Friday, January 27, 2006

My Most Excellent Birthday

I have traveled this earth for a few decades now and find that it is (finally?) not the gifts and celebration that I look forward to, but the fact that I have been given another complete year with the family and friends I love (the rest of you I don't give a whit about, don't think I've gone that soft!)

My dear friend Shannon brought cupcakes complete with Princess rings, flowers and her family to my house today. We had a small homeschool activity, which I botched horribly and she rescued gracefully. Then we shared artichoke pasta and dessert was birthday cupcakes and ice cream. I LOVED the impromptu celebration. Great people that family.

Tonight we indulged in Limerick's Steakhouse at Fitzgerald's casino. Once you get past all the slot machines and hundreds of people, the steak house is quiet and slightly refined. Comfortable but gracious after the lights and noise of the casino, whether it's the high roller's room or penny slots. Max has been wanting lobster for a few weeks so tonight he got lobster Newburg and Ginger and William each had what appeared to be the better half of a cow! I got surf and turf for the first time in decades, honestly. A pleasant time and we were briefly joined by Michael McGee as an added bonus. The boys said the cheesecake was great, but my birthday was already full and sweet so I didn't feel a need to take even a bite.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Knitting Olympics

blogger ate my smarty post so the gods have spoken. I shall be polite. I am entering, no, I have entered the knitting olympics. I am competing on the sweater team and for those of you who know me, that doesn't mean I'm WEARING the sweater. I shall be casting on when the flame is lit February 10th. I am finally going to knit Ginger's sweater. She's picked any number of patterns over the last year and the yarn is sitting in the stash eager to become something. She thinks she wants a shawl collared textured rib. I'll have to swatch and see if the yarn agrees. I would like to hedge my Olympic entry ever so much and say that I reserve the right to alter the pattern to something simpler in the name of actually completing my event. I'm using the Lamb's Pride Cotton Fleece that Denise got for me months ago. Go Team!

Honda Hilton Rides again!

This was Max's first stay in the Honda Hilton. We discovered that not only does it sleep 2 comfortably, it can turn into luxurious recliners for reading or sipping morning coffee while enjoying the view out the front window. We perfected "the flip" (flipping the foot of your sleep mat and sleep bag up and then flipping the front seat back up) for driving without moving much gear around. If we have more than 2 on any outing we'll be back with the Sierra Designs Sirius, but until then, we've enjoyed the decadence of the Honda Hilton. Sunday morning rain began at 2:30. It continued unabated all night and Max knew there would be no further kayaking or comfortable hiking so we pulled out (after opening the "kitchen" to make cocoa and coffee!)

Cane Creek State Park, Arkansas Kayaking

This weekend Maxwell and I had our first "Mommy & Max" weekend getaway. I discovered a sensitive, intelligent, patient and loving child who is thirteen and still comfortable being seen with his mother in public. It was a gift I will always cherish. We have decided to try and make these kayak outings a monthly event. The staff at Cane Creek was fabulous! Check out the beaver lodge. Max got to see the beaver, but I was busy behind the lens and didn't get there fast enough. We got to try out the guide's kayak and enjoyed a peaceful paddle about the shallow "lake". Saturday night we had a wonderful experience at Country Village, right outside of Star City, AR. There were a cluster of shops, restaurants and even a taxidermist! It was so much fun that we hope the take the rest of the family back there when it's a tad warmer...and drier.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Ozark Trail Association first outing of 2006

After a great New Year's event with a few faithful OTA members, we returned to the scene of the crime (Winona bunkhouse) of our first OTA event in 2004 and started 2006 off with a bang! The weather cooperated more than enough, but lunch Sunday I'd stripped down to my base layer! Here's a picture of a couple of maintenance crews that met up for lunch to celebrate Ron Moll's 40-something birthday. The picture of William (sporting his newest hat) and a reluctant and sleepy Alex is included to show that the OTA welcomes kids. This is pretty rare in a trail club.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

First FO's (finished objects) of the year

I cast these little "last minute gifts" on after New Years and completed them quickly! The hat William is wearing is the first official FO. The two subsequent baby hats are #2 and 3. I have pictures of one baby hat, but haven't decided on the color for the cord on the 2nd. You can see my excellent gift from Andrea (knittingparents group on yahoo) in the cast on for the baby hat. I LOVE Knitting! I'm joining the Knitting Olympics!! And as soon as I figure out how to add side buttons I'll add them, until then go to to read all about it!

Bathroom Tiling

After months of looking and pricing and almost settling, Ginger found this tile at Lowes. She called me on my cell as I was driving home from New Years with some Ozark Trail members and it sounded perfect. So as soon as I got home we started. Here are a few shots. The new tile is the black and white, the old is the honeycomb white. We're grouting it tonight and I'll probably post a final picture then.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year's Celebration at Greer Springs Campground, MO

Did you ring in the new year or snooze it in? William and I took off for a Mommy and Me weekend with several other faithful OTA members and met up for a quiet weekend at Greer Springs Campground in Missouri. The weather was great, the Honda Hilton hosted yet again and we hiked the Hurricane Creek section of the OTA with Jon Crockrell as our guide. Ron Moll provided a very special Yule Log and we slowly drifted from the fire after 1:30 AM. A short hike the next day and a quick New Year's plunge into the Current River before we jumped in the car to drive back home and go to friend's housewarming. Whew, busy weekend, but great fun with good friends.