Tuesday, October 31, 2006

ciao, baby

I had a nice post all written up first thing this morning, In it I talked about the fury surrounding bitacle.org, rehashed the weekend events and included a wikipedia link about Halloween. I ran the spell check, added the links and clicked publish. Blogger could not locate my blog. Blogger lost my post. As much as I hate to learn something new, at least in the techno arena, I have reached the end of my rope. I want to post when I want to post, and Blogger has been anything but reliable. The time has come to move on. You can find me here: http://1blacksheep.wordpress.com. Please stop by and tell me what you think of the new digs! Ciao Blogger, it's been fun!

Friday, October 27, 2006

It's been a few days......

............... so I thought I'd bring you up to date as to what's been going on around Black Sheep Central. First up........ We've been back in our house here in Colorado for over a year now, and as is most often the case, our bedroom has been largely ignored. Most of the house got a fresh coat of paint before we moved in or shortly thereafter, but, the master bedroom was at the bottom of the list. With the prospect of a new job, I decided to get a few things done, and the bedroom jumped to the top of the list. Alex had Tuesday night and Wednesday off, so we picked out a new color scheme and new bedding and got to work. We carried the same khaki/tan/beige that is in the rest of the house into the bedroom and then added a gorgeous chocolate brown to all the western walls. The effect is very nice, I am so, so pleased. I'm still in the middle of painting the master bath to match (got new towels too), but I just had to stop before I was done last night.....my hand was cramping and did NOT want to work a roller anymore. That, and I was moving like I was 100 years old. There's just nothing like painting to make you feel muscles you didn't know you have. Squating, climbing ladders, stooping, bending, raising your arms above your head, crawling around on the floor-----you get the idea. I took a hot shower and sank into the sofa with a handful of motrin and a very saucy adult beverage, provided by my accomplice. Perhaps I'll get the remainder finished up this afternoon, after the stiffness is worked out a bit. This is what it looked like yesterday............... MAJOR blizzard. I'm thinking we got about 15 inches or so, although it is really hard to estimate since it has drifted all over. Most of the day we had snow coming down sideways, with brisk winds or 30-40 mph. The town basically shut down; Alex's restaurant didn't open, the Academy cancelled classes, as did every other school along the front range. The interstate was even closed for most of the day. The snow finally stopped falling around 5 or so, and Brad and Alex got the driveway cleared. Here's what it looks like today :) The snow is melting, the skies are brilliant blue, and although the roads are still dodgy, things are returning to normal. I think I'll quit for now; after fighting with Blogger all morning, I just can't bring myself to try and post another photo. Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 23, 2006

10-23

Another weekend is history. Do you realize that Christmas is just more than 2 months from now? Yikes.

Saturday. Can I just stop here and say, our merry band of knitters is the best bunch of girls on the planet? I know, I know, you all feel the same way about your best girls (and guys), but seriously, we have such a good time every week that I actually look forward to getting up on Saturday mornings; we genuinely like each other, support each other and encourage each other to more and more fibery pursuits (read: enable :) ). Last Saturday we were welcomed back to the Llama Store and able to use their fabulous classroom space for a spin-in. Linda, Christy, Anne and I brought our wheels, Kirsten was using one of Christy's wonderful drop spindles, and Ellen, Brie, Maus, Sabine, Darcie and Phoebe knit. My goal for the day was to fill my third bobbin of mystery wool and get a skein plied up, and although I didn't get it done with the group, I did manage to get a skein plied before the day was through:

I have a question now for any of you spinners who are no doubt much more experienced than I am. While beautiful, the three ply I've made up is completely unbalanced. Does it matter? What difference will it make to a knitted object? Will it work out in the bath? And one more: when plying, if you get a break in one ply, how do you handle it? Saturday afternoon, we went to a wedding. Here's what I saw:

.....beautiful, no? It was quite the wedding though, the bride was given away by her father, our former pastor while his father (also a minister) officiated. Then the father of the bride officiated, giving the message, hearing the vows and presiding over the exchange of rings. At this point, the brides uncle (also a pastor) took the reigns and watched over a unity ceremony and communion, after which the dad took over while the families gathered around the kneeling couple to pray over them. He then allowed his new son to kiss his bride and presented them as husband and wife, and I have to say he did a remarkable job of holding it all together, though you could hear his throat catch from time to time. Wish I coulda seen it. Sunday, most of our group was on puppy watch. Our girl Anne breeds beautiful Samoyeds, and her girl Kelly was ready to burst. I'll save all the details for Anne (check out this link, then follow it to the KellyCam for live pictures), but I will say that ALL of us were surprised by the litter. In addition to puppy watch, Alex and I had a nice coffee date, picked up a few groceries and I got some knitting done while I watched the Bronco's game and caught up with a few things on the TiVo. And now for a quick reading update: Last week I finished both Justice Hall by Laurie King, and Leonardo's Swans by Karen Essex. Both were excellent! First, Justice Hall. I've had this book on my shelf for a couple years, and as I got into it realized that it is part of a series, the 6th book, in fact. I had to decide if I should press on, or stop and go back to the beginning----I like reading things in order, do you? Anyway, I pressed on and the book was great. The premise is (and I have to go back now and read the first 5), that Sherlock Holmes meets a young woman (15 I think) and takes her on as an apprentice, at some point marrying her. Together, they continue to use their skills as detectives. I heartily recommend it! Leonardo's Swans is one of my favorite kinds of book. It is reminiscent of The Birth of Venus (which I loved), and In the Company of the Courtesan (which I also loved), both by Sarah Dunant. It is a book rich with Italian history, and the political intrigue of the early renaissance. This particular story involves two sisters, one whom marries the Marquis of Mantua, and her younger sister who marries the regent of Milan, the famous Il Moro, Ludovico Sforza. Leonardo DaVinci plays a roll, albeit minor, that adds flavor to the story. I could not put it down.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Because I couldn't resist.

