yards!!!! Woo hoo…now, what to make?
Other going’s on? Pretty status quo other than Mr. Larj‘s never ending illness. I’ve tried to give my opinion but of course, I don’t know anything so ummm…….be sick. Maude is Maude and Chief is about the same. I’ve really enjoyed my time off work and it’s going to be hard to go back to the grind tomorrow. Life carries on….