Thursday, October 30, 2008

More Yoga

OK, the last two pics in the Caleb yoga saga...

Right after this, he looked up and saw the crazy lady with the camera.
But just look at the concentration on that face!

Future Yoga Master alert

Shelly's son, Caleb, was feeling a little under the weather this morning, so she had him at Twist. It's always fun to have Caleb and Ainsley around, but today was particularly amusing. While playing his game, Caleb was completely engaged in the moment. As a result, he struck several very interesting yoga poses. I have to say, I had forgotten that the human body could contort in these positions. He definitely has a future as a yoga master....

...Or a chiropractor.

This would be the "T pose"--as in totally absorbed.

I know somewhere, there is a chiropractor going "WHOA"!

OK, this one just hurts to look at.

That one makes me go "WHOA!!"
Can you me imagine explaining that to the paramedics if I tried that? Actually, let's get real. I can't even START to get in that position. That would entail the whole "being able to grab the ankles from behind thing" which I can tell you for sure: I do not have it goin' on in that arena. I have a motto that I try to follow :
Never do anything that you can't clearly explain to a paramedic or police officer.
If I tried anything like the poses above, let's face it: There would be NO GOOD EXPLANATIONS.
There are a couple more that I'll post tonight. Blogger is being stingy with photo space.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wilde Weekend !

Sorry for the blurry picture! I was having problems actually holding the camera still while she talked. Here she is talking about the book and the fact that all the models in the book are actually friends of hers, not professional models. She shared a wonderful story about one of the models who is a Harley riding ethnic drumming woman! Loved the stories! If you have a chance to hear Gina speak or take one of her workshops, DO IT! I drove 3 hours each way to see her and I have to say, I think it was worth every second!

On Friday night I drove to Tulsa, Oklahoma to see the owner of Alchemy yarns give a talk at Loops yarn shop. Warning: This is where I am going to sound like a fiber freak...suck it up and get ready:

Holy Smokes! It was flippin' fabulous!!

Both going to Loops and getting to meet Gina Wilde. I was afraid I wouldn't get to Loops in time for the presentation since I've never really timed how long it would take me to get there, so I left early. I won't admit to HOW EARLY, but I walked into Loops at 3:45 for the 5:30 presentation. You do the math...

It did give me plenty of time to talk to Shelly (the owner), her great staff and the other customers that were there knitting. I found several really great patterns (hint: the single copies of the patterns are in the room with the long table--I didn't realize this until Shelly showed me--they have a huge inventory of patterns!!!) and probably touched every single skein of yarn in that store! I did get the pattern for a really great looking 3 way wrap that Loops designed. I bought one ball of the suggested yarn and will have to go back later when I am actually ready to knit the pattern. It is a Karabella yarn, which I haven't seen anywhere else. It really provides a nice drape and sheen to the finished wrap, so I will pick up more when I actually cast on. I have a mohair shawl on the needles right now, along with a hat , so I really am trying to make myself get these done BEFORE I move on to the next project...I digress...Shelly has designers come to the shop and give presentations often. Get on her mailing list so you can be notified when she has one of these events. That's exactly how I found out about Gina. She has had several other designers such as Louisa Harding. When she sends out the emails it is first come- first serve, so you have to email immediately if you want a spot.

For those of you unfamiliar with Alchemy yarns, the designer and owner is Gina Wilde. The minute she came in the door, I knew every mile of the drive to and from Wichita was going to be worth it! She talked about how the company was started, about the yarns themselves and her dyeing process. Alchemy yarns is a higher price point yarn--I now realize the reason for this. Gina and her small staff hand paint and dye EVERY skein that is sent out. There are no machines.The yarns are steamed in large steamers outside to set the dyes. I was amazed at the amount of labor that goes into these yarns. So when you buy Alchemy yarns, you really are getting an original piece of art to work with. There were several shop models at Loops in the yarns and some shop samples from Gina's book Shibori Knits, which I highly recommend. Gina explained the process of felting and the accidental felting that brought about this book. I got to talk a bit to Gina and her husband--both of them are very warm and interesting people. Gina is a cancer survivor, so she does get my admiration on that point too. I know, I'm babbling--get the book and buy Alchemy yarns! For those of you in the Central Kansas area who are unable to get to Oklahoma to buy Alchemy, Julie at the Newton Beadery is going to be carrying the Alchemy yarns. Either way, it is fabulous yarn that is worth every cent. One of my favorite yarns looks like raffia in the skein. When I fisrt touched it, I thought "meh..". However once you work with it, the fibers soften up. Once it is washed and blocked, it is sinful!! I am going back to Loops to pick up some of this for a shawl next time I'm in Tulsa.

