Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Vacation Report #5 (final)

Two last pics from Gettysburg. First, the enormous diorama. Something like 20,000 individually painted soldiers, etc. Very cool. It is at a campground. This sign was at the campground,too. I just thought it was funny, warning people that they "assume the risk of equine activities". Signs like this are a direct result of having too many lawyers in our society. Someone ought to find those people decent jobs.

These are two pictures from Hershey, where we went with my friend, Ann. We don't do amusement parks (they have a huge one there) but this is the factory tour, and Simon posing by the giant Twizzlers in the garden. I don't want to post the pic of me and Ann until I get her permission. :-) We had a great time! I've been back at work 2 whole days, can I go back to vacation mode now?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Vacation Report #4

It is amazing to me to look out on all of the natural beauty of the battlefields of a place like Gettysburg and know (feel it in my bones, really) how many young men died there 150 years ago. It's creepy and horrible and awesome, really, in a vicious way. One the one hand you have these beautiful rolling hills, the trees, the monuments (many of which are really very great art), and on the other hand you have the war, the three days when thousands of young men went at one another with guns and bayonets to fight and die for their beliefs.

And there is another thing - it's good that we abolished slavery - it was a righteous cause. It was good, even, to fight to preserve the union, I guess. But is it really right to fight to the death like that? Is it entirely necessary? What about those young men of the 20th Maine who were told to hold the end of the line "at all hazards"? What about their mothers and sweethearts, sitting at home knowing that their boys were being sacrificed like they were merely instruments? What justification can we give to those grieving families?

Thousands of men died. So many men died they had to bury them in mass graves. The Southern casualties laid where they fell until the 1870s, nearly 10 years later, when the South came and claimed their remains. It was awful.

And now, every year, hundreds of thousands of people visit these fields of death. Are we glorifying the destruction or honoring the brave men or celebrating the abolition of slavery? I assume that many of us have a mixture of all of this in our hearts and minds as we go through . . . at least I hope I'm not the only one who thinks of these things.

Anyway, I lighten things up for myself by knitting, and by posing with the statues. This is the only one that really made it to the camera, though, because Simon was embarrassed by me. LOL

My next post will probably be my final vacation report. Just a few more pics to share with y'all. Vacationing with a photographer (hubby) yields a lot of publishable pics.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Vacation Report #3

These are more pictures from the islands. Simon has become uncomfortable with having pictures taken of himself so we kind of have to coerce him every time we want one. He has a tendancy to look surly, so Mike has begun tickling him, etc. This first one is the two of them in front of a shipwreck on Assateague.

Simon does, however, enjoy handling the camera himself sometimes, thus the pic of Mike and I. Mike and Si took what they now both call "the death walk" by hiking along one of the nature trails on Assateague. It was, apparently, overrun with mosquitoes and didn't yield (strangely) any good birds. I had opted to sit and knit during that walk, thereby missing the bites. Yay me! Yay knitting!

Bombay Hook Delaware is really lovely. We got there on Monday around noon, and there were thousands of birds. Mike tells me that when it is migration time there are hundreds of thousands, and many more species than we saw, but I was quite happy with our afternoon there. I really enjoyed all of the herons and their ilk.

And finally, on Tuesday morning we arrived at Gettysburg, bright and early (just as the visitor's center was opening, really). This is what Si has been waiting for all Summer. He was so excited he was nearly uncontainable. We had even had to ask him to please stop talking about the Civil War while we were enjoying the nature on the coast because he'd become so obsessed with it all he was hardly even noticing the beach and birds. We did the Visitor's Center first, and then started the cool in-your-car audio tour we'd purchased at Antietam. More on this later!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Vacation Post #2

Other than visiting with my friend, Ann (more on that later), my favorite part of vacation was going to the seashore, seeing birds and ponies, and being in nature. These pictures are all from those first few days on the Atlantic coast. I think they're self-explanatory.

Vacation Report #1

One of the things I love most about being off work is spontaneity. I don't often get to be spontaneous (not nearly as often as I'd like), even on vacation! But I love it when we can be! The very first day of our trip we were to drive straight out to the Eastern Shore, southern Maryland area near Assateague and Chincoteague Islands. It's about a 10 hour drive. Well, as we were driving, we decided spontaneously to stop at Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland. It was very cool. We purchase an audio tour guide that included a book and map and other information and we followed quickly through the stops to get a good idea of what took place there. (The bridge is sometimes refered to as Burnside's Bridge where hundreds of soldiers were killed). It's hard to believe that such a beautiful place has seen so much bloodshed. It creeps me out, but my son and husband don't seem to feel it. We also lucked out and saw the reenactors demonstrating some things, including loading and firing. It was neat!
There is also a tribute to Clara Barton, who helped nurse fallen soldiers on this field and who went on to help found the American Red Cross. You will see that, all through our trip I was relentlessly trying to find things to look at and do that weren't about war. Sigh. I'll post more on the vacation soon. Also check out my other blog for more writing about our week!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sock Wars

I don't know how to load the link with the picture (can anyone tell me?) but you must all know that I am signed up for SOCK WARS. Should be fun! Yarmando and I are getting a group of Columbus Sock Warriors together, too, so if you're local and you're going to play, let us know!

WIPs again - finally!

I finally got off my duff and took pics of what I've been working on. First is the notorious baby blanket. The baby was born only last week, and having gotten bored with the boring knitting I did not make a very large blanket, so I wanted to finish and deliver it soon so the baby is still slightly smaller than the blankie.

Second has been a really fun project, and I'm just about to cast off and block. It's a 7x9 block for the homeless shelter quilt. My LYS gives away yarn for people to knit squares. Then we can turn them in and they'll put them all together. I might make a second just like this one. I love doing cables! I'm convinced to try making a sweater for my husband . . . maybe for Christmas 2008 or something. LOL Rosie likes the knitting and is constantly "helping" me. You can see her paws there on the table.

My next unfinished project is my first attempt to make a yarmulke for a friend. I messed it up and have no idea what I'm doing so I'm going to frog it. I just thought I'd document that I did try. Also, those needles are awful - very heavy.

Third is a pair of sock/slippers that I am making for my M-I-L. She likes velour-y things, so this chenille yarn should be just the ticket. She liked it when we picked it out at Wallyworld . . . her favorite place to shop. I think I should have knit a guage swatch because this is turning out way too large. I might be frogging this, too, so it's on the back burner until I make up my mind.

Finally is the beautiful sock yarn sent to me for my birthday by my good new friend,Slang! It is a beautiful color mix, and lovely texture. I might start up a pair of socks with it - right after I finish my current sock project!

I am so excited about my current socks. I can't get any more pictures in to this post, though, so I'll start another one. :-)