My blog about knitting, teaching, and being a mother to two energetic young boys.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Rose By Any Other Name...

Rainfall in the Pacific Northwest really pays off. Everything is so green, lush, and smells fresh. We love it! Today Wade's folks brought the boys into Portland (from Sacramento). We decided to head downtown & visit the Rose & Japanese gardens after reading about them on Sandy's blog awhile back. Wow. Can I just say it again? Wow.

The roses were amazingly beautiful. I think Portland is nicknamed "The Rose City" - for good reason. We took a zillion pictures - refer to the slide show on the left. I wish we could grow such beauties in Anchorage. I think people do try to grow roses, but have to cultivate them with extreme care & bring them inside during the winter. Sounds like lots of work to me!

After our stroll through the Rose Garden, we wandered up & took a tour through the Japanese garden. If I had a yard large enough, this is how I would want it landscaped.
Isn't it just beautiful?

A Koi pond & waterfall wouldn't be too much, would it? I mean - it could double as an ice skating pond in the winter. :0)

Wade's folks enjoyed the gardens as well.

Here are Ross & Wade. Ross was our best man at our wedding - almost 11 years ago! (July 27) I'm convinced they were cut from the same cloth. It's too bad that so much distance separates us - they certainly have fun together. I know thoughts of moving to this area were on Wade's mind while we've been here. Don't think that will happen though. However... the selection of yarn here is quite remarkable....

This is how Wade would want to landscape the yard - complete with a Zen rock/sand garden. Yeah = I'm sure our cat, Raja would love that! :0)

No new knitting news, as I'm reading HP #7 as fast as I can. I'm on page 300 and something - so far it's been a great read! I'm almost wishing we were back in the van again so I could enjoy hours and hours of uninterrupted reading. J.K. Rowling certainly has not disappointed me thus far. I know I'll be sad when I finish the book even though I'm excited to know how everything wraps up.

I should finish my Embossed Leaves sock soon after I finish the book - just in time for the end of SAM3. I did sign up for SAM4 - with all of the new STR yarn I purchased, I'll have lots of socks OTN!


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Live from Tacoma...

Knock Knock!
Who's there?

Hmm... Guess Sandy's not home. I guess I'll just sit down & knit a bit.

Do you think she'll mind if I read the newspaper? Huh. I wonder where she is?

Wait a second.... that establishment looks suspiciously like the Double Musky restaurant which is NOT located in Tacoma. Perhaps I got the address wrong...

Hey - that's my friend Margaret on the left. Now I know I not only have the wrong city, I'm in the wrong state! One day my cyber-friend Sandy... we will meet in person! So....

I wonder if Paul is home....

Saturday, July 21, 2007

An Evening With RUSH

What do you get when you combine three guys from Canada, Guitars, Drums, and lasers?

A rockin' Evening with RUSH! Wow - this show rocked! Who knew so much rich sound could be produced from only three people? Above you'll see their front man, Geddy Lee.

RUSH is my husband's favorite band. (Mine is Duran Duran - a completely different genre!) However - I have become a RUSH fan by marriage. Their songs are thought provoking & their music is incredible.
If you look carefully, you'll see Alex Lifeson there on the left - stunning guitar work!

Fun lights add to the ambiance.

RUSH has been around for over 30 years (we went to their 30th anniversary tour back in 2004). We're trying to figure out how old Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart are. If they've been around for over 30 years, they have to be in their 50's we reckon. My father is in his mid-to-late 60's and I have such a hard time imagining him rockin' out on the stage. Crazy.

Wade was in 7th heaven. Okay - he says he was in 8th heaven.

Set List:

  1. Limelight
  2. Digital Man
  3. Entre Nous
  4. Mission
  5. Free Will
  6. The Main Monkey Business
  7. The Larger Bowl
  8. Secret Touch
  9. Circumstances
  10. Between the Wheels
  11. Dreamline

2nd Set:

  1. Far Cry
  2. Workin' Them Angels
  3. Armor and Sword
  4. Spindrift
  5. The Way the Wind Blows
  6. Subdivisions
  7. Natural Science
  8. Witch Hunt
  9. Malignant Narcissism
  10. Drum Solo (OMG - Incredible - over 8 minutes long!)
  11. Hope
  12. Summertime Blues / Distant Early Warning (different between the two shows)
  13. Spirit of Radio
  14. Tom Sawyer

  1. One Little Victory
  2. Passage to Bangkok
  3. YYZ
Connection of knitting to RUSH? Both RUSH and The Yarn Harlot are from Toronto. :0)

Under the Spell....

