Tuesday, October 16, 2012

This and That

Dave and I drove down to Palm Springs with Dick and Judy for two weeks. It was HOT!! 113 degrees one day and most of the time it was well over 100. The day before we left for home, the temperatures were beginning to drop to the low 90's. My favorite activity was not golf, as it may seem, but rather laying by one of the 8 swimming pools in the Oasis complex. Reading, knitting, napping by a pool and floating in the pool now and again to get "cooled off." Ahhh. Floating on my back in the hot sunshine puts me in my happy place! But there was golf. And lots of it! We played 10 rounds of golf. Some of it consisted of going around twice for 36 holes. I shot my best round ever!! 92 for 18 at Cimarron's Boulder course. That was my first game of the trip....it went downhill after that!

The Oasis complex consisted of about 160 condos, some are owner occupied and some are rented through Vacations International. I would go back there in a heartbeat!! Beautiful mature grounds, those 8 swimming pools and hot tubs, tennis courts (blech!) and convenient to everything. Just south of downtown Palm Springs (or is it west?) I AM directionally challenged!

If you've been to Palm Springs, you won't foget this HUGE statue of Marilyn.

We arrived home on Thursday evening and Saturday morning we drove up to Bellingham to spend some time with Kyle, Kari, Saben and Annika. What fun to watch Saben play soccer! He was goalie for the first half. It took us right back to the days of watching both our boys play soccer....and Dave coaching.
What a HUGE field Bellingham has for ALL of their soccer games for every age.
Kari served us a yummy lunch before heading out to the soccer game and when we got home, we spent time playing games. Kyle, Kari, Annika and I played a fun game called Fish Sticks, and Dave and Saben played chess. Dave had to learn as he went along becasue neither of us know how to play. Kari's parents dropped by on their way home from a Skagit River rafting trip to see the fall colors, so we all went to the Electricity Museum, which happened to have free admission on Saturday. Lucky thing.....I was a bit bored with it all! The guys loved it. The girls not so much!

Last night (Monday) I attended a floral arranging class at Countryside Floral in Issaquah. Jon is very creative with his designs and he holds classes for the public to get our creative juices flowing. He makes amazing designs for weddings, funerals, birthdays. You name it!  Below is the design I made. We all used the same materials and he guided us through the lengthy process. There were eight of us in the class and we all made the same arrangement, but they all looked just a little different from each others. Inside the square container are three strands of curly willow that we wrapped around our hand and shoved inside for the structure which holds everything in place. That way we could poke stems in and have things stable. We began with those green tipped pussie willow twigs that we painstakingly tied together in a grid. I do enjoy making flower arrangements!

I love being able to go outside and cut branches and flowers to use in floral arrangements and I may need to see if I can get a Fatsia to grow in my new yard. That's the big leaf on the right. I had a fatsia in my yard oh about 30 years ago!! That house is long gone.

There's Jon!

The challenge was getting  it home in one piece!

Last but not least is a photo of my latest knitting project. Yup. A pair of socks.

I was worried about the fit, but measuring from the heel to toe and using those measurements to make the sock the right length and having the toe fit worked just right.

Dave keeps reminding me that socks are cheap and I should just buy them instead of spending extra money on yarn and so much time for such little reward. Ahem. What does he know!! I made these socks from a multicolored worsted weight wool yarn. I found that when I was working on these poolside in Palm Springs, ladies would want to find out if I was making socks and then we would have a lengthy discussion about knitting socks. It amazed me to see how many ladies have an interest in making them, but are scared off by how complicated they appear.  I bought yarn about 2 years ago for a sock project and got the book but I was also too overwhelmed to start. That is until Sharron told me that she decided to knit a pair of socks! Over the 35+ years that we have known each other, this is the way things go with Sharron and me! We do have similar interests and have found our craft project ideas running through our minds at the same time, and NO we haven't even mentioned it to each other. (This is exactly how our rubber stamping hobbies began. We are always amazed to see our interests converging!) Anyway, I guess I figured if she could do it, I should not be outdone!  Voila!

The other socks that I was planning on making were made from sock (fingering) weight yarn and my oh my! That is such thin yarn that I was getting nowhere fast! I just ripped out the 2" I had done...which took me about 5 hours to do and have begun again with a different pattern. I am using size 2 needles for those socks and I really have to concentrate because my vision isn't all that great and it is easy to make a boo-boo. Why socks, you ask? Probably because I still have a pair of green wool socks that my grandma made for me. They are at least 50 years old and they still fit and are in great condition. My grandmother is the one who "taught" me to knit when I was a kid, but actually I am self taught from that basic encouragement of grandma. My mother sewed, but did not knit or crochet. I'm really pretty much game to try anything.....at least once!

Such poor quality photos using my cell phone. I don't know why.