Back to the Blog

I haven’t had a chance to write in almost three months.  I started student teaching, and it’s been a busy time.  It’s been a really good busy time though.

Today I am sitting outside enjoying the fall afternoon.  Ellensburg is just incredible in the fall.  It’s my favorite season even though it does mean winter will be here soon, and that’s not my favorite.   So we’ve been getting outside as much as possible.

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I’ve not been knitting or writing about knitting as much as I’d like either.  However, I did finish some really cool socks just in time for the fair in Septembe.  They were a request from my cousin and they were just a lot of fun to make.

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The pattern is called Anelmaiset, and it’s so versatile.  I was able to make this from my yarn stash which admittedly has gotten a little big so I had some choices.  I used worsted weight yarn, and I had a great time trying to figure out what colors to use.  I really like colorwork, and these knit up pretty fast considering that they are knee socks!

I got to experience a new stitch which I think is just called “flowers in a row”.  I had to follow a video on youtube to do the stitch, and I had to watch it really closely.  It was a little tricky for me at first, but fun to learn a new stitch.   I think the video I referred to was: Flowers in a Row.  You can kinda see the stitch in this picture.  It’s the flowery section between the two sections of bright pink.

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I wasn’t sure about the ribbon, but I am glad I made the spaces for a ribbon to be threaded through because I think this could be very helpful on a knee sock.  No one likes a saggy knee sock.

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These would definitely be fun to make again, but for now I need to finish some really cool cabled Christmas stockings for a friend.  The 4th one is almost complete, and then I am looking forward to blogging about them.  So for now,  I will sit outside, and enjoy the day while I knit.

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Newbery Honor 1929: Runaway Papoose

This book was just delightful.  Nah-Tee, the main character, is a Native American girl who lives in a pueblo in the Southwest.  She is very brave and she meets an also brave friend named Moyo. Nah-tee has become separated from her family, and this book is about their search to find them.

I like how Grace Moon writes.  For example, Nahtee describes riding through the loneliness of the desert:  “This was a jolly loneliness – it was a sparkly daytime loneliness, and there wasn’t a fear thought hiding away anywhere.  Somehow, there was a smile in everything.”

There is some language in a few places that would be considered insensitive in today’s world.  But Nah-tee and Moyo are portrayed as such heroic children who work together to complete their quest, and overall I believe it’s a positive portrayal of independent Native American children.  This is one of my favorites so far (I think I say this a lot!).

Red Top

Yesterday we went on a hike to Red Top Lookout.   Our goal was to get here:

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It was about an hour’s drive from our house, but much of the drive was the climb up a winding dirt road to about 5,000 feet.  Once we got there, the hike was not even a mile long, but it was a steep climb up.

Red Top Lookout is a fire watch tower and is apparently staffed by volunteers in the summer.  They weren’t there yet, so I don’t know what the current status is of that.  When we got to the top, it was locked up.

There were wildflowers in abundance on this hike.

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I also thought this orange moss was pretty cool.

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This hike goes through a beautiful wooded forest for a little while.


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Then it went up steeply along a rather slippery rocky slope.

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There is a cute little outhouse located near the lookout.

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The top is a little scary.  If you are afraid of heights, you might feel a little nervous.  If you are afraid of heights + a slippery steep rock-riddled slope then you might feel more nervous.  This is me B.F. (before fall).

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Immediately after this, Davey and David started heading down while I was taking a few pictures.  Then I started heading down.  Well I slipped and landed on a sharp rock. Fortunately, I didn’t almost fall off the mountain or anything, but I fell hard. Ow.  I was ok (although today I am a little beat up and also have a bruised gluteus maximus).

After that, I went down very gingerly and slowly (probably too gingerly and slowly), but I made it!  The hike up was worth it for this amazing view.

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It was a little cloudy.  We had a 360 degree view, and on a really clear day we would have seen Mt. Rainier and I think Mt. Adams.

This was a beautiful, short, fun, steep and slightly terrifying hike!

Our Friend James

Our friend James died Friday.   My brother, sister and I really considered James to be more like an uncle.  He and his wife Peggy lived across the street from us our entire childhood.  We always referred to them as “PeggynJames”.   We knew they were always across the street (dirt road) if we ever needed them.  James spent a lot of time with my dad over the years.  They often helped each other on different projects they had going.  I always enjoyed going to their house to visit.  Peggy taught me to crochet and helped me discover my love of all things fiber related.

James was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about two weeks ago. He went right into hospice care, and he died at home on Friday afternoon.

I am so thankful that we got to spend time with them this past summer.  We went to their house one afternoon for lunch.  We arrived, and it was like no time at all had passed since we’d last seen them.  I loved that Peggy put me to work in the kitchen helping her finish lunch (and it was a great lunch!), and David and James got a chance to talk.  I am glad that Davey got to see him and that he will have some memories of him.  I sure didn’t anticipate that this would be the last time we saw him.

