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Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

Pumpkin carving fun

Every year, Nana and Pop-Pop (my DH’s parents) get pumpkins for the kids in Furryland (our boys and my BIL’s daughters) to carve for Halloween. Last Sunday, all of Furryland converged next door at their house for this annual tradition, and then afterward we all shared a pot of Nana’s homemade chili sitting around their huge kitchen table. It was great fun, but I didn’t take too many pictures this year because I carved Corey’s pumpkin for him instead of his dad for once.

Corey with his pumpkin!

Although I broke the first little pumpkin-carving saw I used, and ended up terribly bending the second saw (and fearing it would break too), it turned out better than I expected!

Corey & Cody’s pumpkins

Cody chose to do a black widow, since we found them around here all last summer. Very appropriate! He did a fine job, especially since he had to use a serrated paring knife for 75% of it! It didn’t take long for that second pumpkin-carving saw I was using to break after all the torture I put it through!

While we were there, I got to show off my new KnitPicks Options set of interchangeable needles to Granny, and she also got to see a couple of new scarf patterns I’m working on — the baby entrelac scarf using those three balls of Trendsetter Tonalita that my SP10 pal sent to me, and the new secret Ravelry Scarf Exchange scarf that I’m working on for Extravayarnza. (Sorry, I can’t share any details except that getting it started is really giving me a fit!)

We saved a few cups of pumpkin seeds that we roasted the next day. They make a great nutritious snack if they’re cooked properly, but even though I followed directions exactly, they still didn’t taste very good. I think it’s the texture of them after they’re chewed that I don’t like very much.

Anita received the package I sent her for the Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth Exchange yesterday. She’s one of the funnest people I’ve ever met; not only in the knit-blogging community, but in my whole life I think! And, she makes the cutest stitch markers and sells them in her Etsy shop… go see, and if you like her stuff, tell her I sent you!

And today is our seventh wedding anniversary! After DH gets home from work, he’s “planned” a night out for us. The boys are going to spend the evening with Nana and Pop-Pop while we’re out, and once we get in the car to go, DH will ask me, “So… where do you want to go eat?” And I’ll say, “Why don’t you choose this time?” And of course, he’ll put the ball back in my court and say, “I don’t care where we eat — it’s up to you!” 😛

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Last week, we took a roadtrip to Baltimore with another family in their Yukon (I had mentioned in a previous post that it was a Suburban, but I was mistaken.). One of my DH’s friends from work followed us up, and after parking in the garage, we split up and went our separate ways. The guys went to the Ravens-Rams football game, and us gals (and my sons) went to the National Aquarium. Since this post would be extremely lengthy if I got into a play-by-play with words, I decided to make it a picture post of our adventures. Besides, I just don’t have a few hours to spend sitting here at the computer thinking of the perfect wording for this post… heh

Ravens vs. Rams

My DH on the left with Cody (back) & Corey beside him, and the heckled Rams fan on the right, D.L., with his two daughters, S. (standing) & C. Their mother (C.L.) was getting stuff out of the truck to put in the stroller, so she missed being in this picture, but I got her later.

Rams loser?

Predicting yet another loss?

Four friends

The guys walking to the stadium after we split up.

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

This is where the rest of us were headed, right after we stopped off for some lunch at Uno Chicago Grill. The glass-faced building on the right is the new Australian exhibit at the National Aquarium.

Once we got to the aquarium, we were shocked to find out that we had to check the stroller, and we were not allowed to use them. I should have taken a picture, but we had to leave the stroller in a room with a hundred (or more) other strollers, which was quite an inconvenience for us. C. (our friend’s three-year-old) is a FAST escape artist! It was not easy chasing her around, that’s for sure! I don’t know how C.L. does it day after day… just watching her chase her daughter around was wearing me out!

I took a lot of pictures of the animals and fish, but at least half of them had to be deleted. Taking good pictures in a dark aquarium through the glass tanks is not easy! And focusing on fast-moving dolphins at the dolphin show isn’t either (ALL of them were blurry)! Luckily, I got a few good shots of the slower animals.

Yellowmouth Grouper

Yellowmouth grouper

Bearded dragon

Bearded dragon in the new Australian exhibit.

