Lani's household consists of Steve, the long-suffering coding genius and computer security guru; Jim, Lani's tall, red-headed and handsome son, currently finishing his second year of college; Hunter, Jasmine, Himari, Chenault, the miraculous Onyx and the even more miraculous Resk, undisputed feline rulers of the house; and Jesse, the man-hating green-cheeked conure.
Ann's household consists of Don, who is not just a computer genius but a pilot, a builder, and a damn good father; their son Steve, the marathon-running, college-bound, funniest teenager I know; and wonder dog Tater.
Other family members are Laurie, Lani's beautiful daughter who teaches at elementary levels; her handsome son Alex, aka Alexander the Great; Mary and Bo, a/k/a Mom and Dad, and Bud and Ann, Steve's patient and wonderful parents.
First of all, let me confirm that despite the reservations I expressed in my last post I did make it down the mountain and made my plane to Florida.Of course the first thing we did was to go to Hunt’s Oyster Bar and do our best to eat our body weight in oysters.Let me tell you, Alex is an oyster-eating boy!It was a great trip; Dad's surgery went well, he and Mom are both doing well, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend time with them, with Laurie and Alex, and with Jim.
I came back home Sunday night, almost two weeks ago now.The weather wasn’t too bad, we had a little snow but nothing major, and yay! Don was in Denver teaching a course!Ann flew in on Wednesday and I got to pick her up at the airport and enjoy a nice lunch with the two of them.They extended their trip through Sunday so that we could spend some time together after Steve got back into town Friday night, and we all looked forward to a fun weekend.Then came The Storm.
It snowed. Oh, did it snow.
I drove down the mountain through the storm to get to the airport on Friday night to pick Steve up (Yes, that was stupid.Very stupid.But I wanted him home, he’d been gone for two weeks.).Going back up the mountain was ... interesting. We managed, very slowly and very very carefully, to get almost all the way home before our car got stuck. We only managed that because all the power in Coal Creek Canyon was off, and the plows were trying to keep the road open enough to get the power trucks through, but hey we took it and ran with it, at least as far as we could. Once we were well and truly stuck, we left the car (seriously, we were close to home or we wouldn’t have done it) and trudged the rest of the way home by flashlight through a heavy snowfall, in snow that ranged from knee deep (where it had been plowed earlier) to waist deep (where it hadn’t).Fun. We got home absolutely exhausted and chilled to the bone, but we were home.
It continued to snow all night, and early Saturday morning we awoke to this.That lump?Here, let me give you a hint.This is what that lump looked like on Friday before I left for the airport.
That’s right, that lump is our other car.You know, the one that didn’t get stuck in the snow.Relatively speaking, of course. And it continued to snow.
And how deep did the snow get?Well … pretty deep.I’d say it was perfect weather to sit on the couch and just look out the window, but … the windows are kind of blocked.That’s not drift, by the way, and that isn’t snow that’s fallen off the roof – that’s just how deep the snow was when these pictures were taken (yes, it got deeper -- we got about 4' of snow in 48 hours).We got up early on Saturday and, in the still-falling, ever-deepening snow, we went and dug out our stuck car and with the assistance of a couple of neighbors unstuck it and got it out of the middle of the road and a little closer to home. Neighbor Mike has a small snowplow (handy, that!) and he plowed the road enough for a car to get through -- and we had just come home to defrost and prepare for the larger task of digging out our driveway and trying to actually get the car HOME when we saw someone trudging down the (narrow, deep) path we had shoveled towards our door.And who was it?Ann and Don!Truly, this is sisterly and brother-in-lawly (is that even a word?I guess it is now) love.They had driven up the mountain and come to help us dig out!OK, so maybe that wasn’t really the original plan, but it sure is what they got to do.