The Book is here. Needless to say - until I've plowed through 759 pages, not much knitting will be done. Thanks to my dear friends Margaret & Sandy - a book was procured at a local book store in Sumner, WA "A Good Book". We rushed over there after the RUSH concert & procured the goods. It dawned on me that I would have my book a full hour (well - by the time we got to the book store, 1/2 hour) before Margaret. Her friend Wendi (who has been the most gracious hostess while we've been here) & I called Margaret asking if she'd like us to read a smidge from the book to her. Since this blog is rated G, I can't reprint her response. Silly Margaret!

The RUSH concert was AWESOME! It's amazing what rich sounds can be generated by three guys. We're looking forward to concert #2 this evening down near Portland.

We have a quick stop to make before heading south again - will post soon. I'm trying to conserve my internet use as I don't want to inadvertently run into any Harry Potter spoilers.


Friday, July 20, 2007

The Holy Grail...

STR - the yarn I've heard so much about is turning out to be akin to the Search For The Holy Grail. I'm in Oregon, I've visited 3 yarn shops, and still - no luck. Hmmm - Oh well, I will not be deterred - I WILL find this yarn. I love the wonders of the internet - I quickly found another yarn shop which just so happens to be on our way north to the Seattle area. This time I let my fingers do the walking & found out said establishment does in fact, have some STR in stock. Wish me luck.

Yesterday, Wade & I set out sans children for the 1st of our 2 RUSH (not Limbaugh) concerts. We set out from Sacramento around noon for what was estimated to be a 9 hour journey to the Portland area (don't you love Map Quest?). We crossed into Oregon & my knitting radar went off - a quick trip into Ashland (home of the Shakespeare Festival) & I found Websters. No STR yarn, but I did manage to make my trip worthwhile. :-)Wade is really sweet to allow me to indulge in my knitting addiction.

After our quick stop in Ashland, Wade had the inkling to take a "quick" drive over to the coast to see the sunset. Yeah - not so quick & not so great for the sunset. We drove along a very windy logging road to Coos Bay & then headed north along 101 toward Florence. It took us nearly 2 hours to drive 69 miles to the coast & not only did not see the sunset (it was very cloudy), but hardly saw the ocean! The 101 took us near the Oregon Dunes which were pretty cool to see. At Florence we decided to head back toward I-5 & Eugene. Again - another windy road & this time in the dark. Dinner consisted of water, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches (the dinner of Road Trip Champions), Grapes (Thanks Sylvia!), and a candy bar procured at our gas stop in Redding. Quite the gourmet, romantic meal. lol

Once we hit I-5, we had to decide on a place to camp for the night. By this time it was 11 PM (our "quick" trip to the coast took us about 5 hours), and we were still 100 miles south of our friends' house. Wade thought it might be funny to just show up at their house & pop the top in their driveway for a fantastic early morning surprise. At about 11:30, Wade had second thoughts & decided perhaps we should stop somewhere else. A well-lit rest area along I-5, about 20 miles south of the state capital of Salem was our overnight accommodation of choice. Apparently it is also the rest stop of choice for truckers who cruise I-5. We awoke bright and early at 6am thanks to the wake-up call of diesel engines & a rooster somewhere near by. Truck engines are LOUD!!

The "view" from our suite

After a quick breakfast, we hit the road & arrived at our friends' house in Lake Oswego. We Roaches are a swell bunch - we even provide morning wake up calls!
Next stop: White River Ampitheatre to see "An Evening With Rush" to celebrate their Snakes and Arrows album. We're crashing at a friend of Margaret's tonight. Margaret even arranged for the new HP book to be reserved for me at a local book store! We might even take in some of the local sights of Tacoma tomorrow before we head back to Portland for concert #2. :0) This road trip is turning into something akin to "Where in the World Are The Roaches"? Where will we turn up next?

**In case any of you are wondering or concerned, we didn't abandon our children. They are spending some quality time with their grandparents in Sacramento while we enjoy the 2 concerts. Wade's parents are driving them up to Portland on Sunday. Have I mentioned I love my in-laws? You couldn't ask to marry into a better family!