48 Things You Could Care Less About 1. FIRST NAME? Lisa 2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? I don’t think so. 3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Don’t laugh…but I got weepy this morning listening to my new cd, and last night when my son wrote “RIP Zach Smith” on his childhood cancer donation thingy. As for a really good hard cry??? I don’t remember. 4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I guess so. 5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Probably ham paired with swiss. 6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I hope I would. 7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? I journal when I’m trying to work through things. Other than that---just the blog. 8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes, though I really should have had them out in 2nd grade. 9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Hell. No. 10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Depends on the day…Lucky Charms, Raisin Bran, really good granola. 11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Sometimes, but not usually. 12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Not particularly. 13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Rocky Road. 14. SHOE SIZE? 6-ish 15. RED OR PINK? Red. No question. 16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I tend to be lazy. 17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Not sure……too many choices. 18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? No. 19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Blue sweats, grey sweatshirt, not shoes. 20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Pizza, last night. 21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Tony Bennett Duets----wonderful. 22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Salmon or coral maybe. 23. FAVORITE SMELL? The ocean, a forest when it’s sunny and warm, clean babies. 24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My husband. 25. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? Their smile, closely followed by hands. 26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? Absolutely! 27. FAVORITE DRINK? Red wine. 28. FAVORITE SPORT? It’s a toss up between hockey and football. My favorite still has to be watching my son play soccer. 29. EYE COLOR? Blue. 30. HAT SIZE? No clue, but pretty small. 31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? no 32. FAVORITE FOOD? Smoked salmon, Italian in Italy. 33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy Endings. ----apparently Anne (or whoever she stole this from) didn't like 34 35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Neither…fall is my favorite. 36. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs 37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Probably dark chocolate, or something with caramel. 38. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Not expecting anyone to. 39. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? same 40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Just finished Justice Hall by Laurie King. 41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? Don’t use one. 42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? Nothing----it’s on the TiVo 43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? The ocean, elk, thunderstorms. 44. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? Beatles. 45. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? Italy and Japan 46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? I’m not sure any of the things I do are all that special. 47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Everett, Washington 48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Stolen from Anne, Ellen and Christy. And now, because it's Friday:

.....................Can I go back now????

Expect a book report on Monday---just now finished Leonardo's Swans, by Karen Essex.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Things to smile about....

Yesterday, we woke up to this: .....a wee bit more than a dusting, but not nearly what it could have been. Needless to say, it was the perfect kind of day for curling up with a good book and cupppa something. Late in the day, Alex and I headed out for Starbucks and some retail therapy. I came home with this:

....another of those wonderful albums you see at Starbucks. I just turned it on and, ya know, you just have to smile when you hear Tony Bennett (who is turning 80, believe it or not), pair up with James Taylor, or Paul McCartney---crooning those wonderful old standards. Go. Buy. It. Today. In fact, it's so good, I want to just sit and listen, (I keep turning it up). While we were cruising the mall, we found a killer deal on shoes, and Alex bought a great, classic Pea Coat, another fabulous deal, too good to pass up. As we were getting in the car to head home, a call came from gal pal Lorna, suggesting dinner out. We joined her at a new pub close to the house called the Fox and Hound. Good food, good company and lots of laughs. Here's what it looks like this morning: .......nothing much better than blue skies and sunshine :) And, if that wasn't enough to smile about, look what came in the mail the other day:

...............now, to decide which to crack first :) For now, I'm going to settle down with some knitting, or perhaps at the wheel and savor the sounds of Tony Bennett and friends.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A new member of the family!