Pacman frog

This pacman frog was so still, I didn’t think he was real!

Bluefaced angelfish

Bluefaced angelfish with clown triggerfish in the background.

Tuckered out

Don’t they look exhausted? Poor C.L. — chasing C. around for 3-4 hours completely wore her out! They took a rest at the end of the shark exhibit waiting for us to catch up. I was trying to get some good pictures of the sharks, but it was near impossible.

The guys were waiting for us outside the aquarium when we came out. D.L. decided he didn’t need his bag of shame even though his team lost again: Ravens 22, Rams 3.

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I really should be getting everything ready to go on our second roadtrip of the weekend, but I’m sitting here at the computer again writing another post to whoever might read our blog. Friends and some family, I’m sure, but not too sure about who else might read our “Adventures in Furryland”. (Hey, if you’re out there and read this, post a comment and let me know that you do because I’m mighty curious!) Besides, the laundry is in the dryer and I’m waiting for that.

Tomorrow’s roadtrip includes DH this time, and I know he’s looking forward to it since he works two jobs all the time to keep our family fed and the bills paid. In the morning, our family of four is going to go meet our friends at their house (another family of four), pack into their Suburban and take off for Baltimore. The two-hour trip will be the extent of our family togetherness because when we get there we’re splitting up. Me and the boys, and C.L. and her two daughters, are going to spend the afternoon at the National Aquarium, and then our hubbies are going to the Rams-Ravens game at the stadium.

This trip is part of Cody’s birthday gifts, as he just turned 14 last Thursday! Yay! He’s taller than me now, but still a featherweight! Isn’t he cute? Ok, if he knew I wrote that, he’d be super embarrassed, so don’t tell him! lol

Happy Birthday to Cody!

The boys and I went to Stitches East yesterday at the Baltimore Convention Center, then we spent some time in Annapolis, and then went to The Fish Locker in Ridgely, Maryland, to see Covenant play. It was the first time they’d ever been in this area, and we were excited to see them since the last time over a year ago. Their praise and worship is powerful and uplifting, and they rocked the house!

Covenant

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Autographed MercyMe CD coverThis past weekend, we had some of the best fun we’ve had in a long time around here, even though none of our activities included DH because he had to work. That stinks, but that’s the way it is, for now.

Our weekend started last Friday night with a concert — one of my favorite forms of entertainment. MercyMe, Aaron Shust and Monk & Neagle came to the Wicomico Civic Center, which is only about 10 minutes away! How could I resist this… a Christian concert in my neck of the woods! There’s no way, especially since I learned that MercyMe’s lead singer, Bart Millard, had a five-year-old son (Sam) who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was two.

Although Corey thought it took too long and was a bit too loud, it was an excellent show. The praise and worship was intense and very heartfelt, with the entire crowd singing some songs while the lead singer kept silent. During other songs, we certainly made a most joyful noise unto the Lord! It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my Christian walk, yet I know there will be others that far surpass this concert. In between songs, Corey was looking around at all the people and asked me, “All these people are Christians??!!” All I could say was that most of them probably were or they wouldn’t be there, and if they weren’t, they probably would be before the concert was over!

Ocean City, Maryland, Boardwalk

After the show, we got to meet MercyMe, and all the band members signed my CD and Cody’s t-shirt! We also got to talk to them and introduced Corey to Bart, who asked if he was taking shots or using the pump. When I said that he had only been on the pump a week, he seemed very interested and said they had been considering it for Sam but weren’t sure yet. There was a huge line of people waiting to meet them and get autographs so we kept moving after we thanked them for a great concert. After we left, I wondered why I didn’t thank them for coming to our area too, because Salisbury, MD, is nowhere near the size of say, Washington, D.C., or even Baltimore. Well-known bands usually skip us, but I’m grateful they decided to include Delmarva in their tour itinerary.

Sadly, there aren’t any concert photos to speak of except the ones on my cell phone, but I don’t have a cable to download them to my PC.

Pop-Pop at the coin show.

