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Archive for August, 2008

Iron Jawed Frustration

I just finished watching one of my favorite movies, “Iron Jawed Angels” in honor of the 88th anniversary of the 19th amendment. It’s amazing to me that our fore bearers had to fight so hard and so long for a liberty that so many today choose to ignore. When I watch this movie I feel uplifted and frustrated at the same time. It’s amazing to see what those women (and men) went through so that today I have the right to walk into a booth, pull a curtain and cast my vote. It frustrates me when I hear about situations like that which has arisen from the Democratic primaries, where there are people who are so angered by Senator Clinton’s loss of the Democratic Nomination that they want to be sure Senator Obama doesn’t win, including wanting to vote for Senator McCain as a sign of protest! I recognize their right to vote, but am so frustrated by the reasoning! To vote for a candidate whose record and statements are frequently in opposition to those of the candidate for whom you were supporting just seems ignorant (ex: Clinton = strong pro-choice record, McCain = strong anti-choice record, including public statements saying he would overturn Roe v. Wade). I support your right to vote for a candidate because you support their positions and ideas for how to run our country, but to vote for someone out of spite, regardless of their positions on issues? What a waste of your voice! I’m sure there are those of you out there who would disagree with me, and that’s fine too. That’s the beauty of our country, right? To be able to express ourselves? So it’s my blog and I’ll rant if I want to–but I am also interested in hearing your views, too. We can all show respect around here, yes?

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In no particular order, here are some of my peak experiences from our trip:

  • Watching Jasper learning to swim. Hilarious ,and eventually, beautiful.
  • Watching my beautiful feet (heheheh!) in the sun-rippled water
  • IMG_6247

  • Observing the kids absorb all the wonders around them. Their awe helped renew my own.
  • A quiet morning canoe ride on Lake George with just my husband. Alone time with him is so rare (when it’s not time for bed!). The water there is so clear we could see so much beneath the surface and spent a lot of the time quietly paddling together, observing the land and waterscape around us.
  • Teaching my daughter to pee in a hole in the woods that we dug. Truly, this was such a high for me. I loved that she was completely open to it and didn’t mind having to do it more than once. Much better than an outhouse! Go ahead, call me a freak.
  • Walking into Marcy Dam with my kids. I was so proud of L4 for walking the entire distance in by herself. L1 carried her out (much to her chagrin) because rain was threatening and we wanted to break camp and be on our way to the next destination before the rain arrived. The shot of all of us in the middle of the Adirondack mosaic is from Marcy Dam.
  • Watching the full moon rise over the tree tops as I walked along the road in South Meadows in the High Peaks region. I was by myself for a few minutes (again, a rarity!) and was completely at peace. I used to hike more in the Adirondacks in my teens and early twenties. I loved it and was on my way to becoming a 46er, with over 30 of the peaks climbed (two with my 14-month old baby on my back!). The High Peaks were one of the things that brought L1 and I together. When we met and I told him I was working toward climbing all 46, it was as if he didn’t believe me. He said, “Oh yeah? Which ones have you climbed?” in a voice that was challenging me to actually even know the names of any of them! I think I impressed him that morning at 6am (we were at crew practice in college) when I rattled off the list of those my boots and I had traversed. Seriously, even though neither of us admitted it, it was love from that first morning. *happy sigh*
  • IMG_6232

  • Returning to the campground of my youth with my own children and watching them grow to love it as much as I did.
  • Having the kids sleep through the EIGHT HOURS of thunderstorms on our last night. I didn’t sleep much that night and was miserable because the tent was leaking a little and the storms were right on top of us and I kept thinking and hoping that the rest of the people camping around us were safe and dry and trying to tell myself that it wouldn’t be that much longer until we’d pack up and go home. I am SO GLAD the kids were oblivious to all of that and that the trip didn’t end on a sour note for them. They were a little cold the next morning, but happily ate lots of oatmeal while L1 and I packed up all of our gear in the remaining drizzle.

Overall, I have a feeling of contentment and satisfaction from our trip and look forward to some fall camping. It was so good to be in the outdoors in such a manner again.