I'd like to introduce Baker! Ya know how some people are dog people (some are cat people, bird people, snake people......)? Brett has always been dog people. In fact, he loves animals of all kinds, loves zoo's and nature films and so on. Since he was very little, we've always had animals of one kind or another, and for most of his life he has had a dog. When he moved out of our house, he lived with his Grandmother, and her dog Lucky. When he moved in with a room mate, she had a cat. But for the last year or so, he has been pet-less......until last Thursday. He and his girl Cora have recently moved to a big, new apartment, and he just couldn't wait any longer; they began trolling the shelters and finally found this happy guy, a Great Pyrenees about 3 months old. (Please don't leave comments about what an irresponsible choice this was, how he'll be huge, how he's not meant to live in an apt and so on........you just can't predict love, ya know?? If you can't say something nice.......) For the last several days there have been lots of phone calls, checking his progress and so on, and I'm happy to report that the little family is doing great, Baker is 41 pounds of healthy fluff, is learning proper potty procedures, and is a real sweetheart, by all reports. Brett took him to visit his Grandma and Lucky the other day, and the two got along great, although Baker was a bit overwhelming to the 11 year old Westie. Since Brett and Cora are pretty active---biking, playing soccer, hiking and such----Baker should get lots of outdoor time and exercise. I happened to see a similar pup in the pet store yesterday, and I have to tell you, it's not hard to see why Brett and Cora fell in love with their little guy. They are darling puppies! And I have to admit, I wish I could be there to enjoy the fun. In other news, I'm still waiting to hear "officially" from the government folks regarding the new job. I talked to the "officer in charge" yesterday, and they are all excited that I'll be joining them (a great ego boost for me, I have to admit), but the civilian side of the military, in fact all of civil service, is being reorganized and the wheels grind very slowly. If I was better organized, I'd get busy on things like Christmas cards, gift shopping, painting the bedroom and so on before I actually start working. Thanks again to all of you who have sent congratulations, and asked about the situation. Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Yep...

......they're really that close. Here's the thing I love about Rocky Mountain National Park (and Estes Park); there's no other place that I have ever been where one can enjoy beautiful vista's and wildlife this up close and personal.

And I never get used to it. I take a ton of pictures, stare and gawk and feel lucky to be there.

We arrived at the campground around 4 pm and found a terrific spot up on the ridge overlooking Moraine Park, where elk were visible. There's just nothing like listening to the calls of these magnificent beasts, as you set up camp, cook some supper or fall asleep. The weather was perfect, around 62 degrees, sunny and clear. We set up the camper and took a short walk, before having some dinner and going to sleep. Several times during the night, I woke to the sounds of coyotes yipping and howling----lots of them and pretty close by.

Saturday was overcast and mild, around 45 degrees in the campground. We were toasty warm in our little home away from home, Brad reading up on which flies to use in which stream and me doing some knitting and reading. After lunch we ventured off, planning to go to the fly fishing shop in town for some intel and new bugs. Along the way we decided to drive up Trail Ridge Road a bit, but instead of sticking to the plan of going up just a little ways, we drove all the way to the top, and into the weather----beautiful, but quite chilly. The visitors center and the gift shop were already boarded up for the winter.

On the way back down, we saw a beautiful herd of elk, the first I've ever seen at that altitude (something like 12,000 feet) at this time of the year. Off the other side of the road, and down about 300 feet or so was a car---emergency flashers flashing. Not a good place to lose control, but certainly not the worst spot, since there are several places along Trail Ridge Road where one would drop into nothingness.

We finally made it to town, parked the van and spotted this group of elk. This little "park" is right in town, steps away from the town hall and public library, less than 100 yards from the main drag. The elk seem totally unconcerned at the presence of people strolling by, stopping to take photo's and such, and while I've seen elk in this same spot before, I don't think I can remember seeing them this close to the sidewalk.

We stopped into the fly shop, and heading down the Thompson Canyon so Brad to try his luck. It was a catch and release area, and he did manage to catch a pretty brown trout, about 11 inches long (so says the fisherman). I was in the van doing a little reading, and missed the photo op. On the way back to the camper, we saw a herd of beautiful white tail deer, at least 4 bucks and several does, barely off the road, and a bit further on we had to stop as there were elk in the road.

Sunday morning we grabbed our breakfast and took it "on the road" just down the hill from the campsite where there was a nice herd in the meadow. Brad did a little fishing while I watched the herd.

We packed up the camper and headed downtown to enjoy the beautiful fall day and some coffee. I have to say, that out of all the Starbucks I have patronized (and believe me, there have been quite a few) this is my very favorite. It backs up to the river that runs through Estes Park, with outdoor tables and a view that rivals a great latte. Yesterday, we opted for the rocks rather than the outdoor tables, and I could easily manage spending a good chunk of time there if I lived more locally.

After a walk through town and a dip into the yarn shop (where unbelievably I left empty handed---I have no idea how that happened), we headed home. Honestly, I wish I could go every weekend, but then that might take some of the fun out of it, huh? I'll save some of the spectacular scenery shots for Friday's.....So stay tuned.

Now, it's back to the mountain of laundry......And I think I hear the spinning wheel calling my name.