Oh yeah - finished the baby socks. I guess these can count for my July Socks of the Month. I'm near the heel on the Embossed Leaves Sock #2, so I should get two socks done for credit for July.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

6000 miles ....

And about 3000 more to go! Today I'm posting from Wade's childhood home in Sacramento, CA. We drove up from San Diego on Monday morning. Wade's parents have the drive north perfected!

  1. Pick Up Venti Starbucks coffee the night before & keep in refrigerator.
  2. Wake up at 3:30 to prepare for 4:30 AM departure.
  3. Warm up above mentioned coffee in microwave right before you run out the door.
  4. (Addendum) Pick up sleeping kids in their sleeping bags & carry out to van.
  5. Drive Away.
  6. Hit L.A. before the hoards of humanity clog the freeways. We did well - as we were leaving the valley, the south bound traffic heading into LA was insane. Why...Why...Why...
  7. Drive over the Grapevine (why is it named that? I didn't see any grapevines along this section of I-5). Just asked: it's named because this stretch of highway used to wind about much like a grape vine.
  8. Stop on the north side of the Grapevine at the first Starbucks available for coffee #2. By this time it's about 7:00am.
  9. Continue drive north - & stop at Coalinga at Harris Ranch for breakfast around 9:00am.
  10. Continue drive north & arrive in Sacramento prior to 1:00 pm.
Pretty amazing huh? We logged in a 500 mile day before 1:00 pm! The great things - we beat the crazy traffic & the kids sleep a good portion of the trip. Also - great knitting time once the sun comes up. I'm working on:
Baby socks! - I had lots of extra yarn from Monkey Sock #1 - plenty to churn out a couple of socks. A high school friend is a daddy to a baby girl - thought I could give these to Baby Cleo when we visit them in Bellingham at the end of the month.

The cool thing that happened during trip north? Look carefully at this photo:
If you look at the odometer closely, you'll see it's reached 77,777 miles. Pretty cool! I was driving & saw we were close to this epic mileage about 20 miles before. It was quite distracting as I didn't want to miss it. Wade was napping, so I quickly woke him up so he could snap this photo. (Tricky to get it in focus when you're shooting from the passenger seat.) So - we've logged over 6000 miles thus far.
Last night we finally saw the new Harry Potter movie. I thought it was great! Followed the book pretty closely as far as I can recall, although I remember Dolores Umbridge as being more toad-like in appearance as well as demeanor. I'll have to chat w/my friend, expert on all things Harry Potter, Margaret. I can't wait for the next book!!!!

Today we went to Wade's dad's (is that correct grammar?) Softball game.A fun morning & great for his team as they won.

Next on the day's agenda: The California Aerospace Museum to see the Leonardo DiVinci exhibit. Well done & informative. Great displays & hands on activities for the kids. Of course, the military aircraft display outside on the tarmac was a hit with the boys. You could practically smell the testosterone emitting from the pores of all males in the vicinity. One of the volunteers was kind enough to answer the boys' questions such as "Where are the bombs?" "Are there any missiles?" "What kind of things does this shoot?" They were in 7th heaven when he offered to show them some bullet holes in the side of a plane that was used during Desert Storm. Arghh... I say we let women run the world & curb the fascination with war & destruction. Wade & I don't allow our boys to have toy guns, toy soldiers, or playthings of that sort. It's fascinating how it seems so ingrained. I think I need to start knitting lessons soon!After the museum, Sylvia & I left the boys to their own devices while we checked out a couple of knitting shops "Filates" and "Babettas" in the Sacramento area. Again - I exercised restraint as I'm waiting to find some STR yarn when we drive up to Oregon.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Mountain Life

Arghhh matey! Who's the leader of my club? Love the Disney ears - no? Yes - we do get a bit silly in our old age. Can't resist the ears when you go to Disney land. These are one of my sons' hat - I did not get one for me, although in hind sight perhaps I should have. However - our school has a "No Hat" policy for students AND staff, so wearing the ears while I'm teaching would not only make it more difficult for my students to pay attention, but it would also be a big "no-no" according to school policy. Party poopers..

