Saturday, August 25, 2012

Magical Mystery Tour

Roll up, roll up for the magical mystery tour, step right this way... 

Monday afternoon, and it’s destination Amsterdam. My oldest son, Bryce, is graduating with his master’s degree in geophysical engineering. He’s been in a two year program over there, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany. When he departed we had plans to go see him. Life happens and plans change and now it is the end of his journey there and we are just now going to visit. But at least we are able to go!
The holiday won’t be as long as we would have liked. In fact, it’s going to be a whirlwind trip! But fun, it will be! We’re renting a car to drive around and do whatever we want, when we want. We’ll fill every minute with an experience to remember.

There’s not really a plan. It would be more like an outline if anything. We arrive 28 August (how do you like my European style?) early morning in Amsterdam. From there, by car, we’ll go to Hamburg. We could go by train but he’s offered to drive. That way, we can stop anywhere along the way as the urge strikes. Admittedly the train would be an adventure so hopefully we’ll get that chance too. He resides in Hamburg so with any luck we’ll stay at his place and not have to sleep in the car! (I’m joking but as a mother it is my duty to worry about such things.) 29 August we’ll hang out in Hamburg, maybe have a hamburger, and explore. (I don’t know if they even have hamburgers. But it sounded good.)

30 August we’re going from Hamburg to Delft. It’s probably six or seven hours of driving between the two. That’s nothing because where we live out here in West Texas it’s that far to anywhere! And think of the sights along the way!

31 August is graduation day in Delft! How exciting! It’s a celebration of all his hard work. The ceremony will be held in the morning. The rest of the day will be spent discovering Delft. 1 September, we’ll continue in Delft, head to Rotterdam, and sightsee in Den Haag. 2 September we’ll go from Delft back to Amsterdam and spend the rest of the day Amsterdamming! (That’s Bryce’s word and I know it will be an adventure!)
If those are our seats we're close to the bathroom at least.

All too soon, it’s going to be 3 September and we’ll get on the plane for the 10 hour flight back to the states. I have a feeling there may be sleeping involved! Too soon, life returns to normal. Well, as normal as it gets anyway! It will be back to work with all the daily drama and problems that entails. Bryce isn’t flying back with us. He has to wrap up some loose ends and will come back a week or so later.

I’m excited and getting more anxious by the minute! I better go pack soon because I know I’ll end up forgetting something important. Before I know it the magic will begin!

The magical mystery tour is coming to take you away... 

My sweet son is looking to see where yarn shops are when we are on our trip. Not too many boys would think of that! But he knows me well. I did have to think about what to bring and wonder whether the nice people at the airport will want to keep my good knitting needles or not. I don’t think there’s a problem leaving from here. It’s coming back I’m worried about! Who knows? I might not even have time to knit. But sitting in planes, trains and automobiles makes me want to keep my hands busy, so I’ll be ready, just in case.

I finished the surprise for the scarf swap I’ve been working on. It will be in the mail before I leave, heading to some (lucky?) recipient who says she likes red!

I haven’t received mine yet so I have something to look forward to when I return.

I am ready for a vacation, however short it will be. Now do I have my passport? ;)

Roll up GOT EVERYTHING YOU NEED, roll up for the mystery tour...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ring Ring Telephone Rings

Somebody says baby what you doin'...

"Please wait until the Captain turns off the Fasten Seat Belt sign. This will indicate that we have parked at the gate and that it is safe for you to move about. Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because items may have shifted. If you can reach your cellphone without getting into your carry-on bags you may turn it on now." 
Sing, sing a song!
The plane comes alive! Ding, boing boing, ta-ta-da, ring, Hallelujah! Each activated cellphone come to life, receiving all of the important messages, texts and Facebook updates that transpired during the flight. Passengers look around sheepishly, especially the little man of the cloth whose phone was singing hallelujah, then hurriedly look at their screens or start pressing the buttons to make contact with the outside world.

I’ve often wondered what, if anything, a person’s ringtone says about them. I’ve had “Pretty Woman”, not because I thought I was but because for some reason that song gives me confidence in a trying situation. One Christmas I changed it to “Hard Candy Christmas” because it’s one of my favorite Christmas songs. I had “Sweet Escape” for a while because I learned how to say “causeI’vebeenactingikesourmilkallonthefloorit’syourfaultyoudidn’tshuttherefrigeratormaybethat’sthereasonI’vebeenactingsocold”
…but of course that part wasn’t in the ringtone. I paid for that one and also for “Need You Now”. I really like that song but embarrassed myself when I was at a serious meeting and my phone went off and sang “I'm a little drunk and I need you now”. Right now I have a factory ringtone that sounds like a robot. He says, “You have an incoming call”. I think it’s funny but I can’t ever hear it.

For a while I assigned different ringtones to different people so I knew without looking whether I wanted to answer or not. I even found a website where I could upload a file and edit the song to what I wanted for the ringtone. It’s free and you can either download it or use it on the web.