While in Tulsa, I got to stop by Whole Foods and do a little shopping. I would LOVE to have a Whole Foods in Wichita. I love their store brand (365 brand) and buy a ton of stuff when I am in Kansas City or Tulsa, where the only close Whole Food chains are.However, that said, it might not be the best thing for our Mom and Pop natural food stores, so I will be satisfied to make it a destination when I'm in KC or T town. Hubby and I lived in Tulsa for a while (the twins were born there) and I love going back to visit. There really is something magical about Tulsa. It is a very sophisticated and cosmopolitan town, but the people are very warm and friendly.
I had forgotten how narrow some portions of Lewis, Utica and Peoria street were though.
I used to run up and down Peoria when we lived there and the narrowness didn't phase me. It did catch me off guard this time. Mainly because the SUV in the other lane kept trying to migrate over into my lane.
If you have to take up 4 inches of the lane next to you in order to just drive a straight line, maybe you should try driving something smaller. I'm sure your insurance company would be thankful. I was thankful I was in the Neon. If I had been in my mini van, he would have run right into me. I was polite, I didn't give him any "visual suggestions" after the 4th time he almost hit me. If I hadn't been in a long line of traffic, I would have slowed down to get away from the side of him, or sped up to get in front of him. I must say, I had also forgotten how congested some of the areas can get in Tulsa. That said, it really is a magical place.

I probably should go. As I am typing this, two of my dogs disappeared upstairs. One just came to the landing and is watching me. Something tells me he is the lookout and I am NOT going to be amused at the delinquent canine activity going on upstairs as I sit here and type.

Click on both Loops links. One is to the blog and the other is the official store sight. Great info on both.

A little later I will post about the Central Kansas yarn shop hop, which I went on with Cindy on Sunday. Since I was originally supposed to be in Tulsa all weekend, I hadn't planned on going. We didn't hit all the shops, but I'll report on the ones that we did. The two we didn't visit are on my list to go to in the next month.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How To Discourage People from Asking for a RIDE

Excuse #1 : I'd love to give you a ride, but the last time someone sat in the back, they disappeared.
#2: Gosh--looks like I'm plumb full on my load capacity. Besides, the rats might get a little jealous.
#3. If I give you a ride, we'll have to cuddle up real close. AWW Heck, you can just sit on my lap...

I guess that's one way to get rid of the "new car" smell. Nothing beats "new car"smell like "old decay". Yummmmmm.

Holy Smokes people! This must be kin to the van person I posted a little while back.

This one was in Newton, and since it was parked right next to me, I had to get a shot. Obviously this is someone who doesn't just ride with the windows down. And what would happen if your car broke down and had to be worked on? It would take a week before you could get to the seats--if they haven't decayed.

I am at a loss to explain this phenomenon. I seem to finding these cars pretty frequently lately. Since all the stuff is trash like empty bags and containers, I'm pretty sure these are not people living in their cars.

What do you think?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Boys and Mud

In the past couple days, we have received a pretty fair amount of rain in my little town. Enough to make any patch of ground into on soggy mud puddle. So this is the scene that met my eyes yesterday as I was pulling into the football practice field.

Boys+mud= bleach.

A LOT OF BLEACH. And that didn't even get it all out. So right now, I am basting the practice pants in Spray and Wash.

Notice in these pictures that the uniforms are supposed to be WHITE. The fact that some of the uniforms are completely BROWN is not because of a shadow, or any other light trick. Those boys are completely covered in MUD. Let me say it again:


And did I mention they don't pop in the showers before they get in the car? They do change out of their top gear and usually their pants, but they are still caked in MUD. Luckily that is not my kid in the picture above. I was watching for my son's number and couldn't find it, which was making me pretty nervous since I couldn't see the numbers on the most mud encrusted players.

My poor car interior. Last week one of the kids had a bleeding knuckle after practice and yes, I now have some of that on my seat too. Hopefully I never have to have CSI comb my car....This weekend I am going to Sam's and buying another gallon of Spray and Wash!!

That said, they did have an awful lot of fun sliding around in the mud. All the boys came off the field muddy, sweaty, tired AND GRINNING FROM EAR TO EAR.

Boys....gotta love 'em.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Things to be done.....or not

Today has been misty and rainy.


I had called the contractor about starting our deck remodel. I really think I should go to Atlanta for a weekend so they catch up on their rainfall deficit. I have the power to invoke a monsoon simply by planning a major outside renovation. ARGGG....

So instead, I spent most of the day being productive. Ok--that's not true at all. I was lazy and didn't get a darn thing done. However, once I pick up one of the boys from school, I am planning to come home and get caught up. I'll let you know how that goes...

Apparently not all of us were being lazy today.