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I thought my next post would be more about our trip or about my Ravelympics project, but instead it’s about the garden. After unloading the car my first item of business was to head out to the garden. I was delighted to see that everything still seemed to be in tact. That’s twice now we’ve gone away this summer and the garden has been left in peace. But I digress.

Though I’ve been out picking tomatoes summer 08 110 and carrots for sometime now, today I was finally able to harvest the first seeds I planted way back in February! See how they’ve grown:

4/28: Onion bed

6/8: Onion bed on 6-8-2008

Today: summer 08 109

These lovelies are going to be sunning themselves for the next week (except when it’s raining, of course!) and then I’ll be putting them up for storage. I’m so excited to use them in homemade salsa as soon as the peppers ripen enough. After learning to like onions (cooked, at least) this past year, it is very satisfying to have grown them in the same year. Six months of growing–they’ve been a long time coming!

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We’re back. It was wonderful, and we returned exhausted, filthy, but renewed from being to a place loved for so long but much too absent in our lives. I’m sure I’ll share more over the next few days, but for now you can see my bliss.

Adirondack Mosaic

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I am celebrating my birthday with a little sewing self-love. I finally made these pants for myself:

Lotus Blossom Wide Pants

I bought the fabric in February, maybe March. I loved it so much that I didn’t want to just make PJ bottoms out of it. But I wasn’t sure what else to do with it, either. But after getting this book , I decided on a pattern out of it. So now, about six months later, I have new pants.  The pockets are a little wonky, but since I don’t read Japanese, I didn’t quite follow all of the directions for them.

I wore them out to dinner with KAB last night. Look what she made for me for my special day:
tree mug
tree saucer

Isn’t it beautiful? And the quote? Perfect. I love everything about it, and I got to watch her paint it, too, which was also a gift. I love watching others create, and Kerry has a way of working with such an ease and grace. *happy sigh*

Tomorrow we are off to the Adirondacks. First we’ll spend a couple of days at Lake George with L1’s family, then we’re going to spend a day or so in the High Peaks region, then we’re going to camp at a campground that my family used to go to when I was a teenage and I always loved. I hope to have some gorgeous pictures to share from our adventures when we return next week.

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While making dinner and clearing clutter off of the counters, I glanced out the kitchen window. At the corner was a UPS truck.

Foam Mosaic

Since I was a little girl the sight of that brown truck has quickened my pulse and brought a smile to my lips. Once I was acquainted with “The Music Man,” the lyrics, “The Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin’ down the street. . .” would pop into my head at the sight of the ubiquitous brown truck. As I watched it most recently out my kitchen window I thought, “I loved getting packages in the mail. They make me happy.” Then I started thinking, “Why do packages make me happy? Is that what I want to make me happy?” When I was little the UPS was bringing me back a beloved doll that had to be sent away to be fixed. I couldn’t wait for her to come and play with me again. But today? Maybe it’s the element of surprise, the potential therein. I’d like to think I’m not excited to just get stuff for the sake of getting stuff.

What do you think? Do you like getting packages? Do they make you happy? Why?

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Not too bad this first week plus a few days.  Here is the breakdown of where money went for the L house since August 1st:

  • food
  • bills
  • medical expenses (therapy for l3, massage for me as an alternative to getting surgery done on my carpal tunnel)
  • paid for our campsite for next weekend (though nonessential, I thought this fit the spirit of the challenge, as it is getting us out and about in our world rather than at the store buying stuff.)
  • another tire for L1’s bike (again, okay by me because he has been commuting to work with his bike this summer on the days when it hasn’t rained!  He has a goal of biking a minimum of 90 days to work this coming school year.  It’s between 6 and 8 miles one way, with hills both ways.  No thanks.)
  • L1 bought the kids chocolate milk and cookies when they picked me up from my Ravelry meet-up today.  This was a violation, but a small one, at least.  I was good and just brought my water with me and didn’t buy any food.  I was too absorbed in my Ravelympics project (grrrrr) but did eat some of the cookie that L1 offered me.  It was peanut butter cup.  yum.

So not too bad, less than $10 was spent on contraband items.  We’ll see how this next week goes as we’re going to be going camping/will be away from home.  We were supposed to be gone today, but the forecast was horrible (thunderstorms, rain) so we stayed home and may reschedule that visit for later in the week.

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