I hope Ann’s pictures turned out, because she took some good ones while she was here.Don and Steve shoveled and snow-blowed; Ann and I knitted; we went up to the Wondervu Café and were joined by our fun and fabulous neighbors, Tom and Margie, and had a lovely lunch and a pitcher of margaritas (it’s amazing what they were able to put on the table even though the entire neighborhood had no power); we came home, Don and Steve talked geek talk, Ann and I knitted more, and then, sadly, Don and Ann had to leave; it was still snowing, a cloud had moved in and visibility was the pits, and they had a long drive ahead of them and an early flight Sunday.We hated to see them leave and we do hope they’ll come back soon – we promise we’ll do our best to have more power, more margaritas, and less shoveling if you do, Annie!
Our power continued to be off-and-on through early this week, and our internet didn’t come back until Friday night.Tons and tons of trees and limbs down all over, and now that the snow is starting to melt the people in lower areas of the canyon are having some flooding issues (NOT a problem we suffer from!).Interestingly, we’re supposed to be getting more snow tonight.Ah, springtime.
I have no secrets because I am married to Don, who reconciles credit card accounts within 24 hours of anyone spending more than 17 cents. I momentarily forgot this and charged my trip to Denver to surprise him for his birthday. It actually took him four days to find it, which when I think about it is actually pretty good. He's obviously slacking on the job.
The radar is selective, though. He was looking in detail because the American Express bill is large, and he told me that I needed to reconcile it because he couldn't find any reason why my charges were so high. I don't know how he could miss $5,500 in airline tickets to Europe that are business charges, and are the reason the American Express bill is so high, but find a $300 ticket to Denver.
So much for surprising him for his birthday. As I said, I have no secrets.
I'm going to Florida tomorrow. I say "in theory" because it just stopped snowing for a bit and I looked out the window. Um ... I know I parked the car out there last night ... oh. Well, pooh. That's gonna take a little bit of shoveling. The wind has been blowing every which way, so the snow is pretty much drifted up like that all around the car. Whoopie. And we're supposed to get more snow this afternoon and this evening. Whoopie, again. Also Northwest, while they assure me that yes my flight is definitely on schedule for tomorrow, not only won't let me check in online but won't even let me sign up for email notification of flight status. Maybe I'm just a conspiracy theorist, but I have my doubts about this particular flight right now. Wish me luck.
Your orchids are GORGEOUS. I wish I could have orchids, but instead I have cats (see: previous post re black cat eating flowers). I haven't yet figured out a place I could put orchids that wouldn't be cat-accessible. Take lots of pictures, I'll just live vicariously.
Your knitting is also gorgeous and makes me jealous. I swear, I WILL find more time to knit. God knows I love the socks you gave me, and the ones I made myself, and the pair that I'm done with but too lazy to kitchener the toes on (FINE, I'll do it today then), and God also knows that I have some gorgeous sock yarn with which to make more socks ... I'm going to set my sights at a pair of socks per month for the rest of the year. That should fill my sock drawer nicely, and it's not an unreasonable goal; socks really do go quickly if you sit down and just do them (obviously that sitting-down-and-just-doing part is my failing).
Let's see, what else. Ann and Bud took my Baby-In-The-Snow picture and had it printed on canvas for us ... it is spectacular! I wanted to hang it in the front hall but Steve wants it where he can see it, so we hung it in the dungeon -- er, the family room. Now I'm wanting to take more pictures of our local flora and fauna to accompany it ... and speaking of that, guess what we have in the area? We have moose! Meese? Mooses? ;) Yeah. Those big hairy fellows have settled in just west of the ridge we live on, down in the valley. I'm hoping to get some good shots of them at some point, preferably using the zoom on my camera since they don't have a reputation of being very sociable. Pretty cool.
I'm home, and glad to be here. I know you are on your way to Panama City tomorrow, and I hope the weather cooperates with you! We're having nice weather today, highs in the 50's, but it's calling for snow tomorrow night. One of our friends just turned 50 and we're going to his surprise birthday party tonight. I'm making him a pie for his birthday present, and Don says that I have to put it in a box so he can decide whether to share it or not.
While I was traveling, I listened to The Orchid Thief on my iPod. It's really about obsession, and I can certainly understand how people get obsessed with orchids. I've posted pictures of the orchids in my bathroom before, I know, but right now I have 7 orchids and six are blooming. Look at them - they are just beautiful!
