Thursday, July 20, 2006
Vintage pillowcases, $1.00. This was an estate sale but it was being run by the family, so the prices weren't inflated like you find at most estate sales. Each pair of pillowcases was only 50 cents. There was one old hand-embroidered case, but it has a huge tear in the middle. I was actually taking them out of the arms of the woman who was hanging them up, and was telling her about how to make pillowcases dresses for little girls. She gave me the embroidered one and another plain white one for free, which was very nice of her. I'm hoping I can maybe cut off the embroidered part and resew it onto another case, because the tear is so large it's really not useable any other way. Just hate to see vintage embroidery thrown away!
Vintage little girl's dress, $3.00. At this garage sale there was a whole box of vintage (I'd say 1960s) little girl dresses, all about the same size. I didn't have much cash and I am uber-cheap, otherwise I would have bought more! This one was my very favorite, though. I just love the collar and the cutouts with the brown fabric showing behind! Kinda wish I could find a dress for me like this, actually. There are belt loops on the front but the belt was missing, and I think I can just use a wide brown ribbon instead. The fabric is adorable! Here's a closeup:
The pattern is little pictures of Italian architecture! So darling. This is for Maren to wear when she is older; it looks like it will fit when she is maybe 5 or 6.
A few other things I found which aren't pictured are a vintage Alice in Wonderland Golden Book for a dime (I love Alice stuff) and 2 older community-type cookbooks for 50 cents each. Oddly enough, these sell on eBay so I'm going to try to make up a lot.
Beaded necklace, $5.95 minus 25%. This was from the thrift store, which just started giving a 25% discount on Mondays. The necklace is almost 10 feet long! It has a silver clasp and is made up of black bugle beads and multicolored fire-polished glass Czech beads and Swarovski crystals. Heck, even if I took it apart to use the beads I'd have still gotten a great deal. But I'm going to leave it intact--I love it! Because it's so long it's meant to be worn layered, and that style is very in right now. Plus I love all the beautiful colors and how sparkly the beads are! Can't wait to wear it.
Lots to do today. Quin is in Breckenridge for work and I'm going to go up tomorrow and stay the night at his fancy resort. We'll be gone next week as well, Quin in Salt Lake first and me in Southern Colorado and then joining him in Utah. I have to speak in church this coming Sunday so I have to get my talk written today, as I'll be gone most of tomorrow and Saturday. I also need to get everything ready to leave next week, mainly finding a place for Bronco to board and taking care of my Cub Scout responsibilities. Plus I've got birthday and wedding gifts to find and Visiting Teaching to squeeze in somewhere. Eek. I'd better get going.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Thursday, July 13, 2006
There was more traffic than I had expected, seeing as how it was a Tuesday afternoon and the sightseeing conditions were less than ideal. The already white-knuckle-inducing roads were made slippery by the rain and sleet. Most of our fellow travelers were taking it easy around the switchbacks, but we did have the misfortune of meeting up with a school bus (huh? what moron drives a school bus up roads like those?) on one of those hairpin turns. At least we were on the inside of the curve, but even still it was a little hairraising. Quin handled the car expertly, but I think we were both thankful for 4-wheel-drive!
We made it to the summit parking lot (elevation 14, 130 ft.) and it was still hailing. About an inch and a half of the slushy stuff had accumulated on the sidewalks and it was still coming down, so we just sat and waited. Thankfully, we didn't have to wait more than a few minutes before the storm stopped, the clouds cleared and the sun came out! Really, it was perfect timing. It was still really cold (we're talking 40 degrees) but the sun really helped. We got the dog and the baby out of the car and explored. You can hike the last 130 feet to the very top of the summit, so we headed up the path with a camera and tripod in tow to record for posterity our very first Fourteener.
I've lived at what the folks at Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker consider to be "high altitude" all my life, excluding the 2 years at sea level in Savannah. Heck, our house is actually higher than the 5280 feet above sea level that Denver is famous for, so I assumed that I could safely ignore all those warnings I saw posted about altitude sickness. Imagine my surprise when we started up the trail to the summit, a very easy walk with only a slight incline, and could not breathe after a few steps. The brochure we received at the ranger station said that there is only 40% as much oxygen in the air at 14,000 feet as there is at sea level, and boy, could our bodies feel it! In addition to being winded easily, I was lightheaded and felt like my vision was slightly out of focus. Consequently, we stopped about 40 feet short of the tippy-top and called it good. We took a few snaps, then headed back to the car, as we were worried about the effects of the cold and the altitude on Maren. If it bothered us so much it surely must have been as hard or harder on her little body.