We just returned from our three day trip to the family cabin on Palomar mountain. Great relaxing time. The temperatures cooperated for once - very pleasant. Now if only the biting flies would just buzz off. I can't decide if I'd rather have Alaska mosquitoes, or California biting flies. I'm thinking mosquitoes on this one - their bites don't last nor itch as long. Also, the mosquitoes are slow - they don't stand a chance against our Ninja-like reflexes. These CA biting flies are quick buggers.

When up at Palomar, you have the opportunity to do lots of things, such as:

Baseball: Orion & Iain were thrilled w/new gloves from their Uncle Ryan. Orion predicts he'll be a pitcher w/the Padres when he grows up. How is he going to balance that w/a career in the EPL (English Premiere League) or the MLS (Major League Soccer)? I love his ambition! Can't you tell from the photo that he already has a wicked fast ball? Just ask him how many times he struck me out.

Enjoying a good beverage. I know it's hard to believe - but this last birthday just tipped me past the legal drinking age. I know, I know - hard to believe. Hush Margaret, that's enough out of you. Cheers!

Reading a good novel. I think Orion here is finishing up The Box Car Children #2. The Box Car Children series was a favorite of mine when I was a youngster (not that many years ago...). I finished The Friday Night Knitting Club. This book is as much about knitting as the movie "Bend It Like Beckham" was about soccer. Good read - great story of how wonderful friendships can develop from knitting. Friends & I would like to start a weekly or monthly knitting group - Alaska knitters/bloggers, I'll keep you posted.

Here's my father-in-law, Ron, falling under the reading spell.

Of course - quiet relaxing time = KNITTING! I finished Monkey sock #1. I used Lorna's Laces sock yarn in the Somerset colorway. The way the colors popped out reminded me of a sunset - appropriately named yarn & perfect for this pattern. For the pattern, go here. Again, my needle & method of choice is Addi Turbo #2 & Magic Loop. I changed the pattern ever so slightly by using a star toe as found w/the Embossed Leave sock in Interweaves Favorite Socks book. I really like the fact that I don't have to graft the stitches together at the end & think the star pattern is pretty cool.

Here's another peek of the sock. You can kind of see the star pattern.

Photography. My husband is quite the shutter bug. I rib him a little about it, however, when you take over 300 photos, certainly one is bound to come out. See below - a beautiful sunset over Palomar. Great view from the cabin. I told Wade it was certainly "blog worthy" (as are several other photos) & he'd get full credit.

Photo by Wade J. Roach, July 2007, All Rights Reserved.

I need to upload the other photos & make a slide show. Too many to put on one blog.

Oh yes, I almost forgot - the day prior to departing for Palomar was my birthday (as well as Jessica Simpson's & Bella Fleck) - the one that tipped me past the legal drinking age. Fun Day - Started off w/a little knitting and coffee and then:

The Beach - Can't go to So. Cal w/out visiting the beach. As my birthday was on Tuesday, we didn't have to fight the typical beach crowds & were able to find a parking spot. I can easily explain the lack of a tan: I'm from Alaska & of course wear SPF 50 sunscreen to protect the skin. It couldn't possibly be because my melanocytes don't produce much melanin. :-)
The boys were happy as clams to build sand castles in the surf & catch sand crabs. They don't go to the beach to swim - you can do that in a pool. They are all about the sand & shovels.
Later that evening Wade & I met up w/my college roommate & matron of honor, Hilarey. She & her S.O., George live in a very cool Loft apt. w/a view of Petco Park. Now you can't see a baseball game from their place, but it's in a pretty neat location downtown. I love how we can get together & chat & laugh as if we had just seen each other yesterday. She was also my adult companion on my first trip to Europe w/students back in 1997.

After a great dinner at a local Thai restaurant (I love Thai food - Thai Kitchen, back in Anchorage is our fave), we had dessert at "Extraordinary Desserts". OMG - You name it, they've got it. Almost too many choices, it's overwhelming. I finally decided on something akin to death by chocolate. Ahhh - heaven. Death by chocolate is not an exaggeration - I literally fell out of my chair as we were leaving. Never underestimate the power of chocolate. A bit embarrassing as I wasn't even drinking. I blame the chocolate. Never underestimate the power of chocolate.

As you can see here - another year definitely added to my maturity.
Fun times..

Tonight we're off to see the new HP movie. Can't wait for the book. Knitting & blogging might have to be put on hold after next Saturday until I've finished the book. Would hate to run into any spoilers.