Think about it. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know why people choose the tones they choose? What does that say about their personality? The government  wastes spends  a lot of money on silly things.
I think that analyzing the character traits attached to custom ringtones would probably fall into that category. If that’s the case I could probably land a research grant. And for somewhere around $50,000.00 I’m sure I could find a connection.

In the meantime, listen to those ringtones. Look at the people attached and see if you can figure anything out! What’s your ringtone and why do you have it? That’s the essential question.

I've been wonderin' where you've been...

I’m still working on that secret project. It’s about finished and I’ll take pictures and send it off. I  wound some yarn today for a Hitchhiker scarf/shawl. I got the yarn on the trip to Utah. It’s Noro Lily and there was a sample, in another color, that sold me. I'm anxious to start!
Noro Lily for Hitchhiker
Close up of yarn

It’s funny about that yarn shop. We were on the way home from the trip to Utah this summer and we passed through Minturn, Colorado. There on the corner was a yarn store. I said, “Yarn store”, and Alan swerved into the parking lot. He’s learning!
Ironic that there's a One Way sign there!

I hear something, kind of a mechanical weird sound. Oh yeah, it’s my phone! I really need to get a better ringtone.

And let the telephone ring...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Good Morning Starshine

The earth says hello… 

It’s 7:00 am on a Sunday. What the heck am I doing up? It’s the weekend and my chance to sleep a little later. And I blew it.

I am definitely not a morning person. It’s not that I don’t like morning. I just don’t like to get up. There’s no particular reason. There’s just something about early morning and staying under the warm covers that seems to encourage my best sleep. I’m really a night owl, not caring to go to bed early. I’d much rather stay up until midnight or so then sleep in until I wake up. Unfortunately, like most people nowadays, I have to work and work starts in the morning; extremely early in the morning.

After I’m up it’s not so bad. But not immediately. I need time. I’m not one of those cheerful, full of conversation, smiling morning people. I more resemble Oscar, as in the Grouch, not the hotdog. Talk to me and I may answer with a grunt or something unintelligible. I move slowly and long for caffeine. After a cup of coffee or a Coke even, my blood starts to circulate and I slowly wake up and return to civility.

A long time ago when aerobics was the dance exercise of choice, an early morning class was offered. It sounded great because it would work perfectly with my schedule, allowing me to go to class and then come home and get myself and everyone else ready for the day. The first class came and I was ready. I had worn my sweats to bed so I could sleep a little later so I was set when I woke up. I headed out the door with great anticipation. I arrived to see a bunch of Barbies, decked out with full makeup and color coordinated fashionable exercise attire. What the heck? I quickly moved to the back row to find a fellow teacher, a male, in sweats, bleary eyed, messy hair, like me. After I warned him not to look at me and explained what the consequences would be if he uttered one word about my appearance at school, we began the routine. I was immediately a beat behind and if they went left I was going right. I stayed in that class for about a month until, secretly relieved, I realized early morning exercise was not for me.
Aerobics in the early morning is just a blur...

I still wait until the last minute to get up, pressing the snooze button however many times I can get away with it. I get ready and head out the door for the hour long trek to work. Maneuvering the road I’ve witnessed the sun rise many times. In the winter the sky is pitch black when I leave and the sun may or may not be coming up by the end of the drive. In the spring and summer though, it’s lighter when I leave and I see the sun peeking over the horizon the entire trip. The colors are amazing. Oftentimes the moon is on one side of the road while the sun is on the other.
Holding my phone up in the car. Notice the mirror?
Morning is a great time to reflect and plan the day. For some people that is. Me? I’ll stay up and decide what I’ll wear and what I want to do for the next day the night before. I’ll watch re-runs or a movie without interruption or work on a project. I’ll quietly slide into bed beside the morning person I married. When the alarm goes off I’ll squeeze every minute of time I can at daybreak, staying in bed under the covers before I have to get up and face the day.

Early morning singing song… 

I finished the Sassymetrical! I didn’t have enough of the beautiful handspun yarn but I managed to blend in some different skeins I had, pretty well if I do say so myself, and the average person won’t be able to notice. It’s way too hot to wear it right now, but in a couple of months it will be just right. I’m ready for fall already!
Front of Sassymetrical

Back of Sassymetrical

Up close with pin
The first light color is where I started adding different yarn

I haven’t had much time lately but I did finish an easy read mystery. Surprise! There were a lot of giveaway books at the library where our family reunion was held this summer so I picked some up. They are older, but they were free!

“Caught in the Shadows” is about a computer hacker who, while doing her job, stumbles upon some secrets of her own past. It’s full of twists and turns making you wonder about the true identity of the ‘bad guy’ all the way to the end. I’m reading another, “A Window Over the Sink”, and it’s funny and nostalgic but it hasn’t grabbed me yet. I’ll finish it, because that’s just something I do but it may take a while. And I might squeeze in a couple of others in the meantime.

A lot of good it did me to get up at 7:00 except that I was able to catch up on a couple of shows I like that I’d missed and I got to knit some on my ‘secret’ project. But I’m rested, just like I would have been if I’d just stayed in bed. So all is well. Good morning!

Good morning Starshine. 
So happy to be…