Friday, August 22, 2008

How I Spent My Summer Vacation - Part Two

My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in July. They took Noey and I, and my brother and his two kids to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. My aunt and uncle drove down from Montana to meet us there. It just so happens that my parents honeymooned in the Tetons 50 years ago so it was extra special. (spouses were invited but weren't able to come, which is fine; neither Joe nor my sister-in-law are good travelers!)

Noey and I drove with my parents, and surprisingly it was a lot of fun. We took four days to get there stopping each night at a Comfort Inn Suites where Noey got to swim in the hotel pool. That is a favorite childhood memory of mine - driving all day, hot and sweaty, (no air conditioning in our family car) and then swimming in the hotel pool! We also spent an extra day in Salt Lake City and went to the Hogle Zoo. I got in a lot of knitting time in the backseat. I knit a poncho for Noey's best friend, Sophie, for her birthday.

We stayed in a little cottage in Jackson Lodge. My niece joined us, and my brother and nephew were right next door. We all went hiking a lot, Noey went swimming a lot, we ate a lot, went on a boat ride around Jackson Lake, and we drove to Yellowstone to see Old Faithful. We also saw bears, moose, elk, a wolf, and lots of chipmunks! We had so much fun with our family. It was really special. Even though it was my parent's anniversary, Noey was the center of attention. Her cousins, uncle, great aunt and uncle, and grandparents couldn't get enough of her!

On the way home we stopped at Eccles Dinosaur Park in Ogden, Utah. Very cool place. The museum part was a typical dinosaur museum with bones and such, but outside there were huge, life size dinosaurs in a park-like setting. At least 20 of them. Noey was in dino heaven!

It was an awesome trip.........until the very last day!

On the last driving day home, just outside of Mesquite, Nevada an empty box fell out of a pickup truck in front of us. My dad was driving and he had no choice but to run over it. We thought it had cleared the car and we kept going. We made a stop in a rinky dink gas station and I bought a Diet Coke and a bag of cookies, and the total came to $6.66. I didn't think anything of it other than that was pretty expensive, but the cashier said "Oh that's bad! That's the devil!" I don't really believe in that, but in the back of my mind I was hoping nothing bad was going to happen.

We drove on for a while, then my mom says we better pull off. My mom gets out to check things out. Noey and I are still buckled in, I'm knitting away and she's playing her video game, when my mom says calmly but firmly "Get out! It's on FIRE! Get out! Give me your Coke!" She takes my Coke, shakes it, and uses it as a fire extinguisher and puts out the fire! My mom! In the meantime I drag Noey across the seat, bump her head on the door and literally throw her out the driver side. We jump out and run over in time to see my amazing mom putting out the fire. Turns out the flap of the box had lodged in the wheel well and caught on fire.

So after checking it all out and making sure the car was ok we drove on home. (It took a while, though, to convince Noey that is was safe to get back in the car!)

My dad took the car to his mechanic the next day and he told my dad "You were very lucky and you have one gutsy wife!" Turns out the fire occurred just below the gas tank, and if it had gone on any longer..........we probably wouldn't be here! Diet Coke saved our lives!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Wow! When you line them all up like that it's rather impressive, isn't it?

Since June I have sewn 2 skirts, and 10, count 'em, 10 blouses! Sometimes I feel like I'm just trudging along, not accomplishing much, but then when I actually count.....

We took a 12 day road trip to Wyoming in mid-July, and sometime in mid-June I decided I wanted to make all new blouses for the trip! In a month's time I made 8. Two others and the skirts were sewn when I got home. (I don't sew pants yet - that's next summer)

The two skirts are my new TNT (tried 'n true) pattern; Simplicity 3827. It's a fairly easy 6 gore skirt with an elastic waist. I have 2 more in the queue.

Six, yes six, of the blouses are from another TNT pattern; Simplicity 2854. The nice thing about this pattern is there are so many variations, each top looked unique. I made one with long sleeves, one with short sleeves, one with elastic in the sleeves, one with tucks, one with a ruffle at the bottom of the bodice, one from two different fabrics, I lowered the neckline on a couple. My button holer doesn't seem to work (not sure if it's my machine or the operator) so my mom graciously made all the buttonholes for me. She didn't seem to mind the first few, but after the sixth one she gently suggested I try a different pattern!

I used New Look 6810 to make the next two. I used a dotted swiss cotton for the first one and a poly blend for the second, and the second one only fits occasionally! (when I haven't eaten too much that day!!)

Last, and certainly least, I made two blouses using McCall's 5050. Really cute....on the hanger. On me, looks like I'm 9 months pregnant! Not a flattering style for me, so why I made two of them is a mystery.

A quick update on the rest of the family: Joe is doing pretty good. He has a few bad days a month (don't we all?) with his leg, but he's doing much better overall. He has lost 30 pounds and is now fanatical about exercise, and that's the best thing for his condition. (I, on the other hand, seem to have found his 30 pounds and haven't exercised in....months!) Noey is 8 now (yikes!) and going to start 3rd Grade in less than 2 weeks. She has really enjoyed her summer, but is looking forward to getting back to school. She still takes gymnastics once a week and swimming lessons, and this year she and I joined the Brownies!! (and guess what? I'm the leader!)

Aaaahhhh! It's so good to be back! More about our fabulous trip another time, which will include an updated picture of Noey, and the story of how Diet Coke saved our lives!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Time Flies!

I can't believe I left the blog world almost a year ago! What a difference a year makes!

Joe had a rough couple of months (hence my absence) but has made remarkable strides in coping with chronic illness.

So.....I'm going to give blogging another try. Since I left last September I'd almost given up knitting altogether. I just didn't have the desire to knit. This past spring I took up a new all-consuming hobby.....sewing! Actually I have sewn off and on since I was 7 years old. I recently started knitting again, so now I'm juggling sewing and knitting, and a very active 8 year old, and a cranky old man!! Good times, good times.

I don't know how this is all going to work out, if I will even have time to blog, but I'm going to give it a shot!