Wednesday, July 25, 2012

skirting the issue

I've been wanting a denim skirt for a while. You know, because I'm always wearing skirts. uh, huh. Anyway, I have been wanting one. I got fabric for one, and everything. It's been sitting in a project bag for a while, waiting patiently for its turn.

Last week, I found a nice, tiered denim-ish skirt in Cato. It was my size, and $12 on sale. I got it, of course. Do you think that satisfied my need for a denim skirt? (you know, because I'm always wearing skirts) No. It did not.

So, this week, I pulled out that bag and got out that fabric - a very soft, denim-y, light blue denim - out and found a pattern that I wanted to use for the skirt, and got to cutting. The skirt has a simple yoke, with panels that grow fuller to the hem. I like that full sweep, and a longer length, like ankle or close to it.

There was also a blue leafy print fabric in the bag that was perfect for a tunic top to go with the skirt. Yeah, I cut that out, too. Today I sewed on both for a while. Almost have the skirt finished, and the top will go pretty quickly as well.

New clothes for a new job, right?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

desert traveller

So I've shared where we went and what we did, but I have to share my observations about travelling. Or, being a traveller.

I guess I need to start out with saying that I'm a desert rat. Born and raised. I've been places, and seen things, but the desert always feels like coming home, to me. I bugs me when people say that everything is brown in the desert. So. Not. True. Sure, you can see sand. A lot of it. But there are plants: grasses and flowers, and while trees may be sporadic, there are some pretty big bushes, and - of course - cactus. Many of them are some variety of green, with appropriate application of water. But that is just the start. You can see for miles. Miles and miles. Purple mountain majesties, and bluest blue skies. Clouds and rainstorms. Dust (sometimes WAY too much of that). You can see the fences, and the washes and the dirt roads. You can see each little farm house, mobile home & rusted out car hulk.

Once we got into Oklahoma, and for most of our travels, there were trees. Many of them. Along both sides of the roads, most of the time. It's green. A LOT of it. People who live in that seem to miss it when they aren't there. Me, I feel like there are so many trees, I don't get to see the forest. I don't get to see the creatures between the trees, or that corn field just on the other side, or that falling down house/barn or is it a lovely mansion? Maybe living in the desert makes me nosey, but I want to know what is beyond the roadside. Where is the horizon? It's just trees and more walls of trees.

Now, don't get me wrong, I really love trees. I have a thing for them, really. How they build themselves fascinates me. Not only that, but I appreciate a good forest as much as the next person. We took a beautiful drive through the Blue Ridge Parkway, which I absolutely loved. I just am not sure that I consider that roadside wall of green that follows so many roads through the south to really count as "scenery."

That said, I'll still go back in a heartbeat.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

the trip home

For the homeward bound leg of our vacation, we took several days, and had some fun with where we stopped. It wasn't nearly the endurance test of the drive out, and I think we enjoyed our trip home.

On Monday, we made it to Atlanta, hoping to include a visit to the Georgia Aquarium. Ron got directions to the Aquarium, and we found a hotel that was on one of the mentioned streets. Sounds easy & convenient, right? Well, we ended up having to call the hotel, who put us on the phone with an ambassador thing they have to help people find their way around the city. Thank goodness, because we would have remained hopelessly lost otherwise. It took them about 15 minutes to get us turned around, through the one way downtown streets, and to the OTHER PART of the street that also went a couple of blocks by the museum. We had a great view of a chain link fence and parking lot out our motel window, but the thunderstorm was lovely. The next morning, the rain was over, we found the aquarium again with no trouble, and had a great time going through it.
This was the ceiling and those were trout.

From Atlanta, we went on to Biloxi. We had considered New Orleans, but I don't think either Ron or I was up to another busy city. Biloxi hit the mark, though. We found a reasonable hotel across the street from the beach, and we got to wade through the low tide and find shells, hermit crabs, and even a small jelly fish to look at (and not even get stung by). We followed the recommendation of the lady at the hotel desk, and had a wonderful cajun seafood meal, with the main disappointment being that they were out of alligator.
It was totally worth the stairs!
The next day, we made Houston, where we braved the city traffic for an extremely short visit with some of my cousins. I had a great time talking with them and catching up. My cousin Mark went to the trouble of calling everyone and setting it up, and even getting us to & from the restaurant. I wish there had been more time, but I'm so glad everyone took the time & trouble to come for at least that.

Having made the trip from Cruces to Houston many, many times growing up, I knew that it was do-able in one day, but it isn't fun. Especially at the end of a long trip, when everyone is tired and tired of the road. So we stopped in Ft. Stockton for one final night on the road. We got to stop kind of early, which meant Raine got to go in the pool - OK, we ALL did - in the afternoon before dinner, and then I took her back and let her swim some more in the evening. We got up and ate a little breakfast, and made it home before noon.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

myrtle beach

Part two of our vacation found us in Myrtle Beach. Our beach front hotel gave us quick access to the beach and the ocean, and for as many people as were everywhere, we didn't have too much trouble finding a spot to hang out on the beach, or in the water. We had a balcony that we could see the ocean from, and I totally missed the opportunity to take a photo from there. I enjoyed sitting out and listening to the waves, and watching the water, but nope, not a photo.

Of course we didn't spend all our time on the beach. There was too much to do. One day, we went to the water park where there were slides, a "lazy river" current pool to ride around on inner tubes, a wave pool, and bumper boats. I did get some photos, but really, no one but Raine would appreciate the bathing suit shots, so...

Some of Raine's favorite activities were at a "camp" where the hotel had set up some things for kids to do. There was fishing if you got there early enough (which we did not), archery and target shooting with pellet guns, a zip line and some horses. There weren't many kids there when we went, so there was a lot of attention, and chances to try the different activities several times with little waiting. Raine's favorites were:

the zip line, Whhhheeeeeee!

and getting to ride each of the horses.

We also went to the aquarium, and had a good time exploring the marine life. We ate delicious seafood, and enjoyed our stay at the beach with Ron's family.

Friday, July 13, 2012

absent with leave

Yes, I've been gone for a couple weeks. Wasn't sure about posting about the vacation time while we were gone, for home security reasons, even though we had a house sitter. We're back now, and had a great time, with A LOT of driving - to North Carolina and back. It should be good for a few posts, right?

First, we drove, drove, drove to North Carolina, to visit Raine's grandparents. We got to visit some of Ron's family for a few days. Ron hadn't been home for several years, and it was good to get him there for a bit.

While we were there, we took a day trip to Linville Falls, on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The views were beautiful, and the drive was really nice. We had a picnic. It was a hike to the falls, and that was nice, too. A rain shower at the end of the hike to cool things off a bit.
Here are the falls.
There was something blooming.
Pretty in pink and white.
And of course there's this face.
One of my favorites.
Gum and all.