Saturday, October 15, 2011

I am not an old dog.

I am still learning new things.

I learned that McAfee is pronounced MAC-afee, regardless of how it's spelled.  The local pronunciation is always the correct one.

I learned that magnificent views (when not obscured by clouds) may hide at the end of a hike with a very, VERY humble beginning.  I didn't get a picture, but the McAfee Knob trail head is basically a break in the trees, marked with an Appalachian Trail symbol, across the road from a gravel parking lot. 

I learned what a cairn is.  These little bitty cairns didn't seem to be marking any trail since the AT uses white blazes for that (another thing I learned), but they still looked pretty cool, like a little rock village in the woods.  Yes, I watch too many fantasy movies.

I learned that I am a little more afraid of heights than I thought I was.  I wanted a picture of me hanging my feet over the ledge, like so many hikers before me.  I sat down on the wet rock, scooched forward, a little more, a little more...and then back a bit.  I couldn't do it.  This is as close as I could get. 

Finally, I learned one of the most important lessons.  Even when hiking down on the wide open fire road, keep your head up.  You may walk right into this fella...

A big, giant THANK YOU to gogopance for learnin' me these things.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mud, Sweat and Beers

Running is a good work out.  A 5k is a good challenge.  My bff cousin, the aforementioned gogopance, and I recently participated in the Down & Dirty Mud Run


I'll admit, I was nervous.  Running is one thing, but add rope climbs and walls and mud pits...



And since no meeting of knitiot and gogopance is complete without beer, I give you gogopance's Guiness beer socks.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Ago Today

Ten years ago today I was working for the same bank I am now, in my cozy little office in southwestern Virginia.  That morning I just happened to be near a television and watched, with mounting horror, as the second plane hit the towers.  Up until then, I think we all thought that the first plane was just some unfortunate dumbass who didn't see the big building in his way.  When the second plane hit, everything changed.  It was intentional.  Oh shit.

Ten years ago today my first child, my only daughter, was 7 months old.  Tonight she is asking me why everyone is so sad and what is the big deal about The Twin Towers and 9/11.  I am trying to explain to her what happened and showing her pictures online, of before and after.  I am trying to express to her how terrifying it was. 

I'm not sure she can understand it.  Her world isn't big enough.  She is just beginning to learn how evil people can be.  She can't know how it changed our nation, the effects of the attack has always been a part of her America.  I'm not sure if I want her to understand it.  As a parent, I know she will be faced with hatred and evil and must learn how to handle tragedy, but, dammit, I hope that the worse thing that happens to this country and its people she'll have to read about in a history book.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Poem

"Where I'm From"
by my daughter
for a 5th grade assignment

I'm from the soccer field
where I kick butt!
with my mom on the sidelines
knitting and yelling "GO STEPH!"

I'm from the beach
with the wonderful salt water smell.

I'm from school
which, for me, is not such a bore.
with notebooks and grades,
good or bad,
and annoying brothers who I still adore.

I'm from the dinner table
covered with good food and good times.

I'm from sports with my dad
to sewing with my mom.

I'm from eating chocolate
with my dad
who, to him, I'm "Little Doo."

All in all, I'm from a great loving family
who at dinner yell
"DINNER, get your butts over here!"

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Premiere

artwork by Mike Belz

My cousin, gogopance, and her friend, gittar, formed a production company, Mountain House Films, LLC, and made a movie.  I could stop right there and that would be sufficiently awesome.  A MOVIE!  How many 'regular people' (regular people = people I know) have done that!?!  Even cooler, they let me help as a Production Assistant during the week of filming, and I only had to beg her once.  Being able to follow the creation of this movie from idea to final product, even if mostly from the sidelines, has been amazing.

The film, 47 Miles: March to Destiny, is a documentary that follows a group of Civil War reenactors as they recreate the final march of the 24th VA Infantry along the forty-seven miles from Sailor's Creek to Appomattox.  The original 24th VA Infantry's flag was captured at Sailor's Creek nearly 150 years ago.  The modern day march hopes to raise money to restore and preserve that very flag.  Let me know if you want a copy of the movie - I can hook ya up...I got connections.

Since this is supposed to be a knitting blog, I'll skip to the part you yarnhoars are interested in.  Every great movie needs a great premiere.  And every great premiere needs a hand knit wrap.

This is Magrathea by Martina Behm in madelinetosh tosh merino light.

I don't really wear shawls or wraps, therefore I've never felt the need to knit one before.  I also don't really dig on knitting lace, so the bit on the edges gave me some trouble before I finally sorted out my ssk's from my k2tog's and got everything leaning the right way. 

There was a panic moment when I ran out of yarn in the middle of the bind-off row.  A week away from the movie premiere and I'm 115 bind-off stitches short.  After putting it away for a day or so and hoping yarn would grow while I worked on other things, I decided to rip and bind off earlier in the pattern.  I don't think anyone noticed, ya know, with all that movie stuff going on.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Splish Splash

It was dark and foggy at 5:43am.  Did you know that?  How do I know that?  I was up waaaay too early.  I am NOT a morning person.

In an effort to become stronger, leaner and more healthy, I joined some friends at the indoor community pool this morning for a before-work swim.  I'm not sure you would call what I was doing 'swimming' but I propelled myself from one end of the pool to the other, 10-12 times.  It felt great.  It's a pretty good workout, but without the sweat and the burning muscles.

Fast-forward to 4:00pm, I am dragging ass.  My shoulders are sore and I'm about to take an accidental nap at my desk.  I'm still glad I did it.  My workout for the day is over with.  No matter what else I do the rest of the day, I can cross that off my list.