Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hiking is like Childbirth?

On Saturday, I thought it would be fun if my husband dropped me off several miles away and let me hike home. Flaws in that plan:

1. I only slept 2 hours the night before. Note to self: don't drink 2 caffeinated diet cokes with dinner EVER AGAIN! Finally going to sleep when the sun is rising is NOT FUN!

2. It was ridiculously hot and humid with a stagnant air advisory. And lest we forget, I have asthma.

3. I'm overweight and out of shape and my knees hate me.

Some pics from the day:

I rested on a rock overlooking this farm while a mosquito devoured my backside. Laugh if you must, but I'm slightly uncomfortable.

This flower is no larger than my thumbnail. It was so fragile and intricate. Each petal is actually a hollow cone. Being plant-challenged I have no idea what it is, but it's cool anyway.

My dear quilting friend bought me these trekking poles for my birthday. I LOVE trekking poles. I saw about a dozen hikers on Saturday, and 100% of them used poles. Try them, you'll really like them.

The good news is that I made it home. The rest is like childbirth...... I blocked it out.

Godzilla versus ........

Yes, Mothra was on my house.

(if you can enlarge the photo, the antennae look like feathers --- very cool!)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sweet Nothings

My husband has a new term of endearment for me. Darling? Sweetheart? Not even close. I may tell you later.

So, last week I had to respond to a friend's emergency and it kept me away from home for a few days. All will be well with my friend's family. She's terribly worried that she inconvenienced me, but the worst she did was caused me to skip my planned hike on Sunday and finish up a few quilts for a Monday deadline. No biggie.

Today was spent sitting through two classes, so I basically yawned all day and felt sorry for myself. When I got home I loudly said, "No more!" (Forceful, aren't I?) I grabbed my trail shoes and my daypack and hit the AT. I've stated before that I want to hike all 88 miles of the Appalachian Trail in New York this summer, so today I furthered that goal. Since the NY/NJ trail maps are currently out of print, I borrowed a set of maps from the library. There's a full topographical map on one side and an elevation chart on the reverse. I've been saving today's hike for when I was up for a challenge. The elevation chart showed it going straight up -- and it surely did that. If you question that, borrow my calves for tonight.

The first part of today's hike was, as I mentioned, somewhat steep. I could hear running water for quite a bit of it, so I wasn't too surprised that I had to cross it at some point. What was a pleasant suprise was the quality of the bridge. There's not always a bridge and I've shown pictures of bridges that make my knees knock. (I'm not a happy bridge crosser which is odd since I've always lived near major rivers and have had huge bridges as part of my everyday life. I just never enjoyed the bridge-crossing aspects of my everyday life.) So, today's bridge was quite safe secure sturdy lovely.

Wouldn't you be happy to cross this bridge?

Have you every played Jenga? It's this game where there is a tower make of little wooden tiles that you pull out and stack on top of the pile and try and keep it from falling over. Well, this reminded me of a Jenga tower.

I thought the fungus in this picture looked like little butterfly wings.

I know, I'm weird. Yes, my husband bought me a camera for my birthday and all I take are pictures of decaying wood. Sounds like a T-shirt, doesn't it?
I'm still learning to use my camera (wait, isn't there an instruction book somewhere that I should maybe read?) so this picture doesn't do a great job of showing just how GREEN everything was today.

Hiking at dinnertime has it's advantages, and one of them is that the sun is at a really cool angle and you get to see scenes like these:

This next picture is really a part of the Appalachian Trail, I promise. If you don't believe me, enlarge the photo and look at the brown sign on the left side of the road. You should see some white marks. The official AT markers are white strips that are 2x6-inches. The trail goes under a major highway by following this road for a short time.

Since the hike started uphill, hiking back to my car was a joy!
Look what was waiting for me:

My baby.
The weather is supposed to be this glorious all week. I'm going to have to do this again (and again, and again, and again).
Oh, wait! Didn't I start this post by talking about my husband's new nickname for me?

Yep, he loves me.

A Tale of Three Books

I just finished reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It reminded me so much of Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. They really aren't much alike, since one is post-apocalyptic and one isn't, but something was there. I recommend both books.

I've read all of Clive Cussler's books and was excited to get Treasure of Khan out of the library. After three weeks and struggling to get through half of the book I'm still not sure what happened so far, and I find I don't care much. Back to the library it went. Maybe my 20 year crush on Dirk Pitt has finally ended?

Friday, May 18, 2007

O Punctuation, Where Art Thou?

After nearly wrecking my car due to laughter, I drove back and took a picture of this sign:

If you want to be an author you'd better move out of the Hudson Valley, I guess. Or just maybe there's a book called Hudson Valley Ruins and the authors of said book were speaking at the library tonight?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Imminent Rueage

I mentioned before that my mom asked for a quilted tablerunner. Well, she's gonna rue the day she said that to me. Here's another one:

It's an old Thimbleberries Club Quilt. It hung in the store for a year and then sat on a shelf. I went to mail it to Mom and realized that I had only basted the binding down. Well, I just rectified that situation.

For those who wonder about the title of this post, it's from the movie Twister.

Dusty: He's gonna rue the day he came up against The Extreme, baby. Bill, I'm talkin' imminent rueage.

Happy Mother's Day!

The Appalachian Trail runs through New York state for 88 miles. I covered about 3 of those this afternoon.

There were some wooden footpaths and footbridges on this part. I'm not a happy bridge-crosser, but I survived this and other dangers:

My photography skills did not improve with the purchase of a new camera. What you cannot see is iocane powder are the really cool plants at the far side of the bridge. They were HUGE! And they reminded me of The Land of the Lost. (Sing it with me now... 'Marshall, Will and Holly on a routine expedition......' If you've never seen it, consider yourself blessed.)

I received a comment in person from a lurker (hi E!) about my peeing-in-the-woods comment from a few weeks ago. This picture is just for you:

Friday, May 04, 2007

Life Insurance

Do you ever feel behind? So far behind that you can never afford to die? I'm there.

If you have ever been in a similar situation and dug your way out of it, please share your success with the rest of us. Did you jump in and work until you were caught up? Did you just leave some things undone? Did you find a way to keep it from happening again?

In case you're unsure, posts like this usually come around the time of shows like this and this. When things have been crazy and I've been working non-stop and I just want a break but all I see ahead of me is a huge to-do list.

And what would I do if I got a break? I'd spend lots of time here, I'm sure.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

On a Roll

Quilt pictures twice in one week! Will miracles never cease?

This is a gift for my friend's baby who is almost three years old since this same friend is due to give birth again soon. I try to only be one quilt behind per family. It's a modest goal, but I can achieve it most of the time.

The fabrics are all different Moda pinks. The pattern was from a Super Bowl sewing day at Pinwheels. And even though the quilt is pieced in ripples I trimmed it down for a straight binding. I may be foolish at times, but I'm not crazy.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Check this out

Whereas it wasn't the best book I've read this year (The Boleyn Inheritance still holds that title), if you are the reading sort please consider The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian. It was an enjoyable journey.