I opened the patio door and almost ran (face first) into this web. I'm sure the spider constructed it last night after the last dog was let in since there were no screams from someone with a web on their face...I give the owner of this web credit for being resourceful. The web would have caught a large number of the bugs that fly into the patio door towards the light that is cast from inside. I REALLY don't like spiders, but I will have a truce if they are outside. I like the spiders OUTSIDE because they keep the bugs in check in my gardens and on my plants. I do not kill them if they are outside (except black widows and brown recluses--we do not want them breeding since they tend to try to come inside), but if they are inside--they are suddenly rendered one dimensional with the aid of a shoe or any other flat heavy object (no books please!!). So for now the web will stay.

It does have a certain kind of artistry to long as the owner stays out of sight...

This weekend I got to try my hand at monoprinting. I take a drawing class at the Wichita Center for the Arts on Saturdays and I have really enjoyed the fact that the instructor tries to give us hands on experience with a variety of materials. I think we are trying pastels next weekend, which I am looking forward to. Monoprinting is something that I think I can actually find a space to do--it doesn't take a ton of materials and the space can be as big or as small as I want. It isn't a technique that allows for a huge amount of fine detail, but I am finding that I actually like the impressionistic style that is typical of monoprints. I tend to put a lot of detail in my drawings and this forces me to make decisions about how to render the image in a way that is going to convey the feeling I want with the minimum amount of detail...The prints we did in class were in black and white, but you can introduce colors as you see fit, which is what I am going to be doing. I'll post the picture of the print this week. Be nice, it is my first attempt at printing so it is not perfect....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Natalie Grant - I Will Not Be Moved - Official Music Video

I really like this song, so I thought I'd share it with you.

End of Week Post

Is it SUNDAY already? Where did the week go?!

Every Sunday I start making lists for all the things that will be going on throughout the week--then I formulate a game plan. How well does that work?

I'll let you know when I get it to work...

Actually, we put a big calendar on the wall in the kitchen that everyone is supposed to write their "important dates" on. The boys are getting better about writing it in, but last week there were still several bumps. I had planned to go to Twist on Friday and actually sit and knit--but the boys informed me on Thursday night that they got out of school at 1:20. Since one of them had to march in the homecoming parade, I also had to be creative getting him to the proper place because the parade traffic was getting heavy. Parades are a big deal in our little town.

So much for a slow day to myself.

My goal for this week is to get my living room and our library in decent condition. I have a ton of books that need to be culled through, along with more junk from the garage. It would be great to have a week where everything got organized, wouldn't it? Actually I would be thrilled if half the house got organized. I have a brother in law that will be coming to spend a week with us in November, so I need to get going!!!

I am trying very hard to cultivate a love for doing chores. Actually, I'll be happy if I can at least cultivate a tolerance for chores!! I am going to actually work from the check sheet I downloaded off SimpleMom for this week. LOVE THIS BLOG!! This one and SmallNotebook are my favorite go-to sights. Check them out!

I have been working on getting a budget started, getting organized and decorating my house on the cheap. I'll post the before and after shots all at once. Mainly because I think you might be shocked if you see the before shot without the comfort of an AFTER shot. Right now the whole house is in the BEFORE stage. Scary. But how do you eat an elephant?


And that is what I am going after.
How do you get motivated to finish chores-- big and small?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Robin Macy concert at Botanica

Thursday night, a friend and I went to Botanica to see Robin Macy perform songs from her new album. It was really fun and the evening weather was perfect. For those of you who have not heard of Robin, she was one of the founding members of the Dixie Chicks. She parted ways with them before they went mainstream.

Part of the show included Robin and 2 friends performing as "The Cherokee Maidens". They sang a lot of songs in the traditional style of Bob Will. Very interesting.

Other than that, not a lot of things happening around here except knitting. I am looking forward to the end of the week when cute man, a friend and I fly to the Brown Sheep wool factory for a tour and to do a little shopping at their store. It should be really fun. Except for the "wheels up by 5 a.m. part"...I intend to sleep on the way down there!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

American Carol--A hellacious sour note

I just got back from seeing "American Carol" at the theatre.

I'm not really sure which made me angrier: the fact that I paid money to see such a poorly made piece of junk or the fact that I sat through the whole movie hoping it would get better.

It only got worse.

It was basically a string of poorly written jabs at Michael Moore that ended up backfiring. While I think Michael Moore is a pretty big freak, I have to say, if given the choice between working for Michael Moore forever or watching this movie again, I'd send Michael my resume. And I REALLY dislike Michael Moore.

The movie is that bad.

Actually the movie is so bad, I don't think there is a scale...

Cute man is a staunch Republican and even he said that it was the worse movie he has seen. It was that bad!!

There was a poorly constructed plot that didn't even stay consistent. If you saw the trailer for the movie, you saw the only funny parts, and even they were not funny when put with the full scenes in the movie. Yes, it did have big name stars, but I'm sure this will count as their role they would like to forget. Obviously none of them read the whole script or they are just getting desperate. I was sad to see Dennis Hopper in this. I like him.

Do yourself a favor--do not waste your money.