Successful coin show sale

On Saturday, we headed to Ocean City, MD, with my MIL (Nana) for a number of special events, including the 10th Annual Endless Summer Cruisin’, Oktoberfest and the MSNA (Maryland State Numismatic Association) Coin Show, in which my FIL (Pop-Pop) was a vendor. As an avid coin collector, he attends coin club meetings and goes to shows on a regular basis. From what I’ve heard, he successfully sold some coins, too! Way to go, Pop-Pop!

Interior of a restored classic.

The car show was expensive with a $10 admission price, so we didn’t venture inside the fence but stayed on the perimeter and took some photos. The boys had a great time seeing all the hot rods and custom cars that were there, especially when some of the drivers were prone to showing off their fancy rides to whoever was watching, and there were a lot of people seated all along Coastal Highway waiting with cameras and camcorders ready for such a moment.Corey

Giving me the evil eye!At the Boardwalk, we also let the boys get on some of the rides. On the right is Corey’s first time on the bumper cars, kiddie-style, of course. I had to coerce Cody to get on the teacup ride with his little brother, and even though he gave me his version on the evil-eye for it, he had a blast! The teacup was spinning so fast, Corey couldn’t hold his head up at one point!

Spinning as fast as they can!

Oktoberfest, held at the Convention Center at the same time as the coin show, also had an arts and crafts show. Hoping to pick up something interesting for one of my swap pals, I was sorely disappointed in what was offered by the vendors. To say it was pathetic as far as crafts shows go is a serious understatement. There wasn’t a single thing I was interested in.

Traditional German dancing

We should have known this festival wouldn’t be the best when we walked in, because the music playing for Oktoberfest was from the ’50s era! That’s a bad omen right there, but we went in and tried to enjoy ourselves. Eventually they played some German music and dancers came out in traditional German attire and danced some traditional German dances (I’m guessing).

We also had some German-type food; bratwurst, knockwurst, sauerkraut, pickles, hot German potato salad (I realized I really like my potato salad cold), and carrot cake. I tried to talk Corey into getting the German chocolate cake, but he wouldn’t have anything to do with it. The food was alright, but the carrot cake was the best! German food is not my favorite, by far, but Mexican food — I could eat Mexican food every day of the week!

The entire time we were eating, Corey kept bugging me to go see if the puppet show guy was back at his booth. That was one of the best surprises I had all day; a blast from the past, actually. When I was in my pre- and early teens, my friend’s mom would pick me up and take us to Skateland in Ocean City every Friday night. That was our thing at the time… a lot ofThe boys and Puppetman Jim our friends from school would be there and we always had a lot of fun. Sometimes Puppetman Jim would be there on rollerskates with his large puppets entertaining the kids in the rink. I can’t remember, but I think his puppets would have on rollerskates too. But this guy was good at puppeteering, and he had that kind of personality that kids were attracted to. Anyhow, I have a lot of memories of this man from 25 years ago so you can imagine my surprise when we came upon him at Oktoberfest. He’s still around, and he still looks the same as he did back then! He was working the puppets for MY kids, the same as he did when I was a kid, the same age as my Cody. It’s uncanny! The kids both came home with a puppet; Cody chose a green alien wearing a silver space suit, and Corey chose a brachiosaurus. 🙂

On Sunday, I left the boys and DH home to go to the knitting group that meets at Barnes & Noble, and scored two balls of Dale Garn Baby Ull in a banana yellow color for FREE. One of the ladies was giving away some of her stash yarn that she didn’t want because Stitches East is this weekend and she’s making room for the new yarn she’ll be getting. This yarn is excellent for socks, there’s enough for one pair, and I’m planning to overdye them because I have an aversion to yellow socks. Really. To make a long story from my childhood short, the last time I wore yellow socks, a raccoon bit my foot.

After that, knitting at Panera Bread with the Delmarva Knitters group, where I finished the first block of the baby log cabin blanket I’m going to try to make from Mason Dixon Knitting, just to use up some of my stash. Before I started knitting, I got the chipotle chicken sandwich and fiesta con queso soup with a pumpkin spice latte, and it was delicious. Blogless Janice came out and I knit a green stem for her baby pumpkin hat that she knit with a Knifty Knitter loom, and I used cable needles (for crying out loud!) to knit it because I didn’t have any extra needles with me. Necessity is the mother of invention, someone once said!

