Friday, June 29, 2007

Where is the vault where time is kept?

Where in the world does time go? I know probably every one on earth has asked that question at one time or another - well, I want to find the time vault! There isn't a good excuse for my absence, but there is a reason . . . It started with preparations for vacation, you all know how busy a time that can be. Then of course there was vacation. It began with a trip to Bakersfield, CA. Ok, you can stop snickering. I know it's not your ideal vacation destination. But there was good reason! We are the proud parents of two graduates of UCB (University of California, Bakersfield). Daughter, Deanna received her Masters degree in Anthropology, graduating with honors, while daughter Darci received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and received the honor of being chosen by her professors as the Outstanding Graduating Senior in her department. On Thursday, June 7, we attended the hooding ceremony for Deanna. Then on Friday the 8th we hit the antique stores and yarn stores, and in the evening the girls hosted the whole family (about 17 of us) for a bar-b-q in their back yard. We all arose bright and early the morning of Saturday the 9th as graduation was held at 7:15 am, in an effort to beat the valley heat, in the college amphitheatre. Afternoon was free time for family to do as they chose (we rested), and then in the evening there was an openhouse for family and friends to share in the joy of celebrating these great milestones for both of the girls. Again, the celebration was held in their back yard, where it was all decorated in a Mardi Gras theme. They definitely don't do things half way when it comes to education or parties! What a wonderful setting, and they did most of the decorating, meal preparation and such by themselves. There was a buffet meal, New Orleans style that was awesome! Drinks of every kind imaginable. To top it all off they incorporated a "potlatch" theme - which is a Northwest US, American Indian tradition of giving away wealth. In their case, it was more symbolic than anything, because let's face it not very many students have a lot of wealth they can give away. But every one of the 70+ guests was presented with a potlatch gift of Mardi Gras beads, which represented jewels, a spice mixture which represented food, Mardi Gras coins which represented money, miniature bottles of tabasco sauce - representing the spice of life . . . I know I'm forgetting something that was in the gift bags, but for the life of me I can't think of it. But I think you can see where they were going with it - they were sharing all the good things in life.

In addition, several special guests were given gifts of appreciation for helping make the journey through these years of education special. Each gift was chosen especially for the recipient, and each recipient was completely surprised by their generosity. Both hubby and I were so proud of both of them, not only for their dedication to their education and the effort and hard work they put into it to achieve the grades and recognition they have gotten, but also for their skills of cooking, planning, entertaining, and their loving generosity. All this while working, going to school, and for Deanna teaching on-line courses! We were also given special gifts and thanked for our love and support, something that we do as parents out of love as each parent reading this knows.

Of course Bakersfield wasn't the end of vacation. As my dear husband says "If I'm already most of the way there, I'll drive the two and a half hours - I'm going to Disneyland"! Funny thing, at the openhouse, after I gave a short toast to the girls, someone said "Now that the girls have graduated - what are you going to do?" My reply: "I'm Going to Disneyland" and everyone laughed because they know that the girls have followed in our steps as fans of that theme park of all theme parks!

Sunday morning after breakfast with most of the family (13 of us I think) we headed down hwy 99 to the I-5 and on to Anaheim. We spent Sunday afternoon and Monday in Disneyland along with huge crowds there for the opening of the new Nemo ride (the revamped submarines). We didn't join the crowds in line for the new Nemo ride as the lines were constantly 2 to 6 hours long. We did a lot of people watching, and because we had park-hopper passes we spent quite a bit of time in the California Adventure park, which was much less crowded than Disneyland. Tuesday morning we went to our favorite antique store, a yarn store that I'd been wanting to check out (but always found closed on earlier trips) and then back on the highway and headed for home. Fortunately the trip was uneventful.

On Wednesday afternoon hubby started complaining of a scratchy throat and feeling crummy. Not to worry, he seldom gets sick and never stays sick for more than a couple days. But that was not to be the case this time. He really got sick, and late Friday night I started exhibiting the same symptoms. Darci and Deanna were scheduled to come up for Father's Day ~ some father's day, we were both sick, so they were sweet enough to wait on us pretty much all weekend. They did get to see their grandparents, and Dale felt well enough to go with them on Sunday. But when I get sick, I usually get really sick and this time was no exception. Here it is 2 weeks later, and neither hubby or I have been able to completely kick this "California Creeping Crud" as I call it. We're past the fever stage, but still have a nagging cough and no energy to speak of. It's a good thing we're retired!

On Friday (I think that's the day) June 15th my CSM (circular sock machine) arrived from New Zealand. I purchased an NZAK (New Zealand Auto Knitter) but thanks to that CCC mentioned above, yesterday was the first day I bothered to try to use it. I did set it up immediately after arrival, but didn't try to operate it. I can't blame it solely on the CCC, part was because I didn't really know enough about it. But my good friend Kathleen called yesterday, and helped me get started . . . wow, what a start. I have a great feeling of satisfaction because I really accomplished a lot considering I'd only watched her operate her machine for an hour or less and used hers for about 5 minutes - and dropped a few dozen stitches! I was able to take the production sock off the machine, rethread it, add a second strand of yarn and knit a successful tube. Next up: hems, heels, ribbing and toes and then I'll be able to make socks on it!
This is what one looks like > >
and below is a close up of the machine part of it.

In the picture on the right you can see two wood "posts" sticking up, hubby put those on so the cones of yarn sit right over them and don't get knocked off if the machine is bumped or moved. Hanging down in the center of it is the sock fabric I made (greens) and laying on the bottom is the grey/black sock fabric that came on it. I look forward to many, many hours of enjoyment using my NZAK. It is kind of a tradition to name your csm, but so far I've not thought of a good name for it.
In other exciting news - we're going to be grandparents again . . . this will be our 8th. It's a girl, due in mid- October to our son JT and his significant other, Amanda. They are thrilled, and we are happy for them . . . now if they would just move from Colorado to California so we could spoil her!
Now for what probably should have been my headline . . . the web site for Scarves From the Heart should be up very, very soon! I am so jazzed about it! Of course you'll probably hear me shouting from the mountain tops when it is so stay tuned!
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!
I'll try not to stay away so long.


At 1:16 AM, Blogger Laurie said...

Really nice job! Took me 4 days just to make a tube - your coming along fast!

At 3:05 PM, Blogger N. Maria said...

Your machine is a beautiful shade of of my favorite colors.
I love my antique CSM. I was taught to knit with the ribber right off! I had a good teacher!
Would love to see some "cranked" items!

At 4:42 PM, Blogger Gail from Kodiak said...

Hi, I can't believe you are from Stockton... I grew up there I also got my CSM from New Zealand. Mine came in the mail in June of 08 but I was on vacation so when I got home I played with it. I didn't realize there were people in Stockton that had CSM. I'm excited I'm coming down for a Month to visit with my Dad and hopefully run into others with CSM machine. I live in Alaska now Oh my machine is blue


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