Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Hi Cindy,

Hope you had a good weekend. Our camping trip had mixed success. We only went for one night but it was great to get out of town to the cool green for a while. I wasn't really as grumpy as the picture makes me look. DH had just gotten out the camera and I asked him not to take my picture but he ignored my request. At least you can see how green it is up there. In the background is M. He did all my training when I started at ADWR last year. His wife B is a PhD student in Ecology at ASU. She is studying bats and their role in nature. She brought along a bat detector and had it sitting out while we sat around the campfire. There was one bat that kept circling, snacking on all the bugs drawn by the light.

In addition to us, there were A and his daughter, S and her kids and K with her husband, son and sister. Oh, and there were 4 dogs too. In fact DH and I were the only ones without a dog. M&B's dog Kiera is pretty sweet and S's Sprocket is a nice little dog. A's Madison was okay but K's Callie was big and loud. There was also a problem with keeping the dogs from getting into territorial disputes. Nothing serious but it was annoying. One of the conflicts actually knocked little T (K's DS) down as they rolled into him.

The other annoyance was the music. Typically when we camp out we don't take any boombox along. It's nice to just have the quiet of the woods. A kept his truck doors open all evening with the iPod blaring out. For a while it was okay, a nice mix of music. But after a while K's DH had to start mucking about with the music choices and hit the country. DH and I have minimal tolerance for country music and I got the impression that B did too. Soon the four of us were headed off to our tents. S had already headed off with her kids. The other four adults stayed up for another 2 hours talking and playing music. I'm not sure how the kids slept with all the noise but their tents were farther away.

DH and I are starting to feel a little age and didn't sleep very well, even after the music was off and the fire out. Our thin backpack mattresses didn't do much to cushion the ground even though it was wet and soft. We are talking about getting a foam mattress that we can just store in the truck and take camping when ever. Or have available whenever we need extra sleeping space for guests.

We had already decided to head home on Saturday so that we could get stuff done. When we got up we were both so tired that we slowly packed up and the left out around 10 am. M&B left about the same time as B flew out Sunday for a conference. S and her kids stayed long enough to go on a hike but were headed back to town that evening. The rest stayed through Sunday.

The area where we camped was okay but very peopleated. We had to go much farther in than A had planned. Everyone else had trailers and ATV's. DH called it a Redneck Wonderland after the Midnight Oil release. I guess the country music and the dogs fit right in.

Okay, enough about camping. I splurged Sunday night and bought a bit of painted roving from the Lime and Violet store. The color that I bought was called "Bill the Lizard", painted in green and purple. I didn't snag the picture of it from the site and they only had one available so the picture disappeared after I purchased it. It shipped out yesterday afternoon so I should have it by the end of the week. Look forward to pictures when it comes.

Do you ever listen to podcasts? You can save them on your hard drive even if you don't have an mp3 player. My favorite two are Cast-On by Brenda Dayne and Lime and Violet. Brenda is a transplant from Portland to Wales (yes, the country, not the town where our HS was). She recently started her fifth series of shows. Each series has a theme which she maps out and discusses. One was on the muses, especially how they relate to knitting. Another was on knitting and places. Her voice is very soothing and she has a variety of guest read other peoples (or their own) essays related to the topic. She usually runs 40-50 minutes in length. I've been listening to her for over a year and a half.

Lime and Violet broadcast from the Omaha area. They have been podcasting for just over a year. They are more chatty and don't produce in a set series, just put out a podcast every week or two. Whereas Brenda is more informative Lime and Violet are more like a very informal stitch and bitch that goes on for an hour or more. That's not to say that they don't have specific things they talk about. They have regular segments on what's on their needles, knitting news and yarn porn. They also talk about yarn shops and suppliers and other fiber related things. One of their very early episodes last year was a trip to Estes Park Wool Market. A major theme of their entire podcast is how hard it is to look at all the beautiful yarn and fibers available and not have a credit card go into convulsions.

Guess I'd better close this and get to work. I also have to go to the post office today. I still haven't mailed out your birthday present even though I've had it ready to go for a couple of weeks. Well, hopefully it will only be a day or so late. Later, A


Cindy said...

Sounds like a big group for camping. I haven't gone in years and miss it. We didn't got organized to do it this year. This is the first summer I've worked in so long and I fell much busier . . . The kids are old enough new I think to really be part of it so maybe we should ask Santa for a bigger tent.

Alene said...

Our tent would be a great size for your family. The two of us have plenty of room for our sleeping bags in the center and duffles on the side. Even still there's room enough for a kid or two. And the vestibule on the front is big enough that you could probably store gear there.