Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Photo of the Day: Warning Signs

Snow Canyon, Utah, early January 2012
Sign for my life in the next few months? Or just in general?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Photos of the Day: Shoe Tree of Life

If you are in Utah ... or just on the mountain road to Zion, you will see many signs and marvels. First you must cross the Virgin, pass the ghost towns, steer clear of the ostriches, and go through Rocks and Springs, not to mention Hills and Dales.

If your thoughts are fixed firmly on the road ahead, you may miss something that will touch your "sole" ... the marvelous Shoe Tree of Life.

It is speculated that many a weary wanderer has left their offering to the tree, as a prayer for safe passage or in gratitude for a completed journey. Others speculate that one person's prank has taken on a life of it's own, gotten "legs," you might say. Forget boots on the ground, this is a case of sneakers in the sand, bowling shoes on a branch, tennies in the wind, etc. Perhaps I should stop, before I get barked at for treading over this metaphor to death?

Based on other shoe trees in the area, one has to wonder how long this soleful sensation will last. Perhaps that's the lesson to learn here ... Even when you're in transit, it's always good to stop and look at things. Stop being so laced up.

Many thanks to Grandmary and Joyce for stopping so I could run across the road to be a total dork.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Auntie Nettie's Attic Merchandise 2012 - January

I am in complete and utter disbelief on how quickly this month passed. Of course, you do have to factor in that I was on vacation, traveling, out of the office, sick and/or recuperating from the aforementioned for the first half of the month.

This month, I:
~rang in the New Year with family;
~went hiking in Snow Canyon with family;
~went kayaking at Sand Hollow with family;
~went shooting on BLM land with family;
~flew to Chicago to reunite with my college friend Kari after 16 years, and
- we talked, walked, talked, ate, and talked;
-explored Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago;
-hung out with her family including;
soccer practice
music lessons/practice
EYSO concert/rehearsal
had birthday celebrations and song,
and a whole lot more;
~was in 4 time zones, 4 airplanes, 3 hotels, a rental car, and too many other conveyances like commuter trains and subways;
~met with work consultants;
~unpacked, did laundry, put the house to rights, caught up on t.v., and
~ oh yeah, did I mention I got sick? But couldn't take anytime off because I had JUST gotten back from 3 weeks off?

It was a busy month. It's taking a while to sort through the over 1000+ photos and video for posts. Good thing is, I have lots of material for future blog posts.

In spite, or despite, all of the above, these are the projects I managed to finish since the last update.

ANA 2012-1: Maroon Diamond Scarf
(Mystery acrylic yarn)

(as of 11/2012, no longer available, donated to Hats for the Homeless)
ANA 2012-2: Purple/grey Heather Infinity Scarf
(Skeins of mystery acrylic blends)

(as of 11/2012, no longer available, donated to Hats for the Homeless)
ANA 2012-3: Orange/grey Heather Ladder Infinity Scarf
(Skeins of mystery acrylic blends)

(as of 11/2012, no longer available, donated to Hats for the Homeless)
ANA 2012-4: Orange Mini Owlie
(leftover mystery acrylic blend and polyfil)

(as of 4/14, no longer available, sold)
2012-5 and 9: Red/tan Mini Owlies
(Combination of Lion Brand chenille and tapestry wool leftovers and polyfil)
(as of 05/2012, neither is available)
ANA 2012-6: Mini Sparrow with orange markings
(Combination of leftover tapestry wool and acrylic yarn, buttons, and polyfil)

(as of 11/2013 no longer available)
ANA 2012-7 and 8: Blue/tan Mini Owlies, parent and child
(Combination of leftovers of Lion Brand chenille and tapestry wool and polyfil)
(as of 05/2012, neither is available)
ANA 2012-10: Mini sparrow with green markings
(Combination of leftover tapestry wool, buttons, and polyfil)

(as of 12/13 no longer available, gifted)
ANA 2012-11: Mini Green Owlie
(Combination of leftover tapestry wool and polyfil)
(as of 05/2012, no longer available)
ANA 2012-12: Monster Bunny!
(Look, everyone has to make an ugly stuffy once in a while.)
(Combination of leftover mystery and novelty yarns and polyfil)
(as of 8/12, no longer available, to be a Toy Society toy)
Still in progress:

2012 UFO 1: Unfinished Bunny of the non-monster variety
2012 UFO 2: Some sort of stuffed animal yet to be determined
2010 UFO: Multicolored, multi-fibered chevron blanket
I swear I fill finish that thing this year. It's taking up space on my shelf. I just need a snow day or week to finish everything up.

The shop should go up again fairly soon, so please keep checking on etsy to see these creations and more. However, if you can't wait, please contact me for prices and availability.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Vacation Days with Drew: Hiking Temple Quarry

What happens when a Mountain Goat and Mountain Lion take a Scaredy Cat hiking? Well ... something like this.