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James loved games.  He’d construct these fun little games made out of wooden or metal pieces.  They were like the intertwined kind that you’d have to figure out how to take apart.  When we visited this summer, he showed Davey a paper airplane launcher he had.  Davey thought this was great fun.  He always had something interesting to show us or something interesting that he was working on.

He had a great sense of humor too.  He always made us laugh, and he had a great laugh himself.

For example, when we visited in July, he told us that he had a guard dog:

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I started writing this on Friday, the day James died, but I couldn’t decide just what I wanted to say, how I wanted to say it, or if I could say anything at all.  I decided though that I did want to write about James.  I will have this written to share with Davey someday, because I’d like to remember James with Davey.  James was the definition of a good neighbor and good friend.  Yesterday Peggy told my sister that “James was at peace with himself.  That’s one reason he was able to accept his untimely diagnosis and impending death”. Karen added that “we can all strive to live a life so we are at peace with ourselves when we die”.   That made a great impact on me, and that’s a life I want for myself and for Davey (and I wish that for everyone).

We will sure miss James though.

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(I borrowed this picture from my Uncle Mike Pantelogianis. Thank you Mike.)

Heavener Runestone

On our way to Arkansas, we drove through the eastern Oklahoma town of Heavener.  As we passed through, I saw a sign that said “Heavener Runestone State Park”.  It was really hot and really humid, but we decided it might be fun to go see the runestone.  I am glad we did.

heavener5The park is a little overgrown, but it’s beautiful.  There were stone steps leading down to the runestone.  The steps rounded around several large caves.

heavener2The steps were a little treacherous.  Davey had one unfortunate little tumble and banged his knee, but we didn’t have him in the best shoes for walking.

heavener1There is a lot of speculation about the runestone.  It was once believed to be really old – as in Viking Norseman old – but now it seems more likely that a Scandinavian immigrant may have carved it in the 19th century.

heavener4heavener3I’d highly recommend exploring around this park.  Don’t wear flip flops and crocs like we did though!  I think it would be great fun to explore on a nice winter day or in the late fall.

 

Mama Pearl’s: 2015

After three years, we are back at Mama Pearl’s.  We love it here, and we love getting to spend more great time with family.

I have been taking some pictures of the beautiful scenery around here.  This is our view next door.  Davey used to look out the window and watch the cows in this pasture when he was about a year old.  glenwood1I like to walk Buster down this road.

glenwood3Davey is enjoying his time here as well.  Here he is playing outside yesterday evening.

glenwood4Today we went over to the Caddo River and played.  It’s a beautiful river that felt great on this hot and humid day.  We had a great time building rock sculptures.

glenwood5Davey built one which he named Wilbert.  Wilbert is actually the taller stack.  The rest of the structure is Wilbert’s protective barrier.

glenwood6I’m sitting outside right now as I write this, and I am really enjoying all the sounds.  I have missed the noisiness of the cicadas and crickets.  It’s good to be back.

Vacationin’

We are having quite a time here in Oklahoma.  It’s been too long since we were home, and we are lucky to be able to spend a couple of weeks here this time.  We have spent lots of time with family and friends.  Last week, we dragged Davey from place to place for about 4 days in a row.  I finally realized that all these get togethers might not be quite as fun for him, although he had a great time with young friends at a couple of them.  He’s had a few “loki” (low-key) days now, and he is very happy to be spending time with his cousin.

I love to listen to him ask his cousin questions.  She is 10, and so he looks to her for wisdom in many things kid-related.  I wish I could think of a good example.  It’s cute to listen to.

Tonight, I was talking to him before he went to sleep.  This is when we have some of our best talks.  He was telling me about a friend who had fussed at him at school.  (He will tell me stories about things that happened months ago as if they had happened only yesterday.  It can be hard to keep up!)  Anyway, the friend said something to him that I thought was a little unkind, so I told him he should tell her (if it happened again) that he was doing the best that he could, and that she should mind her own business.  He said, “well, I can tell her that I am doing the best I can, but she will get TERRIFYINGLY CRAZY if I tell her to mind her own business”.

I had to write that down.  It definitely caught me off guard!  He can be quite dramatic.

So we are enjoying a few more days here in Oklahoma.  I get to see my grandparents every day which has been great.  Tomorrow, I am meeting friends whom I have known since elementary school – some since kindergarten.  I am looking forward to it. Friday David is having a mini-reunion of sorts with friends from his high school class.  It’s his 30 year class reunion this year.  Yikes.

10986518_10207152297226232_8258060080791044077_nIt’s definitely a trip to remember.