The drive down the mountain was much easier. Though the air was still very cold, the sun managed to quickly melt the slush and the roads were just slightly wet. We stopped at Summit Lake, which was a beautiful glacial lake at an elevation of around 12,000 feet where the ground is alpine tundra. There were wildflowers everywhere and the sun sparkled off the small, clear lake. I left Quin & Co. in the car and took off with my camera. I hiked a very short distance and was rewarded with an incredible view down another glacial valley. You could clearly see where the glacier had begun and carved a channel out of the mountain, leaving 5 small lakes in its wake. We left at about 4:00 pm and continued down, stopping to look at yellow-bellied marmots, scraggly mountain goats and centuries-old bristlecone pines. As we drove, the sun disappeard and the clouds rolled in again. It was still pretty cold and we started to worry about what the temperatures might drop to that night since our next task was finding a campsite. Then the lightening began, and we made the disappointing decision to nix camping for the night and turn our journey into a daytrip instead. It's possible that the storm would have passed over and may not have even rained a drop, but we just weren't willing to take that risk. With a dog and a baby, we couldn't afford it.
We are going to try again tomorrow afternoon. We won't be doing Mount Evans--one trip up and down that slippery, breathless peak was enough for me! We will be looking for more geocaches and perhaps even some letterboxes this time. We hope to camp Friday night, so keep your fingers for us crossed that the weather will cooperate! It's supposed to be about 100 degrees and dry down here in the city, so maybe that will mean good things for the mountains as well.
Even with the weather, we had a fun adventure! Can't wait to see what the weekend brings!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
It's been a few years since we first heard about geocaching and we bought our first GPS unit while we lived in Savannah, but never actually used it. I think the movers filched it when they were packing up our belongings there and we just recently purchased a new, improved model. Quin downloaded 3 waypoints that were in or near Idaho Springs, which is where you turn off the interstate on the way to Mt. Evans, our ultimate destination.
The first cache we found was on the grounds of a gas station. We knew we were close, so I hopped out of the car with the GPS to look for it, and found it hanging on a tree overlooking Clear Creek. It was kind of exciting to find our first cache! We opened it up and looked at all the goodies inside. There were two travel bugs, both baseball-related, that were fun! We left a little treasure and signed the log book and I took this cute photo of Quin before we jumped back in the car and headed to the next one.
To find the next cache, we drove through Idaho Springs, a cute little old mining town filled with quaint old Victorian homes. We located the waypoint, but hunted and searched and still couldn't find the cache. The instructions said it was hidden well but easy to find, which was just as confusing and contradictory as it sounds. I looked and couldn't find it, and then Quin looked and couldn't find it. He came back to the car and told me there was a log under one bush, but he had kicked it and found nothing. I went back for one more look and I guess I kicked it just the right way, because it came apart in two halves and inside was the cache! Very clever, indeed! The hider split the log, carved out a place in the middle and then fastened the whole thing together with a dowel pin. Sneaky.
The third cache was on the way up to the mountain, just off the road. I looked and couldn't find it, but Quin had success. It was a bigger cache so it had lots of stuff inside, including a disposable camera. We left a package of Band-Aids and took a tiny plastic moose, just because it made me laugh.
It was such fun to find these caches--I think I'm addicted already! I was disappointed that we didn't have any more waypoints downloaded, but we'll definitely do more later. I want to find some fun treasures to leave in future caches. The packages of Band-Aids were a last-minute purchase, chosen only because they were the only non-food-related item in the gas station (besides chewing tobacco, that is). I think I'm going to try to find some pirate eye patches--who doesn't need one of those?
Next up: the Mountain.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Lately I've been thinking about having a Pirate Party. Problem is I can't come up with a good reason to even have a party other than I want the pleasure of coming up with clever pirate-related names for foods and fun decorations. Is that alone reason enough to have a party? Hmm, I don't know, I might be able to convince myself that it actually is. Seems like everyone likes to go to a party, they just don't want to be the one to have to put it on. I happen to prefer putting on the party to actually going, so it seems like a natural fit for me to be the facilitator.
What kind of food should I serve at my Pirate Party? I have seen a treasure chest cake that would make a fun centerpiece, and maybe we could have butter rum ice cream with it. What else? Dead Man's Chest BBQ ribs? Pieces of Eight potato chips? Polly the Parrot's (chicken) wings? Scurvy sea-(hot) dogs? Yo-Ho-Hos? I have these little cloth bags I could decorate and fill with candy jewelry, chocolate coins and Ring Pops for each family to take home as loot, and even a gold-leafed treasure chest to present them in. Boy, I think I have myself just about convinced to do this! Maybe in August. If you have any more suggestions for pirate food, leave them in the comments!