Early this afternoon, I asked Corey to get the mail for me, and while I was brushing my hair in the bathroom, he was looking for his shoes and socks. Then I overheard him say, “You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do, and what I’ve gotta do is wear dirty socks.” I guess it’s time for me to do the laundry now — LOL!

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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any nice finished objects, so this one is a sight for my bored eyes. Knit in Sugar ‘n Cream cotton, the edges curled up quite a bit until I blocked it, and now it’s nice and flat. Finished diameter is 11.5″. I’m quite pleased with the results, and it’s such a nice, easy pattern that I’ve started another in pink. I’ll post pictures of it when I get it partially finished. If you’re interested in this pattern, you can find it here: Lacy Round Dishcloth

Lacy Round Dishcloth

We’re not doing much today but relaxing and enjoying whatever we feel like doing. I said in the previous post that I would dye two of those four skeins of yarn today, but I think I need to cancel that plan, simply because it’s mid-afternoon and we’ll have to start making dinner soon. It’s true that when I dye yarn, I completely take over the kitchen — every surface has a bowl, measuring cup, squirt bottles, goggles, wooden spoons — there’s never any room to do anything else in there when I get started, and that includes eating. So as much as I want to play mad scientist, I better wait until another day.

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This morning I received one fantastic package from my Ravelry Caffeine Swap pal!

Ravelry Caffeine Swap stuff

A bag of Humboldt Bay Organic Blast-Off! coffee beans, a California Espresso Chocolate candy bar, a very cool heavy duty coffee mug made in Mexico, and FOUR skeins of Knit Picks Bare superwash worsted for me to dye! Hooray! I am BACK in BUSINESS!!! I wonder if my pal knew I just dyed my last batch? If you could only see the huge grin on my face… at least two of those will be dyed today, but they’ll be for me and not the shop!

Here’s a better shot of the coffee and mug (which I will be using tomorrow morning for certain!):

Ravelry Caffeine Swap stuff

Thanks so much, my anonymous spoiler! Please let me know what your favorite colors are, if you read this. I would like to dye two of them in your favorite colors to remind me of your thoughtfulness.

This Ravelry swap has been great fun; I found some great items for Vera, and my pal found some great stuff for me! A thought has occurred to me, though… it’s great fun spoiling strangers and being spoiled by other strangers who share common interests, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if more of us would turn that activity inward and spoil the people who mean the most to us? To do it for no apparent reason and not expect anything in return, but that you just want to bring them joy and make them smile? I believe that’s called a random act of kindness (RAOK), and I believe I want to do something like that today!

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A few days ago, I dyed up the last of my yarn for eventual sale in my Etsy shop, Sand in my Stitches. Look at all the pretty colors!

acid dye handpainted yarn

Coral

acid dye handpainted yarn

Sweet Peach

acid dye handpainted yarn

Toffee

acid dye handpainted yarn

Tanzanite

acid dye handpainted yarn

Reef

acid dye handpainted yarn

Angelfish

acid dye handpainted yarn

Sea Turtle

Knitting-related, I started a washcloth for my Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth Exchange pal. I have many ideas for spoiling her, but I can’t tell because she might find out! Shhhh!

Lacy Round Dishcloth (Washcloth)

I know, I know… the nightmare socks aren’t done, and neither is the clapotis that I’m 75% done with. Perhaps I have finishitis, but I really felt the need for some instant gratification, so getting one of my pal’s cloths done is making me feel better. This is an easy pattern that looks really nice, too. I think she’ll like it!

Also, I’ve ordered some special yarn to make my Ravelry Scarf Exchange pal her scarf. Did I mention she owns her own yarn store? Yes! I knew I couldn’t just buy some Malabrigo or any well-known commercial brand she might already have in stock, so I figured out something special. Sorry, I can’t post pictures of anything relating to this because it must be a secret. The scarf exchangers know who’ll be spoiling them, which makes me a little anxious about my abilities, but I’ve gotta have faith!

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