Grumpa Max (the Mountain Lion) and Drew (the Mountain Goat) apparently take a lot of hikes throughout southern Utah, which is wonderful for them both. I was fortunate? lucky? coerced? into going with them on one of their trips while I visiting -- to a trail called Temple Quarry. I was told it was a relatively easy hike, on not too high a mountain (seriously, it's called the BLACK HILL -- so, not even considered a "mountain" around those parts), with some lovely scenery. I thought things would be fine. The day was beautiful, the weather perfect (light layers, which were shed in the noon-time sun), and the altitude not too bad.

Everything looks to start off well, and then "peace" gets throttled by "wisdom."

What they didn't tell me, and what I discovered for myself, was once you get away from the parking lot, and go around the side of the butte, that the trail narrowed in some spots, with a drastic drop-off. I think both my father and I had forgotten my issues with depth perception, heights, and physical exertion. (It's been a long time since he had to teach me to parallel parking, and he hasn't been with me in NYC for my freakouts in super high skyscrapers.) Umm. Let's just say for much of the hike, I was really REALLY quiet, focused on my feet, and hugging the side of the mountain like you would not believe. I was really trying not to embarrass myself. How ridiculous, right? Shamed by a kid and my father? I'm better on ground level, with the sheer faces of buildings hemming me in than following a hiking track. Then there were the families with small babies, that were being carried like footballs, and the geriatric solo hikers that totally lapped us. (For some reason I was MUCH better on my way back. Giving myself a unprofessional, non-medical diagnosis -- I don't like the drop-off on my left side -- proving once again that my right side, [hand, leg, eye] is my stronger one.)

Once we got to a point where the trail opened up and there was more room between it and the cliff-face, I felt like I could focus more on my surroundings. Such an area of contrasts: red Utah sand, black lava rock from the prehistoric eruptions in the area, desert flora, Drew, Grumpa, etc. Even in the gigantic boulders, you could see the difference in the types of lava flows. If you looked carefully you could see the remains of lava bubbles that exploded when they cooled, or hollows that occurred over the passage of time, where water eroded a rock into a natural basin or throne.

Bringing up the rear again, as we send the most vulnerable out to scout. Survival instinct? Maybe. Impatient goat? Definitely.

Now, I grew up in New England, so when I think quarry, I have visions of the granite quarries in the "mountains" of Vermont - dug/blasted into the sides of and/or into the bowels of the earth. I obviously didn't read the sign when we set out, as I was trying to fix my camera and not freak out and/or fall down. As we kept going around the curves, I kept waiting to see some "dig site." Once we got closer to the "main site," Grumpa started to point out the evidence of the pioneer past; the drill bites into large stones just laying where they were put by nature, or left by man; the clearings where the canteen might have been; the barbed wire fencing remnants; historical graffiti; and other evidence of pioneer fortitude.

That trail that was freaking me out? Used to be traversed regularly, by men, women, children, and mule teams, carting boulders off the hill, and then down to the valley floor. All in the southern Utah desert heat over 140 years ago. All those drill bite? Done manually. All those black rocks? Easily a couple 100 lbs to a ton or more each. That trail? Currently wider in places that it was originally.

Some things you leave alone, as a testament to the power of Mother Nature and the fortitude of man.

Here's some perspective: Can you see the intrepid mountain rock scramblers in the field of stone on the left?
Beyond the impatient goat, off in the mid-distance from his head, nestled down in the valley, is the settlement where the stone from the quarry ended up as the foundation of the most sacred building in town.

There got to be a theme to this vacation - stepping out of my comfort zone. Not only did I get out of the Apple, the Attic, and the rut I was in at work, I ended up doing a lot of things that made me initially uncomfortable. You have to try at least - or you miss things and experiences that broaden your perspective and let you spend important and concentrated periods of time with two of the most important men in your life.

I'm still a Scaredy Cat, but I'll follow the Goat and Lion all over the place. And I have. And I did -- later that week.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Vacation Days with Drew: Playtime

Hey there! You lookin' at me? Who loves the Red Sox? This cowboy. (Check out his boots. Not regulation baseball wear.)

Drew had to show off his medal for reading. His dad may have some for his road races, but I think we're all proud of Drew'sliterary laurels. Not only does he love to read about dinosaurs, but thanks to Grandmary's Christmas present, he loves to play with them too.

Most of the time though, he's just monkeying around at the playground, or driving us in circles.

But then, we all get even with TICKLE TIME!

Seriously, it's so nice that I even get to see him so much. Another few years and he'll be too busy with other things, or far too cool to even let me "hang" out near him. These pictures can be deceptive, however, because he will pull a 'tude at the drop of the hat if he's tired, hungry, or thinks things aren't going his way. He actually put himself in time-out once; just walked away in a huff, and took himself off to his room at the grandparents' house, where after we checked on him 20 minutes later discovered he had fallen asleep. When exactly are the terrible "tweens" supposed to start? Because not-quite-7 seems a little early...