Thursday, July 06, 2006
The photo above is the pot that sits on my patio table. Last weekend I finally managed to get to the nursery, since Quin could watch Maren for me. I bought red geraniums for the pot on my front walk that match the cute little welcome sign slate that I ordered. I saw an article on succulents in a recent magazine and I decided to do those on my back table instead of flowers. You don't have to worry so much about them getting dried out--in fact, they like being dry--plus they're interesting-looking, aren't they? They look like little alien plants, and I had much fun picking out different varieties for my pots. I love how they turned out! The smaller pot here at right sits on a little side table that matches my big table, but I'm going to have to keep a good eye on that one because Maren has already sampled the little guys hanging over the edge of the pot. I know they look like peas, but I doubt they taste like them. That cute little guy is called String of Pearls, for obvious reasons. The one on the left is called Sea Shell, I think. I love the big ones in the top pot that are gray-green with pink tips! The cushions on my patio chairs have greens and burgundies, so they coordinate perfectly. I just love them!
I have 4 iron window-box type planters hanging off my back deck, placed there by the former owners. They had coconut husk liners that I tossed at the end of last summer because they were in rough shape. I've looked all over for replacements and finally found two this morning at a nursery on the way home from the Emissions debacle. They were $10 each and I still need two more, and when you add in soil and flowers, I'll be into those things for a hundred bucks, easy. I'm thinking maybe this year I'll get the liners, and leave the dirt and flowers to next summer. I like petunias, but not $100 worth.
This afternoon I'm going to get my hair cut! It has literally been 7 months since I had a haircut, which is a long gap even by my standards. Curly-haired folk such as myself can get away with going a little longer between cuts, because it's not so obvious when we have split ends and I don't really have a 'style' cut into my hair that needs maintaining. Jen Stewart mentioned a website on her blog called NaturallyCurly.com where people can post recommendations for salons, and I found a girl who happens to be nearby who got several thumbs-up nods. I'm not sure what I even want done with my hair other than highlights and a good cut. I think I'm tired of trying to figure it out myself and I just want to find someone I can trust enough to say, "Do whatever you want, I know it will look good." We'll see. Maybe if it turns out I'll even post a picture here later.
And with that, I'll leave you with a picture of Maren on the 4th of July in her cute flag outfit that Daddy picked out (way to go, Daddy!) and my new red geraniums.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
I've read that most kids Maren's age really enjoy "dipping" their food, so I've decided to test the theory. For lunch yesterday Maren got half of a hot dog (cut very small, no choking hazards here!) and a little dish of ketchup. At the last minute I threw a few chips on her tray, and she largely ignored the hot dog bits in favor of dipping her chips in the ketchup. The dipping thing looks to be a hit, I'll just have to remember that she may not dip what was intended. As long as she eats, I don't care! I think Bronco was the recipient of most of the hot dog, so he had a festive lunch as well.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Quin's mom, Bunnie, is very involved in doing genealogy for her ancestors, many of whom are from South Carolina (as is she). In her files she had a copy of this wonderful document, and I was so taken by it I had to take pictures. I don't know of the official name for it, but this document was written by who I assume were prominent citizens of South Carolina (some of whom I believe are Bunnie's ancestors) less than a year after the first shots were fired at Lexington & Concord, on April 19, 1775. I will type the text as well as I can read it. I found it to be quite inspiring.
"South Carolina Association. The actual commencement of Hostilities against
this Continent by the British Troops in the bloody scene on the 19th of April
last near Boston, & Increase of arbitrary impositions from a reviled and
despotic Ministry--and the Dread Insurrections in the Colonies, are Causes
sufficient to drive an oppressed People to the use of force: We therefore the
Subscribers, Inhabitants of South Carolina, holding ourselves bound by that most
Sacred of all Obligations, the Duty of good Citizens toward an injured Country,
and thoroughly convinced, that, under our present distressed Circumstances, we
shall be Justified before God and Man, in resisting Force by Force, Do unite
ourselves under every Tie of Religion and of Honor and associate as a Band in
her Defence, against every Foe: Hereby solemnly engaging that, whenever our
Continental or Provincial Councils shall decree it necessary, we will go forth
and be ready to sacrifice our Lives and Fortunes to secure her Freedom and
Safety. This obligation to continue in full Force until a Reconciliation shall
take place between Great Britain and America, upon constitutional Principles--an
even which we most ardently desire. And we will hold all these persons inimical
to the Liberty of the Colonies, who shall refuse to subscribe this Association."
Every time I read that, I am touched by the fervor and the conviction behind those words. I am thankful for the men and women who did what the did, and held such convictions, even being willing to die for them.