Monday, July 9, 2007

Out There Having Fun

In the warm California sun. Ahh... San Diego. So much to do! San Diego is a wonderful place to visit. Great weather & lots of activities for the whole family to enjoy. My husband's family is originally from San Diego and he and I graduated from U.C.S.D. so we find ourselves down here almost every summer. I can't imagine trying to enjoy all San Diego has to offer in one visit.

Let's see - since my last post, what have we done? We've been to the beach. No photos - I was worried about getting sand in the camera. I just hung out on the sand watching the kids play & enjoying the "scenery" - use your imagination here. :-)
I've done a bit of knitting. I finished Jaywalker #1. I don't think the Jaywalker & I will have a long term relationship. In fact, I think we need a break. Sure - I'll come back for a visit. We just weren't meant to be. On the other hand, I did find another love. Remember the "Tulip Sweater" Stephanie blogged about June 5th? Remember how she just couldn't stop knitting it? Well - I jumped on the sweater bandwagon & immediately fell under its spell. The yarn! Dream in Color yarn! OMG!!! It is sooooo soft, the colors so rich. I just couldn't take my eyes and hands off of this yarn. While I was knitting this sweater, I kept fantasizing about what other projects could benefit from this yarn. I mean - knitting this sweater almost made me want to have another baby so I could knit more sweaters! Wade is relieved that those thoughts quickly passed. My sister is expecting a baby at the end of August, so I'll just have to knit for him/her (the gender is yet unknown). If you would like to fall under the spell of this sweater, please visit Coldwater Collaborative . All babies should have this sweater! Have a peek of where I am thus far: Only the sleeves to go. Did I mention there is NO SEAMING involved? Anyone who knows me well (Hi Margaret!) knows I avoid seaming like the plague. However- I've vowed to turn over a new leaf & pick up that needle & actually finish some projects that are sitting at home in my closet waiting to come together.

The Lower 48 Yarn Crawl has continued. While here I've visited "Common Threads" and "The Black Sheep" both located off S. Coast Hwy 101 in Encinitas. Both fabulous stores. No new yarn - a couple of books (including a finishing book). I'm waiting to find some STR yarn when I get up to the Pac Northwest.
Today we went to the Wild Animal Park. I haven't been there since I was in college (14 years ago!) so it was nice to return. Nice day - not too hot thankfully. Here's some photos of what you can find in the park:

Tomorrow is my birthday - I'll leave it that my age contains two of my favorite digits & that my favorite band is Duran Duran. Nothing planned thus far - hopefully dinner out & getting together with a college friend. I'm sure some knitting and coffee will also be on tap. I've cast on a Monkey Sock using my new Lorna's Laces yarn in colorway "Somerset".


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Take Me Out To the Ball Game...

We've arrived at Wade's brother's house in San Diego. Okay - technically he lives in Carlsbad, which is north of S.D. But - when you've driven almost 5000 miles, it's close enough.

Today we went to Petco Park to watch the San Diego Padres take on the Florida Marlins. Let's cut to the chase - the Padres lost. Not much of an exciting game - 3 up, 3 down. Great pitching by the Pads, but horrible hitting. Apparently they forgot that in order to score - you have to get on base. In order to get on base, it's usually easier to hit the ball really far & run. Relying on the opposing pitcher to throw balls or hit you with a pitch is really a poor strategy. See - I don't even play baseball & I can figure that out!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had the opportunity to go to Germany last summer & attend a World Cup Soccer match. My friend Lisa & I went to the U.S. vs. Ghana game. The U.S. lost, but that didn't matter - it was the atmosphere & experience which made for an unforgettable time. During the excitement - I had time to ponder the striking differences between watching a soccer game vs. watching a baseball game.

Going to a game is a fun outing for the family. We sat on the third base line in row 11. A few foul balls were hit our way - that certainly gets your attention. I'm not a great baseball player by any stretch of the imagination & I was a bit worried about a ball bouncing off the tops of our heads. Fortunately we didn't have to worry this time. The fact that complete strangers can get together & celebrate a double play and commiserate a missed opportunity is fascinating. It's a great time to forget about the horrible things happening in the world. It's an opportunity for hope. Perhaps the World's leaders need to forget this war thing & agree to duke it out on the futbol pitch or baseball field. Again - just a thought.

Of course - another fun thing about a baseball game, is it provides great opportunities for knitting! :0)