I also made good progress on the current baby sweater, I'm finished now with the back and both fronts. I'm sure it will look much nicer after blocking, but here's the finished views. This is what lots of travel will get you - plenty of knitting time! I love listening to the audio books, I can read a book and knit at the same time. Now on to do two sleeves, block everything, seam it up, do a neckband, and put on buttons. Then on to the next item on the list - three more babies have arrived or will imminently, and I started a pair of socks for Don. Whew!
Let me know how things go in Panama City - I'll be thinking of you all!
Travel, knitting, and travel knitting (posted by Ann)
So glad to hear from you! Great snow pictures, and 22" is a really impressive amount to shovel and snow blow. Cute new kitty, I'm jealous. I really want another kitty, but I don't know if I should subject poor old Pumpkin to something as energetic as a kitten.
I am in Rotterdam on my last night of a 9 day trip. I flew to London last Wednesday night, worked in London Thursday and Friday, took the Chunnel train to Paris for the weekend (Musee d'Orsay! Croissant!), worked in Paris Monday, flew to Hamburg Monday night, worked in Hamburg Tuesday, flew to Rotterdam Tuesday night, and worked today in Rotterdam. To say I'm ready to go home is an understatement.
While I was away, Chicago got about 6" of snow. I have to tell you that I wasn't sorry to have missed it, I am ready for spring!
I have saved up some knitting pictures. I've been knitting a lot this year so far, these are all things started and finished since New Years Day. I made this set for a couple’s first baby boy, and they have promised me pictures once he grows into it.
I started these socks long ago, and finished them earlier this year. They are my favorites since I gave my previous favorites to you! They are a twisted cable pattern, with great yarn in shades of purple. I always have trouble with socks fitting my skinny feet, and these are very stretchy since they are ribbing all the way down so they fit really well. I wish I could remember what yarn this is, but I know if I take it to Gene Ann’s she’ll be able to tell me.
I made this scarf for Steve’s advisor out of Yum, in a feather and fan pattern. I love the pastel colors and the pattern, and it’s soft and will be warm in the spring. She lives in New Hampshire, so she’ll understand a spring scarf.
I made another baby sweater that I can't find any pictures of - it was for a little girl, I'll have to wait until the Mom gives me pictures of the baby in the sweater to post.
The current sweater I’m working on is a different story. This is a more complicated pattern, with smaller yarn and needles, than I normally use. The pattern is Rose by Dalegarn, and the yarn is Baby Ull knit with size 2 needles. For the 12 month size, you cast on – wait for it – 195 stitches. Gulp. It’s worth it since the little girl it will go to is special to me. I worked very closely with her father for two years, and he and his wife had their second child in January. Her name is Ananya – isn’t that beautiful?
I did a gauge swatch and it seemed fine, so off I went with the sweater. I got to this point and all of a sudden realized that it looked – well – large. I measured and it WAS large. The pattern only goes up to 12 months, which was what I had targeted, but the size was larger than that. I measured again, and again, and looked at other patterns to see what size a 2 year old wears. I took it to the local yarn store and they measured it. We all decided that it would fit her at 2 years old, which was fine with me, so I went home happy.
Then I remembered that her mother is 5’ tall and can’t weigh 100 pounds.
So when I was in Panama City I asked Mom to rip it out for me since I couldn’t stand to do it. I am making it with the number of stitches for the smallest size, 1 month, but the length for the 12 month size, and it seems to be working. I got a lot done on the flight over here, and will probably be done with fronts and back by the time I'm back to Chicago tomorrow. Then just arms and finishing, and I'll show you what it looks like. My guess is that Ananya will probably wear it when she’s 2 if she’s like her mother, and at 1 if she’s like her father.
You know, the last time I had such a bad problem with gauge was also a Dalegarn pattern, with Baby Ull yarn. I must be a really slow learner to make something too big twice.
No, wait, I take that back. This is the third time.