Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bee Fields

Good yarn + pointy needles + a great pattern = a big finished lace project. It is also my reason for not blogging much this week. Bee Fields is now finished. Thanks yet again to Anne Hanson for another glorious pattern! The yarn is Wooly Wonka Fibers merino laceweight in the colorway "The Silk Road."

Monday, July 28, 2008

Excuses and Overcoming

One of the activities that Greg enjoyed at Gull Lake was the zip line. We had a young member of our party (not one of our children) who was eager to try it this year and Greg was happy to oblige her. After years of experience climbing lighting rigs, heights are not an issue for him. He did check everything out for safety first; had there been any question, he would have walked away.

By the last day of camp, I agreed to go on the zip line myself. You have to understand something, though. For a long time, things like this have been in the category of "If I wasn't so overweight or uncomfortable with how I look, I might try _______." Yes, I've lost a little weight, but not enough to drastically change the things that fell into that category. Something prodded me to take a risk this time, though. I told my sister, "I could die in my sleep tonight or get hit by a car - any number of tragic things could happen. If I continue to put things off because I'm overweight or uncomfortable with how I look, who knows what I could miss out on?"

*I should make note here that the pictures I have included are of one of Greg's trips down the zip line - not mine. I put my sister in charge of my camera, but in her defense, it is very hard to take pictures of someone hurtling through the air.*

Greg went with me. Actually the whole family went with me, as though it was some sort of historic event. Once we were in harnesses and helmets, we climbed the steps of the 40-foot tower and did the safety checks. With great trepidation, I inched forward toward the edge and sat down (which, for the record, I think is the scariest part of the whole zip line experience).
The part that was not quite clear to me until the critical moment was that you have to scoot yourself off the platform to go down the zip line. Since you are seated, it is hard to consider it jumping off. I don't know what I was expecting, but I learned that it wasn't enough to climb the tower and sit down. In order to overcome my fears and excuses, I had to willingly take that last, very scary step. Or scoot, as it were. I had to take the risk to go from the nice, solid tower to the unknown of the zip line.
I did it. Twice, actually. I'm not sure "fun" is the word I would use to describe it, but I am proud of myself. I think my husband was shocked - and pleased. The whole experience meant a little bit more to me the next day when I learned that a friend of a friend had just lost her husband. He was a few years younger than I am - no obvious life-threatening issues...he simply had trouble breathing one night and died soon after arriving at the hospital.

Life is so short, friends, and none of us have any guarantees.

Have you taken a risk lately? Or are you putting something off until _____? I would love to hear about it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Summers Are For Snowcones

We had snowcones our last night at Gull Lake. I'm not fond of the blue ones, but Natalie is.
I go for cherry if it's your basic carnival snowcone. If it's something more high-end, like from a proper snowcone stand...well, that changes things.

What's your snowcone preference?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Foreign to Me

A few days of my recent travels were spent in Palm Springs, CA. I have spent very limited time in California and even that was years ago. All I knew about Palm Springs was that it was popular with golfers. A quick search about weather told me to be prepared to be exceedingly hot while I was there.
The extra-nice part of the trip was that since it was off season in Palm Springs, we were able to stay at the Hyatt Grand Champions Resort. While I wouldn't say the rooms were luxurious, they were very nice and the bathroom was huge. The biggest perk for a family would be the pools. There are seven! None of them are massive, but having several allows you to have plenty of room. I'm sure that isn't the case during peak season, but it was true while we were there.
Our children were not with us on this short trip; they stayed with Greg's parents in Missouri. So do you know what my favorite part of my resort experience was? The pool that was for adults only. In reality, I spent very little time there, but boy it was nice.
I wish I could go back. At the same time, the scenery and lifestyle were so foreign to me. It seemed to be an entirely different world than the one I'm used to.

When was the last time you got a new perspective?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ragamuffintop Challenge: Week 8

Hey Ragamuffintops - I'm back! I really expected the past three weeks to set me back a few pounds. I mean, it was vacation for pete's sake. While we were in Palm Springs I got to eat at PF Chang's, California Pizza Kitchen and The Cheesecake Factory (complete with White Chocolate Caramel Macadamia Nut Cheesecake). There were also several fast-food stops since we had so much driving to do after the California trip. Then at Gull Lake I had ice cream pretty much every night.

However, I am pleased to report that I am down another 2.4 pounds since my last weigh-in! My total is now 13.1, which if you recall, is short of my July 12 goal (15 lbs). But you know what? I'm not disappointed. Not one bit. I knew 15 lbs would be a stretch - that's why I chose it...and I'm almost there! I still have a long way to go beyond 15 lbs and I fully intend to go for it.

Go here to check in on the other Ragamuffintops.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


We're home! We left Michigan at 8:30 yesterday morning and got back to Nashville at 11:30 last night. It's not that long of a trip, but we had to make a lot of stops along the way - so we just took our time.

Today we are unpacking and recovering. More later.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Checking In


I'm checking in from Missouri tonight on my in-laws' brand-new Mac.  Greg has been on them for the past few years to get one and they finally agreed.  I figured that while I checked my email, I'd pop in here and do a quick post.

Our trip to Palm Springs was great.  Greg felt like it was a good trip from a business standpoint and for me, it was a very nice vacation!  I hung out poolside and got to know Greg's new business partners and their wives.  Plus, Greg's frequent flyer upgrade scored us first-class seats on the St. Louis/Phoenix leg of our trip both coming and going.  (Phoenix/Palm Springs was a regional jet, so first-class was a moot point.)

We got back to Missouri last night and will leave to head toward Michigan tomorrow.  Then we'll meet up with my family at Gull Lake on Saturday and spend the week there.  I do have some pictures but my in-laws don't really need them on their computer, so I'll wait.  If we can get a good wireless connection, I can post them from Gull Lake.

I've missed blogging and keeping up with all of you!  I'll be back soon!

Thursday, July 03, 2008


I'm outta here, peeps. I'll do my best to check in from the road, but if not, I'll be back around the 20th.

See ya!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Tired, but Hopeful

I was going to do a Watercooler Wednesday post today. I even had one nearly finished. But today I'm beat and the post was no good, so I deleted it. I was up late watching the new episode of Deadliest Catch, so this morning I look like this:
I have to get started on packing today. I don't really want to. I also have to mow. Don't really want to do that either. I made some poor food choices yesterday and feel like a big ol' slug.

I am hopeful, though. Know why? Because after we visit Greg's parents and make our business trip to California, we will be here:
This dock is just feet from the back door of the house we'll be staying in.

Rest is just around the corner.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


"Don't even think about it," she said. I have started working with Natalie at the piano. We are not on a regular schedule with it yet, but I work with her when she asks. Last week, she was very focused on picking out the melody of Mary Had A Little Lamb on her own, so I left her to her devices.

After a lot of persistence and a bit of frustration, Natalie finally had it. She asked me to come and listen, so I obliged. When she finished, I gave her a hug and told her how proud I was that she kept working on it even when it got hard. She quickly backed out of my hug and said, "Don't even think about it! Don't even think about giving me a round of the-plause!"

It took everything I had not to laugh hysterically. Instead, I did my best to hold it in, but clapped for her, giving her a sly grin as I did so. Natalie grinned back and said, "I'm just kidding. I was secretly hoping you'd give me some the-plause!"

Have you given anyone a round of the-plause lately?

For more funny things kids say, check out Tiny-Talk Tuesday.